5 important things happening in South Africa today


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

Coronavirus: Global Covid-19 infections have hit 37.6 million confirmed, with the death toll reaching 1,078,000. In South Africa, there have been 888 new cases, taking the total reported to 693,359. Deaths have reached 17,863 (a daily increase of 83), while recoveries have climbed to 624,659, leaving the country with a balance of 50,837 active cases.

  • Not like Zimbabwe: Addressing concerns over land expropriation without compensation, member of the president’s Land Reform Advisory Panel, Bulelwa Mabasa, has sought to clarify some contentious points. She said that the coming changes are not the ‘nationalisation of land’, and the opposite of the direction Zimbabwe took with land grabs. The state has to provide good reasons for expropriating land, and owners have the opportunity to object. She also said that zero compensation will be under exceptional circumstances. [702]

  • To-do list: Economists are raising concerns about the ANC’s economic recovery plans, which is expected to be adopted and laid out by president Cyril Ramaphosa in parliament this week. Economists and observers who have seen the leaked full plan, describe it as a long list of ‘to-do’ projects, that lack any solid or clear strategy on how to turn the economy around. It recommends extended projects in sectors hit by Covid-19, but lacks direction on needed reforms, and is light on information regarding how these plans will be funded. [Fin24 paywall]

  • Running out of money: The UIF is reportedly running dry, and uncertainty looms around how much longer it can honour the Covid-19 relief scheme. The group’s actuaries are in the processes of compiling a report on the health of the scheme. Due to poor systems, the scheme ended up paying billions of rands to invalid beneficiaries, including dead people, children and prisoners. However, the scheme has since recovered some R3.2 billion in payments. [Moneyweb]

  • 2021 Elections: The IEC says that there has not been any postponement to the 2021 municipal elections, and it is in discussions with Cogta minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma on when they will take place. Dlamini-Zuma will declare the date, and any possible changes. South Africa’s Constitution makes room for the elections to be held within a 90 day window from when the previous election took place. The 2016 municipal elections took place in August, which gives a 2021 window of between August and November 2021. [Mail & Guardian]

  • Markets: The rand remains rangebound, even as it weakened during the overnight session as fears of a rise in Covid-19 cases in the US added to investor concerns. There is little new by way of global events. The IMF is due to release its financial stability report today. Chinese imports and exports are due this morning, followed by UK unemployment, local gold and mining production and US CPI. The rand starts the day at R16.57 to the dollar, R19.54 to the euro and R21.61 to the pound. Commentary by Peregrine Treasury Solutions. [XE]


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