Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
Coronavirus: Global Covid-19 infections have hit 109.7 million confirmed, with the death toll reaching 2.4 million. In South Africa, there have been 1,102 new cases, taking the total reported to 1,492,909. Deaths have reached 48,094 (a daily increase of 195), while recoveries have climbed to 1,391,155, leaving the country with a balance of 53,660 active cases.
- Delinquent: Delinquent director Dudu Myeni has suffered yet another blow, after the full bench of the High Court dismissed her bid to halt a delinquency order. The former SAA chair was declared a delinquent director by the courts last year. She is being taken to account for maladministration at the national carrier, which critics say saw the group lose billions of rands. With the latest dismissal of her attempt to be free of the delinquency label, she will will have to leave all directorship positions, including that of the Jacob Zuma Trust. [EWN]
- Fly again: Investors have reportedly agreed to capitalise and fund debt-ridden SA Express, as a worker-led crowdfunding campaign is put on ice. A group of workers under Fly SAX, hoped to raise R250 million to recapitalise the airline. This will now be taken over by an unnamed investor – said to be a “reputable South African company” – which will provide capital, after which two other investment groups are expected to come onboard when the recapitalisation has got the airline off the ground. [Moneyweb]
- Filling gaps: Western Cape premier Alan Winde says it is the provincial government’s duty to look after its citizens, even if that means having to find many plan Bs and diverging from national government when it comes to procuring resources. He said the province has done so by trying to leave Eskom and load shedding behind through sourcing independent power; running feeding and nutrition programmes; and now most recently trying to secure more Covid-19 vaccines. He said the province isn’t opposing national government, just filling gaps left by them. [Daily Maverick]
- Zuma: Former president Jacob Zuma has attacked the Constitutional Court, saying that those in the judiciary are fighting legal battles instead of pursuing justice – and seems to have resigned himself to the fact that a sentence against him is coming. Zuma has openly defied court rulings ordering him to appear before the State Capture Commission, where a multitude of witnesses have fingered him as being a central pillar in the saga. Zuma has also attacked deputy chief justice Zondo, as well as president Cyril Ramaphosa in his campaign of defiance. [TimesLive]
- Markets: While the rest of the world remains optimistic regarding a vaccine-driven recovery, the South African government is sending one million AstraZeneca doses back to India following a small study showing the vaccine is ineffective against the local variant. Asian stock markets hit an all-time high as the equity bull run continues, while other risk assets such as the local rand also enjoy the risk rally. The rand starts the day at R14.42 to the dollar, R17.52 to the euro and R20.12 to the pound. [Peregrine Treasury Solutions]