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Five things making headlines in South Africa today

Ramaphosa receives land reform report, economy threatened by truck torchings, Naspers unit expands into Turkey, retail sales figures and more.

Here’s what caught our attention on Wednesday:

1. Land reform report submitted

President Cyril Ramaphosa received the long-awaited report on the land reform, restitution and redistribution on Tuesday. Ramaphosa appointed a panel of experts to resolve issues relating to the level of financial support given to new farmers, compensation for current land owners on targeted land and considerations of ownership or leasehold regimes to be used. Reuters is reporting that the plans were approved by parliament in December and the draft Land Reform Bill is set to be debated again in October.

Read: Presidential panel submits long-delayed report on land reform

2. Truck torching threatens the economy

The recent spate of attacks and torching of freight trucks, mainly on the N3 route between Durban and Johannesburg, poses a significant threat to South Africa’s economy, as far as both economic growth and investment opportunity is concerned. Moneyweb is reporting that stakeholders have dubbed the attacks ‘economic sabotage’. Attacks are said to be targeting foreign nationals employed by South African companies. During a briefing on Tuesday, it was highlighted that the attacks are a threat to drivers and South Africa’s export partners, alike.

Read: Truck torchings: SA risks losing drivers and exports

3. Naspers to buy Turkish fintech company

South African media and e-commerce giant, Naspers has made one of its biggest acquisitions in fintech yet. The company’s PayU unit agreed to purchase digital payments company, Iyzico, which is based in Turkey, for $165 million. Bloomberg is reporting that the acquisition will expand PayU’s exposure to Turkey’s e-commerce market, which is said to be growing by more than 10% a year. The Turkish digital payments company is popular among both small- and medium-sized enterprises as well as some global retail giants serving customers in the country.

Read: Naspers PayU unit to buy Turkey’s Iyzico in fintech deals push

4. Retail sales figures

South Africa’s retail sales figures for April are expected to be released on Wednesday. In March, retail sales rose marginally by 0.2% year-on-year, from an upwardly revised 1.4% gain in the previous month. Sales increased for household furniture, appliances and equipment but fell for food, beverages and tobacco, alongside pharmaceuticals and medical goods, cosmetics and toiletries among others, data from Trading Economics shows.

Update to follow.

5. State capture inquiry turns to ex-NPA boss 

It’s day 110 of the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into state capture. Evidence from an array of people has been heard, relating to the infamous Gupta family and their ties to political heavyweights, state utilities Eskom, Transnet, Denel, the SABC and the Bosasa saga, among others. On Wednesday, the former National Director of Public Prosecutions, Advocate Mxolisi Nxasana will take the stand. Nxasana is expected to detail the events leading up to him receiving a multi-million rand golden handshake from then President, Jacob Zuma. 

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