Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- President Cyril Ramaphosa has been notified by the Public Protector that he is an implicated person in an investigation into alleged ‘donations’ paid to him by Bosasa. Ramaphosa will deliver his responses to her office, and has requested to cross examine the parties that launched the investigation, including DA leader Mmusi Maimane. The news sent the rand crashing, after it staged a slight comeback this week.[Business Day]
- The ANC says that there is a false impression that the party is investigating secretary general Ace Magashule over allegations that he was involved with the establishment of a competing political party. Spokesperson Pule Mabe said that inquiry investigating did not mention any specific names. The inquiry is being led by Kgalema Motlanthe, and has 60 days to report its findings. [ENCA]
- South Africa may well be heading for a downgrade, with some economists saying that, on fundamentals alone, the country deserves it. Moody’s is currently the only ratings agency keeping South Africa above investment grade, however senior Nedbank economist Nicky Weimar believes enough has gone wrong to warrant a downgrade from the group. However, she said that the ratings firm may give president Ramaphosa more time to make changes – if he can. [Moneyweb]
- With top spots in the DA now open (including the position of federal executive chair), analysts see the party entering into a tumultuous time as sparring ideologies and outlooks vie for control. Several heads have rolled following a poor showing at the 2019 elections, as the party announced a full review of its structures. According to analysts, the next 4 months will be crucial for determining the party’s path forward. [Daily Maverick]
- South Africa’s rand weakened against the dollar on Wednesday, extending earlier losses after mixed local data and the Public Protector’s calls for President Cyril Ramaphosa to respond to findings from an investigation into a bribe scandal. On Thursday, the rand was at R14.92 to the dollar, R18.93 to the pound and R16.85 to the euro.