25-05-18, Johannesburg. Petrol attendants fill up petrol tanks at a Total station on the N14. Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency (ANA)

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 South Africa’s rand firmed yesterday as the dollar fell, but was on track for a weekly loss as escalating global trade tensions and concerns over the health of the local economy weighed on sentiment.

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South Africa recorded an R3.52billion trade surplus in May from an upwardly revised R1.17bn in April. 

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The share price of Barclays Africa, soon to be renamed Absa, jumped by 5.35 percent on Friday as the company’s new strategy began to take shape with the appointment of heads of its retail and business banking (RBB) division. 

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 Embattled retailer Steinhoff International is being investigated by the Hawks, and three cases related to allegations of fraud at Steinhoff and its subsidiaries have been reported after the group submitted a series of allegations against former chief executive Markus Jooste. 

5. Tariff hikes to take over this week

South Africans can expect a number of big increases this week, starting today with water and sanitation tariff hikes, electricity increases and also a petrol price hike kicking in on Wednesday. 

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The retail price of petrol in South Africa will rise by more than 1.5 percent from July 4, while the price of wholesale diesel will rise by 1.8 percent, the energy department said on Sunday.

7. SA to sign African free trade agreement

According to Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies, South Africa will sign the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTFA) agreement. 

In a video posted by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on Twitter, Davies explained that the country is behind the free trade plan.

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- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE