5 important things happening in South Africa today

 ·22 Mar 2024

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

  • Mantashe wants Russian funding for SA SOEs: Mineral Resources and Energy minister Gwede Mantashe has said that the deal to have Russian state-owned company Gazprombank invest in technically insolvent PetroSA for a share of its profits to restart its mothballed gas-to-liquid fuel refinery should be the preferred way for government to deal with embattled SOEs. Mantashe said that this is because it would not entail the sale of state assets. [News24]

  • Milking Eskom: The Central Energy Fund’s recent report has revealed that in 2022/23, embattled PetroSA earned R24.5 billion in revenue, mainly by selling diesel to Eskom at high margins. This is a situation which is enabled by Mantashe’s refusal to grant Eskom a wholesale diesel license. [amaBhungane]

  • Tax hikes on the cards for electric vehicle push: As South Africa moves forward with the development of electric vehicle (EV) production, experts have alerted taxpayers to prepare for possible increases in taxes. This warning comes in response to government tax incentives introduced by Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel, aimed at kickstarting the country’s EV manufacturing sector. [The Citizen]

  • Documents reveal how Takatso was chosen as preferred SAA suitor: The Department of Public Enterprises has eventually submitted certified documents to parliament, showing that the Takatso consortium was selected as the preferred bidder for the airline, before walking away from the deal. These show that the former Director-General of the department played a significant role in the process, despite his public denials of this which partly led to parliament calling for an SIU probe into the collapsed deal. [Business Day]

  • Markets: South Africa’s rand is trading around 0.69% weaker than its close on Wednesday, following the dollar boost as a result of the Swiss National Bank’s surprise interest rate cut. On Friday (22 March), the rand was trading at R18.93 to the dollar, R23.93 to the pound, and R20.45 to the euro. Oil is trading at $85.20 a barrel. [Reuters]
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