South Africa’s taxpayers might have to foot the bill for the recent fire that caused extensive damage to Parliament’s buildings in Cape Town. Sunday Times reported on January 9, that Public Works Acting Director-General, Imtiaz Fazel, told the newspaper the cost of insuring a R141-bn state property portfolio of more than 82,000 buildings is unaffordable. Parliament might now be faced with a bill of R221-m – excluding the cost of furniture, laptops, carpets, sound equipment and other movable assets – to renovate the buildings. President Ramaphosa commented that the fire "devastated the parliamentary precinct and its contents and assets, including Parliament's historical treasures of heritage".
Looking at markets globally, the year started with mixed signals as investors are still trying to digest the prospect of higher interest rates in 2022. Minutes from the US Federal Reserve’s December meeting suggested that policy support will be dialed back faster-than-expected as inflation remains persistent and economic conditions are improving.
Important announcements for the week ahead: The world’s eyes will be on the release of the latest US Consumer Price Index (CPI). Meanwhile, the local economic data is subdued.