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 169 new cases of Covid-19, taking the total reported to 2,922,391. Deaths have reached 89,197 (+18), while recoveries have climbed to 2,814,654, leaving the country with a balance of 18,540 active cases. The total number of vaccines administered is 22,627,182 (+179,772).

  • Beginning of the end: Political analysts are calling the ANC’s poor performance in the local elections – where it is expected to fall under 50% of the overall vote – ‘the beginning of the end’ for the party. While opposition parties like the DA remained resilient and the EFF grew its support base, the ANC lost its footing in areas that were once strongholds. Newcomer Action SA managed to surprise with a strong performance in key metros. Analysts say that the low voter turnout was the major blow for the ANC and proof that the party failed to improve from its poor showing in the 2016 elections. [TimesLive]

  • Fuel price hike: Motorists should prepare themselves for another price hike in December, according to analysts. If the rand remains weaker and global oil prices stay at the current levels, petrol prices could rise by another 50 cents per litre next month, pushing the pump price past R20 a litre. With the latest round of price hikes, which kick in today, fuel inflation for the year is now at 34%. Adding in electricity inflation at 14% and food inflation, households are under extreme financial pressure, which may force the South African Reserve Bank into action. The SARB’s Monetary Policy Committee will make a rates decision on 18 November. [702]

  • Something’s wrong: A study by Corruption Watch has found that a national register of companies barred from doing business with the state has no names on it. This is incredibly surprising, experts say, because South Africa has well-documented procurement corruption in South Africa. The register was established under the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act to assist state companies and departments in avoiding corrupt companies. A second list containing names of companies suspected of doing dodgy business – including fronting in BEE and failing to fulfil previous contracts – was also empty in all metros except the City of Cape Town. [News24]

  • Job shedding: Economist Mike Schussler says that South Africa’s load shedding problems have cost the country “well over a million jobs”. A report by PwC recently posited that load shedding in 2021 will cost the country 350,000 jobs. However, Schussler said that aside from large industries – like the service industry and the telecoms sector – thousands of smaller businesses and jobs were lost due to the failing grid. Along with the direct impact of power restrictions, the widely known electricity problems also deter foreign investment, the economist said, which further stifles growth. [Moneyweb]

  • Markets: South Africa’s rand fell on Tuesday, as markets awaited initial results of Monday’s municipal elections and ahead of several key global central bank meetings that could set the tone for risk appetite heading into next year. Vote counting in municipal elections was underway on Tuesday, with early tallies giving the ruling ANC 46% of the vote. The poll came while the ANC faced mounting discontent over poor services and stark inequality 27 years after the end of white minority rule. On Wednesday, the rand was at R15.41/$, R17.85/€ and R21.00/£. [Reuters]

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5 important things happening in South Africa today