Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- All eyes are on this evening’s State of the Nation (Sona) address where President Ramaphosa is expected to make announcements on the future of Eskom and SAA. This year’s Sona will cost just under R2 million, the lowest in five years, as parliament has promised to cut down on costs amid ‘tough economic challenges’. [eNCA]
- Former South African President Jacob Zuma’s allies secured several top posts in the nation’s parliament in a blow to his successor Cyril Ramaphosa’s efforts to clean up the government. In his announcement, secretary-general Ace Magashule called the nominations a collective decision. [Bloomberg]
- A pair of entrepreneurs from Gugulethu have accused Nedbank of stealing their patented IT system. The system allows customers to block bank cards that are suspected of being used for fraud, with the pair demanding more than R280 million in damages. [Moneyweb]
- Former president Jacob Zuma is so short of cash that he has begun selling clothes to pay his lawyers, and may ultimately have to rely on the assistance of legal aid. This comes after the court dismissed his latest request for leave to appeal against the finding that he was not entitled to state funding of his defence costs. [BusinessDay]
- The Federal Reserve kept interest rates on hold at 2.5% last night, in line with expectations, but noted that a rate cut as steep as 0.5% could be on the cards towards the end of the year, its most dovish stance in over a decade. The rand strengthened, gaining a total of just over 1%. On Thursday, the rand was at R14.31 to the dollar, R18.15 to the pound and R16.12 to the euro.