5 important things happening in South Africa today

 ·17 May 2024

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

  • Court dismisses appeal against load shedding judgment: The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria dismissed Eskom, government and Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramakgopa’s leave to appeal against the recent load shedding judgment. Last December, the Gauteng High Court found that load shedding constituted a violation of constitutional rights. [The Citizen]

  • Rolex shuts down South African office: After having a presence in South Africa for 76 years, Rolex is closing its affiliate office in Sandton, the luxury Swiss watch manufacturer told News24. It said that it was closing its Sandton office in June because “unfortunately, local markets and conjuncture have changed, and no longer warrant the presence of an official Rolex affiliate”. However, it will remain “active in the region” through its official retailer network. [News24]

  • Parliament secretary’s hefty salary: An investigation by Daily Maverick shows that the Secretary to Parliament was appointed with an annual package of R2.6 million in June 2022, which was significantly increased to R4.4 million and then to over R5 million, despite legal limits. These adjustments, made amidst controversy and alleged misinterpretations of consultancy reports, exceeded an earlier salary cap decision by the Executive Authority. [Daily Maverick]

  • President given powers to determine donation limits: The National Assembly has passed a resolution enabling the president to establish guidelines for funding political parties and independent candidates, including caps and disclosure requirements for donations. This follows the enactment of the Electoral Matters Amendment Act, amending the Political Party Funding Act (PPFA) to adjust donation limits and disclosure thresholds. The ANC has previously complained and blamed these PPFA provisions, which were meant for financial transparency, for their financial problems. [Times Live]

  • Markets: The rand strengthened to a five-month high on Thursday, and as risk sentiment improved on growing bets, the United States Federal Reserve may cut interest rates. On Friday (17 May), the rand was trading at R18.19 to the dollar, R23.04 to the pound, and R19.88 to the euro. Oil is trading at $83.53 a barrel. [Reuters]

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