5 important things happening in South Africa today

 ·23 Nov 2023

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

  • Gross cost of port congestion: The South African Association of Freight Forwarders (SAAFF) estimates that the current congestion at South Africa’s ports is costing at least R124 million a day in direct and indirect costs. The direct daily costs are R98 million, comprising both sunk costs and congestion surcharges. The indirect costs associated with impeding the movement of goods are valued at about R26 million. [Engineering News]

  • Fraud hikes medical premiums: Medical aid schemes are losing an estimated R30 billion annually due to fraud, waste and abuse of the system, the Healthcare Fraud, Waste and Abuse Indaba in Johannesburg heard on Wednesday. Professor Thuli Madonsela said fraud contributes to the high cost of medical aid, making it challenging for people to afford medical aid. [News24]

  • Some good news: South Africa’s tourism industry has rebounded to above pre-pandemic levels, with bookings in the first ten months of 2023 exceeding those in the same period in 2019. Data compiled by NightsBridge – a technology company that links accommodation establishments to the websites that sell their rooms – shows a clear upward trend, with total bookings from January to October 2023 exceeding those from the same period in 2019 by 7.4%. [Daily Investor]

  • Woolies defends CEO pay: Woolworths’ board has defended the R122m total pay of CEO Roy Bagattini, saying it is in line with industry standards for similarly sized JSE companies, adding its executive pay was “not too high”. Bagattini’s 2023 salary was almost double that of the CEO of Shoprite group, Pieter Engelbrecht, who earned R64.6m in its 2023 financial year. [Business Day]

  • Markets: The rand weakened against the U.S. dollar on Wednesday after higher-than-forecast inflation in October. Headline inflation increased to 5.9% year-on-year in October from 5.4% in September. On Thursday (23 November), the rand was trading at R18.85 to the dollar, R23.57 to the pound and R20.55 to the euro. Oil is trading at $82.37 a barrel. [Reuters]

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