Development

R500 million Estimated for KZN Storm Damage

The KwaZulu-Natal government says it will take a while to finish the assessment of the damage that the devastating storms have caused as some insurance companies put it at R500 million.

The death toll from Tuesday's storm stands at 14.

More than 40 schools were also damaged as well as several health care institutions in and around Durban.

At Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital in Umlazi two people died when a wall collapsed.

SAPS Could Make Or Break SA

If the ANC elects the right leader at its December conference, state capture could possibly in time be halted, corruption minimised and state owned enterprises be whipped into shape.

But if we can’t turn the South African Police Service (SAPS) into a professional and clean crime-fighting and peace-keeping machine, out future will still be very dark.

South Africa has become more unstable in recent months. Instability is the biggest threat to a country that wants to grow.

#SONA2017: Land and Economy Issues

National Spokesperson of the African National Congress (ANC) Zizi Kodwa says 12 urgent tasks have been put up which the President Jacob Zuma needs to reflect in the State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Thursday night.

The 2017 SONA comes amid renewed calls from opposition parties on the president to step down following the Constitutional Court ruling on Nkandla and the former Public Protector's report on the State of Capture.

Ramaphosa to Lead Delegation at WEF2017

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is set to lead a government, labour and business delegation on the second day of the annual World Economic Forum in Davos.

In a statement issued by government, GCIS said on Wednesday Team South Africa will share with international delegates how South Africa aims to respond to the theme of “Responsible and Responsive Leadership” at the 46th iteration of this conference.

“The National Development Plan is a key driver of how South Africa will enable the creation of an increasingly equitable and inclusive society,” GCIS says.

SA Economy Grows Stronger

Finance Minster Pravin Gordhan has said South Africa’s economy would survive the “political noise” after the ANC stopped short of voting out President Jacob Zuma in a national executive committee meeting this week.

Briefing media ahead of the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Davos in January, Gordhan said that political turmoil was not unique to South Africa.

“Political uncertainty is the new normal in the world – the question is how we deal with it. Ours, relatively speaking, is minor compared to the world trends that are developing,” he said.

SA Credit Rating on the Brink

SA has made some progress in fixing problems identified by ratings agencies, but there are outstanding issues that might mean the country is given 'junk' status, warn economists Fatima Bhoola and Nimisha Naik.

Rating agencies are shortly expected to announce their decision on whether to retain South Africa’s sovereign credit rating, or to downgrade it.

The current rank assigned by Moody’s is two notches above sub-investment grade (with a negative outlook).

Fellow agencies Fitch and Standard and Poor’s both rank South Africa just one notch above “junk” status.

Farmers Back to Work After Little Showers

Residents in the city of Bulawayo returned to the fields on Monday after some little showers pounded the country’s second largest city on Sunday, hoping to take advantage of the rain season to produce food which has turned inaccessible to many.
 
Inadequate wages and massive company closures in the City of Kings - once the country’s industrial hub - have forced residents to resort to urban farming to supplement their food stocks.
 

South Africa and the Ratings Agencies – II Fitch

The most recent decision

Fitch affirmed South Africa's investment grade rating in June 2016. Long-term foreign and local currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) have been affirmed at BBB- and BBB respectively. The stable outlook remains unchanged.

Key drivers
 
The BBB- rating is a reflection of low trend gross domestic product (GDP) growth, significant fiscal and external deficits, and high debts levels. These are balanced by strong policy institutions, deep local capital markets and favourable government debt structure. 

South Africa and the Ratings Agencies – 1 Moody’s

South Africa is in the middle of controversies relating to the South African Revenue Service, the Hawks, the Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, the National Treasury, and State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs). There are also serious tensions within the government and the ruling African National Congress. South African government bonds have lost money for investors as bond yields have increased. This could get worse if Gordhan is to be replaced by someone who is less trusted by investors.

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