Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
Coronavirus: Global coronavirus cases are now well over the 3 million mark, with 3,138,903 reported cases. There have been 218,010 deaths and 956,064 recoveries, leaving 1,964,829 cases active, where 56,966 are in serious or critical condition. In South Africa there are now 4,996 confirmed cases, with 93 deaths.
- Challenge to curfew: The Democratic Alliance (DA) is considering a legal challenge to government’s plans to introduce a curfew from Friday. DA leader John Steenhuisen said his party believes Level 4 restrictions should allow a greater range of economic activity than that proposed by the government and the move to impose a curfew was a step towards authoritarianism. [IOL]
- Taxpayers to foot the bill: The arrival of 187 doctors from Cuba to help combat the coronavirus will ultimately cost South African taxpayers hundreds of millions of rands. President Cyril Ramphosa requested that the doctors be sent as part of an ongoing medical partnership with Cuba, with the total costing projects annual bill set to top R440 million. [BusinessDay]
- Lockdown will lead to poverty: The Institute of Race Relations (IRR) has warned that the longer South Africa’s lockdown remains in place, the more people will be pushed into poverty. The group estimates that the economic cost of the current lockdown ranges from R13 billion to R20 billion a day. [TimesLive]
- SA Express: SA Express has become the first state-owned entity to be placed under provisional liquidation after the failure of its business rescue process. The Department of Public Enterprises, which oversees the operations of SA Express as its sole shareholder, did not oppose the provisional liquidation application. [Daily Maverick]
- Markets: A weaker dollar and renewed risk sentiment saw the rand claw back 1% against the dollar on Tuesday, with markets now awaiting further signal from the Fed regarding the recovery of the US economy. On Wednesday the rand was at R18.57 to the dollar, R23.16 to the pound and R20.15 to the euro. [XE]