5 important things happening in South Africa today

 ·24 May 2024

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

  • Trade minister to bow out of government: Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel has announced he will not join the seventh administration, closing his 15-year tenure in government. In a News24 interview, Patel revealed his 2019 decision to leave, a move President Cyril Ramaphosa was informed about. Serving since 2009 under Jacob Zuma, Patel, a former trade unionist and a minister unmarred by corruption, has led the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) throughout his career.[News24]

  • Nedbank looks to liquidate several higher-education institutions: Nedbank has initiated liquidation proceedings against the Leo Chetty Group, owner of private education institutions Damelin, CityVarsity, Icesa, and Lyceum College, following their deregistration by the government in March. This move aims to recover nearly R50 million in loans unpaid since 2016, targeting 10 companies within the group. [Business Day]

  • Trucker national shutdown averted: The government’s Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster said that a planned national strike in the trucking industry had been avoided after discussions with the relevant trade unions and associations. The trucking industry had planned to hold a nationwide shutdown on Monday due to the alleged employment of illegal foreigners in the industry. The government has reached an agreement with freight and trucking stakeholders to implement necessary legislative and enforcement measures. [SABC]

  • UCT to get new VC: The University of Cape Town (UCT) is set to appoint Prof Mosa Moshabela, currently the deputy vice-chancellor for research and innovation at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) and a faculty member at Washington University in St Louis, Missouri, as its new vice-chancellor. He succeeds Prof Dayanand Reddy, the interim vice-chancellor, following Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng’s departure on 3 March 2023. [Daily Maverick]

  • Markets:  The rand weakened on Thursday, after US Fed meeting minutes released on Wednesday hinted that interest rates will remain higher for longer in the world’s biggest economy. On Friday (24 May), the rand was trading at R18.48 to the dollar, R23.42 to the pound, and R20 to the euro. Oil is trading at $81.34 a barrel. [Reuters]

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