5 important things happening in South Africa today

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

Coronavirus: In South Africa, six new Covid-19 deaths have been reported, totalling 99,976. The country has 13,163 active cases and a recovery rate of 97.0%.

  • Covid-19 deaths: The National Department of Health has admitted that government may be under-reporting deaths from Covid-19. The department has in the past been dismissive of compelling research that showed significant excess deaths. A group of scientists at the South African Medical Research Council’s Burden of Disease Research Unit have estimated that 302,960 excess deaths from natural causes had occurred in South Africa in the past two years and that 80% or 240,000 of these deaths were caused by Covid-19. [News24]

  • Hunger crisis: Hundreds of children are receiving treatment for severe acute malnutrition as communities in Nelson Mandela Bay lose the battle against hunger. In the past 15 months, 14 children under the age of five starved to death in Nelson Mandela Bay and another 216 new cases of severe acute malnutrition were confirmed in the Eastern Cape’s main city. The University of Cape Town’s Child Institute estimates that 48% of child hospital deaths are moderate or severe acute malnutrition.[Daily Maverick]

  • State capture: South African trade union Solidarity has opened a criminal case against 21 state capture suspects, including former president Jacob Zuma, the former South African Airways chairperson Dudu Myeni, the former head of Transnet and Eskom’s Brian Molefe. The charges include corruption, theft, fraud and the mismanagement of state funds against the group. The union wants the National Prosecuting Authority to begin the prosecution immediately. [EWN]

  • No confidence: President Cyril Ramaphosa faces his first motion of no confidence this Wednesday alongside a motion of no confidence in his Cabinet. The action was first lodged by the African Transformation Movement (ATM) in early 2020. However, it had been delayed by the pandemic and a court battle around whether it should be subject to a vote by secret ballot. The ATM now wishes not to participate in its motion, and its attempt to postpone the motion was not allowed by the National Assembly. [News24]

  • Markets: South Africa’s rand firmed early on Tuesday, inching back toward a five-month peak last week after a central bank rate hike, even as investors awaited the start of peace talks between Ukraine and Russia in Turkey. The rand has been charting a different course than other riskier currencies on strong commodity prices that have soared due to supply concerns due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict. The rand is currently trading at R14.51/$, R16.12/€ and R19.00£. [Nasdaq]

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5 important things happening in South Africa today