Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- Despite some views that the reserve bank has room to cut rates in South Africa once again, some economists think that a hold on rates is the most likely course of action. Inflation has come down, and the economy has avoided recession – but growth remains too slow and consumer and business confidence is at record lows. Stats SA will publish the latest CPI data today. [Daily Maverick]
- SARS wants international companies that have been found to be complicit in state capture to be banned from doing business with government. This includes groups like Bain & Co, Gartner and law firm Hogan Lovells, which were associated with former SARS commissioner Tom Moyane, who was found to have severely mismanaged the revenue service during his tenure. [Business Day]
- Analysts have raised questions about the viability of Cell C as an investment for Blue Label Telecoms, asking whether the mobile operator can be saved. Cell C was acquired by Blue Label Telecoms in 2017, with a recapitalisation strategy that aimed to make the business profitable. However, debt issues, litigation and costly contracts have made it somewhat of a liability – with the market waiting on its delayed finances to see the extent of the damage. [Moneyweb]
- The SABC says there won’t be a broadcasting blackout despite it not receiving any bailout from government. It says it has faced the most extreme challenges, but has managed to fulfil its mandate, while also implementing other cost saving measures. The broadcaster also mentioned things like increasing TV Licence fees, and skipping on costly broadcast rights – like those of the Rugby World Cup, which it says would have set it back R400 million. [EWN, TimesLive]
- South Africa’s rand extended its losses on Tuesday to a one-week low as heightened tensions in the Middle East after the weekend attack on Saudi Arabia’s crude oil facilities soured risk demand globally. South Africa is a net importer of oil and the spike in crude prices will likely push up inflation and hurt already anaemic consumer spending. On Wednesday the rand was at R14.70 to the dollar, R18.35 to the pound and R16.27 to the euro.