Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- Efficient Group economist Dawie Roodt has warned that South Africa may be in for yet another year of tax increases. Roodt said that the state’s debt has reached record-high levels and that it will likely look to spending less and increasing its tax stake to make up for the shortfall. [eNCA].
- Energy expert Ted Blom believes that load shedding will be a reality for at least the next five years as Eskom sorts out its coal problems and its maintenance backlog. The power utility said that it did not plan to load shed areas over the festive season, but warned that the system remained constrained and the risk of load shedding remained. [EWN]
- Fathers of newborn children and mothers of children born through surrogacy are now entitled to 10 days paid parental leave when their children are born. As of 1 January, parents who have not yet given birth can benefit from paid parental leave, in what trade union federation Cosatu describes as a historic victory for workers, parents, children and families across South Africa. [The Citizen]
- South Africa’s proposed law on land expropriation without compensation is likely to take centre stage in the coming weeks, with a new draft bill open for public comment until 31 January 2020. However, it is likely to face a raft of legal challenges, with the Institute of Race Relations (IRR) stating that the parliamentary committee only looked at 400 of the 449500 valid written submissions and disregarded 99.9% of them. [IOL]
- The rand has gained about 5% since mid-December, despite a raft of data releases showing a weak economy and nationwide blackouts by state power company Eskom, with investors willing to overlook the negatives and pocket the high yield. On Thursday the rand was at R14.01 to the dollar, R18.51 to the pound and R15.70 to the euro.