5 important things happening in South Africa today

 ·31 May 2024

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

  • Election jitters wipe off billions in value: On Thursday, companies sensitive to economic conditions, like banks and retailers, saw a significant loss in value, totalling R52 billion, amid fears the ANC might lose its majority by a larger margin than expected. This led to a 4% drop in the banking index on the JSE, with major banks, including FirstRand, Standard Bank, Absa, Nedbank, Investec, and Capitec, experiencing declines ranging from 2.66% to 5.07%. [Business Day]

  • Accusations rock municipal pension fund: The pension fund for over 30,000 municipal workers, embroiled in a legal dispute, has accused Mergence Investment Managers of overcharging and unauthorised actions, leading to the termination of their management of over R7 billion of the fund’s assets. Mergence has contested the termination in court, aiming to reinstate its mandate. [News24]

  • IEC changes tune on the ‘high’ voter turnout: The IEC has revised its initial high voter turnout claim, with analysts suggesting to Daily Maverick that widespread long queues may reflect issues at voting stations rather than high participation. Initially predicting a turnout well above the 66% seen in 2019, the IEC has adjusted this estimate to the 50s, citing delayed ballots, technical problems, and the use of three ballot papers as reasons not to equate long queues with high turnout. [Daily Maverick]

  • Vote counting continues: The Electoral Commission (IEC) is continuing to tally votes from South Africa’s seventh general election held on Wednesday (29 May). The IEC has tallied just over 50% of voting districts, largely from rural areas. Votes from large metropolitan areas are expected to trickle in from today. [IEC]

  • Markets:  The rand fell on Thursday as early poll results showed the governing African National Congress was on course to lose its majority, a scenario that could lead to weeks of uncertainty as it tries to negotiate a coalition with one or more smaller parties. On Friday (30 May), the rand was trading at R18.79 to the dollar, R23.87 to the pound, and R20.12 to the euro. Oil is trading at $81.58 a barrel. [Reuters]

Show comments
Subscribe to our daily newsletter