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 1,931 new cases of Covid-19, taking the total reported to 3,581,359. Deaths have reached 94,177 (+114), while recoveries have climbed to 3,411,555, with a recovery rate of 95.3%. The total number of vaccines administered is 29,369,021.

  • Threat to democracy: The ANC’s deepening divisions and factionalism remain the biggest threat to the party and the country’s democratic gains, warn the party’s top leaders. In his closing address at the ANC’s NEC Lekgotla this weekend, president Ramaphosa cited a loss of ‘moral and ethical principles’ within the party’s movement. [News24]

  • Grant: The ANC has called for the extension of the R350 Covid-19 grant introduced in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Ramaphosa said that this grant has had a significant positive impact on the lives of the poor, and government must examine the feasibility and affordability of extending it. [SABC]

  • Electricity hikes: Eskom’s chief financial officer Calib Cassim has warned that the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) will need to increase electricity tariffs by 20.5%, because any shortfalls in revenue generation still have to be covered by the government as a major shareholder – and ultimately taxpayers. [IOL]

  • Reserve Bank mandate: The South African Communist Party has called for the South African Reserve Bank’s mandate to be expanded to include job creation. In 2019, suspended ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule said the NEC Lekgotla had resolved to expand the central bank’s mandate. However, former finance minister Tito Mboweni dismissed this as a mere discussion without an outcome. [eNCA]

  • Markets: The rand hit a 10-week high on Friday, on bets that the Reserve Bank will yet again raise interest rates at its next monetary policy committee meeting. On Friday, the rand is trading at R15.10/$, R17.10/€ and R20.46/£.

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5 important things happening in South Africa today