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 1,691 new cases of Covid-19, taking the total reported to 3,560,921. Deaths have reached 93,451 (+87), while recoveries have climbed to 3,375,859, leaving the country with a balance of 91,611 active cases. The total number of vaccines administered is 28,993,654.

  • Matric results: The Department of Basic Education says it will abide by the court’s ruling on the release of matric results. The department is facing several legal challenges after it decided to not publish results publicly in newspapers and other media. AfriForum, Maroela Media and Anlé Spies – a 2021 matriculant – have applied for an urgent interdict against this decision. Spies’ argument is based on the fact that she, and many others, have since moved away from the schools or provinces where they wrote their papers, making it difficult to retrieve their marks. The department wants learners to get their results from schools directly. [EWN, 702]

  • Price hikes: Eskom says its proposed 20.5% increase to the price of electricity is beyond its control, as the increase is based on a requirement to increase purchases of power from independent producers and carbon taxes. The price hike faces legal challenges from businesses and some local governments. Energy regulator Nersa has rarely granted Eskom its full request. Eskom has also indicated that it plans to ask for a further 15.07% increase in 2024 and a 10% increase in 2025. However, this will depend on the actual increase that Nersa grants Eskom this year. [BusinessTech]

  • Collapse: The multiparty coalition governing the City of Johannesburg has decried the behaviour of ANC and EFF councillors in the municipality, after they collapsed council and brawled, resulting in injuries. All other parties in the council have blamed the two parties for the chaos and called on their national leaders – including ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa – to bring their members in line. The ANC caucus leader accused the council of bullying the party and dismissing its concerns around voting procedures. The coalition has accused the ANC of being unwilling to give up power and warned that this was a sign of things to come after the national election in 2024. [TimesLive]

  • Zuma: Jacob Zuma has launched yet another legal challenge against the State Capture Commission, attacking acting chief justice Raymond Zondo’s appointment. Zuma argues that Zondo’s conduct against him – after he tried to have the commission head recuse himself – demonstrated bias against the former president. This includes the commission’s application to the Constitutional Court to hold Zuma in contempt, which ultimately led to his arrest. The State Capture Commission first report places Zuma front-and-centre in state capture, finding he was an active participant in the events that led to many of South Africa’s institutions falling into the hands of the Gupta family. [News24]

  • Markets: The South African rand slipped on Monday, as the dollar edged higher amid expectations for several US Federal Reserve interest rate hikes this year. As the Fed embarks on a new monetary tightening cycle, investors will gradually turn more judicious over where they invest their capital, and South Africa’s fiscal, political and structural shortcomings will be magnified, say analysts. The rand has started 2022 on a strong note, gaining more than 3% against the dollar and making it one of the best-performing emerging market currencies. On Tuesday, the rand was trading at R15.44/$, R17.60/€ and R21.05/£. [Reuters]

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5 important things happening in South Africa today