Even though load-shedding unexpectedly reared its head again this week, there have been many positive cogs turning South Africa’s future and eradicating the rot of state corruption. Even though it seems that Zuma’s cronies are still at work, many of them are being removed week by week from the influence they have had on how the state was run.
- It would appear that the Brexit negotiations are reaching a conclusion. Both Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced this week that they had reached an agreement on Brexit. Markets may have jumped prematurely on the news, as Prime Minister Johnson still needs Parliament to vote on the new deal. The Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland has already announced that they would not accept the new agreement.
- President Donald Trump ordered US troops to be pulled out of Syria, a development which was met with widespread shock and criticism. The decision has cleared the way for Turkey to attack US-allied Kurdish forces, which many have argued could cause an ISIS resurgence. On Thursday, Turkey announced that it would halt the Syrian offensive for five days to allow a Kurdish withdrawal.
- In all of this turmoil, who would have thought that Russia would come out as the good guys. Russia called the Turkish incursion ‘unacceptable’ and sent military police to patrol the line between Turkish and Kurdish forces.
- US Vice-President Mike Pence and Rudy Giuliani announced that they were not planning on co-operating with an impeachment inquiry regarding President Trump.
- Eskom implemented load-shedding unexpectedly over the week. This was to avert a total collapse of the power system after multiple breakdowns rose above 10,500MW, impacting on Eskom’s ability to meet the current demand for electricity.
- On the news, the rand slipped (although the currency has subsequently recovered to around R14.77/USD). The economic impact of load-shedding remains a significant hurdle for the rand, with unreliable electricity considered a major reason for South Africa’s economy having contracted 3.2% in the first quarter of 2019.
- Jacob Zuma’s legal team will apply for leave to appeal the KZN High Court’s decision that his trial should go ahead. Zuma’s criminal case is now postponed until 2020.
- Discovery has faced a challenging year so far; it is currently on track to lose a quarter of its value over the year. Follow this link to an article written by Tim Cohen on what went wrong and whether it can be fixed.
- On Tuesday this week, Thulani Dlomo, the intelligence special ops boss closely associated with former president Jacob Zuma, was fired.