Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- Former president Jacob Zuma will finally make his appearance at the state capture commission this week. though many do not expect him to testify directly. Zuma has been accused of being the central pillar of state capture, opening up state departments and SOEs to manipulation by his allies and business interests. He has denied all claims.
- South Africans are uneasy about the approval of the NHI Bill, with zero clarity from government on how it will be funded. Experts say that these concerns are well founded, as many questions still remain, yet the bill is getting rubber stamped towards implementation. Aside from funding, government has been silent on how it will guarantee the system won’t fall into the same mismanagement and corruption almost every other SOE has done.
- The battle over e-tolls in Gauteng is about two things – financial certainty for the nation, and the ANC’s political survival in the province. It is this core difference which underpins the ANC government’s difficulty in resolving the issue analysts say. The debt must be paid, and government cannot afford to bail it out. However, the system has also consistency eroded support for the ANC in the province. [Mail & Guardian]
- South Africa has put new coal and nuclear energy projects back on the menu, after spending the last year or so giving the impression that these energy sources were being slowly filtered out. However, commentary around the country’s energy prospects show that renewable energy plans may not be sufficient to make up the capacity that would be lost by getting rid of coal power.
- The rand is still holding below the R14.00/$ mark, with the US rate cut anticipation underlying the strength. On Monday the rand was trading at R13.96 to the dollar, R17.53 to the pound and R15.73 to the euro.
Source: Business Tech