5 important things happening in South Africa today

 ·22 Feb 2024

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

  • Inflation picks up: South Africa’s headline consumer inflation quickened to 5.3% year on year in January from 5.1% in December, data showed on Wednesday. Key contributors to the annual inflation rate included food, housing, utilities and transport. [Reuters]

  • Nelson Mandela Bay faces ‘devastating’ loss of R542 million in grant funding: The Executive Mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay, Gary van Niekerk, held a last-minute meeting of his mayoral committee on February 19th due to the risk of losing R542 million as a result of “severe underspending” of grants. Although an action plan was understood to have been created during the meeting, no specifics about the plan have been shared publicly. [Daily Maverick]

  • Transnet creditors pressing government for a bailout: During a pre-budget media briefing on Wednesday, Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana stated that state-owned logistics company Transnet would need to service its current debt before receiving any bailout funds from the Treasury. Creditors of the company are urging for a bailout, but the likelihood of a bailout is uncertain until the debt is paid off. [BusinessDay]

  • First democratic court judges impeached: Two High Court judges, Judge President John Hlophe and Judge Nkola Motata, were removed from the Bench late on Wednesday after two-thirds of members of parliament (MPs) in the National Assembly voted in support of a Justice and Constitutional Development portfolio committee report that endorsed gross misconduct findings made against them. They are the first judges in democratic South Africa to have been impeached. [News24]

  • Markets: The South African slipped slightly at the close of Wednesday, after it had initially firmed following the finance minister’s budget speech. On Thursday (22 February), the rand was trading at R18.93 to the dollar, R23.87 to the pound, and R20.41 to the euro. Oil is trading at $83.22 a barrel. [Reuters]
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