South Africa

Trading Day – Cyril Ramaphosa fights for survival

President Cyril Ramaphosa seems to have made a U-turn on resigning as president as allies convinced him to fight for survival.

News24 reported that Ramaphosa was set to announce that he was stepping down via a televised address last night. However, it did not happen.

According to sources, the president’s allies in the ANC convinced him to leave his fate to a National Executive Committee meeting scheduled for this afternoon.

Tiger Brands reported a big increase in earnings, with headline earnings per share (HEPS) increasing by more than 50%.

MTN was forced to cut off 5.7 million customers in Ghana due to non-compliance with a government directive that required the capture of biometric data of customers.

US markets remained flat, with the S&P 500 closing 0.1% lower and the Nasdaq 0.1% higher.

The Nikkei 225 is down 1.8% in early morning trade, while the Hang Seng index declined 0.4%.

Here is the biggest news of the day.

  • Cyril Ramaphosa seems to have made a U-turn on resignation as allies convince him to fight for survival. Ramaphosa was reportedly set to announce that he was stepping down via a televised address last night following the release of the damning section 89 panel report about his conduct relating to the theft of foreign currency from his Phala Phala game farm in 2020. The address did not take place. Presidency spokesperson Vincent Magwenya said that Ramaphosa was still processing the report’s findings and that he was meeting with relevant role-players in the governing party. Magwenya apologized for creating the impression that the president would be addressing the nation and said that an announcement was still imminent. According to sources cited by the Mail & Guardian, several high-ranking ANC members allied to the president strove to convince him that they would fight to ensure he makes it out of a special National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting scheduled for Friday afternoon and Ramaphosa has elected to leave his fate to the NEC. Ramaphosa will face a hostile NEC, with high-ranking leaders, including Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Lindiwe Sisulu, and Tony Yengeni indicating that they would call for him to step down.
  • Tiger Brands reports a huge increase in earnings. Revenue increased by 10% to R34 billion for the year ended September. However, sales volumes declined by 1%. Headline earnings per share (HEPS) is up 51% to R17.02. The company declared a final dividend of R6.53 per share, bringing the total dividend for the year to R9.73, 18% higher than last year.
  • MTN was forced to cut off 5.7 million customers in Ghana. Ghana’s National Communications Authority previously instructed telecom operators to deactivate all services to those customers who had not completed both stages of the subscriber registration process. MTN Ghana had 22.1 million subscribers that had completed stage 1 (linkage of the Ghana Card). 16.4 million customers had also completed stage 2 (capture of biometric data), leaving 5.7 million customers in breach of the directive. Consequently, MTN Ghana is in the process of complying with the NCA’s directive to deactivate non-compliant subscribers and is on track to restrict all services by the end of today.
  • Elon Musk kicks off first semi-truck deliveries while China recalls mount for Tesla. Musk led an event at the company’s factory in Sparks, Nevada, yesterday to kick off deliveries of the company’s Semi, a heavy-duty electric truck. The company plans to recall more than 435,000 cars in China and issue software updates to fix a defect that stops the rear lights on the car from illuminating. Tesla also announced a recall of more than 80,000 cars in China last week over seatbelt and software issues.