Daily News Brief

Daily News Brief
Port Elizabeth, credits: yourtravelgroup.co.uk

Lower Tax Revenue, Higher Borrowing Expected This Year: Tito Mboweni

South Africa’s 2019/20 tax revenues could be “significantly lower” than budgeted for and it may need to borrow more than planned, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said on Tuesday, also citing the cost of support for struggling power utility Eskom. “This could substantially increase the government’s borrowing requirements for 2019/20, which will require the government to revise its funding strategy and current weekly bond issuance at levels beyond what we had planned,” Mboweni told Parliament on Tuesday.

State Owned Entity Bailouts Come In Chunks: Tito Mboweni

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said cash injections for state-owned entities like the South African Airways, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and Denel wouldn’t be handed over all at once but in chunks, as certain conditions are met. Mboweni was on Tuesday replying to debate on the Appropriations Bill, which was before the National Assembly. The Appropriations Bill provides for budget allocations to all departments and entities and was tabled by Mboweni along with his February Budget. It included provision for R3.2 billion for the cash-strapped public broadcaster.

Eskom Financially Unstable, Needs Additional R59bn: Tito Mboweni

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said Eskom was currently not financially sustainable and needed an extra R59 billion over the rest of this financial year and next year. Mboweni told Parliament that Eskom would require R26 billion for the rest of this year and R33 billion for the 2020/2021 financial year. Mboweni introduced his Special Appropriations Bill for Eskom financial aid in the National Assembly on Tuesday morning. He said the appointment of a chief restructuring officer for Eskom could be announced later in the day.

Eskom Financial Crisis Exposes It To Liquidity: Mboweni

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said Eskom posed the biggest risk to the government’s financial fiscal framework because of its financial difficulties and their negative impact on the lives of ordinary South Africans. Mboweni said because of the risks to the economy if Eskom were to collapse, the government was urgently working to stabilise the power utility while drawing up a broad strategy for its future.

Government Failed To Address Structural Faults Of Economy: Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Tuesday that while government had managed to turn around the troubled economy it inherited at the dawn of democracy, it had failed to ensure everyone benefitted from the wealth. Ramaphosa opened a two-day debate at the University of Johannesburg as academia, business, and civil society took part in a conference reviewing the past 25 years of democracy. Ramaphosa questioned whether the country was too modest about its achievements in the past 25 years.

Mkhwebane Pleased With Constitutional Court’s Minority Judgement In Legal Fees Matter

While Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane said that she has found hope in the Constitutional Court’s minority judgment which ruled in her favour, even that judgment has painted a picture of negligence at best and incompetence at worst. The majority judgment in the apex court confirmed the High Court’s adverse findings against the advocate and upheld the order that she personally pay 15% of the South African Reserve Bank’s legal fees.

Mkhwebane Should Be Advised To Resign, Says Pressure Group

Pressure group Accountability Now said that if Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane was properly advised, she would resign from her position. It follows Monday’s Constitutional Court judgment which found that she acted in bad faith and put forward a “number of falsehoods” in the Absa-Bankorp case. The apex court confirmed the High Court’s order that Mkhwebane personally pay for 15% of the South African Reserve Bank’s legal fees. Accountability Now’s Advocate Paul Hoffman said, therefore, she should quit within the next few days.

6 Legal Arguments Gordhan Makes Against Mkhwebane

Public Enterprise Minister Pravin Gordhan’s legal team has argued before the High Court in Pretoria that the “erroneous findings” and remedial orders made by Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane in her Sars “rogue unit” report would have an “adverse personal and political impact” on him. Gordhan, represented by Advocate Wim Trengove, approached the High Court on Tuesday on an urgent basis seeking to suspend and interdict the enforcement of Mkhwebane’s remedial orders pending the final determination of a review application to set the report and its findings aside.

PIC Inquiry – Dan Matjila Details How Confidential Information Was Leaked

Former Public Investment Corporation (PIC) boss Dan Matjila on Tuesday described how the server that stored confidential information at the PIC was compromised. Matjila was testifying at the commission of inquiry into alleged impropriety at the PIC. He’s gone into detail about the period when the mysterious man known only as James Nogu was distributing emails containing leaked confidential information.

What To Look Out For

SAUS Warns Of More Protests If Universities Withhold Certificates

The South African Union of Students said that the country must expect more protests if universities continued withholding certificates from students with outstanding fees. The union claimed that some universities were refusing to implement student support programmes, which were meant to assist disadvantaged students despite receiving funding from government. There were protests at the Durban University of Technology and the University of KwaZulu-Natal on Monday.