Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- Transport minister Blade Nzimande has reiterated that e-tolls are here and they are here to stay – and warned political parties to stop using the system as a political tool to gain support. Nzimande said that while government could have done things differently, the fact remains that there is now debt, and it needs to be paid. E-tolls is how it will be paid. [IOL]
- The Gautrain is looking for R4 billion to buy more trains and help with its 150km expansion plans. Government is planning to add to the 80km high-speed train network, with proposals stretching the network as far south-west as Soweto. [Bloomberg]
- The Public Protector is investigating public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan relating to the minister signing off on early retirement for former SARS deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay in 2010. The investigation was initiated by former president Zuma’s speechwriter. Gordhan said the investigation was frivolous and an abuse of power. [Business Day]
- MTN’s ongoing $10 billion mess in Nigeria could have severely damaging knock-on effect for the whole of South Africa, the Reserve Bank has warned. The worst-case scenario would be MTN disinvesting in Nigeria, which analysts say could knock the rand hard, and lead to capital outflows. [Reuters]
- South Africa’s rand firmed against a weaker dollar on Wednesday after US midterm elections split Congress, lowering the chance of any major US. fiscal policy boost soon. On Thursday the rand was trading at R13.94 to the dollar, R18.29 to the pound and R15.92 to the euro.