5 important things happening in South Africa today

 ·4 Dec 2023

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

  • Energy procurement rush: Minister of Mineral Resources & Energy Gwede Mantashe says his department is finalising governance approvals for the release of bid window 7 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP), an inaugural gas-to-power bidding round and bidding round 2 of the battery storage programme before the end of 2023. This after over six months of delays. [Business Day]

  • Public service horror story: The Auditor-General noted in her office’s annual audit outcomes that around 70% of “critical” infrastructure projects have been delayed by years and are millions of rands over budget. These include a police station whose cells cannot be used. A newly built school with toilets that have never been unlocked. A clinic whose air conditioner pumps hot air into its medicine room. Vandalised houses at a delayed housing project. [News24]

  • Investors losing interest: According to the Reserve Bank in its latest Financial Stability Report, foreign investors have been dumping South African assets over the past five years, with R98.1 billion being sold so far this year, threatening the country’s financial stability. The report showed that foreign investors had been consistently selling South African government bonds and equities since 2018, with the sale of equities accelerating since 2021. [Daily Investor]

  • Electoral Amendment Act judgment: The Constitutional Court is expected to hand down judgment over the challenged Electoral Amendment Act. It was brought by the Independent Candidates Association and Build One South Africa. Complainants challenged the threshold set for independent candidates to enter the national election. Independent candidates not aligned with political parties will, for the first time, be allowed to contest the polls. [eNCA]

  • Markets: South Africa’s rand strengthened against the dollar on Friday, reversing its losses from the previous day, as U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said the Fed would move “carefully” on interest rates. On Monday (4 December), the rand was trading at R18.65 to the dollar, R23.64 to the pound and R20.28 to the euro. Oil is trading at $78.33 a barrel. [Reuters]

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