Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
Coronavirus: Global infections are approaching 16.5 million confirmed cases since the start of the year, with the death toll over 653,000. In South Africa, cases have climbed to 459,761, with deaths now at 7,257. Recoveries have risen to 287,313, leaving a balance of 165,191 active cases.
- To court again: Government is facing more court action over its handling of the Covid-19 crisis, and its alleged misuse of the Disaster Management Act. The Helen Suzman Foundation is the group pushing the court action, and it says that government and its ministers are using the DMA to entirely circumvent the constitutional duties of parliament and other members of cabinet. The foundation says the act is being used to hand a ‘staggering’ amount of power to Cogta minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, with little to no oversight. [TimesLive]
- Dodgy procurement: Parliament’s finance committees demand answers from National Treasury around the procurement of protective equipment, which are under scrutiny and investigation. The procurement of this equipment is at the centre of corruption allegations – where some companies being used as suppliers are brand new start-ups with no track record, or are in non-related fields such as IT and plumbing. 
- Eskom tariffs: The High Court has R69 billion over the next three years from customers in the form of higher electricity tariffs. Eskom was disputing a decision by energy regulator Nersa to deduct the 69 billion rand equity injection given to it by the government in its allowable revenue method for the 2019/20, 2020/21 and 2021/22 financial years. Higher tariffs would pile more pressure on cash-strapped households and business buckling under the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. [Reuters]
- New SAA: The business rescue plan for SAA, which will see the creation of a new airline from its ashes, is now fully in effect – despite silence and confusion around how the plan will be funded. The failed airline’s administrators say they have received all the necessary assurances and commitments to put the plan in action. However, while Treasury has committed to “mobilise funding” for the process, there has been no word on where the R10 billion-plus needed will come from. [EWN]
- Markets: South Africa’s rand retreated on Tuesday, pulling back from a strong rally as risk demand globally paused with investors eyeing the US central bank’s latest policy meeting. The US Federal Reserve meets this week, and is expected to reiterate a dovish policy stance and the benefits of an average inflation target, which would allow rates to stay lower for longer, a boon for high-yielding assets. On Wednesday, the rand is at R16.49 to the dollar, R21.31 to the pound and R19.34 to the euro. Commentary by Reuters. [XE]