5 important things happening in South Africa today

 ·8 Jul 2024

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

  • Numsa to strike at Gautrain: The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) will begin striking at Gautrain services today, demanding a 13% wage increase, more than double the inflation rate of 5.2%. Despite this, Gautrain spokesperson Kesagee Nayager has assured passengers there will be no disruptions. Numsa, having already issued a 48-hour strike notice to Gautrain’s operator, Bombela Operating Company, had a one-year wage deal that expired last month. [Business Day]

  • Standard Bank slapped with R1.7 million CCMA ruling: The CCMA ordered Standard Bank to pay nearly R1.7 million to a former employee who was dismissed based on unfounded allegations ranging from racism to harassment. The decision came after a senior CCMA commissioner found the investigation into the bank’s ex-global markets compliance head to be significantly flawed. The inquiry was criticised for its reliance on a “defamatory” letter by a disgruntled ex-employee who resigned after not being promoted. [News24]

  • AutoZone enters voluntary business rescue: AutoZone, southern Africa’s largest privately-owned automotive parts retailer and wholesaler, has entered business rescue due to financial issues, as decided by the AutoZone Holdings’ board on July 1, 2024. The process was officially registered with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) a day later. Business rescue practitioners Piers Michael Marsden and Jenna Lee Osborne from Matuson & Associates were appointed to oversee the process. Despite the financial distress, the board is optimistic about the company’s recovery. [Moneyweb]

  • Nigerian rival for EasyEquities launches in SA: Bamboo, a Nigerian-founded platform for fractional share trading, has begun operations in South Africa, offering access to over 3,000 US and Nigerian stocks. Launched by Richmond Bassey in 2019 and competing with EasyEquities, Bamboo is designed for investors with limited funds to buy shares fractionally. Bamboo, now registered with South Africa’s Financial Sector Conduct Authority, reported having over 500,000 users in Nigeria and Ghana, while EasyEquities has over two million since its 2014 launch. [News24]

  • Markets: The rand extended its gains against a weaker dollar before closing on Friday, fuelled by expectations that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates later this year. On Monday (8 July), the rand was trading at R18.17 to the dollar, R23.36 to the pound, and R19.68 to the euro. Oil is trading at $86.43 a barrel. [Reuters]

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