As a South African, there is an awareness of the overwhelming task to establish economic stability but the thought is becoming possible again. It is satisfying to see the cogs start to turn after being dormant for some time – 27 renewable energy projects are being reinstated next week; the land expropriation debate is calling for good arguments and not war talk; and the Eskom and SABC boards look full of good intentions. Hope is once again on the horizon of our resilient country.
- The European Central Bank kept its main, marginal, and deposit interest rates unchanged at 0.00%, 0.25% and -0.40% respectively, but has dropped its easing bias on its asset purchase programme. This is in line with global efforts by central banks to return to monetary policy normalisation, following years of monetary stimulus.
- President Trump has followed through on his tariff pledge. The president signed a proclamation imposing a 25% duty on steel imports and 10% on aluminium. He has temporarily excluded Canada and Mexico and left the door open to the option of sparing other countries.
- In implementing these tariffs, Trump has closed a chapter on America’s history of pushing for open, unregulated trade. The move has been met with international hostility with China, Japan, South Korea and the EU expected to install retaliatory action soon.
- Trump has agreed to a historic meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. The meeting will be the first of its kind in American and Korean diplomatic history and will take place in May. North Korea has committed to refrain from missile tests until the meeting, but sanctions against the country will remain.
- Software giant SAP has admitted to significant misconduct and compliance issues in deals with Gupta-related organisations.
- The land expropriation without compensation debate has continued this week, with minimal clarity. But the rhetoric has calmed down – Malema has said that no one must be intimidated and “Let’s not talk war, let’s not beat war drums.”
- Newly appointed energy minister, Jeff Radebe, announced at a media briefing yesterday that 27 outstanding Renewable Energy Power Producer Projects (REIPPP) will be signed on Tuesday, 13 March 2018.
- Eskom has been ordered to reinstate whistle-blower Suzanne Daniels.
- North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo said his office is fully cooperating with the Hawks, following a raid on the premises on Thursday morning. Just days before, the Premier was conducting polygraph tests on his staff in an attempt to clamp down on leaks.
- Six people have been appointed to a commission of inquiry, chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, to investigate allegations that the Gupta family was allowed to influence state decisions.