5 important things happening in South Africa today

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

  • Mask-wearing remains: The Department of Health says it is still compulsory to wear a mask in an enclosed indoor space – except for children in schools. This comes after a resurgence in Covid-19 cases over the past few weeks. Dr Aslam Dasoo from the Progressive Health Forum said that if the latest draft regulations are published as they are, they will not be able to withstand legal scrutiny. The department has extended the public consultation period for health regulation amendments until 5 July. [BusinessTech, ENCA]

  • Motorist D-Day: The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) says that motorists who missed the 5 May deadline for driving licence renewals are advised to obtain temporary licences. 1.3 million licence cards had not been renewed by the beginning of May. The RTMC stressed that the police would not hesitate to apply the law from this week onwards. Licence centres in most provinces are said to be working extended hours to keep up with demand. [EWN]

  • Public sector wage battle: Trade Unions representing public servants formally table their wage demands and other remuneration benefits to prepare for negotiations with the government regarding employment conditions in the public sector. A document summarising the demands of the various trade unions includes a 10% wage increase demand, applying to all public servants, regardless of their employment level or years in service. [Daily Maverick]

  • Stage 8: Speaking in parliament, The Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan raised the possibility of Eskom’s rolling blackouts reaching stage 8, leading to outages of up to 13 hours. This follows half of Eskom’s coal-fired generation capacity being offline. He sought to fend off suggestions by the DA that Eskom be declared a ‘state of disaster’, which would enable provinces and municipalities to seek alternative sources of power. [BusinessLive]

  • Markets: The South African rand weakened against the dollar on Wednesday as investors waited for cues from the US Federal Reserve on its interest rate hike trajectory later in the day. Higher rates in developed markets such as the US tend to drain capital from riskier emerging markets like South Africa. The rand is currently trading at R15.49/$, R16.44/€ and R19.44/£. [Nasdaq]

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5 important things happening in South Africa today