Country Insights

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South Africa remains in suspense: Will Ramaphosa’s June 20, 2019, SONA help boost the state of the economy?
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 19 Jun 2019
On Thursday, June 20, 2019, President Ramaphosa will deliver the first State of the Nation Address (SONA) of the 6th Parliament, themed “Let's grow South Africa together as we celebrate 25 years of freedom”. This will be his third SONA. The first and second SONAs were mainly centered around stron...

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South Africa’s current account deficit widens in the first quarter of 2019 as export volumes drop
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 06 Jun 2019
Yet more unsavory economic numbers have emerged this week (i.e., following the announced contraction of Q1 2019 GDP by 3.2%) as data released today indicates that South Africa’s current account is in worse shape than it was at the end of 2018. The deficit of the current account of the balance of ...

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South Africa’s first quarter GDP contracts for the fourth time in a row ‒ a deep contraction, too
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 04 Jun 2019 1 response
Despite our expectations of a GDP contraction during the first quarter of 2019, it was still disappointing when results released by Statistics South Africa today confirmed that indeed GDP had a much deeper contraction than expected at -3.2% following 1.4% in the fourth quarter of 2018. This was t...

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CEOs of embattled Eskom and SAA step down – is it a case of dropping the ball? Or, a Ministerial over reach?
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 03 Jun 2019
Following South Africa’s May 8 general elections, Moody’s Ratings Agency published a post-election credit report on the country. It expects government’s debt burden to rise to 65% of GDP by 2023, increasing to more than 70% when taking into account guarantees to the debt-ridden Eskom. This deteri...

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President Ramaphosa's Cabinet - At Last! Almost a clean break from the Zuma Era.
SOUTH AFRICA - In Brief 29 May 2019
President Ramaphosa finally managed to announce his cabinet ministers after a few days of delays, and even this evening a further 50 minutes delay from the announced 20h30 media briefing - all indicating the rough and hard path that Ramaphosa has had to tread to get here. It is common knowledge t...

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South Africa's conference call - Post-election politics: "Last chance for the ANC?"
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 29 May 2019
Last chance for the ANC? How will the ANC’s reduced majority impact the reform process going forward? Is the new cabinet ideal for the revival of South Africa’s economy? Did Ramaphosa win the mandate he needs to propel the moral revival of the ANC and the country? Where to from here for the SA e...

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President Ramaphosa's Cabinet: Cleansing and Reviving the ANC- It is complicated!
SOUTH AFRICA - In Brief 28 May 2019
President Ramaphosa have been forced to delay his cabinet appointments and announcement for third time in a row. Not something that he can fully control, and it is all driven by the internal "cleansing processes of the ANC". As part of the ANC's moral revival strategy that Ramaphosa has been cham...

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The South African Reserve Bank remains dovish following the country’s general elections
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 23 May 2019
The Reserve Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee has once again decided to leave the benchmark interest rate unchanged at 6.75%, leaving the prime rate at 10.25%. The last time the Reserve Bank adjusted the repo rate was in November 2018 when it increased it from 6.50% to the current 6.75%, making th...

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The ANC’s self-cleansing? The promised renewal, or more complex plots?
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 23 May 2019
The first sitting of the National Assembly took place on 22 May 2019 in Cape Town. This marks South Africa’s sixth democratic Parliament with 358 members officially sworn in by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng. The ruling party ANC (African National Congress) acquired 230 seats while the main opposi...

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South Africa’s list of MPs causes some disgruntlement while the nation awaits the appointment of President Ramaphosa’s new cabinet
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 17 May 2019
Now that the general elections have come and gone, the focus in South Africa has shifted back to the African National Congress (ANC) and the integrity of its members, particularly those that will be representing the party in parliament. President Cyril Ramaphosa has based his two campaigns – the ...

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ANC announces premier candidates for provinces it will govern
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 14 May 2019
Following its elections win last week, the African National Congress (ANC) party convened a special national executive committee meeting on Monday, May 13, 2019, at which it presented seven of its eight premier candidates for provinces in which it received the majority vote. The premier for one o...

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South African 2019 Elections: Vote Counting Completed, 23000 Voting Stations Tallied and The Nation Can Now Breath- but only just!
SOUTH AFRICA - In Brief 11 May 2019
A few minutes ago, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) confirmed that the 2019 elections votes are 100% counted, and tallied. The official ceremony later today at 18h00 will be held at the IEC headquarters where the results will be officially confirmed, certified and announced. In the mean...

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South African 2019 Elections Vote Counting Continues: Gains , Pains and the Rule of Numbers
SOUTH AFRICA - In Brief 10 May 2019
With over 70% of South Africa's 23000 voting stations counted and tallied, gradually a picture is emerging, much in line with expectations, and with some variations. At the national level, the ANC is leading with a 57% voter support, DA at around 22% and the EFF at circa 10%. Curiously, all the p...

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South Africa 2019 Elections: Voting Done yesterday, Today is all about Counting and the Game of Numbers
SOUTH AFRICA - In Brief 09 May 2019
South Africa's 6th democratic national elections went relatively smoothly yesterday. Months and months of tense, vigorous and emotional electioneering ended yesterday with 24.75 million eligible voters registered, 9.2 million eligible voters who did not register, 48 political parties battled for ...

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SA’s 2019 elections on May 8: Major political parties polished off their final rallies
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 06 May 2019
South Africa’s top three contending political parties, the African National Congress (ANC), the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and the Democratic Alliance (DA) held their final rallies over the past weekend, with the hope of securing more support so as to be crowned as the nation’s governing par...