Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- Eskom chair and acting chief executive Jabu Mabuza says that the group’s new CEO Andre de Ruyter was not a surprise candidate that appeared out of nowhere – and that he was confident he’s the right man for the job. Many analysts reacted to de Ruyter’s appointment with surprise and concern, particularly given his apparent inexperience in the energy sector. Mabuza said they were surprised because the list of 142 candidates did not leak. [Moneyweb]
- South Africa’s policemen and women are not getting any leave this December, after police minister Bheki Cele officially cancelled all leave – even at the top-most level. The minister said that all police need to be active over December to increase visibility and combat crime, which tends to become more frequent over the festive season. [IOL]
- More woes for SAA as one of the country’s biggest travel ticket retailers, Flight Centre, sent out notice that it would no longer be selling SAA tickets due to concerns over the airline’s solvency. Travel Insurance Consultants has also reportedly cut SAA from its travel supplier insolvency benefit. SAA is in crisis mode, saying it needs R2 billion from government just to keep day-to-day operations going. [Business Day]
- The City of Johannesburg has been left mayorless after the city’s council failed to elect a new mayor to replace Herman Mashaba. The reason for the delay is for the speaker to seek legal advice on the meaning of “majority” – whether it requires a majority of the quorum present, or majority of total seats. The DA, EFF and ANC all fielded nominees for the position, but no party has an outright majority of total seats, necessitating deals and alliances. [ENCA]
- South Africa’s rand steadied on Thursday as investors assessed the impact of US backing for protesters in Hong Kong on its trade negotiations with China, while stocks fell. Largely ignoring local signals of an increasingly weak economy and fiscal position, the rand has moved in-step with swings in sentiment driven by the tariffs tussle between China and the United States. On Friday the rand was at R14.72 to the dollar, R19.00 to the pound and R16.21 to the euro.