Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- Over 20 banks across the world have sent or received money from Gupta-linked companies, a new investigation has revealed. The Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project found that billions of rands passed through the likes of HSBC, Wells Fargo in the US, India’s Bank of Baroda, Habib Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, and a dozen Chinese banks.
- Eskom wants South Africans to pay 20% more for electricity, but the South African Local Government Agency says this will be disastrous for the country’s municipalities and consumers. The group said that it has identified many places in Eskom’s business it could cut spending, instead. Nersa will make its decision on Eskom tariff hikes on 7 December.
- President Jacob Zuma has shrugged off questions around his decisions to shuffle his cabinet so often, saying that if opposition parties want to know the reasons why, they should win elections and find out for themselves. Zuma said it is his prerogative to shuffle as he pleases, and his decisions are not in any way irrational, and the declaration is reason enough.
- The crisis in Zimbabwe has hit a stalemate as president Robert Mugabe refuses to step down, as talks with the military continue. Meanwhile, questions around how much South Africa knew about the planned coup, as it allowed axed Zim deputy (and preferred new leader) Emmerson Mnangagwa to enter and leave the country.
- South Africa’s rand firmed on Thursday, helped by favourable sentiment for emerging market currencies and upbeat retail sales data a day earlier, while stocks ended higher lead by pulp and paper producer Sappi. On Friday the rand was at R14.15 to the dollar, R18.72 to the pound and R16.71 to the euro.