5 important things happening in South Africa today

 ·21 Nov 2023

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

  • Government tax evaders: The SA Revenue Service (SARS) has noted an increasing level of indebtedness by government departments, which is of growing concern. While the vast majority of the 5,303 entities paid their debts on time, 404 entities owe SARS R5.9 billion for the 2023/24 fiscal year. Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana said it’s not right for SOEs not to pay the tax office, which generates the revenue that enables them to exist. [Business Day]

  • Blame the private sector: Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said that the performance of the rand and sometimes the performance of the economy has been manipulated by the private sector, which has no interest in the development of this country. “They continue to engineer and do machinations to make sure that the government collapses”. Ntshavheni made these comments in light of Standard Chartered Bank being fined R43 million for manipulating the value of the rand against the US dollar. [Daily Investor]

  • VIPs are what matter: Amid the debate of across-the-board austerity measures to rein in Government spending, confirmation that the National Prosecuting Authority is suffering the consequences of budget cuts while the VIP Protection Unit’s budget has been increased brings the Ramaphosa administration’s priorities into question. The cuts mean the NPA will not have money to pay prosecutors for overtime, nor can it afford to hire new prosecutors. [Daily Maverick]

  • Water infrastructure critical: Astral Foods, SA’s biggest poultry producer, has secured a water licence to pump its own water due to the collapsing local infrastructure of the Lekwa municipality in Mpumalanga. The move will cost up to R100 million. The group warns that SA’s water infrastructure is in a dire state, and it is likely to be SA’s next big challenge, similar to the electricity crisis. [News24]

  • Markets: South Africa’s rand weakened on Monday, with investors looking ahead to inflation data and the central bank’s interest rate decision due later in the week. Local focus will be on inflation figures due on Wednesday and an interest rate decision by the South African Reserve Bank on Thursday as markets look for fresh guidance. On Tuesday (21 November), the rand was trading at R18.28 to the dollar, R22.91 to the pound and R20.04 to the euro. Oil is trading at $81.95 a barrel. [Reuters]

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