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 453 new cases of Covid-19, taking the total reported to 2,917,255. Deaths have reached 88,674 (+50), while recoveries have climbed to 2,808,160, leaving the country with a balance of 20,421 active cases. The total number of vaccines administered is 20,582,832 (+201,570).

  • Vaccines: Children in South Africa aged 12 to 17 will from today be able to get their Covid vaccine. According to the health department, parental consent is not required for children to get the vaccine, but parents have also been urged not to force the vaccine on their children either. Children will only be given one dose of the Pfizer vaccine at present, while health authorities wait for further data on the necessity of a second dose. The health department expects vaccination sites to be busier, as many parents are expected to accompany their children to get the shot. [EWN 1,2]

  • Digital Vibes: Former Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has responded to the SIU investigation that he says forced him to resign from his position. The politician has approached the High Court to have the SIU’s conduct declared unlawful and unconstitutional. Mkhize is accusing the SIU of being unfair in its processes in compiling the report on the Digital Vibes saga, saying it was full of stark irregularities and that the investigators withheld information from him and didn’t give him a chance to respond to or explain specific issues highlighted in the final report. [ENCA]

  • Coalitions: News24’s Out of Order Index reveals that only one of the top ten best-run municipalities in South Africa is run through a coalition government. Generally, coalition-led municipalities are poorly governed. However, that’s not to say a majority-led municipality is well-governed – many of the worst-run municipalities in South Africa are majority-led. The data provides cause for caution, as political experts expect more coalition-led municipalities to emerge from the 2021 elections. Conflicting ideals and goals often hamstring these councils, and service delivery suffers from inaction. [News24]

  • Justice: Former spy boss Arthur Fraser has formally objected to the nomination of deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo as a candidate for the position of chief justice. Fraser said his resistance to Zondo is based on how he was treated at the state capture commission. Witnesses at the commission accused Fraser of irregularities during his time at the SSA. Fraser sought immunity before testifying at the commission himself. He now accuses Zondo of allowing falsehoods to be spread without affording him a right of reply. As National Commissioner of Correctional Services, Fraser most recently got former president Jacob Zuma out of prison on medical parole, against the medical parole board’s wishes and with no stated reasoning. [TimesLive]

  • Markets: South Africa’s rand rose on Tuesday, gaining back some ground lost a day earlier thanks to a softer dollar, while stocks closed little changed as they struggled for direction. The currency had dipped on Monday, dented by third-quarter economic data from China showing the slowest pace of growth in a year, which prompted investors to sell riskier assets like the rand. However, weak manufacturing data from the United States knocked the dollar on Tuesday, along with a recovery in risk sentiment and as US Treasury yields paused, helping to lift the rand back up. On Wednesday, the rand was at R14.50/$, R16.89/€ and R20.02/£.

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5 important things happening in South Africa today