Five things making headlines in South Africa today

FTI Consulting report paints positive picture for SA, Absa expansion into Nigeria, mining production figures, McBride appears before Zondo Commission and more.
South Africa's February mining production data expected out on Thursday. Picture: Eva-Lotta Jansson, Bloomberg

Here’s what caught our attention on Thursday:

1. Report gives positive outlook to SA

A report by FTI Consulting called The future of South Africa painted a relatively positive picture of South Africa’s progress, despite the dark times we have been facing. Commenting on the report, Discovery’s Adrian Gore said that South Africa’s GDP is 2.5 times higher than it was in 1994 on a dollar basis and formal housing has increased by 131% from 1996. FTI Consulting senior MD, Claire Lawrie added that South Africa’s improved growth is also reflected in the increased foreign direct investment, which touched 2.25% GDP.

Read: Message to South Africans: The good times will be back shortly

2. Absa’s expansion plans in Nigeria

Absa plans to expand into Nigeria in the second half of the year. The move comes after Absa separated from Barclays last year, and the bank focuses on building its brand as a standalone bank. The Nigerian expansion will be focused on Absa’s corporate and investment bank.

Read: Absa sees Nigeria expansion plan ready for the second half

3. February mining production

South Africa’s mining production figures for February should be released on Thursday. In January, mining production fell by 3.3% year-on-year, following a downwardly revised 4.1% fall in December. Gold production has been dwindling, falling 22.5% in January from 31% in December 2018.

Update to follow.

4. Robert McBride to appear before Zondo Commission

Following numerous postponements and rescheduling, former Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) head, Robert McBride is ready to take to the stand at the Zondo Commission on Thursday. McBride is expected to implicate a number of government officials and politicians in his testimony. EWN is reporting that McBride’s testimony was previously postponed because notifications were not given to the numerous implicated parties.

5. Tekkie Town founders launch interdict against Steinhoff

The former owners of Tekkie Town, which is owned by Pepkor submitted an urgent interdict to the Western Cape High Court on Wednesday against Steinhoff and its subsidiary Pepkor. Moneyweb reports that Pepkor’s application sought to stop Steinhoff and Pepkor from dealing in Tekkie Town shares. Tekkie Town’s former CEO Bernard Mostert told Moneyweb that this is an interim step to protect their rights to reclaim the business. 

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