Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- Public Enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan has launched urgent court action to halt Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s report against him, concerning the protracted SARS “rogue unit” saga. Gordhan has denied all charges, and has accused the public protector of blatantly pursuing a political campaign against him to destroy his reputation and distract him from his work. He claims the investigation is riddled with factual and legal errors. [Daily Maverick]
- Revenue collected through the fuel levy has more than tripled over the last 10 years – with government expected to rake in over R84 billion in 2019/20 through the tax, compared to the R24 billion collected in 2009/9. Taxes now make up R5.73 of every litre you put in your tank – a decade ago this was just R1.77, jumping from 23.7% of the price, to over 40% today. [Moneyweb]
- National Treasury’s 2019/2020 annual performance report says the country faces significant risks to the economy, including weak growth and uncertainty over tax collection. It also highlights the risks posed by big state companies that are all looking for a government bailout (Eskom, SABC, Denel, etc), as well as international factors. [Reuters]
- The City of Tshwane has agreed to delay implementing its electricity tariff hikes until public consultations have taken place – and says it will refund the R56 prepaid electricity surcharge that showed up on people’s bills this month. This follows a similar move by the City of Johannesburg earlier this week, after it received backlash for proposing a R200 surcharge for prepaid users. [News24]
- South Africa’s rand firmed on Wednesday as the dollar weakened after US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell highlighted risks to the US economy. The rand was also boosted by the reappointment of SARB Governor Lesetja Kganyago for another five-year term. On Thursday the rand was at R13.98 to the dollar, R17.49 to the pound and R15.75 to the euro.