Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- With yet another petrol price hike expected next month, a newly formed group of workers opposed to price hikes says it plans to shut down the country’s roads on Friday in protest. The group has called on everyone who is affected by the price hikes to take to the streets. August will mark the fifth consecutive month of petrol price increases. [City Press]
- Eskom is expected to publish its financial results today, with analysts anticipating many nasty surprises hidden in the numbers. Some of the ‘skeletons’ that may show up in the numbers include R30 billion lost to Gupta state capture; R50 billion spent on contractors; and over R500 billion in asset overvaluation. [News24]
- Billionaire Christo Wiese has not denied that the business transaction at the heart of SARS’ R217 million claim against him would have cut his taxes – but he says that everything is above board, and this is the first time in 50 years he has been sued by the tax man. Wiese said the matter is effectively a difference of opinion, and will play out in court. [Mail & Guardian]
- Cyril Ramaphosa’s presidency has been bolstered by his allies being elected into power in South Africa’s most populous province, Gauteng. David Makhura was elected unopposed as the ANC’s provincial chairman, while provincial education minister Panyaza Lesufi was picked as his deputy. [Bloomberg]
- South Africa’s rand rose more than 1% on Friday as short sellers bought back into the currency at cheaper levels after hawkish comments from the central bank caused a sharp decline in the previous session. On Monday the rand was trading at R13.42 to the dollar, R17.64 to the pound and R15.73 to the euro.