Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- South Africa’s mining companies must reverse recent decisions to cut jobs in the industry to help revive the economy and boost investor confidence, according to Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan. His comments come a day after Lonmin said it plans to cut 4,100 workers at platinum mines that are being closed down, while in February Sibanye Gold said restructuring of its unprofitable gold-mining operations in South Africa could lead to more than 6,000 job losses. “Companies must ensure there is a balance in what they do in respect of shareholder expectations and societal expectations,” Gordhan said. [Bloomberg]
- President Cyril Ramaphosa is set to be sworn in as the country’s president on Wednesday and says his new Cabinet will be balanced. “We’ll present an outcome that I think the country will welcome and will be pleased with – because it will have a very good balance of gender, youth, competence, demographic [and] regional spread and all that. So wait and see, watch this space.”[EWN]
- DA leader Mmusi Maimane says he is in the process of taking action against former Western Cape premier Helen Zille for her ‘black privilege’ comments on social media. Maimane, who has seen his authority questioned after becoming its first leader to oversee a drop in support during a national election, recommitted the DA to being “a party of the centre”. Zille created a storm on Twitter when she tweeted that some South Africans enjoyed #BlackPrivilege because they were looting state coffers. “Well, you clearly don’t understand black privilege. It is being able to loot a country and steal hundreds of billions and get re-elected,” she said. [BusinessDay]
- A R5.2 billion bid by the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) to purchase cattle feedlot Karan Beef could be dead in the water due to allegations of corruption. Questions of impropriety around the transaction were raised at the end of January in a set of emails sent by the PIC’s infamous whistleblower ‘James Noko’ who accused the state asset manager of inflating the valuation of the meat company to benefit Sello Motau, a director of Theko Capital, who had allegedly been brought in to provide advisory services on the transaction by non-executive board member Dudu Hlatshwayo, who is also named as Motau’s lover in the emails. Motau has denied all the allegations against him [Moneyweb]
- South Africa’s rand is treading water as the two-day Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting kicks off on Wednesday, with SA interest rates expected to remain unchanged. Local CPI is widely expected to remain at the 4.5% mark, although continuous fuel price hikes will pose a threat to inflation, said Bianca Botes, corporate treasury manager at Peregrine Treasury Solutions. It’s a quiet data day in the US and EU while a flurry of stats are due from the UK, with the key data including CPI and PPI. The rand is currently trading at R14.40 to the dollar, R16.07 to the euro and R18.31 to the pound.