Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation has responded to the letter reportedly sent from five countries to president Cyril Ramaphosa – by telling them to use the proper channels. Minister Lindiwe Sisulu says the letter broke protocol, and has ordered a demarche on the ambassadors. [TimesLive]
- The ambassadors of the countries involved, however, were surprised by the story, saying that they did not sign a letter to Ramaphosa, but that the contents were part of a discussion paper on topics to be discussed when Ramaphosa was on his investment drive. The memo was from June 2018 – eight months ago. [Daily Maverick]
- The EFF has launched its election manifesto with a strong focus on land and corruption. Deputy leader Floyd Shivambu says the party is in a position to tackle corruption because no EFF member has been implicated in wrongdoing. This, despite Shivambu himself being implicated in the VBS looting scandal. [eNCA]
- Edcon has closed 115 stores over the 18 months in a bid to cut costs. The group is seeking R3 billion in financing to be able to turn the business around. The group has reduced its retail space by 7&, and plans to keep reducing it by 5-7% each year over the next few years. [Moneyweb]
- The South African rand weakened on Friday, retreating from a near six-month high, as weak economic data at home and shrinking factory activity in China dampened risk demand. On Monday the rand was at R13.36 to the dollar, R17.47 to the pound and R15.29 to the euro.