Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
Coronavirus: In South Africa, there have been 4,667 new cases of Covid-19, taking the total reported to 2,869,201. Deaths have reached 85,468 (+166), while recoveries have climbed to 2,700,299, leaving the country with a balance of 83,434 active cases. The total number of vaccines administered is 15,447,034 (+258,247).
- Chaos: Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence (JSCI) has published its annual report, detailing a long laundry list of dysfunctionality and scandal at the State Security Agency. Among the biggest issues are fake security clearance and unapproved and illegal operations within South Africa’s intelligence structures. Little has been done to correct the many problems highlighted at the agency, with only 0% and 2% of recommended changes made over the last 2 years. There is also a worrying trend of the SSA stepping outside its mandate. The report adds to woes highlighted by the Office for Interception Centre (OIC) last week. [Paywall – News24]
- Error: The UIF says over 1 million outstanding TERS claims need to be corrected before the end of the year, or claimants will lose out. The claims contain small errors that make it impossible for the fund to pay out. These include things like incorrect names or ID numbers or incorrect banking details. Larger issues are around employers failing to follow the correct procedures in applying for funds. Some claims date back to March 2020; however, the UIF noted that not all of these claims are legitimate and may be fraudulent, hence why the small errors cannot be corrected. It also shows the group’s vetting process is working, it said. [Moneyweb]
- Rise up: More residents are forced to take legal action against their municipalities over service delivery and administrative failures. Residents in Bedfordview, east of Johannesburg, are taking the City of Ekurhuleni to court over billing problems. The area has also suffered ongoing problems with the power supply. Meanwhile, residents of Makhanda have been granted a court order forcing the Makana municipality to collect refuse, provide garbage bags to households and manage the town’s rubbish properly. This continues a trend of residents having to come together to force their local governments to do their jobs through the courts. [702, Daily Maverick]
- Elections: Cooperative Governance Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma says the Democratic Alliance is trying to breach the separation of powers by asking the Constitutional Court to take over the responsibilities of the Independent Electoral Commission. The party is trying to get a court order that forces the IEC to shut down the registration of party candidates. The ANC missed the deadline to register candidates in 93 wards for the upcoming elections. The DA has accused the IEC of favouring the ANC and prejudicing other parties by allowing the ruling party to make up for this error. [EWN]
- Markets: The South African rand fell on Wednesday as a drop in retail sales added to evidence that riots and tight Covid-19 restrictions dealt the economy a severe blow at the start of the third quarter. More than 300 people died, and thousands of shops were looted as some of the worst violence of the post-apartheid era erupted soon after the arrest of former president Jacob Zuma in July. SA stocks inched up on Wednesday but slowing Chinese factory output and retail sales kept gains in check as elsewhere on global equities markets. On Thursday, the rand was at R14.43/$, R17.04/€ and R19.96/£. [Reuters]