5 important things happening in South Africa today

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

  • Social grant fraud: The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) has recovered R12.6 million from over 3,000 public servants who have received grants that they did not qualify for. This follows the Department of Social Development stating that it had reinstated the payment of social grants to over 170,000 state employees, which was stopped in September 2021. These payments amount to more than R200 million per month. [News24]

  • Billions lost: The UIF and PIC have effectively lost R1.8 billion by investing in a company that was deep in debt and buried the information through a complicated corporate structure. The company – Bounty Brands – was started by equity firm Coast2Coast Capital, which apparently ran into trouble and started defaulting on its debts. Court documents and other paper trails show that the public funds got involved through various dealings between the PIC/UIF and other investment firms which took a stake in the company. [Daily Maverick]

  • State capture: The fourth Zondo State Capture Report has revealed that the controversial Gupta family were instrumental in the appointment of Brian Molefe and Anoj Smith as CEO and CFO of Eskom, respectively. The appointments enabled the Guptas to take over Glencore’s coal mining assets in South Africa. The Commission further found that the ANC had been responsible for relinquishing power to the Guptas. The commission has further questioned if the ANC-led cabinet had flouted Constitutional provisions. [Moneyweb]

  • Township business: A pro-migrant lobby group has threatened to oppose a new law supporting and funding township enterprises owned by South Africans. The Gauteng Township Economic Development Act was promulgated into law by Gauteng premier David Makhura last Friday. The migrant lobby group said that it infringes on the rights of migrants to own and operate businesses in Gauteng townships. [Businesslive]

  • Markets: Crude oil prices plunged over demand worries driven by the bleak factory data from the world’s largest oil importer, China. The dollar hovered just below a 20-year high against basket currencies ahead of expected rate hikes while gold prices slipped, edging close to a two month low. The rand is currently trading at R16.12/$, R16.93/€ and R20.17/£. [Nasdaq]

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5 important things happening in South Africa today