Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- South African banks are under fire from all sides as the Competition Commission findings of collusion between currency traders takes root. National Treasury has condemned the banks for their “unbridled greed”and say they must be punished – while the revelations have fed perfectly into the narrative constructed by president Jacob Zuma as to the untrustworthiness of the country’s banking sector, fueling the necessity of a black-owned bank in the country.
- National Treasury has warned South Africans to be wary of fake news ahead of the 2017 Budget speech, as a number of stories have started circulating, spreading misinformation about finance minister Pravin Gordhan. One of these reports is about an alleged “imminent meeting” where Gordhan would fire SAA chair, Dudu Myeni. This particular rumour was peddled by Jacob Zuma’s son Edward, and the leader of Black First Land First.
- A poll of 26 political analysts by Bloomberg shows that, despite many possible names being thrown into the hat, the race to be the next leader of the ANC is likely to be a two-horse race between Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa. 11 analysts said the ANC would go with Dlamini-Zuma, 10 said Ramaphosa, and 5 were undecided.
- Provincial branches of the ANC want to scrap provinces altogether – and union federation Cosatu agrees. At the party’s policy conference in June, the KwaZulu Natal ANC said it will call for the province system to be scrapped, as it is a waste of money. Cosatu said it will back the call.
- South Africa’s rand weakened on Thursday, pausing a recent rally that has lifted the unit to 17-months highs as the greenback pared losses following a batch of upbeat U.S. economic data. On Friday the rand was trading at R12.99 to the dollar, R16.25 to the pound and R13.87 to the euro.