5 important things happening in South Africa today

Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:

Coronavirus: In South Africa, nine new Covid-19 deaths have been reported, taking the total reported to 99,890. The country has 14,628 active cases and a recovery rate of 96.9%.

  • Police chief: President Cyril Ramphosa has two weeks left to appoint a new police chief after the current top cop Khehla Sitole agreed to the early termination of his contract, which has nullified a board of inquiry into his fitness to hold office. Insider information revealed by News24 points to Ramaphosa considering a list of career police officers to fill the gap. It has further been reported that different factions are allegedly lobbying Ramaphosa in the ANC and police minister Bheki Cele to appoint a successor to Sitole. [News24]

  • Rising commodity prices: Political analyst Daniel Silke says that South Africans should brace for rising commodity prices and supply shortages due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict. He pointed out that much of South Africa’s fate and the global economy will rest upon a decision by Chinese President Xi Jinping regarding whether he will turn down Russia’s request for military and economic assistance. Silke said that the most significant effect the war will have on South Africa is rising fuel and transportation costs in the long term. [Moneyweb]

  • Uber strike: Uber, Bolt, InDriver and Didi drivers in South Africa plan to disrupt major roads and “critical institutions” as part of a three-day strike calling for regulation of the e-hailing industry. The founder of the Private Public Transport Association said that the e-hailing platforms exploit drivers and that drivers are unhappy with both the pay and over-saturation of the market. [MyBroadBand]

  • Unequal schools: In its annual trends analysis, the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) said that the Covid-19 pandemic has compounded human rights challenges and inequality in education and health. The commission said that these sectors were a concern where infrastructure, staff shortages and a lack of resources in the public facilities remained a problem. It further stressed that these issues were seen predominantly in rural provinces. [EWN]

  • Markets: Global stock markets rallied last week to anticipate an eventual peace deal on Ukraine. On Monday, Ukraine defied a Russian request that its forces lay their arms in Mariupol, while the European Union considered a possible energy embargo against Russia. US stocks declined while oil prices pushed higher as investors refocused on risks from Ukraine and the US Federal Reserve’s actions on inflation. The rand is currently trading at R14.96/$, R16.44/€ and R19.64£. [Nasdaq]

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5 important things happening in South Africa today