Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- CEOs backing finance minister Pravin Gordhan say the move is an economic one, not a political one, adding that they are promoting the minister’s plans to cut government spending and promote economic growth. 81 CEOs have signed a pledge showing support Gordhan, calling for trumped up charges of fraud against him to be dropped so he can focus on fixing the economy.
- Controversial SABC executive Hlaudi Motsoeneng says he’s happy that the SABC made a R411 million loss in the past financial year – because the broadcaster is not about making money, but rather about investing in black people, and the loss shows that they invested well. He said that if a black person needed money to start a business, the SABC would give it to them.
- Justice Minister Michael Masutha has admitted that it was he who invited NPA head Shaun Abrahams to a meeting at Luthuli House with president Jacob Zuma the night before fraud charges were brought against Gordhan. The meeting was purportedly around the student protest crisis – but a lack of key stakeholders’ presence (such as the higher education minister, or minister of police) have cast doubt on this version of events.
- Economists are expecting finance minister Pravin Gordhan to announce a shift to a tax-heavy cycle in the upcoming medium term budget meeting to be held on Wednesday, 26 October. In a bid to increase tax revenues, economists are expecting the groundwork to be laid for higher income tax, wealth tax, corporate tax or even value added tax. The meeting will also evaluate how implemented taxs impacted revenues.
- South Africa’s rand looked to consolidate its recovery against the dollar on Monday as doubts over the tenure of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan abated in the face of public support from business leaders and ruling ANC officials. On Tuesday, the rand was trading at R13.93 to the dollar, R17.02 to the pound and R15.15 to the euro.