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 62.76 million confirmed, with the death toll reaching 1,460,500. In South Africa, there have been 2,302 new cases, taking the total reported to 790,004. Deaths have reached 21,535 (a daily increase of 58), while recoveries have climbed to 731,242, leaving the country with a balance of 37,227 active cases.

  • Absa data leak: Absa banking customers have been informed of an ‘internal data leak’ that has exposed personal details of clients, including ID numbers, contact details, addresses and account numbers. The data was exposed due to the actions of an employee who gave the information to external parties. Absa said it has laid criminal charges against the employee, and will pursue further action against parties that received it. The bank also said it will monitor transactions and look for any suspicious activity on the accounts affected. [MyBroadband]

  • Vaccine: News around global Covid-19 vaccines need to be tempered with a dose of reality. It is unlikely that rollout of vaccines will start in December, with approvals for rollout plans only likely to be made in the month – meanwhile, rollouts will generally be slow and costly, with the earliest viable date being near the end of Q1 2021. Furthermore, some vaccines have not been tested on key demographics (ie, those over 55, who are most affected by Covid). However, there is hope for poorer countries, where plans are in place to assist with doses when available. [Daily Maverick]

  • Moyane vs Gordhan: The first day of the cross examination of Public Enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan at the State Capture commission descended into insults and jabs between the minister and former SARS commissioner Tom Moyane’s lawyer. In a hostile back and forth, Moyane’s legal team posited that Gordhan had no evidence of his accusations that Moyane was involved with the ‘state capture project’, and that the minister was racist. Gordhan, meanwhile, did not answer questions directly, and was generally combative. [702]

  • No go: Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has lost her latest court battle to try and interdict the process that has been launched in parliament to remove her from office. Mkhwebane applied for leave to appeal the denial of her interdict application, but the courts said she failed to provide legal grounds to do so. She wants the constitutionality of the rules adopted by parliament to impeach her to be tested. Mkhwebane has suffered several embarrassing defeats in court over the years, with MPs calling for her to be removed. [TimesLive]

  • Markets: The rand came under pressure and slipped as markets await the two-day congressional testimony from Fed chair Jerome Powell that will provide some direction on stimulus and the US economy. Chinese Caixin manufacturing index surprised by outperforming market expectations. The rand starts the day at R15.43 to the dollar, R19.45 to the euro and R20.61 to the pound. Commentary by Peregrine Treasury Solutions. [XE]

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5 important things happening in South Africa today