Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- Finance minister Malusi Gigaba will deliver the 2018 budget speech today at 14h00. Analysts are expecting a host of tax hikes along with some budget cuts to help plug a R50 billion gap in the Treasury. One of the biggest expected changes is to the country’s VAT – either hiking it by 1%, or removing some products from being zero-rated.
- Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba has referred himself to the city’s ethics committee, following allegations in the media that he used his wife’s company to do business with the state. Mashaba said that he had vowed to hold himself to the highest ethical standards, and insists that the allegations be fully investigated.
- The NPA says there is no formal extradition request for Ajay Gupta, as the investigation into state capture is not yes complete. The NPA said that an extradition order would limit the charges a person could face to those contained in the order – and the Guptas may yet face many more charges, so a formal order could take some time.
- Short-seller Viceroy’s campaign against Capitec continues, with another open letter claiming the bank is working even harder to hide a questionably clean loan book. Capitec warned shareholders that the campaign would continue for some time, saying that Viceroy will continue to try and twist public and investor perceptions against it for its own gain.
- The South African rand slipped on Tuesday, retreating from last week’s three-year high as investors bagged profits ahead of the government’s budget speech. On Wednesday, the rand was trading at R11.78 to the dollar, R16.46 to the pound and R14.51 to the euro.