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

  • Police leadership lacks expertise: Gareth Newham, head of justice and violence prevention at the Institute for Security Studies, says the SAPS’ leadership lacks the expertise to find and dismantle the individuals and networks responsible for a large number of murders in South Africa. Q3 crime stats showed a 10% year-on-year increase in murders – rising to 7,555. Newham said that the police have a budget of R100 billion and 180,000 personnel, but the police’s leadership is incapable, leading to thousands of people losing their lives. [BusinessDay]

  • Joburg corruption woes: Sinaye Nxumalo is the new acting head of the City of Johannesburg’s forensics and investigations arm; however, she was a suspect in previous graft probes. A 2018 KPMG report said that Nxumalo’s contract was unlawfully extended twice in 2015 and that she irregularly appointed her relative as the deputy director of finance without the relevant qualifications. KPMG recommended that she face criminal sanctions. Reports claimed that an investigation was done by the entity she now heads – a claim the City has denied [News24]

  • Navy can’t sail the seven seas: A R1.8 billion partially built ship remains in Durban harbour after experiencing financial issues, with two key suppliers going out of business due to depressed economic conditions and the Covid-19 pandemic. New contractors are refusing to supply components for the new hydrography survey vessel, the 95m SAS Nelson Mandela, until they are paid. Sources involved said that the project is floundering and that many of the jobs created for the ship are in serious danger. [TimesLive]

  • Rejection of Transnet privatisation: The South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) is rejecting plans put forward by Transnet’s management to have the entity privatised. Sawutu said that the move was full of corruption and would only benefit those in power and leave the working class to suffer. Last week, Transnet suggested that the rail operator be privatised during a presentation to parliament; however, public enterprises rejected this as the parastatal was not following the government’s mandate. [EWN]

  • Markets: South Africa’s rand on Friday recouped some losses from the previous session, when President Cyril Ramaphosa defended his decision to appoint a minister of electricity to try to end crippling power cuts. This week’s budget announcement by South Africa’s finance minister could offer clues on the government’s plans to take on a majority of the debt owed by beleaguered utility Eskom. On Monday (20 February), the rand was trading at R18.06/$, R19.30/€, and R21.73/£. Brent crude is trading at $83.46 a barrel. [Nasdaq]

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