Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- President Cyril Ramaphosa is not keen on a debt swap plan with Eskom, which will see national government take R100 billion worth of the power utility’s debt onto its own books. Ramaphosa said the plan would just put the entire country into a worse debt spiral, adding that other alternatives to Eskom’s liquidity problems would have to be found. [Reuters]
- A “human error” in the new national minimum wage bill back-dated the wrong clause to apply from 1 May 2017, which could damage the very people it’s meant to protect. The retroactive date was supposed to apply to the clause giving workers the right take on employers who changed employment contracts and conditions in response to the new NMW. [Business Day]
- The VBS looting scandal continues, with new claims emerging of blatant bribery involving the bank and government officials in Limpopo. The allegations are contained in court document, saying that the officials demanded expensive gifts and a share in the money looted from the bank. [Mail & Guardian]
- Ndalo Media, which produces magazines like Elle, Destiny and SAA’s Sawubona, will be shutting its doors in January 2019, following cash flow issues that could not be resolved. The media house reportedly could not pay salaries in November. [Bizcommunity]
- South Africa’s rand retreated on Thursday, giving up early small gains with traders cautious going into year-end and demand for riskier assets globally fading after the European Central Bank struck a tentative tone on economic growth. On Friday, the rand was at R14.24 to the dollar, R17.99 to the pound and R16.18 to the euro.