5 important things happening in South Africa today

Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:

Coronavirus: In South Africa, there have been 11,215 new cases of Covid-19, taking the total reported to 2,295,095. Deaths have reached 66,859 (+183), while recoveries have climbed to 2,050,164, leaving the country with a balance of 178,072 active cases. The total number of vaccines administered is 5,095,013 (+18,683).

  • Contradiction: Defence minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula says there is no evidence that a coup attempt or insurrection took place in South Africa over the past week, contracting the views expressed by president Cyril Ramaphosa in his address to the nation on Friday night. Mapisa-Nqakula told the parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on Defence on Sunday that it was criminality and thuggery driving the looting and riots, with “counter-revolution” forces at play, seeking to sow division. Ramaphosa, meanwhile, made it clear in his address that it was a failed insurrection. [TimesLive]

  • Underestimation: The figures being put out around expected damages as a result of last week’s looting are massively underestimated, analysts say. With thousands of formal stores, factories and warehouses impacted, the R5 billion-plus number is too low. Independent analysts say that Durban’s losses are R20 billion alone, in loss of stock and damage to property, while the whole bill probably comes closer to R50 billion. Listed retailers have counted damages at 1,048 stores – with non-listed stores, this could easily surpass 3,000. This is even before factoring in the informal outlets which were also impacted. [Moneyweb]

  • Pilots: SAA and the SAA Pilots Association have reached an agreement, but will still see pilots with the short end of the deal. Pilots have not been paid for 16 months, having been locked out since December, and on strike since April. Under the deal, pilots will be retrenched based on their current salaries. The SAAPA said that it was the best deal they could hope for at this stage, being owed pay since 2019. It said SAA had taken a ‘starve them out’ approach with the pilots and ignored all alternatives presented to it to help save jobs. SAA had 750 pilots at the onset of its business rescue and now has 88. [ENCA]

  • Zuma: Jacob Zuma’s corruption trial is expected to continue today, where he faces charges of fraud, racketeering and graft. He is accused of taking R4 million in bribes from French arms company, Thales. Both parties have pleaded not guilty. Zuma is also arguing he should be acquitted of all charges without a trial, claiming bias against him, and alleging that the entire case has been concocted by political opponents. The state has dismissed Zuma’s claims, calling his special plea another delay tactic. Zuma’s case also relies on dismissed evidence and overturned rulings. Zuma remains incarcerated for being in contempt of the Constitutional Court. [EWN, News24]

  • Markets: South Africa’s rand led gains across emerging market currencies on Friday, as it trimmed steep weekly losses on fears of civil unrest. The rand rose 0.6% but was set to lose more than 2% at the end of the week after a wave of violence tore across 17.07major financial hubs in the country. The currency was the worst-performing emerging market (EM) unit last week. On Monday, the rand starts the week at R14.45/$, R17.07/€ and R19.89/£. [Reuters]

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5 important things happening in South Africa today