5 important things happening in South Africa today

Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:

Coronavirus: Global infections have now climbed to 4,342,685, with deaths at 292,893. Recoveries have increased to 1,602,539, leaving 2,447,253 active cases, with 46,342 people in serious or critical condition. In South Africa, total infections are currently at 11,350, with 206 deaths. 4,357 people have recovered, meaning the country has 6,787 active cases.

  • Getting anxious: President Cyril Ramaphosa has not addressed the nation about the coronavirus lockdown in three weeks, and South Africans are getting anxious, say political analysts. This leaves citizens in the dark about government’s plans, which appear to be secret – an unknown path that the National Command Council is unwilling to share. As people get more frustrated with the lack of transparency, the calls for greater freedoms – and the end of the lockdown – will increase, they said. [702]

  • Non- compliance: Of over 2,800 business inspections done by the Labour Department in April and May, only 60% of the companies were found to be complying with the nationwide lockdown regulations. The results were worse at state companies, where only 50% were found to be compliant. Depending on the level of non-compliance, these businesses were either told to improve, or were sent prohibition notices. The department warned that it will be ramping up inspections as more businesses open under eased lockdown levels. [Daily Maverick]

  • Name and shame: The Competition Commission is naming and shaming more companies which it says have hiked prices of essential goods during lockdown – where face mask prices were hike by as much as 970%. The two companies, Sicuro Safety CC and Hennox Supplies, join Dis-Chem pharmacies and Babelegi Workwear in the commission’s bad books, having previously been found to have done the same. Dis-Chem is challenging the case. All cases will land up at the Competition Tribunal, facing severe fines. [TimesLive]

  • Promising results: The World Health Organisation said on Tuesday that some treatments appear to be limiting the severity or length of Covid-19 and that it was focusing on learning more about four or five of the most promising ones. While the specific treatments weren’t mentioned, several studies around the world are looking at combinations of antiviral medicines which have suggested they may help patients fight off the virus. [Reuters]

  • Markets: South Africa’s rand firmed on Tuesday as demand for emerging markets was boosted by signs of easing tensions between China and the United States. The stock market was also buoyed by the easing trade tensions despite fears of a second wave of coronavirus emerging in certain countries. This in turn assisted the rand, which has gained just over 1%. On Wednesday, the rand was at R18.37 to the dollar, R22.54 to the pound and R19.93 to the euro. [XE]

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5 important things happening in South Africa today