Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- President Jacob Zuma’s latest cabinet reshuffle has put the ANC’s volatile alliance on edge, having failed to consult the SACP and Cosatu on the matter, and axing SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande from cabinet. The partners have said the move is a declaration of war against the alliance.
- New minister of energy, David Mahlobo, is under increasing scrutiny, having been appointed to the position just weeks after reportedly joining controversial figures Gayton McKenzie and Kenny Kunene on a trip to Russia, to sell themselves as BEE partners in a R5 billion deal. It is being speculated that Mahlobo’s appointment will open the door to the R1 trillion nuclear deal.
- Finance minister Malusi Gigaba’s use of emergency funds to bail out SAA may have been unlawful, Parliament’s senior legal advisor has said. The fund is only supposed to be used in cases where good financial planning and management could not avert the need for unusual expenditure. However, with SAA, this is not the case.
- Global consultancy McKinsey & Co. says it will halt all work with state companies in South Africa until further notice, as the investigations and processes looking into its relationship with Trillian and work down for Eskom continue. The group has been accused of scoring billions of rands in state contracts, using the Gupta-linked Trillian as an in.
- South African government bonds weakened and the rand extended losses against the dollar on Tuesday after President Jacob Zuma reshuffled his cabinet. Stocks fell led by bullion shares coming under pressure on the back of a lower gold price. On Wednesday, the rand was at R13.41 to the dollar, R17.67 to the pound and R15.77 to the euro.