5 important things happening in South Africa today

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

  • Eskom blame game: The deputy president David Mabuza has pleaded with South Africans to stop the “blame game” around load shedding and rather focus on finding a solution to fix the struggling power utility Eskom. When answering questions at the National Council of Provinces, Mabuza added that the people appointed at the power utility had ‘failed’ the government over several years and were a disappointment. Mabuza called on South Africans to all work together and said that it is up to this generation to stand up and solve this problem. [EWN]

  • Private medical aid and NHI: One of South Africa’s biggest medical aid companies, Discovery says that the proposed National Health Insurance (NHI) fund is a moral imperative for the country and supports it fully. The Discovery chief executive officer warned that the NHI would, however, require careful implementation to ensure its long-term fiscal sustainability. The insurer added that it would prefer a blended model whereby medical aid members would pay for the NHI while being allowed to buy extra private cover. [BusinessLive]

  • KZN relief waiting: According to the KwaZulu Natal MEC of economic development, the R1 billion in contingency funding that had been committed by the National Treasury for initial flood relief efforts in the province is yet to materialise. This same point was echoed by the MEC from the department of cooperative governance and traditional affairs during a recent budget policy speech. The MEC added that the cost of flooding on both public and private infrastructure with assessments still underway was expected to exceed R25 billion. [Daily Maverick]

  • Food importers under stress: In the wake of the KwaZulu-Natal floods, which caused severe delays at the Port of Durban, a global distributor of frozen foods – Hume International – is urging the government to implement a ‘state of emergency concession’ for the Eastern Cape’s Gqeberha port and lift red tape that prevents the efficient movement of food and other goods into the country. In 2021 the company imported over 180 million kilograms of food products into South Africa, however, it says that the destruction of vital roads, power, infrastructure and to commercial cold stores in Durban has added additional strain to Gqeberha’s port facilities. [Moneyweb]

  • Markets: The rand stabilised on Thursday, staying resilient despite a strong dollar, weak economic data and an increase in local Covid-19 infections. South Africa’s March mining output fell more than expected, and March manufacturing production declined 0.8% year-on-year versus predictions for a 0.9% fall. The rand is currently trading at R16.01/$, R16.64/€ and R19.56/£. [Nasdaq]

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5 important things happening in South Africa today