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Top reads on Fin24: Eskom inquiry, GDP surprise and Moyane on Makwaka

Dec 05 2017 18:33

Cape Town - ICYMI: A roundup of Tuesday's must-read financial and economic news.

#Eskom Inquiry hears Molefe 'was worth R30m pension payout'

Brian Molefe: Resigned, retired, retrenched, retai

Eskom executive support manager Anton Minnaar has told Parliament’s inquiry into state capture that former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe R30m pension payout was worthwhile, as he helped defeat load shedding. 

Minnaar was the first witness to give evidence at the inquiry on Tuesday. 

Asked whether, in his view, he believed that Molefe should have been given a R30m payout after 18 months at the power utility, Minnaar said it depended on the performance of the individual. 

Minnaar said that Molefe managed to break the back of load shedding under his watch.  He said he was speaking in his personal capacity.

Minnaar also insisted that Molefe was a permanent employee and applied for early retirement, which entitled him to the pension payout.

Meanwhile the controversial former Eskom CFO Anoj Singh was sharply criticised by Parliament's oversight committee on public enterprises on Tuesday for not submitting documents to the committee on time.

"I want you to register our disappointment," the committee's chair Daphne Rantho told Singh. 

She said he was given six months to prepare his documents. 

"You seem to have undermined the work of Parliament," said Rantho. 

Rantho said Singh only submitted a 400 page bundle of documents to the committee at 23:00 on Monday night.

Eskom CFO Anoj Singh. (Pic: Gallo Images)

"We are going to give you another date when you should come to the committee and come to account for money spent on Eskom," said Rantho. 

"We are therefore not going to continue with you today," said Rantho.

GDP surprise: SA economy grows 2%

iStock_sa economy

South Africa’s economy grew by 2% in the third quarter of 2017, on the back of a strong performance in the agricultural sector.  

In his first address as South Africa’s new statistician general, Risenga Maluleke said the largest contributor to growth in the third quarter was agriculture, with a 44.2% share.

But mining and manufacturing also contributed significantly to the growth recorded.

Mining and quarrying increased by 6.6% and contributed 0.5 of a percentage point to GDP growth. Electricity was the biggest laggard, down by 5.5% or R6bn.

Rand cheers Ramaphosa lead, GDP growth

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. (Pic: Gallo Imag

The rand rallied on Tuesday, strengthening to below R13.50 to the US dollar as the race for the ANC president enters the final stages.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is now firmly in the lead after winning backing from most ANC branches to succeed President Jacob Zuma as ruling party leader.

RMB currency strategist Ilke van Zyl said the positive turn in local politics could buoy the rand further.

The local unit has clawed back more than a rand since it breached R14.50/$ just over two weeks ago on plans by Zuma to push through free higher education.

Positive GDP growth numbers also buoyed the unit and by 17:55 the rand was trading at R13.47/$.

Makwakwa reinstated amid probes by SARS and Hawks, Parliament hears

High ranking South African Revenue Service (SARS) official Jonas Makwakwa returned to his post from a suspension while being investigated for tax irregularities by SARS itself, as well as the Hawks.

This was revealed in the Standing Committee on Finance's meeting with SARS commissioner Tom Moyane and the law firm Hogan Lovells on Tuesday.

Makwakwa was suspended, with full pay and benefits, on September 15, 2016, following a report by the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) that he allegedly made "unusual and suspicious" deposits into a number of bank accounts between 2010 and 2016, Fin24 reported. 

It was also alleged that more than R450 000 was deposited into the bank account of his girlfriend, Kelly-Ann Elskie. 

READ: Makwakwa reinstated amid probes by SARS and Hawks, Parliament hears

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