5 important things happening in South Africa today

 ·8 Dec 2023

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

  • Another bailout incoming: The Post Office’s creditors have voted to approve its business rescue plan. However, the plan requires a government bailout of almost R4 billion, and one of the entity’s business rescue practitioners says there are “positive indications” the funds will be released. [Daily Maverick]

  • Medical exodus warning: SA doctors, medical schemes and hospital groups have lashed out at the current version of the National Health Insurance Bill that the National Council of Provinces passed on Wednesday. “SA will see an exodus of doctors, while the country’s struggling poor and middle-class will suffer through higher taxes if President Cyril Ramaphosa signs the ‘unconstitutional’ National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill into law in its current form,” said the South African Medical Association (SAMA). [News24]

  • Interest rates higher for longer: There is a good case for South Africa’s interest rates to stay higher for longer due to persistent inflation and the rise in government borrowing. This is because the government needs to raise borrowing while interest rates are higher and South Africa’s risk premium has risen, said Reserve Bank Deputy Governor Fundi Tshazibana. [Daily Investor]

  • Load shedding update: Eskom increased load shedding to stage 4 at 16:00 on Thursday (7 December 2023) without notifying the public before reverting back to stage 3 on Friday. Eskom is expected to outline the weekend load shedding schedule later in the day. [BusinessTech]

  • Markets:  The South African rand gained on Thursday on increasing bets that the U.S. Federal Reserve might implement interest rate cuts early next year. On Friday (8 December), the rand was trading at R18.99 to the dollar, R23.83 to the pound and R20.44 to the euro. Oil is trading at $74.66 a barrel. [Reuters]

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