5 important things happening in South Africa today

 ·6 Dec 2023

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

  • Recession risk: There’s a risk that the South African economy – battered by higher levels of load shedding, inflation and chaos at ports – may end 2023 in recession after disappointing GDP data in the third quarter. Another negative performance in the fourth quarter, which was hit by a return of stage 6 load shedding, could tip the country into recession. [News24]

  • Personally liable for NHI: Solidarity issued a fresh letter of demand to the main players behind the planned National Health Insurance (NHI), recommending that their plans be halted immediately. In the letter of demand, Solidarity reiterates its intention to hold the role players accountable in their personal capacity should the NHI process proceed. The NHI Bill will be debated for adoption by the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) today (6 December) after it stalled at the last minute last week. [Daily Investor]

  • Tourism warning: Foreign tourists travelling from Gauteng to Sun City and surrounding game parks have come under siege by a heavily armed gang of highwaymen who demand euros and valuables under the threat of death. This comes weeks after tourists were reported to have been targetted at Table Mountain in Cape Town for the same reasons. The Southern African Tourism Services said crime was one of the leading detractors to visiting the country, and these trends could see millions of tourists look elsewhere for holiday destinations. [News24]

  • Durban taxpayers foot King’s legal bills: The KwaZulu-Natal provincial government has asked the provincial treasury to set aside R20 million from its budget to fund King Misuzulu’s legal battle for the throne. This is in addition to the R79 million already allocated for the royal household unit. The office of the premier, Nomusa Dube-Ncube, said in its submission to the treasury that it projects overspending by R59.4 million in the financial year ending March 2024. [TimesLive]

  • Markets: The South African rand fell on Tuesday as third-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) contracted slightly more than expected, and the U.S. dollar rose on global markets. On Wednesday (6 December), the rand was trading at R18.94 to the dollar, R23.88 to the pound and R20.45 to the euro. Oil is trading at $77.19 a barrel. [Reuters]
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