Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
Coronavirus: Global Covid-19 infections have hit 60.5 million confirmed, with the death toll reaching 1,423,000. In South Africa, there have been 3,069 new cases, taking the total reported to 778,571. Deaths have reached 21,289 (a daily increase of 88). Recovery data has not been published as government continues to reconcile its figures.
- Black Friday warning: Health minister Zweli Mkhize has warned South Africans to proceed with caution when shopping for Black Friday deals, saying that failure to keep social distancing and hygiene protocols in place will result in a spike in Covid-19 cases. Black Friday is expected to be a big shopping day in the country, albeit smaller than before, and has been identified as a potential ‘super-spreader event’. Most retailers have tried to mitigate possible spikes by taking sales online. [TimesLive, BusinessTech]
- Not my choice: Finance minister Tito Mboweni said it was not his personal choice to bail out SAA with a R10.5 billion payment to handle its business rescue plan, but said it was his mandate as minister of the portfolio to implement the decisions of cabinet. The decision to bail out SAA has caused backlash, as it comes at the cost of other spheres of government, including local municipalities where the vulnerable people residing there will never be able to even make use of an airline. It has been characterised as stealing from the poor to give to the rich. [News24]
- WC surge: The Western Cape government is taking steps to increase enforcement of Covid-19 regulations as cases continue to mount in the province. All sub-districts have seen a spike in cases, with hospitals starting to struggle with the influx of new patients. The provincial disaster management team said it would work with police to inspect large gatherings, venues and workplaces to ensure that the regulations are being adhered to. It will also continue testing, screening and contact tracing. [EWN]
- PP vs President: President Cyril Ramaphosa and public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane are squaring off in the Constitutional Court, as the latter tries to get court rulings against her reports into the funding of the president’s 2017 ANC election campaign overturned. The president’s lawyers say that Mkhwebane’s report went to great lengths to ‘nail’ the president, with findings of money laundering and recommendations he be prosecuted. Mkhwebane’s own team has conceded that findings in the report to that effect overstepped, and may not have been correct. [Daily Maverick]
- Markets: The dollar faces a weekly decline as risk appetite continues to improve, even amidst a global jump in Covid-19 cases. Chinese Industrial Profits climbed, beating expectations, while UK housing proxies are due for release later today. The rand starts the day at R15.21 to the dollar, R18.12 to the euro and R20.31 to the pound. Commentary by Peregrine Treasury Solutions. [XE]