The top 10 stories to watch in SA this week
It’s a busy week, as Tom Moyane and Siyabonga Gama fight to keep their jobs, Ramaphosa and Mboweni head to Germany, and S&P issues a report on SA
1. Tom Moyane: President Cyril Ramaphosa will clarify the suspended SA Revenue Service commissioner’s (Sars) future this week. Moyane had until last Friday to make representation to the president on retired judge Robert Nugent’s scathing report on his role in Sars’s decline. Nugent recommended Moyane be fired immediately.
2. Fireblade: Businessman Nicky Oppenheimer and his son Jonathan are to explain to MPs on Tuesday how their firm, Fireblade Aviation, came to operate a private terminal at OR Tambo International without an official agreement. Parliament is looking into a dispute between Fireblade and home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba.
3. Siyabonga Gama: Like Moyane, Gama is fighting to keep his job after being fired as Transnet CEO. The labour court is expected to rule on his urgent application on Tuesday.
4. G20 Africa: Ramaphosa and finance minister Tito Mboweni headed to Berlin on Sunday for the G20 Africa conference, which will discuss progress on the Compact with Africa. Ramaphosa will also meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Germany is a major trade partner of SA. Attracting investment in SA has been a key drive of Ramaphosa’s presidency, and on Friday he called an end to the “investment strike”, at the end of a successful investment conference.
5. Eskom monopoly: The DA formalises its campaign to end Eskom’s monopoly on electricity sales when it introduces a private member’s bill to parliament on Monday that, if enacted, could shake up the electricity market.
6. Patricia de Lille: The DA Cape Town mayor at loggerheads with her own party has made one last court bid before Wednesday, the day she has agreed to leave office.
7. S&P Global Ratings report: The credit rating agency’s report on SA’s macroeconomic and credit outlook on Thursday will offer important clues to which way it is leaning in its review of SA’s credit rating, due in November. S&P already has a junk rating on SA.
8. Employment numbers: The quarterly labour force survey, due on Tuesday, is expected to show little changed in the third quarter in SA’s dismal labour market.
9. Trade balance: A small surplus in September, after a surprise R8.8bn surplus in August, should keep the year-to-date balance in the black, in data due on Wednesday.
10. Absa PMI: The October purchasing managers index for the manufacturing sector, due on Thursday, is likely to remain mired in contraction territory.
Several other gauges of SA’s economic health are due this week. For more on these, see the Economic Week Ahead. For more detail on political developments and parliamentary matters, see the Political Week Ahead.