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NEWSFLASH NEWS AGENCY 5 January 5 pm

Good afternoon,

In this bulletin:

# Firefighters will this afternoon assess their possible withdrawal from Parliament
# TLUSA is delighted with the reduction in fuel prices
# And, Motorsport: Giniel de Villiers finishes the fourth stage of the Dakar rally in sixth place

# Parliament says firefighters will assess later this afternoon for possible total withdrawal from the area and if the building is safe to be handed over to the South African Police Services. The Presiding Officers, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and Amos Masondo, applauded the firefighters. They further asked all to work together and find ways to ensure that Parliament’s work continues. They also confirmed that the State of the Nation Address, Budget Speech, and other programmes would proceed as planned. Parliament will share further details about where and how these events will occur.

# TLUSA has welcomed the price reduction of fuel prices that will take effect today. TLUSA Regional Chairman Henk van de Graaf has called on companies that are suppliers to the farmers to pass on the relief so that South Africans can have cost-effective foods in the market:

Play sound: ENG TLU SA

# Momentum Investments says in their economic review for 2022 they see South Africa’s growth slowing from an estimated 4.9-percent in 2021 to 2-percent in 2022 and 1.8-percent in 2023. Economist Sanisha Packirisamy says they also expect a normalisation of household savings and an unwinding of supply chain bottlenecks. Defunct municipalities and increased allocations to financially- and operationally-ill state-owned enterprises remain key risks to the country’s fiscal consolidation path. Packirisamy expects headline inflation to average 4.6-percent in 2022 and 4.3-percent in 2023.

# A British school has dropped J.K. Rowling’s name from one of its houses because of the Harry Potter author’s controversial views on transgender issues. AFP reports the Boswells School in Chelmsford, eastern England, said it had changed the name of its red house from Rowling to Holmes, in honour of Olympic gold medallist Dame Kelly Holmes. Rowling has been involved in a simmering row with the transgender community over her belief that women’s sex-based rights should be protected.

# Motorsport: South African driver Giniel de Villiers and his navigator Dennis Murphy finished in sixth place in the fourth stage of the Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia. They are now in fifth place overall. Leader Nasser al-Attiyah and navigator Matthieu Baumel won the stage over 707 kilometres.

# And, financial indicators: The dollar is trading at 15-rand-83-cents and the euro at 17-rand-93-cents. One British pound costs 21-rand-45-cents and Bitcoin trades at 46-thousand-435-dollar-20-cents. Gold is selling at one thousand-825-dollars-47-cents a fine ounce and Brent crude oil is quoted at 81-dollars-03-cents a barrel.

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