5 important things happening in South Africa today

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

  • Fuel price hike: Analysts have warned motorists to expect a significant petrol price increase next month. Economist Dawie Roodt says that the government’s emergency fuel levy intervention coming to an end would lead to consumers paying R1.50 more per litre of petrol on top of whatever increases are brought by market fluctuations. He stressed that the government could do little to cushion South Africans from further hikes, as prices are driven by factors outside its control. [EWN]

  • Disaster forecast risks: South Africa’s network of weather stations is deteriorating quickly due to a lack of funding, leaving the ability to predict and issue early warnings for severe weather events at risk. The failure to upgrade the South African Weather Service network could have severe consequences on predicting events similar to the recent KwaZulu-Natal floods and make it difficult for insurance companies to verify certain weather-related claims. [BusinessLive]

  • Siphoning millions: amaBhungane has revealed an ageing Eskom power station in Mpumalanga as the centre of a fuel theft operation – siphoning millions of rands worth of fuel with the help of corrupt officials, police and trucking companies. The fuel used to start up the coal-fired power stations during unstable furnace conditions was siphoned from the plant. Fuel theft and cross-border fuel smuggling have become increasingly attractive as fuel prices have soared, placing even more pressure on power utility Eskom. [amaBhungane]

  • Procurement fast track: More than 110 organs of state have been granted an exemption for provisions of the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act (PPPFA) by the National Treasury. On Friday, the National Treasury noted that steps to ensure service delivery and public procurement were uninterrupted. This follows economists warning that if government entities waited before putting out a tender or spending money, they would stall economic activity in South Africa and impact GDP growth. [Moneyweb]

  • Markets:  Asian share markets attempted to rally on Monday after Wall Street managed an increase from deep lows. However, investors were also braced for bad news from Chinese economic data, forecasting a 6.1% decrease in China’s annual retail sales. A hawkish Federal Reserve has driven tightening financial conditions with the fear of a recession leading to a rally in bonds last week. The rand is currently trading at R16.21/$, 16.86/€ and 19.85/£. [Nasdaq]

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5 important things happening in South Africa today