Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- Finance minister Tito Mboweni says the government isn’t ‘actively’ pursuing prescribed assets, saying that the government’s top priority is to protect retirement savings. He said that no consultative meetings on prescribed assets have been scheduled, and warned against comments that could scare citizens into pulling out their fund early. The ANC’s election manifesto said the party would ‘investigate’ prescribed assets. [Fin24]
- President Cyril Ramaphosa says he will be using the new investment conference to announce a host of reforms that South Africa will implement to speed up economic recovery. This, he said. will address issues raised by ratings firm Moody’s on the country’s slow pace of economic reform. The conference aims to raise another R300 billion in investment, with Ramaphosa saying he’s feeling the heat and wants to get the country up to the speed people want. [CNBC Africa]
- Ratings firm Moody’s pushed state power firm Eskom’s credit rating deeper into sub-investment territory on Tuesday, saying a government plan to reorganise the cash-strapped South African firm would be hard to implement without explicit support from the cabinet. Eskom’s long-term rating now sits six notches below investment grade, with a negative outlook. [Reuters]
- Important documents relating to the infiltration of SARS by state security agents have reportedly disappeared. The documents comprise a 34 complaints and a list of names of agents that were working in a parallel intelligence unit, previously identified in interviews with SARS heads in 2014. The rogue SSA unit was inadvertently exposed in the EFF’s and Public Protector’s fight against Pravin Gordhan. [Daily Maverick]
- South Africa’s rand was little changed on Tuesday, as a rally sparked by Moody’s decision to keep the country’s credit rating at investment grade faded. Fund managers had expressed scepticism on Monday that a bounce in the rand would last, given major concerns over the weak economic growth outlook and alarming pace at which government debt is growing. On Wednesday the rand was at R14.74 to the dollar, R18.99 to the pound and R16.32 to the euro.