Here’s what’s happening in and affecting South Africa today:
Coronavirus: Global Covid-19 infections have hit 43.6 million confirmed, with the loss of life toll reaching 1,161,000. In South Africa, there have been 1,092 new circumstances, taking the overall reported to 717,851. Deaths have reached 19,053 (a every day improve of 45), whereas recoveries have climbed to 647,833, leaving the nation with a stability of fifty,965 energetic circumstances.
- D-Day: It is D-Day for finance minister Tito Mboweni to ship a ‘tight-rope’ mid-term price range – with calls for coming from all sectors of society. The minister will current the price range at 14h00. The predominant concern across the price range is South Africa’s rising debt, which is projected to be R3.97 trillion (81.8% of GDP) in 2020/21. The MTBPS is used to handle authorities spending, with extra bailouts for SOEs anticipated, in addition to the influence of Covid-19 spending on the numbers. [Daily Maverick]
- Hard lockdown: President Cyril Ramaphosa says he’ll tackle the nation – doubtless subsequent week – across the present state of the nation amid the Covid-19 pandemic. However, he has flatly dismissed hypothesis that the nation can be returning to arduous lockdown. There had been rising considerations that South Africa would re-enter degree 5 lockdown, after KZN premier Sihle Zikalala mentioned it was on the cardboard. The president mentioned there was no have to panic – however warned that authorities was seeing a gradual improve in new Covid circumstances. [TimesLive]
- E-tolls: Until authorities says in any other case, highway company Sanral says Gauteng’s e-tolls stay in place and drivers are anticipated to pay up. Compliance to the system has dropped beneath 19% as motorists in the province proceed to disregard the system. Civil teams have flagged problematic wording in the newly-adopted Aarto Bill, which might see drivers fined for not paying these tolls, however that is prone to be challenged in courtroom. Government has given no indication of a approach ahead for the system since final yr. [Moneyweb]
- Alcohol gross sales: The liquor business is pleading with authorities to once more permit weekend gross sales of alcohol – saying that retailers are lacking out on peak buying instances as a consequence of lockdown restrictions, which isn’t solely impacting jobs and threatening smaller companies with closure, however can be permitting a rising bootleg business – not beholden to the legal guidelines – to thrive. Under the present laws, alcohol can solely be offered for off-site consumption on Monday to Friday, between 09h00 and 17h00. 
- Markets: It’s D-Day for South Africa, as markets put together for Tito Mboweni to current his MTBPS. The price range framework is bound to draw the eye of each buyers and ranking businesses as South Africa continues to grapple with sluggish financial development, and a looming sovereign debt disaster. The rand continues to be basking in the glow of greenback weak spot, breaking previous two technical ranges throughout commerce yesterday. We begin the day at R16.20 to the greenback, R19.08 to the euro and R21.11 to the pound. Commentary by Peregrine Treasury Solutions. [XE]