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Market Commentary | The week that was

Crude Oil Theft Surges in South Africa: The increasing theft of crude oil from the Transnet pipeline in South Africa is causing security concerns. Syndicates have been illegally tapping the pipeline since 2019, diverting fuel intended for customers like Sasol. The number of incidents has spiked, impacting rail infrastructure and Eskom. Transnet is implementing strict security measures, but the situation remains challenging due to the length of the pipeline. Sasol is worried about the impact on its operations and the economy. Authorities and industry stakeholders want more significant efforts to address the issue.

The Hunt for the Next Public Protector: Parliament has revealed the shortlist of candidates for the position of Public Protector. However, there are concerns regarding the eligibility of one candidate who seems to lack the minimum qualifications required for the role. Additionally, another candidate holds directorship positions in multiple companies, raising potential conflicts of interest, as highlighted in a study conducted by Corruption Watch.

115 CEOs pledge to partner with the Government: The energy crisis and hurdles in the transport and logistics sector still hinder current economic activity and future growth prospects. To reverse the situation, 115 South African business CEOs pledge to partner with the government.

Among those who have signed on are Sibanye-Stillwater CEO Neal Froneman, Remgro’s Jannie Durand, Yellowwoods chair Adrian Enthoven, Anglo American SA chair Nolitha Fakude, Sasol CEO Fleetwood Grobler, Toyota SA CEO Andrew Kirby, Kumba Iron Ore CEO Mpumi Zikalala and former Exxaro head Mxolisi Mgojo.

Markets: US Federal Reserve raised interest rates by 0.25%; future hikes are contingent on incoming data. Eurozone saw a 0.25% rate hike by European Central Bank amid slowing price pressures and weak activity data. In its July meeting, the Central Bank of Chile reduced its benchmark interest rate by 1% to 10.25%, a significant move. The Chilean central bank was the first to implement a policy rate reduction.

Looking at the week ahead: In South Africa, electricity generation numbers will be announced on Thursday. United States non-farm payroll data will be released, and the Bank of England will announce its interest decision.

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