Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- As government prepares to lay out its economic plans to turn South Africa’s fortunes around, some of the bolder moves on the table – such as selling some state companies and splitting up Eskom – are facing major backlash from unions. Unions present at meetings about the economic plans raised concerns about job losses – which has been used in the past as a springboard for strike action which crippled the economy. [Bloomberg]
- The Colleges of Medicine of South Africa (CMSA) is worried that the pass rate required to become a surgeon in South Africa is too low – with would-be specialists only needing to get 44% to pass their exams. Worse still, the group noted that even with such a low pass rate, all candidates from Wits, UCT, UP, Walter Sisulu University and UFS who wrote the exam failed. 
- Testimony before the state capture commission has put forward the allegation that thousands of rands were spent by the Crime Intelligence unit to ‘pay off’ journalists, to either get certain stories run or to prevent certain stories from being published. the witness claimed that as much as R25,000 was paid to a single journalist to get a story dropped. [ENCA]
- Despite its financial crisis which requires constant government bailouts, the SABC is still reporting a ludicrous amount of irregular spending, with the latest audited figure at R5.2 billion – up from R4.9 billion recorded last year. The public broadcaster posted an annual loss of R482 million for the year, on revenues of R6.5 billion. It is technically insolvent, unable to pay off its R2 billion in debt. [Business Day]
- South Africa’s rand weakened on Monday, tracking the euro and other emerging market currencies, as ongoing jitters about the trade dispute between China and the US and faltering euro zone growth dampened demand. On Tuesday the rand was at R15.14 to the dollar, R18.60 to the pound and R16.49 to the euro.