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 210 new cases of Covid-19, taking the total reported to 2,916,803. Deaths have reached 88,619 (+7), while recoveries have climbed to 2,805,566, leaving the country with a balance of 22,618 active cases. The total number of vaccines administered is 20,381,262 (+181,031).

  • School jabs: The Gauteng government intends to make all schools in the province vaccination sites, and it moves to vaccinate as many school children as possible against Covid-19. Premier David Makhura encouraged all parents to accompany their children when they get the jab, adding that it would not be forced on anyone, and schools weren’t working against parents. Some confusion persists on the matter of consent after health minister Joe Phaahla said that children aged 12 to 17 wouldn’t need their parents’ permission. However, legal experts say there is no clear legislation saying this. [TimesLive]

  • Sputnik V: Health regulator Sahpra says that the approval process for the Sputnik V Covid vaccine is ongoing, and applicants can still submit data showing that the vaccine is safe. The group rejected the use of Sputnik V over concerns that the ‘AD5’ component of the vaccine could lead to higher HIV infection rates. The vaccine producers have criticised Sahpra for the decision. The regulator said that those applying for the use of Sputnik V need to provide the relevant data showing the vaccine’s safety. [EWN]

  • Graft: Powership provider Karpowership SA has accused its competing bidder, DNG Power Holdings, of holding the government contract ‘hostage’ using what it says are baseless claims of corruption. DNG is accusing Karpowership of tender fixing, saying that the group was approached by a shareholder with the terms of the contract long before it went out to tender. This was to ensure it won the bid. Karpowership says DNG is making things up and delaying the emergency power process because it lost the bid. It said that it is easy to make allegations, but these will have to hold up in court. [News24]

  • Coalitions: While political analysts widely agree that South Africa will have more coalition governments after the 2021 elections, this is not necessarily positive for residents in areas under such leadership. South Africans have complained about slow and hamstrung service delivery due to political infighting in coalition governments. This has been further complicated by the fallout of many 2016 coalitions, which may leave even more municipalities in limbo. The DA says it will not form coalitions with the EFF, and the ANC has made it clear that coalitions are not currently part of its plans. [702, Daily Maverick]

  • Markets: South Africa’s rand dropped on Monday, as soft economic data in the country’s largest trading partner China prompted investors to sell riskier assets. China’s economic growth hit its slowest pace in a year in the third quarter, hurt by power shortages, supply chain bottlenecks, and major wobbles in the property market. All eyes are on central banks as investors look for clues on potential monetary tightening by central banks other than the Fed. The rand is benefiting from the weaker dollar. On Tuesday, the rand is at R14.63/$, R17.04/€ and R20.15/£.

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5 important things happening in South Africa today