Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
Coronavirus: Global coronavirus cases have hit 4,181,021, with 283,868 deaths. Recoveries are up to 1,493,401, leaving 2,403,752 active cases, where 47,035 are in serious or critical condition. In South Africa, confirmed cases have passed the 10,000 mark, with 10,015 cases now confirmed, and 194 people succumbing to the virus. Recoveries have also increased to 4,173 – leaving the country with 5,648 active cases.
- Collateral damage: There is nothing more that government can do to prevent the coronavirus spreading in South Africa, says infectious disease specialist, Professor Shabir Madhi. In an interview with the Daily Maverick, Madhi said that the country’s lockdown bought time, but now the collateral damage – including other infections (like TB) being neglected, and malnutrition among children – is increasing. The virus will be with us a long time, he said, and it was now up to the people of South Africa to do what is necessary to slow their exposure. [Daily Maverick]
- Floodgates open: More South Africans are disregarding lockdown rules, with KwaZulu Natal premier Sihle Zikalala saying it’s as if the ‘floodgates have opened’ since the country moved to lockdown level 4. In KZN alone, 1,200 people have been arrested this month for breaching lockdown rules, while road traffic has also increased significantly. The premier warned that authorities would be clamping down harder and out in full force to uphold the regulations. [TimesLive]
- Curb-side collection: The Restaurant Association of South Africa is appealing to government to allow for customer collections at restaurants, as the food industry continues to suffer under lockdown conditions in the country. While food services have opened up for delivery, the association said that this route is simply not viable for most restaurants, who cannot afford to rely on third party groups for the service. It is appealing to allow for customers to be able to pick up orders ‘curb-side’, without entering the restaurants and coming into contact with other customers. [EWN]
- SAA Appeal: South African Airways’ business rescue practitioners will appeal the Labour Court ruling preventing them from moving ahead with a retrenchment process, which was initiated as part of their plan to wind down the failed business, which no longer has government’s financial support. The court ruled that the process was unfair as the administrators had not yet published a rescue plan. [BusinessLive (paywall)]
- Markets: While the dominant themes continue to prevail, the rand has managed to break a leg stronger in the early hours of the morning, as the dollar came under pressure. With markets being largely driven by sentiment, the rand will be looking for a new catalyst to break out of the recent broad range of R18.00-R19.00. On Monday the rand was trading at R18.26 to the dollar, R22.70 to the pound and R19.81 to the euro. [XE]