5 important things happening in South Africa today

Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:


Load shedding: Stage 2 load shedding will be implemented from 09h00 until 06h00 on Saturday, with a high probability of load shedding continuing over the weekend. [Eskom]


  • Land disaster: Members of the US House of Representatives foreign affairs committee say they agree with US State Secretary Mike Pompeo that land expropriation without compensation spells bad news for South Africa’s economy, and will discourage foreign investment. Pompeo on Wednesday said it would be a disaster for South Africa. The comments come in direct conflict from US representatives in South Africa, who have expressed support for government’s plans. [Daily Maverick]

  • SAA business rescue: SAA’s business rescue plan is still not ready, with the administrators expecting it to only be completed by 9 March, where it will head to parliament for approval and possible – or likely – changes. The administrators want to try and direct SAA away from any possibility of being liquidated, and has had to make urgent decisions (like cutting routes) to save money. However, this has upset politicians, with the ANC in particular saying it will step in and “intervene” if the plans are not what they want. [702]

  • Covid quarantine: The South African Medical Association says that while South Africa is equipped to treat any cases of the Covid-19 virus should it break out in South Africa, the country is nowhere near ready to deal with mass quarantines. Should a mass outbreak occur, South Africa’s best bet would be self-quarantine, the group said. People suspected of having the virus in South Africa continue to be tested, reaching 95 as of Wednesday, all with negative results. No confirmed cases yet. [Enca]

  • Sovereign wealth fund: South Africa could use mining royalties to set up a proposed sovereign wealth fund, says Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe. Economists have questioned the state’s plans for such a fund, asking where money for the plan would come from, given that South Africa does not have large oil and gas revenues, its mining industry is in decline and it has large fiscal and current account deficits. Government earns about R9.2 billion from mining royalties, which analysts say would be a tiny wealth fund. [Reuters]

  • Markets: The rand remains flat, caught up in sideways trading as the market awaits the budget with bated breath. Analysts expect more of the same as the market awaits fresh news to drive the currency. South Africa’s rand firmed on Wednesday as data showed an uptick in consumer inflation but the January figure of 4.5% remained well below the central bank’s upper target range. On Thursday the rand was at R15.04 to the dollar, R19.43 to the pound and R16.25 to the euro. [XE]

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5 important things happening in South Africa today