5 important things happening in South Africa today

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

  • Wrong unemployment stats: The head of South Africa’s statistics council, the advisory board to Statistic SA, has warned that the country’s unemployment numbers might be wrong due to low response rates to the national survey. Of the sample of 30,000 households analysed for the last Quarterly Labour Force Survey, only 44.6% of the sample participated in the survey. Economists are worried that the low response rate was due to the survey being conducted over the telephone instead of face-to-face, as well as a growing distrust in the government. [News24]

  • Covid consultations: The deadline for public consultations over South Africa’s new Covid regulations has been pushed back to 5 July 2022. However, in the meantime, the health department is encouraging South Africans to abide by three main protocols as the country faces a fresh wave of infections: the first is to keep wearing masks indoors, including school children; the second is to abide by gathering restrictions, and the third is for travellers to ensure they’re Covid-free while entering or leaving the country. [ENCA]

  • Burning diesel: According to public data, during last week’s load shedding, Eskom made use of its diesel-burning open cycle gas turbines every day between Tuesday and Friday for 6 hours between 16h00 and 22h00 – using hundreds of millions of rands worth of diesel in the process. Following increased diesel prices in May, it is estimated that Eskom would have used R3.4 billion in diesel at its own OCGTs and those run by independent power producers. [Moneyweb]

  • Dilapidated courts: South Africa’s courts are in a sorry state, according to feedback from officials of the office of the chief justice. Many judicial officers are struggling to secure the most basic tools for their trade, including access to necessary literature and working internet. Members of Parliament stressed that the rehabilitation of the court system must be among the top priorities for the newly-appointed chief justice Raymond Zondo. [BusinessLive]

  • Markets: Investors were tense ahead of the US consumer price report, where a slight easing in inflation is forecast but nothing to prevent the Federal Reserve from hiking by at least 50 basis points in June. Speculation that Russian President Vladimir Putin will declare war on Ukraine to call up reserves during a recent speech hurt market sentiment. Putin has characterised Russia’s actions in Ukraine as a “special military operation”. The rand is currently trading at R16.12/$, R16.95/€ and R19.80/£. [Nasdaq]

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