Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and over a hundred other major honours, has called a press conference to “make an important announcement”. And that’s all he’s saying, which is unusually mysterious for such an outspoken man. We are reliably informed that it has something to do with his personal future. Keep in mind that he turns 79 in October.
The Reserve Bank will announce the Monetary Policy Committee’s interest rate decision in a speech starting at 3pm, and carried live on the usual television stations. There is a great deal of political pressure for a 50 basis point cut, but we like to think the MPC has the backbone to keep rates steady, as it should.
Busy day for Kumba Iron Ore. It is releasing interim results this morning, which normally would be of little mainstream interest. Except for that little tiff that Kumba is having with Arcelor Mittal, which threatens to bring about a kind of limited economic armageddon. Kumba has to be in two places at once, though; at roughly the same time it is due to present those results to investors in Johannesburg, it is also due to be meeting with Arcelor in Pretoria, where trade and industry minister Rob Davies is supposed to personally mediate.
President Jacob Zuma will reveal at least some of what ministers, provincial premiers, department heads and a bunch of other officials were discussing behind closed doors over the two days of the mid-year cabinet lekgotla. Don’t expect a sudden policy shift or anything; the word “recommitted” is more likely to come up. Potential highlight: the question of an Olympic bid.
Later this evening the new national daily newspaper New Age, which just happens to be funded by a family close to the ANC and headed up by Essop Pahad, has promised to share some of its plans. Our number one burning questions, of course, is how much of the vast amount of money various levels of government spend on advertising every year is going to be diverted to the new player. And whether Pahad still thinks such money should not be spent with newspapers he considers overly critical of the government.
Coceko Pakade, CEO of the SA Social Security Agency, is scheduled to face the media late morning and talk about wasteful expenditure. That could end up as an all-day affair, given the sheer evil genius employees of his agency have shown when it comes to fraud, corruption, misspending, overspending, stupid spending and squandering of every kind.
Economic data: civil debt case numbers for May from Statistics SA.