5 important things happening in South Africa today

 ·17 Jan 2024

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

  • 2024 school year chaos:  The school year, which kicks off today, is set to have a rocky start. Some Gauteng parents have long been queuing outside district offices for the placement of their children (21,000 still not placed, according to EWN), many KwaZulu-Natal pupils are expected to not receive any learning materials, and the Western Cape is scrambling to process hundreds of “new and extremely late” applications. [News24]

  • Government eyes bill to move closer to SAA sale: The sale of South African Airways (SAA) could be taking another step closer to having pen to paper, with the minister of public enterprises announcing government’s intention to soon table a bill in Parliament that will allow for shares to be transferred to a private partner. The repeal of the South African Airways Act of 2007 is one of two bills that will reposition state-owned enterprises. [EWN]

  • Economist eyes legal action: Economist Thabi Leoka says she will be responding legally to allegations reported by Business Day that she lied about holding a PhD from the London School of Economics. Leoka has sat on boards of companies including MTN, Anglo American Platinum and most recently, Remgro, as well as having served on President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Economic Advisory Committee. [EWN]

  • South Africa still world’s most unequal country: A recent study by Oxfam has found that the richest 1% of South African’s own more than 95% of securities and shares, with 62.7% owned by the wealthiest 0.01%. The organisation estimates that at current rates, it will take 230 years to end global poverty. [The Citizen]

  • Markets: The rand had a tough 24 hours, weakening by 1.17% to the dollar, hitting the R19 mark for the first time in over two months. On Wednesday (17 January), the rand was trading at R19.01 to the dollar, R23.98 to the pound, and R20.58 to the euro. Oil is trading at $77.78 a barrel. [Reuters]
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