Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- The Reserve Bank Monetary Policy Committee sits next week, and might deliver the first rate cut since 2018. The central bank has took a tighter stance in late 2018, skipping over rate cuts at times they seemed opportune. According to deputy governor Kuben Naidoo, this is because the bank looks beyond just inflation, and already factors in things like jobs and GDP growth, despite what politicians would have us believe. [Business Day]
- The South African Institute of Civil Engineering has expressed concern over the number of engineers leaving the country, saying that skills are leaving at ‘alarming proportions’. The group said that in 2017, 7% of engineers and engineering skills in South Africa had packed up and left the country, citing a lack of job opportunities. SAICE blamed government for failing to identify projects and allocate money. [IOL]
- Public service unions are not happy with government’s plans to cut jobs. The plan was confirmed by Public Service and Administration Minister Senzo Mchunu this week, who said government would look at early retirement packages as well as retrenchments to cut down the public wage bill, which has grown beyond the country’s means. Unions, however, say job cuts go against negotiations, and will led to further skill loss in the country. [EWN]
- Sanral is expected to spend R25 billion expanding and maintaining South Africa’s road network this year, as e-toll debt continues to mount, hitting over R67 billion. According to transport minister Fikile Mbalula, the reality is that the e-toll debt has to be paid, but government is sensitive to the calls for the system to be scrapped. The matter is being discussed, with an update expected in August. [Times Live]
- South Africa’s rand steadied against the dollar on Tuesday, struggling for momentum as investors awaited clues on US monetary policy from the Federal Reserve officials and domestic data. Stocks closed lower. On Wednesday, the rand was at R14.19 to the dollar, R17.67 to the pound and R15.91 to the euro.