Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- The ANC’s national working committee has agreed to call a special national executive committee meeting on the eve of the State of the Nation Address to discuss president Jacob Zuma’s refusal to step down. The NWC has denied that there is any item on the agenda to recall Zuma, however insiders say that the ‘transition of power’ is high on the list of topics to discuss.
- The Guptas have lawyered up, and are looking to approach the imminent investigation into their relationship with Eskom by simply denying everything, the Huffington Post reports. According to legal documents, the brothers will deny they have been enriched, deny they are close to former Eskom boss Brian Molefe, and will refute the legitimacy of the Gupta leak emails.
- Eskom has been given a lifeline through a R5 billion cash injection from the Public Investment Corporation. The bridging facility will cover the power utility for a month, and caters for a significant portion of the R20 billion needed by the end of March to stay above water. Eskom has about R360 billion in debt, and is facing a liquidity crisis.
- Engineering group Murray and Roberts says that its water and power division should be able to deliver 30 million litres of water a day to Cape Town through a desalination plant, but only after 20 weeks of operation. The first water would only come after 8 weeks of operation. Cape Town’s day zero has been pushed back, but the city needs longer term solutions to fight its water crisis.
- South Africa’s rand strengthened on Monday amid ongoing talks within the governing party regarding President Jacob Zuma’s future, while stocks fell to 4-month lows tracking global markets lower on fears that central banks will tighten policy. On Tuesday the rand was trading at R12.14 to the dollar, R16.94 to the pound and R15.01 to the euro.