5 important things happening in South Africa today

 ·20 Mar 2024

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

  • Optimistic credit predictions: Bank of America is predicting that if South Africa’s growth holds up and the elections go smoothly, then the country is likelier to be in line for an upgrade of its credit rating than a downgrade. An economist from the bank said that a downgrade of the present double B minus rating to the single B band was only likely in the event of zero or very weak economic growth, a fiscal blowout or a messy election. [Business Day/BusinessTech]

  • Parliamentary speaker’s house raided: Speaker of the National Assembly, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, had her house in Johannesburg raided by the National Prosecuting Authority’s Investigating Directorate on Tuesday (19 March). This is following allegations that she had accepted bribes to the tune of R2.3 million when she was defence minister. [BusinessTech]

  • Parties challenge Electoral Matters Amendment Bill: Representatives from eight political parties in parliament have declared their intention to contest the Electoral Matters Amendment Bill in court if it is enacted in its current state, accusing the ANC of advocating for clauses that would disproportionately benefit the majority party in Parliament, to the detriment of smaller parties. [SABC]

  • South Africa looks to kickstart electric vehicle manufacturing: Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel has said that the country is ready to kickstart electric vehicle manufacturing. In hopes of making the idea sound more attractive, South Africa had previously announced a 150% tax deduction on local investments in electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles from March 2026. [Daily Investor]

  • Markets: The South African rand was relatively stable on Tuesday, ahead of the US Federal Reserve’s monetary policy decision due today. On Wednesday (20 March), the rand was trading at R18.92 to the dollar, R24.10 to the pound, and R20.53 to the euro. Oil is trading at $87.25 a barrel. [Reuters]

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