Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- Finance minister Malusi Gigaba will today deliver his first budget speech, which is being called a ‘baptism of fire’, amid rising debt and growing demand from government departments for a bigger slice of the budget. Analyst says Gigaba is coming in with a massive credibility deficit, with questions hanging over his head around his role in state capture.
- President Jacob Zuma’s legal team says the public protector has no right to order him to set up a commission of enquiry into state capture, and it is solely up to Zuma to make that decision, and establish the terms. Opposition parties have told the court that the president’s powers are not unlimited.
- Eskom has reportedly been back-dating share options in its long-term share incentive schemes for executives, a new MoneyWeb investigation has found. Share awards were found to be back-dated several months upon executives like Brain Molefe joining, and were awarded and vested despite executives no longer being employed by the power utility.
- South Africa’s social grants payment plan with the Post Office may be at risk, as Sassa and Sapo try to iron out details and conditions. Social minister Bathabile Dlamini again snubbed her parliamentary duties, skipping a meeting – on a date she selected – on Tuesday night.
- South Africa’s stocks, rand and bonds were weaker on Tuesday, as investors refrained from making any large moves ahead of Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba’s budget speech on Wednesday. On Wednesday, the rand was trading at R13.74 to the dollar, R18.06 to the pound and R16.17 to the euro.