1. We are all waking up in a house on fire this morning after a Black Tuesday of shocking economic numbers and a dispute over whether the ANC is considering printing money to get the country of its slump.

SA’s economy shrank by a massive 3.2% in the first quarter of this year from the last quarter – the worst performance in a decade.

Weak levels of investment and more than 270 hours of loadshedding wreaked havoc across the economy, while a gold mining strike and a weak grape harvest added to the pain.

Mining (-10.8%), manufacturing (-8.8%) and agriculture (-13.2%) took the worst hits.

Interest rates will almost certainly be cut next month to bolster the economy.

The rand weakened sharply following the GDP release, but then things got really interesting…

2. ANC secretary general Ace Magashule announced yesterday afternoon that the National Executive Committee resolved at the latest Lekgotla that the Reserve Bank’s mandate should be expanded – and that it is considering quantitative easing.

The prospect of South Africa basically printing money to get itself out of an economic mess sent the rand into a tailspin. In a best-case scenario, that would cause inflationary pressure – in a worst-case scenario, well, Zimbabwe.

Last night, finance minister Tito Mboweni rubbished his own party’s stance:

And the chair of the ANC’s economic transformation committee, Enoch Godongwana, also issued a statement to say that Magashule's comments that the party considering constituting a task-team to explore quantitative easing at the bank were "inaccurate". There was also no decision by the ANC to expand the mandate of the SARB. There was no decision by the ANC to expand the mandate of the central bank.

The rand is trading at R14.66 this morning, from  R14.46 the same time yesterday.

3. The SA Revenue Service announced on Tuesday that it has lifted the tax return threshold from R350 000 to R500 000. This means that people who earn less than R500 000 per year, and meet certain other criteria, will not need need to file tax returns, commissioner Edward Kieswetter said at a media briefing in Pretoria. 

4.  Auditing firm Deloitte has replaced all senior auditors, including an audit partner, on the audit of sugar giant Tongaat Hullet.

Last week, Tongaat confirmed that its 2018 financial results cannot be trusted, and estimated that assets were overstated by as much as R4.5 billion. Deloitte has been Tongaat’s auditors for more than 15 years. Deloitte was also Steinhoff’s auditors for years, before that company went into meltdown at the end of 2017.  On Tuesday afternoon, Deloitte said it has launched an investigation into the audits the firm completed at Tongaat. 

5. Absa will only have a new CEO by next year, Business Day reported this morning. The bank is looking at a "very small" pool of individuals for a potential CEO.

Reactions to the dismal economic growth numbers

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