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 273 new cases of Covid-19, taking the total reported to 2,926,348. Deaths have reached 89,504 (+15), while recoveries have climbed to 2,820,030, leaving the country with a balance of 16,814 active cases. The total number of vaccines administered is 24,216,614 (+133,928).


  • Coalition collapse: Coalition talks between political parties have broken down, with the deadline for forming councils in hung municipalities looming. Action SA leader Herman Mashaba has confirmed that parties have rejected proposals from the DA, where the latter seeks to control major metros like Tshwane and Joburg. The DA wants control of both metros, believing that the largest coalition partner should get the mayoral position. Meanwhile, talks between the EFF and ANC have collapsed completely, with the former not entertaining any more negotiations with the ruling party. The DA says it still has faith in the talks. [EWN 1,2]

  • Private-public: Deputy finance minister David Masondo says that the government should steer away from a blanket ban on talk of getting the private sector involved with struggling state-run companies, adding that getting private groups involved would boost competition and efficiencies where the state has failed. He highlighted the inefficiencies of state-run power supply through Eskom and freight through Transnet as examples where private sector involvement would boost reliability and reduce costs for end customers. However, he stressed that the subject needs more research and clear guidelines of how this would work. [News24 – paywall]

  • Absent: Crime and violence are not only affecting the national psyche – with people feeling afraid and being fearful of falling victim to crime in their neighbourhoods – but it is also having a severe impact on businesses, which experience high levels of absenteeism due to crime fears. A new survey by BNP Paribas has found that companies in South Africa’s most crime-riddled areas experience absentee rates as high as 20%. Over 80% of workers said they had been late, and 70% had even missed a workday because of crime. Businesses and workers believe crime has increased in the past year and say unemployment is the main cause. [TimesLive]

  • Zuma tax: The Pretoria high court has ordered the South African Revenue Service to hand over former president Jacob Zuma’s tax returns for the 2010 to 2018 financial years to the Financial Mail and investigative journalism unit amaBhungane, within ten days. The media groups applied to have the tax returns handed over in terms of the access to information laws available in the country after being denied access by SARS. While the ruling is a victory for investigative journalists, it may be short-lived, with the media groups expecting an appeal from SARS to follow suit. [702]

  • Markets: South African rand was firm on Tuesday, holding on to gains made in the previous session, as traders awaited the central bank’s monetary policy decision due later in the week. Investors are awaiting domestic inflation data, due alongside retail sales data on Wednesday and the South African Reserve Bank’s (SARB) monetary policy committee (MPC) meeting. The SARB slashed its repo rate by 300 basis points last year to a record low as the economy battled the coronavirus crisis. However, inflation has accelerated since July’s 4.6% year-on-year to 5% in September. On Wednesday, the rand was trading at R15.53/$, R17.54/€ and R20.84/£. [Reuters]

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5 important things happening in South Africa today