Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- Deputy president David Mabuza says government is ready to start its land reform programme, which includes expropriation without compensation. He said that 287 pieces of state-owned land have already been identified for redistribution. He also told farmers not to panic, that the government needs them here in South Africa for their skills – but would also welcome any donations of land from the sector. [Enca]
- Treasury has approved yet another R300 million bailout for SA Express, bringing its total bailout to R1.5 billion this year. SA Express needs the R300 million to keep flying as it has depleted its working capital and is unable to borrow from commercial banks without a shareholder’s guarantee. The bailout has been met with criticism, with analysts pointing out that the airline’s competitors are operating in the same market and are making profits. [Business Day]
- South Africa has concluded an agreement with the UK, which will kick in if the latter ends up leaving the European Union without a deal. The UK is one of the biggest international partners for South Africa, and the threat of a no-deal Brexit has made some ties vulnerable. Thus, experts say the deal should be welcomed and celebrated, as it brings at least some certainty on the matter. 
- Naspers’ listing of its internet business spinoff in Amsterdam, Prosus, has had a mixed result for the group. Prosus shares jumped by a third on its debut – while Naspers’ shares back home tanked by a third. The listing saw Naspers separate its internet business, including a 31% stake in Tencent, from its main group, which remains listed in South Africa. Naspers has a 73% shareholding in Prosus. [Moneyweb]
- South Africa’s rand weakened on Wednesday after data showing business confidence in the country has collapsed, undermining a push by President Cyril Ramaphosa to kick-start growth after a decade of stagnation. Stocks rose, despite a plunge in bourse heavyweight Naspers Ltd. On Thursday the rand was at R14.65 to the dollar, R18.06 to the pound and R16.13 to the euro.