Cape Town hosted the World Economic Forum on Africa this week. It was an opportunity for President Cyril Ramaphosa to show that South Africa is still an economic leader in Africa. This, however, got overshadowed by protests against violence towards women and femicide in the country. Other African countries also criticised South Africa for not doing more to protect foreigners in xenophobic protests that have gripped the country over the past week.
- This week has not gone to Prime Minister Johnson’s plan after his third defeat in the House of Commons in two days. He called for snap elections to take place mid-October before the 30 October Brexit deadline. This has been rejected by MPs on both sides – another Brexit delay is seeming increasingly plausible.
- Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam has sworn to withdraw the controversial extradition bill that has initiated violent protests in the region. Although protest leaders have four other demands, this is a positive step towards stability.
- China and the US will be returning to trade negotiations in early October. Both Asian markets and US stocks jumped on the news.
- Argentina’s Central Bank Governor, Guido Sandleris, has told reporters that they are in talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to revise their monetary policy target for September. This is after our report last week that the peso had dropped by 20%.
- Xenophobia and protests have dampened Ramaphosa’s WEF investment drive. Ramaphosa was met with jeers when he left Parliament this week, and protests have grown due to the inaction on gender-based violence and femicide. Xenophobic protests also drew the attention from the WEF, with other African countries criticising South Africa for attacks on foreigners.
- South Africa had a surprising GDP growth of 3.1% for the second quarter of 2019. This was largely due to boosted mining and manufacturing sectors.
- Eskom management has said that it is prioritising maintenance to raise capacity to meet higher demand for electricity, decreasing the need for potential load shedding as the economy grows.
- Follow this link for an article by Investec’s Nazmeera Moola on whether the ANC’s faffing to implement treasury’s economic plan may lead to Moody’s downgrading South Africa’s credit rating in November.
- Adrian Gore, CEO and co-founder of Johannesburg-listed Discovery, wrote an article for the World Economic Forum where he argues for South Africa’s economic relevance. Follow this link to have a read.
Source: Dynasty, Daily Maverick, Moneyweb, Reuters, RMB, Aljazeera, and Bloomberg Markets, etc