Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- The USA and the UK are jumping on board with investigations into links with the Gupta family, with the FBI opening an investigation, and the UK looking at HSBC and Standard Chartered’s links to the controversial family. The Guptas are at the center of South Africa’s state capture scandal, which involves bribery, corruption and alleged money laundering.
- Dudu Myeni is reportedly finally out at chairman of South African Airlines, replaced by Johannes Bhekumuzi Magwaza. Myeni – a close friend of president Jacob Zuma – has stuck at SAA far beyond her mandated tenure, and is widely blamed for the failing airline’s dismal state of affairs. Opposition parties said the move is too little, too late.
- Parliament’s probe into state capture at Eskom has revealed a widespread culture of kickbacks and procurement irregularities at the power utility. Former employees and executives testifying in the probe claim that there are over a thousand unreported cases of such activities, orchestrated by government officials.
- Pick n Pay CEO Richard Brasher is confused and also slightly offended at the reaction to the grocery chain’s new store credit offering. He says the product as been misinterpreted, and many have cast doubt on the group’s intentions. The credit offering is targeted at middle-income groups who may not have a credit card, with PnP not earning any profit from the product.
- South Africa’s rand slipped to a one-week low against the dollar on Wednesday, hurt by a combination of a firmer dollar, higher-than-expected inflation print and negative sentiment spurred by recent cabinet changes. On Thursday the rand was at R13.56 to the dollar, R17.92 to the pound and R16.00 to the euro.