5 important things happening in South Africa today

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

  • Hospital crisis: The Eastern Cape is facing a massive healthcare crisis as hospitals see doctors resigning at an unprecedented rate. State hospitals in Nelson Mandela Bay say they face crippling staff shortages, broken equipment, basic drug stockouts, emergency surgery delays, a specialist doctor brain drain, slashed operating times, a lack of nurses and a sharp rise in the neonatal death rate. [Daily Maverick]

  • More investment: National Treasury is increasing its spending on infrastructure by 30%, boosting the budget to R812 billion over the next three years. Infrastructure projects are vital to boost jobs and productivity in the country, both of which have stagnated or declined over the last ten years. Treasury said that the government does have the budget for these projects – so it’s not a money problem – but departments often underspend their budgets, or monies are funnelled in wasteful or irregular ways. [BusinessLive, Moneyweb]

  • Godongwana allegations: Finance minister Enoch Godongwana’s future at Treasury is in question as sexual assault allegations hang over his neck. The minister has denied the allegations, calling them a smear campaign. The matter, including Godongwana’s statement, is sitting with the NPA, which will decide whether there is a case to pursue. Meanwhile, the vultures are circling, with political opponents already calling for the minister to be removed from his position. [News24]

  • ANC politics: The ANC’s electoral committee has made it clear that there is no hope for suspended secretary-general Ace Magashule to contend the party’s coming elective conference due to the corruption charges and ongoing court cases against him. The committee said that those who had been temporarily suspended pending the outcome of a court case or disciplinary hearing would be prohibited from participating in any contestation. [Daily Maverick]

  • Markets: The South African rand fell in trade on Thursday, extending the previous day’s losses, as the dollar traded on the front foot on global markets. Federal Reserve minutes on Wednesday pointed to US interest rates staying higher for longer, boosting the dollar and hurting emerging market currencies like the rand. The South African currency is expected to continue to take its cue from global drivers. On Friday, the rand was trading at R16.90/$, R17.04/€ and R20.14/£. Brent crude is trading at $96 a barrel. [Reuters]

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