Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
Coronavirus: Global Covid-19 infections have hit 37.3 million confirmed, with the death toll reaching 1,074,000. In South Africa, there have been 1,575 new cases, taking the total reported to 692,471. Deaths have reached 17,780 (a daily increase of 107), while recoveries have climbed to 623,765, leaving the country with a balance of 50,926 active cases.
- Land redistribution: South Africa’s land redistribution bill has been gazetted, officially putting it into parliamentary processes – and a step closer to being implemented. Proponents argue that the bill clarifies muddier aspects of current land redistribution laws under the Constitution. Specifically, providing the cases where land can be taken without compensation. Some of these include where land is being held and not developed or being used by owners, or where the state is holding land that can be redistributed. [Moneyweb]
- Corruption in bloom: Government’s resistance to transparency and accountability underpins the widespread corruption taking place in relation to Covid-19 procurement, a new investigation has revealed. AmaBhungane has followed the trail of just some dodgy tenders related to the pandemic and has raised red flags in many government processes. Conflict of interest, irregular rewards, a lack of due diligence, nepotism, failure to follow up – these are just some of the common denominators in the corrupt activity uncovered. [amaBhungane]
- Recovery issues: The ANC’s plans for economic recovery lack any significant detail on funding mechanists, which is a huge problem analysts say. The recovery plan does not specify how projects will be funded – a crucial omittance given the lack of money available in the public purse. The plan also projects the Covid-19 pandemic as the new normal, and places the National Coronavirus Command Council at the centre of the organisation and execution of the plan. Critics have argued the NCCC is a parallel government, with little oversight. [Daily Maverick]
- Strike action: Following strike action last week, more strikes are on the cards in South Africa. The Public Investment Corporation’s workers are planning a strike on Monday, protesting against the group not implementing recommendations from the PIC Inquiry. Meanwhile, the The Gauteng Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) will also on Monday march to the ANC headquarters in protest of ANC corruption, and to highlight the plight of the poor. [ENCA, TimesLive]
- Markets: While most data and events continue to be overshadowed by the run up to the US election, US corporate earnings, retail sales and the Federal Reserve meeting with the World Bank will give an indication of how the US is faring on its road to recovery. Washington is still at a deadlock regarding the stimulus package, and it seems that it might very well not pass before the election. The rand starts the week at R16.49 to the dollar, R19.48 to the euro and R21.48 to the pound. Commentary by Peregrine Treasury Solutions. [XE]