Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- President Cyril Ramaphosa secured around R360 billion rand of investment pledges from businesses on Wednesday, saying these would spur economic growth and reduce unemployment. But analysts said some of the pledges at South Africa’s annual conference to promote new investment opportunities were just regular operating costs and questioned whether those made by state-owned firms should be included in the total. [Reuters]
- The Fiscal Cliff Study Group has told parliament that government has no option but to cut spending, and suggests that all bonuses to those employed by state owned enterprises be put on ice. The group said that the risks taken on by management of SOEs did not warrant any bonuses. It also pointed out that salaries increased by 66% over the last decade. [EWN]
- Analysts are split on what they think would happen to South Africa should it lose its final investment grade rating by Moody’s. While some believe it would trigger an outflow of around R100 billion in foreign investment, others believe that a downgrade has already been priced into the market, and a final cut could actually boost assets as sentiment in emerging markets remains strong. [Moneyweb]
- National Assembly has passed the party funding bill, which will force political parties to keep record of their funders and make public the details of private funders that donate over R100,000. The bill complements the Political Party Funding Act signed by President Cyril Ramaphosa earlier this year. [ENCA]
- The South African rand inched weaker on Wednesday, backing away from a four-session peak as cautious investors awaited clues on the economy ahead of key manufacturing data and developments in US-China trade talks. On Thursday the rand was at R14.84 to the dollar, R19.05 to the pound and R16.41 to the euro.