Here’s what is happening in and affecting South Africa today:
Coronavirus: In South Africa, there have been 4,118 new cases of Covid-19, taking the total reported to 2,824,063. Deaths have reached 83,617 (+198), while recoveries have climbed to 2,599,667, leaving the country with a balance of 140,779 active cases. The total number of vaccines administered is 13,673,651 (+218,828).
- Expropriation: Land expropriation without compensation has hit another hurdle in South Africa, with parliament having to delay the process of getting rules adopted due to the coming elections. Parliament will have to shut up shop so that MPs can go on the campaign trail for the elections, which means that the ad hoc committee tasked with amending legislation that will see the rules embedded in the Constitution will only be able to proceed in December. This will likely push the process into next year. The EFF wants to push through the rules now, while other parties insist it cannot be rushed. [EWN]
- Lifeline: The ANC is very happy that the IEC has granted it a lifeline to play catch-up with the 2021 elections by re-opening registrations for candidates. The ruling party failed to meet the August deadline to register candidates in 93 wards, putting its influence in those areas at risk. ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa said that it’s about the right to vote in the elections and the right to run for office. The DA and the IFP intend to launch legal challenges to the decision, accusing the IEC of favouring the ANC and going out of its way to give the party room to fix its mistakes – something not afforded to other parties in the past. The IEC denied this. [TimesLive]
- Vaccinate: Infectious diseases specialist Professor Salim Abdool Karim has joined other health experts and officials in urging South Africans to get vaccinated before an expected fourth wave hits the country. The fourth wave is expected to hit in December, following the pattern of increased infection as South Africans travel and gather with friends, families and religious events over the festive season. Karim said that the waves are caused by new variants of Covid-19 and warned that the effect and impact of the next variant are unknown. However, he said vaccines are key to avoiding the worst of it and decreasing the likelihood you will need intensive care. [News24]
- Chain of command: The release of Jacob Zuma on medical parole was approved and known all along the command chain – with National Commissioner of Correctional Services Arthur Fraser reporting the move to Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Ronald Lamola, who in turn informed President Cyril Ramaphosa. According to the Correctional Services Act, an application for medical parole can be brought by an inmate, medical practitioner or someone acting on behalf of the prisoner. However, a medical report must be provided with a written diagnosis and a prognosis of the inmate’s terminal illness or physical incapacity. Zuma has refused to allow an NPA doctor to examine him. [Daily Maverick]
- Markets: South Africa’s rand strengthened on Monday, continuing to trade on the front foot after a disappointing US jobs report dampened expectations of when the Federal Reserve will begin tapering stimulus measures. The rand rallied on Friday after the US jobs report came in below market expectations, as the Fed has made a labour market recovery a condition for paring back its pandemic-era asset purchases. Along with other risk-sensitive currencies, the rand regularly shifts in the outlook for US monetary policy. On Tuesday, the rand was trading at R14.23/$, R16.90/€ and R19.70/£. [Reuters]