5 important things happening in South Africa today

 ·29 May 2023

Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:

  • Coal court: The Pietermaritzburg High Court has temporarily halted new mining activity as part of the controversial expansion of the Somkhele coal mine in KwaZulu-Natal. Petmin’s Tendele Mining, the mine’s operator, said that the court granted the urgent application brought forward by lawyers for the Mfolozi Community Environmental Justice Organisation (MCEJO), with a full court hearing next month. The life extension of the mine has been a source of contention in the community, with a MCEJO member assassinated in 2020. [News24]

  • Tembisa corruption: The Gauteng Department of Health and Tembisa Hospital bosses face possible dismissal after signing off medical contracts with inflated prices while overlooking other discrepancies, such as forged documents. The pair were charged with misconduct last month for transactions they approved, which were among the payments flagged by whistleblower Babita Deokaran before her assassination. [News24]

  • DG fired: Following a disciplinary process, Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola has dismissed suspended public enterprises director-general Kgathatso Tlhakudi. The former director-general was found guilty of gross misconduct and unlawful recruitment. Tlhakudi said that he would appeal the decision and also approach the bargaining council for arbitration in June. [City Press]

  • Water supply: The City of Tshwane is setting aside R450 million for the next three years – R150 million per year – to upgrade the Rooiwal water treatment plant following the deadly Cholera outbreak in the Hammanskraal region. Finance MMC Peter Sutton said that the city is allocating the biggest budget possible for the refurbishment. On Sunday, the Gauteng Department of Health said that over 200 patients had been admitted to the Jubilee District hospital, with 48 confirmed cases and 23 deaths due to cholera. [Business Day]

  • Markets: The South African rand made a strong recovery on Friday from a new record low struck overnight after a central bank 50 basis point interest rate hike failed to impress some traders and economists. Another factor cited behind the rand’s surprise slump on Thursday were comments in the monetary policy statement that the SARB expected further currency weakness ahead. On Monday (29 May), the rand was trading at R19.66/$, R21.08/€, and R24.27/£. Brent crude is trading at $77.16 a barrel. [Nasdaq]
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