5 important things happening in South Africa today

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

  • Eskom red tape: President Cyril Ramaphosa and Cabinet ministers are looking to give the government emergency powers to suspend or gazette new laws that could alleviate red tape and power outages. Minister of public enterprises Pravin Gordhan said that the government is also considering an emergency energy body in light of the stage 6 load shedding. [News24]

  • Broken schools: The department of basic education has defended the scrapping of set deadlines to fix school infrastructure, saying it was done to align existing legislation. The deadlines stem from a legal campaign waged by Equal Education to compel the government to commit to fixing school infrastructure. Pit latrines were immediately banned, all school buildings made from inappropriate materials such as asbestos were to be replaced by 2016, and by 2020 all schools had to have water, electricity and safe sanitation. [BusinessLive]

  • Concerns about roads: Transport minister Fikile Mbalula is expected to give an update on the cancellation of tenders to the value of R17.5 billion associated with the South African National  Roads Agency. The tenders were meant for critical road infrastructure across South Africa; however, last month, Mbalula said they were cancelled to prevent further state capture. [EWN]

  • New rules from SARS: South Africa’s tax practitioners are now held to a higher standard as the South African Revenue Service introduced further tightening on regulation in an effort to address misconduct. The rules entail ethical compliance tests for practitioners once a year, requiring more work experience and a clear criminal certificate. [Moneyweb]

  • Markets: The South African rand fell against the dollar on Wednesday after struggling power utility Eskom warned that it would remain constrained and vulnerable to further load shedding. The safe-haven dollar ticked upwards on comments US central bank that it would not let the economy slip into more inflation. The rand is currently trading at R16.24/$, R16.98/€ and R19.70/£. Brent crude is priced at $116.05/barrel. [Nasdaq]

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5 important things happening in South Africa today