5 important things happening in South Africa today

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

Coronavirus: Global Covid-19 infections have hit 32 million confirmed, with the death toll reaching 978,000. In South Africa, there have been 1,861 new cases, taking the total reported to 667,049. Deaths have reached 16,283 (an increase of 77), while recoveries have climbed to 595,916, leaving the country with a balance of 54,844 active cases.

  • Tata ma millions: The National Lotteries Commission (NLC), has been facing a slew of allegations of mismanagement and corruption. The commission has now finally released lists of its beneficiaries, after first fighting the move. Civil action group Outa has brought charges against the commission on the grounds of racketeering and fraud. Outa alleges that funds have been siphoned off the Lotto, and has called for a full investigation into the complaints. [702]

  • SA Express: Struggling airline SA Express will avoid liquidation thanks to crowdsourcing on the part of its employees. The employees will now effectively become the new owners of the airline, through funding agreements supported by investors, unions, the state, and the business rescue practitioners. The funding method is relatively new in South Africa, and will be proceeding with caution to ensure that risks are mitigated. [Moneyweb]

  • Digging heels: Convicted ANC councillor in Nelson Mandela Bay, Andile Lungisa, is refusing to step down from his position – saying that his prison sentence is a result of a political campaign against him. He is appealing the sentence. Section 119 of the Municipal Systems Act, makes a councillor ineligible to continue serving after they are sentenced to a prison term longer than 12 months without the option of paying a fine. Lungisa was convicted of assault after smashing a water jug against a DA MP’s head in parliament. [M&G]

  • Removing statues: President Cyril Ramaphosa has thrown his support behind the movement to remove apartheid-era statues from around the country and relocating them. He also supports the renaming of streets and town names, done with the goal of nation building. The president said that the move isn’t about erasing history, but instead about listening to the lived realities of those who were affected by apartheid, and creating a new path forward as a united nation. [EWN]

  • Market: After gaining over 20% this year, gold is on track for its worst week in over a month, as the dollar continues to claw back some of its recently lost ground. The strong dollar saw the rand come under additional pressure, trading to a low of R17.20/$ while South Africa celebrated Heritage Day, although the unit subsequently recovered lost ground to trade below R17. On Friday, the rand starts the day at R16.92 to the dollar, R19.74 to the euro and R21.57 to the pound. [XE]

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5 important things happening in South Africa today