South Africa’s Top 5 News Stories Today

  • The Constitutional Court orders the Home Affairs Minister and DG to personally cover a portion of legal costs due to a "shambolic" litigation related to the Immigration Act.
  • The revelation that "ghost students" are receiving state-funded allowances through NSFAS, raising questions about accountability and transparency in the program.
  • Significant changes in load shedding policies in Johannesburg, with City Power taking over management and reducing outage slots to two hours, offering relief to residents and businesses.
Stories Today

In the ever-evolving landscape of South Africa, several important developments are shaping the nation’s financial services, personal finance, and various other sectors. From a Constitutional Court ruling to a surprising change in load shedding policies, here are the top five stories affecting South Africa today.

In a groundbreaking move, the Constitutional Court has handed down a significant ruling, impacting the Home Affairs Minister and the Director-General (DG) of the department. The court ordered the Home Affairs Minister to pay 10% of the legal costs personally, while the DG was directed to cover a hefty 25% of the costs out of their own pockets. This decision comes after their “deplorable” and “shambolic” litigation related to the Immigration Act.

The case arose when the minister and DG sought to revive an earlier order from 2017, which had struck down certain sections of the Immigration Act as unconstitutional. These sections had granted authorities the power to detain illegal immigrants for up to 30 days without judicial oversight. The Constitutional Court’s ruling not only sends a clear message about the importance of well-prepared and lawful litigation but also underscores the court’s commitment to upholding the rule of law.

2. “Ghost Students” Continue to Receive Funds through NSFAS

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has come under scrutiny as it was revealed that 157,980 “ghost students” have been receiving monthly allowances of R1,650 each through the state-funded program. This revelation points to a massive discrepancy of nearly R260.7 million in the monthly disbursement of state funds, leaving many questioning the accountability and transparency of the program.

NSFAS is designed to provide financial support to South African students pursuing higher education. However, the existence of “ghost students” raises serious concerns about the proper administration of these funds. The revelation is a stark reminder of the need for stronger oversight and controls in the distribution of state resources, especially in the education sector.

3. Changes to Load Shedding in Johannesburg

In a significant development for Johannesburg residents, City Power has reached an agreement with Eskom to manage load shedding within the city. This marks a notable shift in the management of power outages. Starting next week, City Power will limit load shedding slots to just two hours at a time, a stark contrast to the previous system where Eskom slots were up to four hours.

Load shedding has long been a concern for South Africans, impacting daily life, businesses, and the economy. This change aims to reduce the inconvenience and disruption caused by prolonged power outages, bringing some relief to residents and businesses in Johannesburg.

4. Additional Public Holiday Announced

South Africans have a reason to celebrate as President Cyril Ramaphosa officially announced an extra public holiday. On December 15, 2023, the nation will observe a day off to commemorate the World Cup victory of the Springboks. The Springboks’ victory in the World Cup is a moment of immense pride for South Africa, and this public holiday will provide an opportunity for citizens to come together and celebrate this historic achievement.

This additional holiday serves as a reminder of the power of sports to unite a nation and is a testament to the Springboks’ outstanding performance on the global stage.

5. Market Updates

As South Africa navigates through these changes, the financial markets are closely monitored. The South African rand experienced a surprising rise on Monday, despite the anticipation of a challenging week, including the government’s midterm budget statement. Analysts from ETM noted this appreciation, which occurred even as the Finance Minister, Godongwana, is expected to address the deterioration of South Africa’s fiscal position.

As of October 31, 2023, the rand was trading at R18.92 to the dollar, R22.97 to the pound, and R20.04 to the euro. The price of oil stood at $87.81 a barrel. These market fluctuations and the midterm budget statement will be closely watched by investors and financial experts as they assess South Africa’s economic outlook.

In conclusion, South Africa is experiencing a series of significant developments that touch on various aspects of life, from the legal system to the economy. The Constitutional Court’s ruling, the issue of “ghost students,” changes in load shedding policies, the announcement of an additional public holiday, and market updates are all topics of great interest for the nation.



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