Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- Despite positioning himself as the better alternative to president Jacob Zuma and his preferred candidate Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa is still very much on the “radical economic transformation” bandwagon, and is making the promise of changing the country’s economy and “returning land to its rightful owners” a big part of his campaigning. The details of what this means in Ramaphosa’s interpretation of the term remains to be seen, but so far the politician is playing it on his party’s angle.
- Staying with Ramaphosa, the presidential hopeful has apologised for his role in the Marikana massacre, finally addressing the darkest cloud that has been hanging over his political career. Speaking at Rhodes University, Ramaphosa apologised for his role in the events that unfolded, and for the words he used at the time. 34 miners were gunned down by police in strike action seeking wage increases. At the time, Ramaphosa described the miners as ‘dastardly criminals’.
- ANC leaders in KwaZulu-Natal are denying weekend reports that they are throwing their lot in with Ramaphosa in the run up to the next ANC presidential elections in December, saying that the party’s official processes have not yet started, so there is no campaigning for any candidate going on. The Mail & Guardian and the Sunday Times reported that KZN was split in support of Ramaphosa and Zuma’s preferred successor, Dlamini-Zuma.
- South Africa’s Parliament has become so rowdy in recent years that its white shirt bouncers will now receive additional danger pay of R400 a month. Parliament’s justification for the move is that their chamber support officers often receive injuries when scuffles break out during sessions where MPs are ejected from a sitting. The security officers receive an annual pay of around R150,000 a year.
- South Africa’s rand rose against the dollar on Friday, bouncing from a close-to four-week low earlier in the session as the dollar weakened ahead of the French presidential election, while stocks were led higher by heavyweight rand hedges. Investor were relieved after centrist Emmanuel Macron comfortably won the French presidential election. On Monday, the rand was trading at R13.48 to the dollar, R17.48 to the pound and R14.79 to the euro.