Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
Coronavirus: In South Africa, there have been 5,931 new cases of Covid-19, taking the total reported to 2,819,945. Deaths have reached 83,419 (+76), while recoveries have climbed to 2,594,857, leaving the country with a balance of 141,669 active cases. The total number of vaccines administered is 13,454,823 (+24,223).
- Parole: Political parties and civil rights groups are challenging the early release of Jacob Zuma on medical parole. On Sunday, the department of correctional services announced that the former president would be released on medical parole due to undisclosed medical conditions. He served only 58 days of his 15-month sentence for being in contempt of the Constitutional Court. Parties and groups are now planning legal action and other processes to either get the parole reversed or fully disclose the purported medical problems that allowed it to happen. [TimesLive]
- Not so fast: Energy regulator Nersa has put to rest the bold claims that South Africa’s 2,500MW nuclear build is back in action and forging ahead. While the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy said last week that Nersa had concurred with its plans to proceed with the nuclear build, minutes released from the meeting by Nersa show that the regulator’s concurrence is conditional and that several suspensive conditions have not yet been met. In effect, Nersa is on board with the very start of the process, not a call for proposals for a new nuclear build. [Daily Maverick]
- Disappearing data: Tests for disappearing data by MyBroadband Insights reveals that mobile data on Cell C’s Home Connecta Flexi package disappears over time, even when mobile data is switched off. A MyBroadband Insights experiment conducted earlier in August found that Cell C was the only mobile operator in South Africa on which disappearing data occurs. Cell C said that this could be due to various conditions, including that Android smartphones can use mobile data while connected to an LTE network even when the connection is disabled. [MyBroadband]
- Missed deadline: The Constitutional Court has ruled that South Africa’s 2021 elections will go ahead on schedule and should be held no later than 1 November 2021. This has placed the ANC in a difficult position, analysts say, as the party has failed to register candidates in many wards. Given the ConCourt ruling, legal opinions say the ANC will not be allowed to register ward candidates where they have missed the deadline in 93 wards. A legal loophole might exist to allow members to register as independent candidates over a registration weekend, but this is still unclear. 
- Markets: The South African rand appreciated towards R14.30 to the dollar at the end of the week, hovering around its strongest level since early August, as investors turned to riskier currencies on the back of a dovish Fed. This follows the rand’s five-month low witnessed on 20 August. The rand continues to bear the fruit of the week-long risk rally. On Monday, the rand was trading at R14.36/$, R17.03/€ and R19.87/£.