Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- Load shedding could have been avoided, if billions of rands meant for maintenance hadn’t been directed to the Guptas, a new investigation has found. The Mail & Guardian reports that R2 billion meant for maintenance in 2015 and 2016 was used to pay R1.5 billion to McKinsey and Trillian – with a further R600 million paid to the Guptas’ Tegeta. [M&G]
- Cabinet has rejected the highly contested National Health Insurance Bill, sending it back to the Department of Health for further reworking. Recent reports pointed to a draft of the bill being sent to parliament that had been changed without consultation, making wide-sweeping changes that would negatively impact the industry. [Business Day]
- Former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng says he will one day lead South Africa is its president. The disgraced exec, who has been fingered as being responsible for millions of rands in financial losses, is in court fighting to keep access to his multi-million pension. The SIU is trying to recover R20 million from him. [EWN]
- The EFF is continuing its war against the media, accusing it – not specifying any group or publication – of having an agenda, and refusing to publish “the absolute truth”. In the past weeks, EFF leadership has threatened journalists and banned media houses from rallies. News reports have been focusing on the party’s ties to the R2 billion VBS looting. [ENCA]
- South Africa’s rand weakened more than 2% on Thursday and bonds fell after the current account deficit widened in the third quarter and Eskom said it was considering restructuring its debt, dimming investor appetite for the currency. On Friday the rand was at R14.04 to the dollar, R17.94 to the pound and R15.96 to the euro.