Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- 60% of South African schools should be technical or vocational schools, according to basic education director-general Mathanzima Mweli. Of South Africa’s 25,700 schools, only 1,000 are technical schools – which is not enough to create the skills and specialities needed in the job market. Focus should be on coding, business and accounting. [TimesLive]
- South Africa should gear up for a year of ‘watershed’ political battles, as the country heads into the national elections. Analysts are all over the board in predictions for where things could go – with the ruling ANC aiming for a two-thirds majority, and other expectations that the party will lose its majority altogether. [Mail & Guardian]
- Despite lifting the matric pass rate in 2018 to 78.2%, South Africa faces an uphill battle to lift the quality of education which is ranked 114th out of 137 countries. South Africa spends 15% of its budget on education, but a largely unskilled workforce contributes to an almost 28% unemployment rate. [Bloomberg]
- The Zondo commission into state capture is set to continue in 2019, with former police minister Fikile Mbalula talking to investigators to testify before the judge. Mbalula said that he was not offered the position of police minister, but is ready to give a full account of his discussions with the Guptas. [ENCA]
- The South African rand had recovered losses by the end of the day on Thursday after a sharp selloff in emerging market currencies on rising concerns about global growth. On Friday the rand was at R14.28 to the dollar, R18.05 to the pound and R16.27 to the euro.