5 important things happening in South Africa today

 ·31 Jan 2024
Cyril Ramaphosa South African President

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

  • Financial regulator clamps down on Ithala: A repayment administrator has been appointed to look after state-owned development agency, Ithala. This is seen to be a major setback to the agency’s ambitions of being a bank, with the move essentially beginning the process of winding down its deposit-taking activities. [BusinessDay]

  • IMF slashes South Africa’s 2024 GDP growth forecast: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) downgraded its economic-growth forecasts for South Africa, warning that the energy crisis and logistical challenges are constraining activity. The IMF believes that South Africa’s economy will likely grow 1% this year, significantly slower than thir forecast in October when it saw the coutry’s gross domestic product expanding by 1.8%. [BusinessTech]

  • Cheaper chicken expected as government slashes import tax: The government has reduced import tax on chicken due to bird flu affecting the country’s poultry farms. Import duty will decrease from 42% to 12% for boneless chicken and from 62% to 37% for bone-in products. The issue faced by many food importers is the ongoing delays and backlogs at ports. [News24]

  • Ramaphosa says a ‘regime change agenda’ in SA is likely after ICJ ruling: In his closing address at the ANC lekgotla on Tuesday, party president Cyril Ramaphosa said that a “fightback campaign” against South Africa is likely to take place after the country took Israel to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). “The fightback may focus on our domestic politics and our electoral outcomes in order to pursue a regime change agenda,” he said. [Daily Maverick]

  • Markets: South Africa’s rand edged lower on Tuesday after local budget balance and money supply figures, as investors braced for the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy decision later this week. . On Wednesday (31 January), the rand was trading at R18.82 to the dollar, R23.84 to the pound, and R20.35 to the euro. Oil is trading at $82.60 a barrel. [Reuters]
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