Let’s wrap up some of the top stories happening in South Africa this week.
THE REPO RATE REMAINS UNCHANGED
The repo rate remains at 8.25 percent with no change from the South African Reserve Bank.
Following some economists’ predictions that the repo rate will rise, SARB Governor Lesetja Kganyago made the declaration on Thursday.
Three members of the monetary policy committee, according to Kganyago, agreed to keep rates constant, while the other two supported a 25 basis point hike.
ANOTHER MASSIVE PETROL AND DIESEL PRICE INCREASE EXPECTED IN OCTOBER
Not some good news for local mototrists. The Automobile Association (AA) has warned that there could be another huge price increase for petrol and diesel in October.
This comes after the Central Energy Fund’s most recent mid-month unaudited data release.
The AA forecasts a rand increase for each litre of fuel and double that increase for each litre of diesel, and a rise for lighting paraffin of about R2 per litre.
CONSUMER PRICE INFLATION IN SOUTH AFRICA HAS INCREASED TO 4,8 PERCENT
The Consumer Price Index in South Africa has increased to 4.8 percent for August month.
On Wednesday, Statistics South Africa made the announcement.
After falling for four straight months, the CPI reached 4.7 percent in July.
According to Statistics SA, the increase was caused by higher municipal tariffs and fuel prices, which partially offset a steady drop in food inflation.
HIGHER EDUCATION MINISTER SAYS NSFAS IS NOT IN A CRISIS
The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), according to Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande, is not in trouble.
There have been numerous complaints about this program’s failure to provide financing for some students.
“I must upfront indicate that Nsfas, insofar as it successfully services the needs of the vast majority of poor students, is not in a crisis as many of our detractors would want the public to believe,” said Nzimande.
This week, Minister Nzimande provided an update on changes at the programme. Nzimande’s remarks were made following the debut of the new direct payment mechanism.
Students have protested against this system at various colleges, advocating for its elimination.
90 SCHOOL LEARNERS IN SOSHANGUVE RUSHED TO HOSPITAL AFTER CONSUMING ‘SPACE COOKIES’
About 90 primary school learners from Pulamadibogo Primary School in Soshanguve were rushed to the hospital on Wednesday after consuming space cookies (cookies laced with marijuana).
The students had stomach cramps, nausea, and some vomiting before being taken to the nearest hospitals.
The pupils allegedly purchased the space biscuits from a street seller on their way to school, according to the Gauteng Department of Education.
SARS CLAIMS NONE OF THEIR RECORDS WERE DAMAGED AFTER ITS BUILDING CAUGHT FIRE IN MARSHALLTOWN
This week, a second building in Marshalltown, in the heart of Johannesburg, caught fire.
There were allegations of a fire on Wednesday in the basement of the Marshalltown location of the South African Revenue Service (SARS).
No injuries or fatalities were reported, according to SARS, and none of their data were harmed in the fire.
DAMAGING STORM HITS PARTS OF GAUTENG
A recent storm with strong winds wreaked havoc in parts of Gauteng on Tuesday evening, leaving powerlines, houses, buildings, and cars damaged.
The South African Weather Service says this is the first spring thunderstorm, moving through Gauteng and the North West.
JOBURG RESIDENTS TO FACE WATER SUPPLY DISRUPTIONS
Residents of the City of Johannesburg are urged to prepare for potential water supply interruptions following a power outage at Rand Water’s Zuikerbosch Water Treatment Plant. This facility is responsible for supplying water not only to Johannesburg but also to other nearby municipalities.
Nearly 10 Joburg Water reservoirs and towers will be impacted by this situation. Some areas in Ekurhuleni and Johannesburg have already been experiencing water shortages for the past week due to heightened water consumption.
The recent thunderstorm and subsequent power failure have exacerbated the challenges in maintaining a consistent water supply.
COURT FINDS AUTHOR JACKIE PHAMOTSE GUILTY OF DEFAMING BASETSANA AND ROMEO KUMALO
Author Jackie Phamotse was declared guilty by the Randburg Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, facing charges of defamation, crimen injuria, and contempt of court in her legal dispute with Basetsana Kumalo. The case centered on Phamotse’s 2018 Twitter post, which alleged the existence of a gay sex tape involving the media mogul and her husband, Romeo.
The sentencing for Jackie Phamotse will take place on October 24.
SOUTH AFRICA TO HOST 20TH UNITED STATES-AGOA FORUM
South Africa is set to host the 20th United States-sub-Saharan Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum (AGOA Forum) in Johannesburg, scheduled for November 2 to 4, 2023. This event aims to reaffirm the United States’ dedication to the African continent and explore avenues to enhance the transformative impact of AGOA (African Growth and Opportunity Act).
The AGOA Forum will assemble representatives from the U.S. government, AGOA-eligible nations, vital regional economic organizations, the private sector, civil society, and labor. It will serve as a platform for constructive dialogue and collaboration, fostering discussions on ways to bolster economic ties and cooperation between the United States and African nations.
THREE SOUTH AFRICAN NAVY SUBMARINERS DEAD IN SEA INCIDENT
The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has released the names of the three submariners who tragically lost their lives in Kommetjie on Wednesday. They are Lieutenant Commander Gillian Elizabeth Hector, Master Warrant Officer William Masela Mathipa, and Warrant Officer Class One Mmokwapa Lucas Mojela.
The SANDF reported that the submariners were engaged in a naval exercise, which included the SAS MANTHATISI submarine and other navy vessels, approximately one nautical mile offshore near the Slangkop Lighthouse. The unfortunate incident occurred when these three South African Navy (SAN) submariners were washed off the deck of the submarine SAS Manthatisi (S101) off the coast of Kommetjie in the Western Cape.
According to Craig Lambinon, a spokesman for the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI), this tragic event took place shortly before 15h00 on Wednesday.
GAUTENG POLICE INVESTIGATE SYNDICATE TARGETING LGBTQI+ COMMUNITY
Gauteng police are actively investigating a suspected syndicate that has been targeting members of the LGBTQI+ community. This investigation follows the arrest of seven individuals at the Denver hostel, located east of Johannesburg, on Wednesday. These individuals are accused of kidnapping a student from Wits University.
The incident is reported to have begun when the suspects allegedly lured an 18-year-old Wits student through the dating app Grindr earlier this week. Subsequently, the kidnappers demanded a ransom of R30,000 from the student’s family in exchange for his safe release.