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Five things making headlines in South Africa today

Budget speech day, January inflation rate, Zondo commission looks into Eskom, Bid Corp results, and EOH board changes.

Here’s what caught our attention on Wednesday:

1. It’s Mboweni’s big budget day

All eyes will be on finance minister Tito Mboweni on Wednesday as he prepares to deliver his crucial budget speech in Parliament. South African investors, businesses, government employees, rating agencies and others are waiting to see which measures are being considered to save ailing state-owned entities such as Eskom, SAA and SABC, among others. Attention is also expected to shift towards government’s plans to spur economic growth and financially tie together all the grand plans, which President Cyril Ramaphosa mentioned in his State of the Nation address two weeks ago.

The budget speech will be delivered at 2pm.

Catch Moneyweb’s special budget speech coverage and broadcast here.

Read more: Little room for higher taxes, higher for improvement 

#Budget2019 : 4 things to watch 

2. January inflation rate

South Africa‘s headline consumer inflation fell to 4.0% year-on-year in January from 4.5% in the previous month, data from Statistics SA showed on Wednesday. On a monthly basis, prices fell 0.2% in January from a decrease of 0.2% in December. Core inflation, which excludes the prices of food, non-alcoholic beverages, petrol and energy, remained flat at 4.4% year-on-year in January. 

3. Zondo Commission begins probe into Eskom affairs

The Zondo Commission is working tirelessly to unravel truths around corruption that has crippled South Africa and its institutions. On Wednesday, the commission will delve into how mismanagement and alleged capture backtracked Eskom. The utility has been in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons in recent weeks, with issues from load shedding, high debt and proposed tariffs to dysfunctional operations. The inquiry into Eskom is expected to be spread over three weeks, EWN reported.

4. Bid Corporation results

Bid Corporation, a food service offering company, produced positive performance for the six months ended December 31 2018, with continuing headline earnings per share increasing 9.2% to 700.2 cents and continuing trading profit increasing 8.3% to R3.3 billion. The company says trading across emerging geographies remained positive, regardless of cost pressures, persistent low food inflation and moderate economic growth. Bid Corp. is declaring an interim dividend of 310.0 cents, up 10.7% from last year.

5. EOH makes changes to board

IT services company EOH announced a number of board resignations, including its founder, non-executive chairman and former CEO of 19 years, Asher Bohbot from February 28 2019, alongside the resignation of another founding member and non-executive director, Rob Sporen. The EOH board will also see the departure of non-executive director Tshilidzi Marwala and HR executive Tebogo Maenetja. The resignations come as the board seeks to align with King IV requirements. The appointments of new board members is underway, EOH says.

Read more here

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