Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
Coronavirus: In South Africa, there have been 7,209 new cases of Covid-19, taking the total reported to 2,302,304. Deaths have reached 67,080 (+221), while recoveries have climbed to 2,069,085, leaving the country with a balance of 166,139 active cases. The total number of vaccines administered is 5,328,110 (+233,097).
- Last Word: The presidency has rebuked Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula’s remarks that there’s no evidence of insurrection or a coup attempt in the unrest that took place last week. Mapisa-Nqakula contradicted the president on Sunday, saying that she does not believe an insurrection took place. However, the presidency said that the security cluster’s briefings were clear: the violent riots and looting were orchestrated by individuals attempting to destabilise the government and the economy. it is not clear where any views counter to this are sourced, the presidency said. The deputy minister of defence said the final word rests with president Cyril Ramaphosa, who is commander in chief of the SANDF. [ENCA]
- High Alert: Police are reportedly on high alert, after receiving intelligence that the ‘next wave’ of orchestrated attacks in South Africa will target police stations. These alleged raids will attempt to get their hands on arms and ammunition. Weekend reports pointed to similar tactics, saying that the government’s security forces were working to protect these targets. Officials have warned that the attacks seen last week risk spilling over to other provinces. While things appear calmer in hotspot areas, smaller attacks are still ongoing. Police and SANDF visibility is being ramped up in identified locations. [Mail & Guardian]
- Operational: Where possible, businesses that were disrupted by the last week of unrest are returning to operation, including those that were in the thick of it. The Toyota manufacturing plant in Durban will resume operations from today, with the assembly line and equipment escaping damage in the riots. According to economists, while the impact on business operations may spook some foreign investors in South Africa, the fact that the unrest was orchestrated in opposition to the Constitutional Court, there is a lot of faith in the soundness of the country’s ultimate rule of law. In the long term, depending on where things go politically, investment could return stronger in the end. [Moneyweb]
- Arrested: Six ‘key arrests’ have been made in relation to inciting violence, including former Ukhozi FM radio host Ngizwe Mchunu, who handed himself over to police. Mchunu was a vocal supporter of Jacob Zuma in the last few weeks and was the one who threatened president Cyril Ramaphosa and deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo, giving them three days to release Zuma, “or hell will break loose”. While many other arrests have taken place, related to inciting the violence via channels like WhatsApp, Mchunu is part of the 12 key arrests officials are trying to make for orchestrating the events. Six remain at large, with more arrests expected soon. [Daily Maverick]
- Markets: South Africa’s rand fell 0.7% after wild swings over the past few sessions, as the weak risk appetite exacerbated concerns over civil violence in the country. Rising virus cases, particularly of the highly infectious Delta variant, cast a pall over most risk-driven assets and encouraged flows into safe havens such as the dollar and the Japanese yen. One-month dollar options on the rand, a common gauge of volatility, hovered just below three-month highs. On Tuesday the rand was at R14.57/$, R17.16/€ and R19.90/£. [Reuters]