Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu says that the party is not afraid of the pending motion of no confidence against president Jacob Zuma, and that its MPs will vote unanimously whether it takes place via secret ballot or not. He said that the ANC is not opposed to a secret ballot and has not challenged the court case deciding on it. The ANC’s policy is to vote in one voice, and not to allow MPs to vote with their conscience.
- Surprising growth from South Africa’s retail and mining sector has led the IMF to increase South Africa’s growth forecast for 2017 – from 0.8% to 1.0%, the group announced. An end to one of the longest droughts in the country is also expected to boost the agricultural sector, while a bump in commodity prices is expected to help mining, further. The IMF cut South Africa’s growth forecast from 1.1% to 0.8% following two cuts to junk status.
- The South African Council of Churches has ripped into president Jacob Zuma and the ANC, calling on the party to stop the decline to a failed state. The group broke down its own research into state capture, laying out several points on how exactly president Zuma and his cronies have been benefiting from looting the state and how he has undermined the government.
- General Motors says the reason it’s pulling out of South Africa has nothing to do with the current economic climate, but rather that the local market is not big enough to provide the necessary returns that align with the company’s global strategy. GMSA’s CEO said that the company will continue to support owners of its brands in South Africa. The company has been in the country since 1926.
- South Africa’s rand fell nearly 3 percent against the dollar on Thursday before recouping some lost ground as the political turmoil in the United States triggered an investor flight from riskier emerging currencies into safe-haven assets. On Friday, the rand was trading at R13.39 to the dollar, R17.34 to the pound and R14.87 to the euro.