Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- Public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan said on Tuesday that the government was committed to saving South African Airways, but there is no more money available from state coffers. He said that striking unions needed to work things out with SAA as quickly as possible so the airline can return to its turnaround strategy. [Reuters]
- SAA meanwhile says that nothing has changed from its side regarding the strike – there simply is no money to pay workers more, and retrenchments have to happen to make the business viable. It said that unions need to consider Gordhan’s statement that there will be no more government bailouts. The only way the strike will end, is if unions accept sacrifices have to be made and take the offer of a 5.9% increase. [Reuters]
- After 300 days in office, the head of the NPA Shamila Batohi is still not close to pursuing anyone fingered in the State Capture saga, with prosecutions only ‘likely’ to start emerging in 2020, she said. The NPA’s action on state capture has been hamstrung by low morale, capacity issues at the Hawks, and the Zondo commission into state capture – while helpful – doesn’t make building cases any easier, she said. [Daily Maverick]
- Cases of kidnappings are rising in South Africa, with criminals now no longer only targetting the wealthy, but ordinary citizens – children, teenagers, or adults. Official police statistics show the number of kidnappings in South Africa has increased by 139% over the past decade, with perpetrators looking for quick ransoms usually paid through e-wallets. [ENCA]
- South Africa’s rand firmed within its recent trading range on Tuesday, as investors awaited a potential breakthrough in US-China trade talks and the release of minutes of the most recent Federal Reserve meeting. The probability of a deal between Washington and Beijing receded after reports cited Chinese officials being pessimistic. On Wednesday the rand was at R14.78 to the dollar, R19.08 to the pound and R16.36 to the euro.