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 585 new cases of Covid-19, taking the total reported to 2,927,499. Deaths have reached 89,555 (+40), while recoveries have climbed to 2,820,613, leaving the country with a balance of 17,331 active cases. The total number of vaccines administered is 24,471,210 (+124,293).

  • Party donations: South Africa’s political parties have disclosed donations received between April and June of the year. This is the second round of disclosures this year. The report reveals that the ANC tapped into the personal fortune of its president Cyril Ramaphosa for funding and receiving donations from billionaire Patrice Motsepe. The ANC also uses a loophole in the disclosure report by receiving funds through a third party – Chancellor House – where R15 million was donated, but from who is unknown. The EFF has not disclosed any donation information. [Daily Maverick]

  • Coalitions: The ANC says it has concluded coalition talks with political parties and will now this weekend take the report back to its national executive committee to discuss possible agreements. Almost all ANC-led municipalities have abjectly failed to deliver services over the last five-year period, most bordering on collapse. The party now says it has partnered with parties that want to put service delivery first and promised to root out corruption. It has made agreements with the IFP to allow the parties with majorities in KZN to govern there and has also teamed up with the Patriotic Alliance. [EWN]

  • Suspicion: Eskom is investigating suspicious incidents that have led to breakdowns at its power plants. While no clear evidence and been presented, some are speculating that sabotage may be involved. A dropped extension cord, a collapsed pylon, and unexplained coal truck seals are among the incidents being investigated. The pylon collapse was particularly suspicious, ‘falling uphill’, just before a peak power demand period. There were no signs of corrosion on the pylon, and it fell in such a way as to damage all power lines and bypass the failsafe. Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter said speculation and paranoia should be avoided. Forensic teams are investigating. [News24 – paywall]

  • Pay the price: Insurance companies will take a person’s vaccination status into account when determining premiums, with Old Mutual stating that it is a simple fact of evidence that those who are unvaccinated have a higher risk of dying than the vaccinated, and this is something that has to be considered in calculations. The company said it is not about constitutionality and is the same logic applied to charging smokers higher prices due to the health risk. The insurer said it would assess each customer’s risk against a cross-section of relevant factors, including age and the presence of co-morbidities. [702]

  • Markets: South Africa’s rand was slightly firmer early on Thursday, as investors awaited the outcome of a central bank monetary policy meeting later in the day. Following the meeting, where the SARB announced a rate hike of 25 basis points, the currency weekend slightly. The central bank slashed rates by 300 basis points last year to a record low as the economy battled the coronavirus crisis. But there has been a modest pickup in inflationary pressures in the second half of this year, leading to the hike. Indications are that this is the start of a hike cycle, with more hikes anticipated in the new year. On Friday, the rand was at R15.64/$, R17.76/€ and R21.09/£.

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5 important things happening in South Africa today