5 important things happening in South Africa today

 ·15 Jan 2024

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

  • KwaZulu-Natal flooding havoc: The KwaZulu-Natal department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs has confirmed that three more people have died from the recent floods, taking the death toll to 43. Additionally, the province’s education department has said that all schools will open this week, despite 59 of them being severely damaged. [The Citizen]

  • SARS opens criminal case against Phala Phala buffalo buyer:  The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has opened a criminal case against Hazim Mustafa, a Phala Phala buffalo buyer, who President Cyril Ramaphosa had told various investigators handed $580,000 in cash to his farm manager in December 2019 for 20 buffalos. [News24]

  • Threefold jump in private sector renewable energy projects in 2023:  Information from the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) showed that last year, South Africa’s private sector registered approximately 4 490MW of renewable energy projects – nearly three times as much as in 2022 and 33 times more than the 134MW registered in 2021. [News24]

  • Billions for “missing middle” students:  Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande said that a R3.8 billion budget has been set aside for the 2024 academic year for students who have a household income of more than R350,000. He says that the first phase of a new comprehensive funding model will immediately assist 47% of students who are in the “missing middle” category. [EWN]

  • Markets: The rand firmed slightly against the dollar after data showed producer prices fell in December, increasing expectations of an early US interest rate cut. On Monday (15 January), the rand was trading at R18.64 to the dollar, R23.81 to the pound, and R20.41 to the euro. Oil is trading at $78.47 a barrel. [Reuters]
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