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May 2019 economic highlights

A round-up of local and international political and business news.
  • South Africa voted on May 8. Despite some issues with voters being able to remove the permeant ink, and a few reports of double voting, the Electoral Commission has declared the election as being ‘free and fair’.
  • Surprisingly from the data, voter turnout was very low with 17.7 million total votes – which was 65.99% of actual registered voters.
  • As the post-election dust settled, the ANC emerged victorious and the DA held its majority in the Western Cape. We trust that the Ramaphosa administration can deliver on growth and positive reforms and help bring success in the strengthening of the political centre.
  • The SA Reserve Bank’s monetary policy committee again decided to keep the repo rate unchanged at 6.75%.
  • The final week of May was critical, with President Cyril Ramaphosa expected to announce his cabinet. Negative speculation had begun prior to the cabinet announcement, which pushed the rand to a high of R 14.89 to the dollar. The rand continues to remain vulnerable and is currently trading at an estimated R 14.81.
  • Theresa May decided to step down as leader of the UK ‘s Conservative Party and then as prime minister on June 7, after repeatedly failing to get her Brexit plan through parliament. In an emotional statement, she said she had done her best to deliver Brexit and it was a matter of “deep regret” that she had been unable to do so.
  • US internet giant Google, whose Android mobile operating system powers most of the world’s smartphones, said it would start to cut ties with China’s Huawei, which it considers a national security threat to the US.


Michael Haldane

Global & Local Investment Advisors


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