5 important things happening in South Africa today

 ·22 May 2024

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

  • D-day for BHP: Today marks the deadline for Australian mining giant BHP to either formalise its offer for Anglo American by 18h00 South African time or abandon its $34 billion merger proposal for at least six months. Following a rejection of its second, higher all-share offer last week, BHP hinted at walking away, especially as Anglo American announced a restructuring plan to benefit its shareholders. With no third offer made or signs of willingness for discussion from Anglo’s board as of Tuesday, BHP’s intentions to proceed without engagement seem increasingly unlikely. [Business Day]

  • SSA’s UK base has lost major capabilities: The UK base of the State Security Agency (SSA) faces significant issues, including corruption, outdated technology, and the problematic consequences of a merger of apartheid-era and post-democracy intelligence bodies. This has led to a decreased focus on foreign intelligence and ongoing operational and personnel challenges, as detailed by the Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence (JSCI). [News24]

  • Maya gets JSC nod: The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has resolved to recommend to President Cyril Ramaphosa that Deputy Chief Justice Mandisa Maya be appointed to the position of Chief Justice. The JSC conducted interviews for the position on Tuesday – a key part of the consultative process before an appointment. If Ramaphosa goes ahead with the recommendation, Maya would become the country’s first female Chief Justice. [SABC]

  • Gauteng department’s hefty events bill: The Gauteng Department of Sports, Arts, Culture, and Recreation has spent R84.9 million on catering, stage and sound, and transportation in the last two fiscal years. This expenditure included more than R7.7 million for a gala dinner last year alone. In the 2022/23 financial year, the department allocated over R21.8 million to catering, while in the 2023/24 financial year, catering expenses were over R10.7 million, and stage and sound costs exceeded R10.4 million. [City Press]

  • Markets: The rand strengthened to a 10-month high on Tuesday, a week before a general election, with analysts citing rising expectations that the outcome of the vote was unlikely to disrupt markets. On Wednesday (22 May), the rand was trading at R18.07 to the dollar, R23.09 to the pound, and R19.61 to the euro. Oil is trading at $82.28 a barrel. [Reuters]

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