Country Insights

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President Ramaphosa remains focused on his investment drive to revive SA’s economy
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 16 Sep 2019
Towards the end of August 2019, President Ramaphosa attended the seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VII) in Japan. The aim of the summit is to expand partnership between Japan and African states. However, the President of South Africa (SA) used this meeting as an...

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The current account deficit widens further in Q2 2019
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 05 Sep 2019
Earlier this week, the South African economy escaped a technical recession in the second quarter of 2019 when the real GDP growth numbers showed an increase of 3.1% q/q. However, today, the South African Reserve Bank released the current account of the balance of payments data, indicating yet an...

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The South African economy bounces back, narrowly avoids another H1 technical recession in just two years
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 03 Sep 2019
Similar to the past year, the country once again waited to find out if South Africa’s economy was in a technical recession in the first half of the year, which would have made it the second consecutive one. The past year’s results had indeed indicated that the country had experienced a technical ...

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The National Treasury proposes selling Eskom’s coal powered plants to reduce debt
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 30 Aug 2019
The Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni, has in the past remained quite vocal about the fiscal stress the country’s State-Owned Entities (SOEs) have placed on the economy, especially Eskom. The embattled power utility has not only been struggling to keep lights on, but has also been unable to meet its...

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Public Protector’s job under pressure
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 27 Aug 2019 1 response
​In 1995, the office of the Public Protector (PP) was established, and so far, four people have held the office, with Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane occupying the position currently. The PP forms part of the six independent state institutions established by South Africa’s Constitution in an effort t...

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South Africa is unlikely to need IMF funding – for now
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 23 Aug 2019
There has been much speculations and political angst recently about whether or not South Africa will need to approach the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for financial assistance. This has come about due to South Africa’s mounting fiscal pressures, which in turn are mostly the result of the cou...

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The President signs into law the new credit bill, pushing for consumer debt write-off
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 21 Aug 2019
South African consumers have been hard hit by the effects of the country’s current tough economic environment, which is compounded by increasing living costs and rising unemployment. This has not only resulted in increasing total consumer debt, but has also led to total savings' being negatively ...

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South Africa’s National Health Insurance (NHI): Is it feasible and at what cost to the struggling economy?
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 14 Aug 2019
In the National Development Plan (NDP), it is stipulated that by 2030, South Africa’s health system should offer “quality care to all, free at the point of service, or paid for by publicly provided or privately funded insurance”. As such, to ensure provision of universal quality healthcare servic...

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The High Court rules in favor of the president over the public protector ‒ twice in a row
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 13 Aug 2019 1 response
Following the Public Protector’s (PP) (Ms. Mkhwebane) findings that the President (Mr. Ramaphosa) misled Parliament as well as the nation by not disclosing knowledge about (the sources of) donations for his 2017 ANC presidential campaign, Mr. Ramaphosa applied for an urgent interdict against Ms. ...

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President Ramaphosa’s battles with the Public Protector deepen
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 05 Aug 2019
​Months have gone by since the battle between President Ramaphosa and the Public Protector, Ms Mkhwebane started. The Public Protector alleged the President of breaking the Executive Ethics Code following his response to the Parliament about donations to his Presidential campaign from BOSASA (now...

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South Africa’s fiscal woes magnify as Eskom losses balloon
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 31 Jul 2019
South Africa’s widening budget deficit on the back of lower GDP growth, coupled with increased spending (including government’s financial support for Eskom) as well as the downward adjustment of GDP growth for 2019 led Fitch Ratings Agency to revise the country’s outlook to negative from stable (...

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South Africa’s economy – still struggling to take off
SOUTH AFRICA - Forecast 25 Jul 2019
* South Africa’s growth: President Ramaphosa’s number one priority is to stimulate the South African economy, an economy that has been in the doldrums, growing by less than 2% in the past five years. This is especially important as some of the country’s main socio-economic scourges have either...

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President Ramaphosa's Challenges Getting Close and Personal
SOUTH AFRICA - In Brief 19 Jul 2019
Ever since assuming the high office of the country, President Ramaphosa has not been short of challenges. Aside from the enormous task of turning the economy around and restoring the integrity and operational efficacy of the machinery of the state which had been left in a poor financial and admin...

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South Africa’s interest rate cut finally arrives
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 18 Jul 2019
On Thursday (18 July 2019), the nation waited with bated breath on the announcement of the interest rate decision by the Governor of the Reserve Bank (SARB), Mr Lesetja Khanyago. There was a general expectation for the central bank to cut interest rates by 25 basis points after keeping them uncha...

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Former President Jacob Zuma finally honors the State Capture Commission’s request to face the nation
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 16 Jul 2019
​In the State of Capture 2016 report by the ex-Public Protector, Thuli Madonzela, the former President, Jacob Zuma, was found to have been the key role player in state capture. The report was “an investigation into complaints of alleged improper and unethical conduct by the president and other st...