Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
- Striking unions have threatened to shut down South Africa’s entire aviation industry by extending industrial action beyond state-run South African Airways. SAA says it is losing R50 million a day every day the strike is on, having cancelled hundreds of flights. The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and the South African Cabin Crew Association (Sacca) now want to launch a secondary strike. [Reuters]
- Meanwhile, SAA has hit back at claims by the unions that its flights are unsafe. The unions made the claim on the basis that flights were not being checked and signed off, as the technical staff were striking, thus posing a significant safety risk. However, SAA said that pilots and security staff were on duty to ensure safe operations. Learners from SAA technical were being used in place of striking workers. [Media24]
- The Department of Basic Education has warned against the spread of fake news by religious lobby groups around its Comprehensive Sexuality Education. The lobby groups are spreading fake images of what they claim is contained in the curriculum, including graphic depictions of sexual intercourse and masturbation, which are not in the programme at all. The department has published all workbooks for the CSE, which parents can check for themselves. [TimesLive, BusinessTech]
- Interim DA leader John Steenhuisen says he was loyal to his predecessor Mmusi Maimane until the very end – but that does not mean that everything was well with the DA under him. Steenhuisen said that it is time for the DA to take its focus off constantly nailing the ANC, and to start showing South Africans why the DA is better. The party should hold the ANC to account, as opposition, but needs to solidify its own policies as a viable alternative. [EWN, IOL]
- The rand benefitted from the slight weakening of the US dollar going into Saturday, to hold at around R14.71 to the dollar over the weekend. This week, eyes will be on the ongoing impeachment process of Donald Trump. On Monday, the rand is trading at R14.70 to the dollar, R19.00 to the pound and R16.26 to the euro.