Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
Finance minister Tito Mboweni’s plan to cut as many as 30,000 civil service jobs through early retirement jobs appears to have failed drastically, with only a fraction of civil servants taking the offer. Data obtained by Rapport found that only 3,000 employees took the offer. The plan was part of government’s bid to cut its wage bill, which is exceptionally high, eating away at over a third of the country’s budget. [City Press]
Economists have slammed a bizarre statement from Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina suggesting government close Durban’s harbour so that “no minerals leave the country” and South Africa can gain its independence from “western imperialists”. Theys said such a move would have a devastating impact on the economy, describing Mzwandile’s statement as senseless, and lacking any thought. [TimesLive]
Taxpayers have footed a R743 million bill for parliamentary housing over the last 10 years, which has gone to the upkeep and transport to and from three parliamentary villages in the country in the last two terms. The bill includes bus transport, water and electricity, rates and taxes, village management, construction of new buildings, maintenance of buildings, purchasing of new furniture and appliances, and any other expenses. [Media24]
A high panel review into the State Security Agency found that former president Jacob Zuma relied on an unconstitutional and criminal parallel intelligence structure that served his own political interests. Agents in the structure were on the ground in many state companies and in the media – and reportedly continue to work there. 186 agents are reportedly active. [Daily Maverick]
The South African rand on Monday retreated from a three-week high it hit in the previous session, as a lack of clarity on US-China trade relations pushed investors back to safe havens and hurt risk appetite. On Tuesday, the rand was at R14.82 to the dollar, R18.71 to the pound and R16.36 to the euro.