Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
Coronavirus: Global Covid-19 infections have hit 32,9 million confirmed, with the death toll reaching 995,000. In South Africa, there have been 1,268 new cases, taking the total reported to 670,766. Deaths have reached 16,398 (a daily increase of 22), while recoveries have climbed to 603,721, leaving the country with a balance of 50,647 active cases.
- Not enough: Critics say that president Cyril Ramaphosa’s action against defence minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula over the ANC’s use of a SANDF aircraft to fly to Zimbabwe on party business, does not go far enough to punish her – with many calling for her to be axed from the position. The president issued and official reprimand to the minister and docked her pay for 3 months. Opposition parties and civil organisations said this was a slap on the wrists, and said the president should shuffle her out. [EWN]
- Jobs crisis: Stats SA will be publishing the latest unemployment data this week, with analysts expecting a bloodbath. Some predict that the country recorded over 1 million jobs lost during the Covid-19 lockdown – a number of job losses not seen since the 2008/09 global financial crisis. Things could get far worse, economists warn, with slow economic recovery possibly leading to a worse-case of 7 million jobs lost. [Fin24, BusinessTech]
- Data breach: The personal data of millions of South Africans and businesses that were exposed in the Experian breach are now freely available online. Personal banking-related information of 24 million South Africans and 793,749 businesses were exposed following the data breach. The data was first found on the dark web, but anonymous sources have now linked to the data on various other websites, easily accessible by anyone with an internet connection. Experian says its global teams have given no indication that this is the case. [MyBroadband]
- Matrics: Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi says that matric exams will continue as normal, starting 5 November, and won’t be disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The matric exams have already been set and will run until 15 December. Lesufi also called on parents to accept the placement of their children in certain schools for the next school year, which will start in late January. Parents should be receiving SMSes about the placement of their children currently. [ENCA]
- Markets: The rand managed to claw back some lost ground overnight, after sliding yet again on Friday afternoon, reaching lows of R17.20 to the dollar as the local market came to a close. Presidential debates are due to kick off in the US, while a close eye is still being kept on the Covid-19 resurgence in Europe. The rand starts the week at R17.09 to the dollar, R19.88 tot he euro and R21.81 to the pound. Commentary by Peregrine Treasury Solutions. [XE]