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Five things making headlines in South Africa today

It’s election week, Standard Bank PMI, Redefine results expected, rand update and more.

Here’s what caught our attention on Monday:

1. It’s election week

It’s all systems go at the IEC as election week is upon us. Concerns and theories are swarming the air over the margin of the majority vote and how it will impact South Africa’s policy reforms and economic growth and investment. A poll conducted by Intellidex reveals that the market is confident that President Cyril Ramaphosa will serve office for the full five-year term. Although questions remain as to whether reforms will push growth to 3% by 2024. 

Opposition party, the DA is becoming steadfast in its resolution ahead of the elections and is vowing to lead coalitions with smaller parties to dilute the power of the ANC. Speaking at a rally on the weekend, the party’s leader, Mmusi Maimane, says the DA would grow jobs, protect minority rights and unite South Africa.

Read:

DA promises to lead coalitions, tackle racism

Ramaphosa expected to ‘just miss’ mandate threshold

2. Standard Bank PMI

Standard Bank’s purchasing manager’s index (PMI) for April is expected to be released on Monday. In March, the index fell to 48.8 from 50.2 in February, data from Trading  Economics shows. The March reading suggested the steepest decline in South Africa’s private sector since November and was attributed to decreases in new orders and employment alongside the impact of load shedding on productivity.

Update to follow.

3. Redefine Properties interim results

Redefine Properties announced the appointment of Sipho Mila Pityana, who is the president of Business Unity SA, as the company’s independent non-executive chairman on Friday. His role became effective on May 3. Pityana will be replacing Marc Wainer in the position. Pityana also holds the position of chairman at AngloGold Ashanti and Onelogix Group, while also an independent director at Absa.

Redefine Properties is also expected to release its interim results for February 2019 on Monday.

Update to follow.

4. Old Mutual directors earn big after unbundling

The unbundling of Nedbank and Old Mutual last year reaped grand rewards for the company’s executives. Moneyweb is reporting that executives at Old Mutual bagged one-off proceeds in excess of R46 million following the managed separation process. Thoko Mokgosi-Mwantembe, who chairs Old Mutual’s remuneration committee says the settlement of the unbundling dividends between the two companies was of ‘unintended consequences’. Old Mutual’s CEO, Peter Moyo received R13.749 million in distributions from Nedbank and Quilter.

Read: Old Mutual execs score R46m in unbundling

5. Watching the rand

It’s a crucial week for the rand. Decisions, both big and small, can have it swinging either way. With elections looming locally, traders are playing it with caution. The rand strengthened to R14.36 to the dollar at 18:00 on Friday on the back of US jobs data and remained mostly unchanged over the weekend.

News however emerged overnight that President Donald Trump has decided to hike US tariffs on Chinese goods, bringing the rand to R14.47 at 8:30.

Read: Global shares, oil slump after Trump vows China tariff hike

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