Some Friday inspiration: This week the Daily Maverick published an article called #GuptaLeaks: From cloak and dagger handovers to the Zondo Commission – a hard drive’s journey like no other written by Jessica Bezuidenhout. It recounts the process of revealing the #GuptaLeaks to the South African public and boils down to two people who exposed the grasp the Gupta family had on our country. In turn revealing the power of a single person’s actions – it shows how we can all make a difference.
- The French Finance Minister commented that it would be “suicidal” to give the UK a favourable exit from the EU because it would show other EU countries that it is possible to exit and maintain the advantages of membership. French President, Emmanuel Macron, said that he would welcome the UK back to the EU if the voters changed their minds.
- Theresa May ruled out the option of an early election, stating that it is not in the interest of the public.
- Federal Reserve Officials raised interest rates for a third time this year, reaffirming their outlook for further gradual hikes well into 2019. Trump expressed frustration with the rate hikes saying, “not happy about that”.
- In a boastful speech at the UN, President Trump was laughed at by the General Assembly (watch the clip here). President Trump’s spin was that they were laughing with him and not at him.
- Three women have come out against Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh accusing him of sexual harassment during his High School years. Kavanaugh has rejected all accusations.
- There were further clashes between the US and China this week, not only over trade, but also over military. This came after the US placed strict military sanctions on China for purchasing weapons from Russia. China responded by blocking a US Navy ship from docking in Hong Kong.
- The President of Argentina’s Central Bank resigned this week after three months on the job. The country is struggling to curtail economic turmoil and social unrest while it renegotiates a bailout with the International Monetary Fund.
- Facebook has not had a good year on Wall Street. This week, the founders of Facebook-owned Instagram quit after clashing with CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
- The rand ended stronger this week after gaining 4% last week. President Ramaphosa’s remarks at the UN summit on the rand being undervalued, together with Moody’s comments on reinforcing the view that the agency remains accommodative on fiscal slippage and will not move ahead of MTBPS, clearly induced a few buying orders. But the primary catalyst for the rand moves was subsiding EM concerns and the recent breather the dollar has taken.
- Gwede Mantashe, the Mineral Resource Minister, did not receive a warm welcome when the Mining Charter was released this week. Representatives from mining communities say that the process has been flawed from its initiation.
- This week, Trump threatened South Africa with a retraction of US foreign assistance. This could have an aggressive impact on the rollout of HIV and TB programmes which most of this funding (US$471m in 2017) enables.
- Investment portfolio inflows fell off in the second quarter of this year. Inward investment into South African bonds and equities shrank to 6bn (US$1.16bn) from R89.4-billion over the first three months of the year, said the Reserve Bank.
- Jacques Pauw, acclaimed South African journalist, has written an exposé on the Sunday Times’ involvement in bringing down the previously admired Hawks and SARS, in what he says is arguably the worst journalism that has ever been perpetrated in the country.
- Former Minister of Social Development Bathabile Dlamini has been found to be reckless and grossly negligent by the Constitutional Court and has been ordered to personally pay 20% of the costs of the action brought by the Black Sash and Freedom Under Law with regard to the social grants CPS debacle.
- In the second quarter of 2018, South Africa lost 69 000 jobs! Follow this link for more on this.