Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- The latest moves on land expropriation without compensation show that despite its talk of unity, the ANC remains divided. Speaking to the Mail & Guardian, insiders have said the caveats attached to the policy – that the economy and food security cannot be affected – were strictly part of the Ramaphosa camp, while the Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma side wanted radical moves.
- Another Eskom bigwig has dodged facing disciplinary action by the power utility by resigning. Suspended former acting CEO Sean Maritz resigned on Thursday, effectively avoiding having to answer for his decision to reverse Eskom’s position on the unlawful Trillian contracts. While he can no longer be disciplined by Eskom, he may still face criminal charges.
- All parties are putting up a fight in the court battle over the NPA freezing R30 million in assets tied to Atul Gupta and the Bank of Baroda. The NPA secured a preservation order on the assets, believed to be laundered from the Free State dairy project – however, the bank and the Guptas’ lawyer is pushing back, saying the state messed up its facts.
- Research by the National Lotteries Commission has found that South Africa’s poorest are giving up basic necessities to play the National Lottery. At least a third of Lotto players earn less than R1,000 a month, and even dig into social grants to play the lottery, in hopes of attaining a better life.
- South Africa’s rand slipped to its lowest in two weeks on Thursday, succumbing to month end demand for dollars by local firms as the increasing chance of higher interest rates in the United States lured bulls back into long-dollar positions. On Friday the rand was at R11.86 to the dollar, R16.36 to the pound and R14.57 to the euro.