Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- President Jacob Zuma will deliver his rebuttal to the two days of “debate” in Parliament in which opposition parties roasted him and the ruling ANC. Historically, Zuma has not delved into calling out or targeting individual politicians in his responses, however analysts say the aggression with which venom was spat at him in the past two days may draw out the fire within him to take the opposition on directly.
- While named among the three South African banks who will be taken to task over currency price fixing and collusion, Absa will likely be spared the stiff 10% fine the Competition Commission is seeking against the finance groups. This is because it came forward earlier and confessed to the Commission what was going on, and applied for corporate leniency.
- The ANC’s populist rhetoric, and seemingly never-ending corruption scandals are sending foreign capital down the drain as foreign investment outflows continued in January to the tune of R24.4 billion – taking the 12-month total to over R163 billion leaving our shores. According to analysts, this is largely due to local factors – the points ratings agencies have been reporting on for the past few years.
- DA leader Mmusi Maimane is sending administration teams to “help” the leaders of the metros the party governs. This follows several gaffes made by DA mayor in Johannesburg, Herman Mashaba, who is causing unease among worker unions and within the DA itself with some of his plans for the city. Mashaba welcomed the decision, as long as the teams do no interfere with his day-to-day work.
- South Africa’s currency extended its rally on Wednesday, climbing by more than half a percent to trade below the psychologically crucial 13 rand per dollar mark for the first time since late 2015 after better than expected inflation data. On Thursday the rand was trading at R12.93 to the dollar, R16.12 to the pound and R13.73 to the euro.