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 39.8 million confirmed, with the death toll reaching 1.11 million. In South Africa, there have been 1,662 new cases, taking the total reported to 703,793. Deaths have reached 18,471 (a daily increase of 63), while recoveries have climbed to 634,543, leaving the country with a balance of 50,779 active cases.

Heat wave: Gauteng, North West, Mpumalanga, Free State and eastern parts of the Northern Cape are expected to experience a heat wave on Monday and Tuesday this week, with high temperatures persisting to the weekend. Stay hydrated and out of direct sunlight. People are advised to stay indoors between 11am and 3pm where possible.

  • Election: ANC members who are aspiring to be councillors or other elected officials, but have a dark cloud over their heads due to allegations of corruption, can still be eligible for those positions, as long as they are given the all clear from the relevant party committee. This is part of the new municipal election guideline launched by the party. Members have expressed concern over the coming elections, expecting it to be a fierce competition with the ANC’s majority under continued threat. [Daily Maverick]

  • Covid: Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize and his wife, Dr May Mkhize, have tested positive for Covid-19. The minister said he started showing symptoms over the last few days and has since entered quarantine at his home. May Mkhize was admitted for observation and rehydration, while all contacts have been advised to self-isolate and get tested. The minister warned that mask wearing and sanitising remains a top priority for all, and that a second wave of the virus remains a risk. [SA coronavirus]

  • State capture: The Zondo commission is now homing in on police minister Bheki Cele, with investigators wanting to analyse the minister’s accounts for traces of companies he is linked to. Cele is reportedly tied to four companies, three of which he is still serving as a director on. It is not yet clear why the commission wants to investigate these companies. The minister says he has declared all of his financial interests to parliament and isn’t aware of any subpoena for his financial records. [TimesLive]

  • Burnout: Research from the University of KwaZulu-Natal shows that many health professionals – including doctors and nurses – are suffering from burnout, with a few going beyond and already exhibiting signs of anxiety and depression due to being overworked. Things leading to burnout include long working hours, a lack of resources, poor working conditions and lack of supervision. The results are particularly notable in the year of the Covid-19 outbreak which pushed healthcare facilities to capacity. [702]

  • Markets: The week starts with the focus still firmly on the US elections and potential stimulus deal. Q3 GDP from China, at 4.9% y/y, undershot expectations of 5.2% slightly, but remains in positive terrain. Markets will also be keeping an eye on US, EU and UK central banks, for guidance on economic performance and potential stimulus or policy changes. The rand remains in a narrow range, starting the day at R16.52 to the dollar, R19.35 to the euro and R21.37 to the pound. [XE]

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5 important things happening in South Africa today