Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- More voices are calling for social development minister Bathabile “Oysterbox” Dlamini to resign over the Sassa grants crisis that is of her department’s making. Anglican Archbishop Emeritus Njongonkulu Ndungane and several officials from Cosatu say the minister must go. Dlamini has been blamed for sitting on the Sassa issue since 2014, and now trying to dodge any opportunity to be held accountable for it. The social development department has no plan to deliver 17 million grants on 1 April.
- Despite being named among the 17 banks caught colluding and fixing the price of the South African rand in trading, Standard Bank says its own investigations have turned up no evidence of wrongdoing. Co-CEO Sim Tshabalala said the bank has gone through thousands of records and can find no cases of its traders colluding. The bank said that one of the traders named, was not employed by the bank at the time he was accused of collusion.
- Worker federation Cosatu has signed on with the national minimum wage agreement of R20 per hour, or R3,500 per month, saying that, while it is not enough, it is a ‘significant starting base’. Cosatu was the only party not to sign on with the NMW when it was announced, citing the need to debate it at its CEC. Its endorsement represents the full support of all stakeholders in the NMW initiative.
- Ford South Africa is issuing another Ford Kuga recall, this time for the 2l diesel Kuga, for a brake issue that is unrelated to the fire issue present in the 1.6l model Kugas. The company is currently being investigated by the National Consumer Commision in relation to 50 Kugas that burst into flames this year. The latest recall affects just under 850 cars.
- The South African rand weakened on Thursday as the increasing likelihood of a U.S. interest rate rise this month and lower commodity prices weighed on emerging currencies. On Friday, the rand was trading at R13.16 to the dollar R16.13 to the pound and R13.83 to the euro.