Here’s what’s happening in South Africa right now and it’s impacting it:
CoronavirusGlobal Covid-19 infections have reached 64.5 million confirmed and deaths have reached 1,495,400. IN South Africa4,400 new cases were recorded, making a total of 800,872 reported cases. The death toll reached 21,803 (an increase of 94 per day) and recoveries rose to 739,367, leaving the country with a balance of 39,702 active cases.
- More to come: Following Nelson Mandela Bay’s announcement of the Covid-19 hotspot and more restrictions in place in the region, there are warnings that it may not be the only one, and the number of infections could be announced with more hotspots. President Cyril Ramaphosa spared the likes of Garden Route in his speech yesterday evening, but said the government would take decisive action to deal with cluster outbreaks wherever they go. [EWN]
- Vaccine: The Solidarity Fund has allocated 327 million rupees to obtain the Covid-19 vaccine for South Africans participating in the World Health Organization’s Global Vaccine Access Center – known as Covax. The program aims to pool resources and share the risks associated with vaccine development, thereby ensuring equal access to vaccines as they become available. Finance Minister Mboweni said South Africa has paid Rupee 500 million to the program and another Rs 4.5 billion in the budget to get access to the vaccine when it becomes available. [ENCA]
- Step aside: While the ANC fights for its own principles – calling on members against whom criminal charges have been brought to resign – the lawyers win. Legal views on whether or not a party can actually enforce such a rule are divided, with half saying the party should not enforce the rule and the other half saying it is all clear to do so. Among the most famous members who are in the spotlight of this rule is the party’s secretary general, Ace Magashule, who has been charged with corruption but is refusing to resign. [TimesLive]
- State takeover: Controversial former Eskom CEO Matshela Koko is confident that he will be cleared of all misdemeanors after the State Capture commission is over. Several witnesses and whistleblowers accused Koko of playing a key role in some of the utility’s corrupt activities. He was charged with giving his daughter a £ 1bn contract and belongs to a group of suspended workers whom SIU is suing to recover 3.8 billion rupees that had been illegally transferred to the company. Koko maintains her innocence. 
- Markets: The world is betting on the dollar as the euro has risen to its 2.5 year high, leaving the dollar in the dust. Rand strengthened the euro breaking resistance levels to trade at the new peak of the week. Today we will know the data on non-farm payrolls and unemployment in the US. We start the day at R15.17 to the dollar, 18.42 to the euro and 20.41 to the pound. Comment by Peregrine Treasury Solutions. [XE]