Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
Load shedding: Stage 2 load shedding will continue on Friday, now extended to Sunday at 06h00, due to further losses of generating capacity.
- Taxing bribes: A tax expert has suggested an easy tax route for SARS – taxing criminal activity. More specifically, items like kickbacks, bribes and other ‘gifts’ that are not deductable and certainly not exempt from tax. Companies that deliver over R1 million of ‘supplies’ needs to be registered for VAT, as well as any group receiving more than R1 million in cash. Anything in exchange for services, including gifts and holidays are also taxable – and undeclared income has a penalty of 200%. [Moneyweb]
- Covid-19: The South African Government appears hesitant to evacuate any South Africans stuck in China amid the Covid-19 outbreak – because Chinese hospitals are better equipped to deal with the virus. There are 197 South Africans in the province where the virus broke out, and those government has spoken to are satisfied and safe. The virus has infected over 75,000 people, with 2,005 deaths. No known cases have been found in South Africa, with 105 tests coming back negative. [Mail & Guardian]
- Disappearing airtime: Mobile providers and third party services that deduct airtime without permission are again in the spotlight. A new case has highlighted how customers could be affected even after blocking third parties from subscribing them to unwanted services – with the governing authority over these services being unable to do much due to certain services from major networks being excluded from its jurisdiction. [MyBroadband]
- Myeni in court: Former SAA chair Dudu Myeni says she’s being made a scapegoat for the airlines problems, and says she did nothing wrong – despite mounting evidence against her in both the state capture commission and her delinquent director case. From constant meddling in SAA operations, irregular contracts and having her own separate security through the State Security Agency, testimony and evidence suggests Myeni isn’t the victim she is painting herself to be. [Daily Maverick 1,2]
- Markets: South Africa’s rand fell on Thursday as emerging-market currencies reeled under pressure from a firmer US dollar, while investors awaited finance minister’s budget speech next week and a Moody’s rating review next month for clues about the domestic economy. On Friday the rand was at R15.11 to the dollar, R19.49 to the pound and R16.31 to the euro. [XE]