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Five things making headlines in South Africa today

Eskom’s cleansing, day two in Davos, Steinhoff scrambles for cash, CPI and ex-dividend payouts released.

Here’s what caught our attention on Wednesday:

  • Eskom revamped: The saga continues

Tuesday saw a big day for the cleansing of Eskom. While former chief financial officer Anoj Singh was responding to questions about his mismanagement of state funds and ties to the Gupta family, another executive handed in his resignation. Prish Govender was the acting head of group capital at Eskom, and was implicated in the corruption scandal, alongside Singh, with Gupta-linked firm Trillian and McKinsey. His resignation comes without explanation.

  • It’s day two in Davos

The World Economic Forum kicked off on Tuesday in Davos, Switzerland. Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is heading the South African delegation. On Tuesday, Ramaphosa met with Rwandan president Paul Kagame and is pushing his agenda to get more investors into SA. Wednesday’s agenda will be structured around the themes of capitalism, emerging market-leadership, economic generation gaps and more.

Track developments on Moneyweb

  • Steinhoff scrambling for cash

The already-embattled retailer is still scrambling for funds after selling the company jet, letting go of shareholders and trying to pay off its debts to free funds. Bloomberg reported that the retailer obtained $1.1 billion in asset sales, but is still struggling to stabilise after its losses. Absa Bank, Investec and Sanlam were collectively owed over R1.2 billion by Steinhoff ex-CEO Markus Jooste’s Mayfair Speculators.

Read: Mayfair Speculators still negotiating with banks

  • Inflation quickens

South Africa’s headline consumer inflation quickened to 4.7% year-on-year in December from 4.6% in November, data from Statistics South Africa showed on Wednesday.

The CPI is a measure of the rate of change in the prices of goods and services purchased by consumers.

Ahead of the announcement on Wednesday, the rand continued its upward trend toward the R12 mark. It moved just above R12.04 to the dollar.

  • Ex-divided funds payout

Lewis, African Media Entertainment (AME), Netcare and Clicks are to pay out dividends to shareholders on Wednesday.

Lewis stores reported a positive trading update on Tuesday, as sales were boosted and there was an improvement on debt collection. The share price increased almost 18%.

Clicks’ trading update, released on Tuesday, showed an increase in cosmetic sales. The chain increased sales by 14.2%.

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