5 important things happening in South Africa today

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

Coronavirus: In South Africa, a total of 23,685 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours, with 809 new cases, which represents a 3.4% positivity rate. A further 27 Covid-19 related deaths have been reported, taking total fatalities to 87,780 to date. The total number of vaccines administered is 17,875,187 (+52,556).

  • R800 basic income: South Africa needs to offer a grant of R800 per month for unemployed South Africans as part of efforts to revive the economy, says the former chief executive of Goldman Sachs for Sub-Saharan Africa Colin Coleman. He said that this is not a ‘radical’ or ‘socialist idea’ and has been proposed by just about every western democracy, centrist or social democratic party worldwide. [Fin24]

  • Judge me not: Western Cape judge president, John Hlophe, has accepted a nomination to be South Africa’s next chief justice, despite the Judicial Services Commission finding him guilty of gross misconduct. Hlophe also faces a possible impeachment hearing after a complaint by two Constitutional Court judges. [eNCA]

  • Power play: The City of Johannesburg is set to take over electricity supply to Soweto and other areas in the city from Eskom. Until recently, Soweto residents owed Eskom R12 billion in unpaid bills. Through negotiations with the city, R5 billion of this debt was written off in the past financial year. [TimesLive]

  • UK red list: The UK has indicated that it will remove South Africa from its red list of countries in its next review. Vicky Ford, the UK’s minister responsible for Africa, said she had been reassured by scientists that the Beta variant, which caused South Africans to be banned from most countries late in 2020, is no longer present, which ‘takes one of the main concerns away’. However, the country is still looking for the implementation of a vaccination certificate that the UK government would deem ‘robust enough’. [BusinessDay]

  • Markets: The South African rand has strengthened on a weaker dollar and inflation jitters which continue to impact European markets. President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement to move the country to alert level 1 of the lockdown boosted leisure and travel stocks on the local bourse. Still, overall market gains were reversed by reports of a decline in local manufacturing production. On Monday, the rand was trading at R14.90/$, R17.29/€ and R20.19/£.

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5 important things happening in South Africa today