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 592 new cases of Covid-19, taking the total reported to 2,92,938. Deaths have reached 88,429 (+83), while recoveries have climbed to 2,797,443, leaving the country with a balance of 27,066 active cases. The total number of vaccines administered is 19,461,202 (+219,086).

  • No certificate: People experiencing problems getting their vaccination certificates due to incorrect data on their profiles will have to go back to the venue where they were vaccinated to recapture their details. According to the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) project manager, Milani Wolmarans, who says that the system is designed to capture information on location. She said that if people didn’t receive an SMS notifying them of their vaccination within 24 hours, the information has not been correctly captured. The SMS with the vaccination code is usually sent within 15 minutes after being vaccinated. [702]

  • No deal: The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) says it is still getting feedback from its members about the revised wage offer from businesses in the steel and engineering industry, but until a decision is made, the strike will continue. Unions are demanding an 8% wage increase and CPI+2% each year for the next two years. Employers offered 4.4%, reportedly boosting this to 6% in the latest negotiations. Business representatives said that even if the wage offer is accepted, the strike is ultimately a failure as retrenchments are now inevitable. Businesses across the country have suffered millions of rands in losses. [News24]

  • No solution: The government continues to dither and contradict itself on e-tolls, with cabinet now saying that no decision has yet been made on the system. This contradicts transport minister Fikile Mbalula this past week, where he said that the system could not be scrapped. Mbalula has promised a solution to the system for the better part of three years, even offering set deadlines – all of which were skipped over or ignored. Motorists, meanwhile, continue to refuse to pay, and road agency Sanral continues to rack up debt and losses, with no clear path out of the problem in sight. [Moneyweb]

  • No shame: Former president Jacob Zuma has endorsed the ANC for the 2021 elections, appearing quite well in a video released on Tuesday. According to analysts, Zuma’s appearance and endorsement of the ANC is likely a bid by the party to rally support in KwaZulu Natal, where many of his supporters are based. It’s this support base that kicked up trouble when the former president was arrested for being in contempt of the Constitutional Court. He was released on medical parole. Voter registration in the province has been low, with the ANC expected to suffer the most from low voter turnout on 1 November. [Daily Maverick]

  • Markets: The South African rand gained against the dollar on Tuesday, as analysts said markets were pricing in an interest rate increase by the central bank in November. The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has kept rates on hold at its previous seven monetary policy meetings, but it highlighted inflation risks at its Monetary Policy Review last week. In addition to fully pricing in a 25 basis point rate rise on 18 November, markets have priced in significant rate hikes next year. On Wednesday, the rand was trading at R14.96/$, R17.28/€ and R20.36/£.

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5 important things happening in South Africa today