5 important things happening in South Africa today

 ·16 Oct 2023

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

Crumbling roads: National road agency Sanral says that the government needs to turn to the private sector to help maintain roads in the country, as there is currently not enough money to get the work done. Leaning on the private sector would also be beneficial as money and how it is spent can be tracked better, curbing government mismanagement and poor financial control. [BusinessLive]

SABC tax: Plans to replace the SABC TV Licence with a new household tax have not been abandoned, and the proposal will be raised during debates around the new SABC Bill. The idea has been floated since 2021 but has faced some pushback from cabinet. But with only 16% of South Africans paying their TV Licence, the broadcaster is desperate for a new funding model. If enacted, the Department of Communication and Digital Technologies will have three years to develop a new model. [News24]

Migration miss: The government is completely off its migration targets, with the latest census data showing that even if the standing targets were hit, the migration of people into urban areas and from other countries is beyond what was expected. Census 2022 data counted over 2 million people who were not born in the country, with 400,000 moving to Gauteng over the last 10 years. This is far beyond what was envisioned when setting housing and service delivery targets. [EWN]

Green hydrogen: South Africa’s coastal provinces are working to become hubs for the production of green hydrogen and derivative products, with the Eastern, Northern and Western Cape provinces teaming up for this goal. The provinces want to host multi-billion rand projects that will help establish South Africa as a global leader in the field, and are opting for cooperation rather than competition. Areas of collaboration are expected to be contained and formalised in a memorandum of understanding. [Engineering News]

Markets: The rand stabilised on Friday after what was a volatile week linked to general risk aversion due to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and shifts in US markets. Investors will be looking ahead to the next big event on the calendar – the mid-term budget on 1 November – for market direction. The budget is expected to highlight South Africa’s dire financial position. On Monday, the rand was trading at R18.96 to the dollar, R23.07 to the pound and R19.97 to the euro. Oil is trading at $90.90 a barrel. [Reuters]

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