5 important things happening in South Africa today

 ·4 Jun 2024

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


  • KZN police on high alert: The police in KwaZulu-Natal are on high alert and have cancelled all leave due to concerns about potential post-election violence or chaos. The uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) Party, which was shown strong support in the province this election, has stated that the police’s suspicions about the party and its members causing chaos over their claims of election fraud are unfounded. Senior party members have mentioned that they would first like to see how the country’s justice system handles their complaints with the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) before deciding on their next steps. [News24]

  • Glencore and Merafe repel additional electricity fees: Glencore and Merafe Resources successfully countered a second attempt by the Rustenburg Local Municipality to introduce an additional electricity surcharge for their Rustenburg smelter, with the companies claiming preserved 700 jobs as a result. The municipality’s effort to impose a 6.1% surcharge was overturned last year, and a recent appeal was dismissed by the high court in Johannesburg. The joint venture argued that the surcharge would render the smelter economically unviable, potentially leading to its closure. [Business Day]

  • Environmental activists hand Shell another court blow: The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) has denied Shell, Impact Africa, and the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE)’s appeal to reverse a High Court decision that stopped a seismic survey of the Wild Coast. The ruling affirms community rights to proper consultation under South African laws. However, the SCA paused the High Court’s orders that nullified Shell’s 2014 exploration right and its renewals in 2017 and 2021, pending a new application by Shell from July 2023. This decision reopens the possibility for Shell to seek exploration permission but mandates thorough consultation with affected communities, considering their rights and environmental concerns. [GroundUp]

  • Flooding death toll rises: Five people in KwaZulu-Natal and at least seven in the Eastern Cape have been confirmed to have died as heavy rains continue in some parts of the country. Houses across the country have been severely damaged, leaving hundreds of households displaced. There is no electricity in many areas because power lines have also been damaged. [EWN]

  • Markets: The rand was slightly stronger on Monday, with analysts expecting coalition negotiations to be the main driver of the rand this week. On Tuesday (4 June), the rand was trading at R18.75 to the dollar, R23.81 to the pound, and R20.24 to the euro. Oil is trading at $77.78 a barrel. [Reuters]

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