5 important things happening in South Africa today

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

Coronavirus: A total of 46,948 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours, with 9,860 new cases reported, representing a 21% positivity rate. A further 45 Covid-19 related deaths have been reported, bringing total fatalities to 92,112 to date. A total of 28.23 million vaccinations have been administered to date.

ANC celebrations: The African National Congress is gearing up for its 110th-anniversary celebrations on Saturday in Limpopo, with the ruling party expected to touch on some of its major policy plans for the coming year. However, early celebrations got off to a bad start on Thursday after president Cyril Ramaphosa had to be whisked away by protection unit agents from an ANC Women’s League lecture due to security and Covid-19 concerns. [News24]

SAA: There are growing calls for some current and former staff at South African Airways (SAA) to be prosecuted alongside those cited in the first part of the state capture commissions report. The commission has singled out former chairperson Dudu Myeni as being among those responsible for the airline’s costly demise, however, the South African Cabin Crew Association says there are still many more people to blame for the corruption and maladministration at the airline. [EWN]

Petrol price: Experts have warned that despite a welcome January decrease, petrol prices in South Africa are likely to remain high for the remainder of 2022. A look at the historic prices published by the South African Petroleum Industry Association (Sapia) shows that petrol was selling at between R14.16 and R14.86 per litre a year ago – a 32% difference from where it sits now. [Moneyweb]

Parliament: Parliament is considering a number of alternative venues for the state of the nation address and annual budget speech after a fire caused extensive damage to its buildings in Cape Town. With the blaze now out, the Hawks have stepped in to begin their investigation into how the fire was started. [eNCA]

Markets: The South African rand strengthened on Thursday, supported by bets that the central bank will hike interest rates early this year. On Friday, the rand was trading at R15.73/$, R17.78/€ and R21.31/£. [Reuters]

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