Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- The Gupta leaks continue, with the latest revelation that yet another adviser to finance minister Malusi Gigaba has links to the Gupta family. During his time as Public Enterprises minister – when he opened the door to Gupta associates at South Africa’s SOEs – Gigaba had Siyabonga Mahlangu as an adviser. Mahlangu reportedly accompanied president Zuma, his son and other Gupta associates on trips to India.
- The ‘non-negotiable’ R2.3 billion fine imposed on Glencore by Eskom – which forced the company to sell its Optimum Coal mine to the Guptas – has suddenly been reduced to a far more manageable R500 million. The settlement was reached through private arbitration, and neither Eskom not the department of Public Enterprises will say how or why a R1.8 billion discount was awarded. It is the latest in a long line of favours done for the Guptas at Eskom.
- The Gauteng ANC has stepped outside of the party line being spouted by those aligned to president Jacob Zuma and the Guptas by ‘banning’ the term “white monopoly capital” from its lexicon. Provincial leader Paul Mashatile said that the party will continue to fight against disproportional white ownership, but the WMC term has been twisted into a political slogan that pushes populism and division within the party and South Africa.
- Victims of the 2016 FNB safety deposit heists have been left fuming after it was discovered that the bank had recovered and retained some of the valuables lost in the incident, but did not disclose this to the victims. Coins and other items were reportedly recovered at the crime scene, but in the past 6 months the victims were left in the dark. The victims want to know if any of their valuables, which hold sentimental value in some cases, are among those recovered.
- South Africa’s rand extended its recent recovery on Friday as political uncertainty eased and local economic fundamentals came back in focus, highlighting the currency’s high return value as investors’ search for high yields continued. On Monday the rand was trading at R12.91 to the dollar, R16.45 to the pound and R14.45 to the euro.