Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- President Cyril Ramaphosa says it is time for the country to seriously discuss using worker pension funds to finance infrastructure projects and other developmental needs. The ANC has placed prescribed assets on the table, with support from unions like Cosatu. The union has also supported talk of using prescribed assets to fund crisis-hit Eskom and other struggling state companies. [Reuters]
- If you’re against the NHI, you’re against transformation, says president Cyril Ramaphosa, and you want to continue supporting an unjust system. The president said the NHI is to address a severe imbalance in South Africa’s healthcare system, where R230 billion a year is spent on 16% of the population, while the rest just get R220 billion – as well as restricted access to specialists and health professionals. The NHI will undo this, he said. [News24]
- Peter Moyo’s lawyers have called Old Mutual’s move to fire him for a second time “corporate madness” – questioning how the company can terminate a contract when the last termination was deemed unlawful. Old Mutual has made it clear that its relationship with Moyo is untenable, and no matter what the outcome of the legal battle is, he cannot continue as CEO of the company. [CNBC Africa]
- In a bizarre twist, former president Jacob Zuma says that he did not in fact call former tourist minister Derek Hanekom an apartheid spy, and this is instead something that Hanekom is perpetuating himself. Zuma was answering to a defamation case Hanekom brought against him, where the former minister is suing for R500,000 over Zuma’s comments that he was a “known enemy agent”. [Daily Maverick]
- South Africa’s rand was flat on Thursday, as a boost from lower-than-expected local inflation was overshadowed by worries that further US Federal Reserve easing might take longer than expected. On Friday, the rand was trading at R15.23 to the dollar, R18.62 to the pound and R16.85 to the euro.