After four years of Brexit uncertainty, Prime Minister Johnson’s majority in parliament has allowed him to pass his Brexit deal! There are still hurdles before it is finalised, but the steps are in motion. Tito Mboweni flew the flag for South Africa in Davos this week, saying that besides immediate steps to resuscitate the economy, the government is looking towards a more realistic seven-year plan to get the country’s economic growth back on track. Read on for more.
- Prime Minister Johnson’s Brexit deal has been cleared by Parliament! This has come after four years of parliamentary gridlock. Now the bill must be signed by Queen Elizabeth II. If the bill is signed the UK will be on track to leave the EU by the end of the month.
- So far 18 people have passed away after the outbreak of the coronavirus. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has stopped short of calling it an international health emergency, but China has taken steps to restrain the outbreak by putting the city of Wuhan (the epicentre of the virus) under lockdown.
- Democrats rounded up their third day of arguments in the impeachment trial against President Trump on Thursday this week. The Democrats argued that President Trump abused his power for personal political gain.
- Months after Fitch Ratings downgraded Hong Kong’s investment rating, Moody’s followed suit lowering Hong Kong’s rating as a long-term issuer of debt by one notch on Monday.
- Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni, has been in Davos this week. President Ramaphosa decided to remain at home rather than joining the South African team. This, in addition to Minister Mboweni’s sobering and steadfast presentation to African investors, put a dampener on the enthusiasm seen last year. Follow this link for his statement.
- The Zondo Commission resumed on 20 January 2020. While Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has applied for a ten-month extension of the state capture inquiry, there has been mounting pressure for an interim report in order to start bringing charges against those found to be aiding corruption and state capture. Follow this link for more.
- Paul O’Sullivan, renowned forensic investigator, reasons why well-exposed criminals such as Markus Jooste and Martin Levick, are not behind bars yet. Follow this link for a podcast where Alec Hog interviews O’Sullivan on this matter.
- Edelman Trust Barometer found that President Ramaphosa’s government is trusted by a mere 20% of survey respondents. This makes the South African government the least trusted government to be included in the barometer.
- South African Airways (SAA) has cancelled 38 local and international flights this week, as the cash – strapped airline moves to reduce expenses.
- Volunteers in Harrismith have taken it upon themselves to restored water, fix sewage systems, and reinstate electricity to the long-suffering citizens of their town. The Harrismith heroes, consisting of voluntary township leaders and local farmers, have taken tasks upon themselves after the town was heading towards economic collapse due to inefficient and allegedly corrupt local government. Follow this link for more on this story.