Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- Deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa has taken an early lead in the race to be the next ANC president, winning the most nominations for the position among the branches which have started voting so far. According to the M&G, of the 1,138 ANC branches that have voted so far, 768 nominated Ramaphosa and 360 voted for Dlamini-Zuma. There are 3,800 branches.
- A delegation from rating firm S&P Global is in South Africa to meet political and economic analysts, with many expecting a downgrade to full junk status to follow, when the group does its review at the end of November. In an unusual move, the ratings firm snubbed a meeting with the ANC, further fueling speculation of an imminent downgrade.
- President Jacob Zuma says that South Africa’s nuclear build is a given, and there is no mixed message surrounding that. Zuma vowed that nuclear was still in the country’s energy mix future, saying it was only a question of timing. Finance minister Malusi Gigaba said in his budget speech that nuclear was off the table for now, as we cannot afford it.
- The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) says it will launch and investigation into its members who are employed by KMPG to determine if they had contravened its code of professional conduct in the work they did for the Guptas and with the SARS ‘rogue unit’ report. The investigation is expected to take five months.
- South Africa’s rand extended its comeback on Thursday, ignoring turbulence in parliament to trade below the psychological 14.00 mark as a sharp slide in the greenback encouraged some short buying before focus shifts to Friday’s U.S jobs data. On Friday, the rand was at R13.98 to the dollar, R18.28 to the pound and R16.30 to the euro.