Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- SAA has confirmed that it is cancelling flights as part of its bid to rescue its business, with 38 ‘low demand’ flights being pulled. Flights that have been affected by the move include domestic flights between Joburg, Durban and Cape Town, as well as international flights to Munich. Travellers looking for domestic flights are being directed to SAA’s sister airline, Mango, while those looking to get to Munich are being re-routed through Heathrow or Frankfurt. [Moneyweb]
- Eskom wants consumers to pay up another R27 billion through tariff hikes in 2020 – on top of the R23 billion it is asking the courts to grant it in its battle against energy regulator, Nersa. Eskom is in court fighting to get R69 billion through its recovery processes – ie hiking tariffs – over the next three years. The amount was denied by Nersa because the power utility received a bailout of that amount from government. If Eskom succeeds, electricity prices could double in 2020, and increase by 50% over the next three years. [Daily Maverick]
- The Department of Basic Education has refuted reports that 300 South African schools are dropping maths – saying only 49 schools have dropped the subject between 2018 and 2019, due to a shortage of teachers. The claim, first published in the City Press this past week, was made by an Afrikaans association of teachers, which the department claims it hasn’t heard of. The figures were from 2014, the departments says. The schools still offer maths literacy. 
- AfriForum has laid a formal complaint against president Cyril Ramaphosa and other government officials at the UN, over remarks about farm murders in South Africa. After US president Donald Trump spoke of white farm murders in South Africa in 2018, Ramaphosa denied that such a thing was happening, calling the US president misinformed. Other officials, such as Lindiwe Sisulu, then the minister of international relations, attacked AfriForum as a group spreading lies. AfriForum is seeking a retraction, and a commitment to deal with the problem. [News24]
- The local market recovered slightly on Wednesday as liquidity returned, while remaining in a tight range as markets await key data. On the global front, the Davos WEF has delivered no surprises, with even Donald Trump coming across rather subdued. Markets will be keeping an eye on Trump’s impeachment trial that kicks off today in the US Senate, although it is widely expected that the US president will be acquitted on both charges that he faces. On Wednesday, the rand was trading at R14.46 to the dollar, R18.86 to the pound and R16.03 to the euro.