5 important things happening in South Africa today

 ·30 May 2024

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

  • Nedbank faces more litigation woes: Nedbank is preparing to defend itself against lawsuits from a second state-owned entity, Transnet, regarding its involvement in potentially corrupt financial transactions during the State Capture period. Transnet accuses Nedbank of executing interest rate swaps that resulted in massive losses for the transport SOE. Similarly, Nedbank faces accusations from the Airports Company South Africa, which has involved the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) over the bank’s role in comparable financial dealings. [Daily Maverick]

  • Transnet’s pricy turnaround: Transnet’s plan to overhaul its core rail network could cost R80 billion and take a decade, impacting 5,000km of South Africa’s 21,000km rail system. This network links major cities such as Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town, and Gqeberha. Successfully upgrading this network could boost the country’s GDP by up to 1%, potentially creating hundreds of thousands of jobs. This was highlighted by Jan Havenga, a logistics professor, at a recent rail symposium. [Moneyweb]

  • BHP backs down from Anglo bid… for now: After being blocked by Anglo American, Australian mining giant BHP had to drop its takeover bid, but may not be completely out of the picture. Despite a denied extension and reluctance to launch a hostile takeover without support, BHP has temporarily halted its efforts. UK rules bar BHP from bidding again for six months, unless circumstances significantly change or another offer is made for Anglo American. However, Anglo American could still accept a previous offer from BHP. [News24]

  • Vote counting underway: The Electoral Commission (IEC) is underway with the counting of votes for the national and provincial elections. The IEC said that it expects a larger voter turnout for the 2024 elections than it saw in 2019. [IEC]

  • Markets: The rand strengthened before the national election on Wednesday, which could see the ruling party lose its majority for the first time in 30 years. On Thursday (30 May), the rand was trading at R18.47 to the dollar, R23.31 to the pound, and R19.96 to the euro. Oil is trading at $83.50 a barrel. [Reuters]
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