Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- President Jacob Zuma’s inquiry into state capture will root out corruption wherever it is found, he said – though the president is still struggling to define what ‘state capture’ actually is, saying it is currently a fake political smear campaign against the Guptas and a few other individuals, including himself.
- Eskom is in big financial trouble, unable to continue funding operations, and at risk of not being able to pay salaries by January 2018. Eskom has a R80 billion shortfall and still needs to borrow R330 billion in the next five years.
- Transnet contracts worth R1.7 billion with German software group T-Systems reportedly ballooned to over R4 billion after Gupta business partner, Salim Essa, joined as a negotiator. Former Transnet CEO Anoj Singh, who is also tied to the family, reportedly pushed the deal through without putting out a tender.
- The university fees report released yesterday has been widely criticised by activists and analysts, who say that the proposals contained in the report lack any clear path forward, could be leading a to a debt bubble by making students indebted from the get-go, and seems to be shifting the burden of funding to taxpayers.
- South Africa’s rand tumbled more than one percent and the risk premium on government bonds soared on Monday over news of a top Treasury official resignation, financial woes at the sole power utility and political jostling in the ruling party. On Tuesday the rand was at R14.49 to the dollar, R19.01 to the pound and R16.92 to the euro.