Here’s what’s happening in and affecting South Africa today:
Coronavirus: In South Africa, there have been 11,125 new circumstances of Covid-19, taking the entire reported to three,031,694. Deaths have reached 89,966 (+1), whereas recoveries have climbed to 2,858,144, leaving the nation with a steadiness of 83,584 energetic circumstances. The whole variety of vaccines administered is 26,348,830 (+24,447).
- Vaccine mandates: President Cyril Ramaphosa is anticipated to obtain the report on vaccine mandates quickly, as companies, unions and well being teams name for the coverage to be applied. The South African Medical Research Council says that hospital admissions in the wake of the Omicron Covid variant are dominated by unvaccinated folks. Unions have known as for future lockdown restrictions to solely apply to those that refuse to get vaccinated. Private corporations, universities, and even some faculties have already adopted necessary vaccination insurance policies, with extra anticipated to comply with go well with. [EWN, TimesLive]
- Omicron: As Omicron circumstances surge, scientists are beginning to get an early thought of the dangers it poses. While researchers are warning that it may be too early to inform, docs are seeing a considerably completely different medical profile in sufferers admitted for Covid in Tshwane hospitals, the place the variant was first detected regionally. While there was a spike in hospital admissions, researchers discovered that the majority are on room-air respiratory. The common size of keep in hospital is shorter than earlier waves; most admissions are unvaccinated; vaccinated admissions produce other continual sicknesses, and the vast majority of circumstances are youthful folks underneath the age of fifty. [Daily Maverick]
- Electricity costs: South Africa’s courts have ordered power regulator Nersa to course of Eskom’s tariff application, capturing down efforts to power the ability utility to undertake a brand new methodology. Nersa argued that Eskom jumped the gun by making use of for elevated tariffs earlier than the regulator may implement a brand new methodology – however by its personal admission, it’s but to even develop one, and it is just alleged to kick in for the 2023/24 monetary year, successfully scuppering the case. Eskom can now proceed with a tariff application utilizing the ‘old’ methodology, the place it’s reportedly looking for to hike costs by 20%. [Moneyweb]
- Festive warning: As South Africa heads into the festive season, highway authorities are urging motorists to proceed with warning and abide by all highway guidelines for their very own security. South Africa has one of many highest highway fatality numbers globally, with many deaths occurring over the December vacation interval. Traffic officers, particularly these alongside well-liked Joburg to Durban routes, say they are going to be out in full power over the approaching weeks to clamp down on violations. Officials mentioned regulation enforcement would concentrate on drunk driving, dashing, and unroadworthy autos. [ENCA]
- Markets: The South African rand weakened to R16.32 to the greenback final Friday following the information of the Omicron variant, however the forex has since recovered considerably, buoyed by the truth that President Cyril Ramaphosa didn’t transfer South Africa into extra stringent lockdown restrictions. Currency markets have been regular on the shut of the week, as buyers awaited info on the risk posed by the Omicron variant and the pace with which the US Fed might scale back stimulus. The US Dollar Index was down 0.2% and has been retreating since information of the brand new variant first emerged. On Monday, the rand begins the week at R16.05/$, R18.11/€ and R21.24/£. [Citadel]