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5 important things happening in South Africa today


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


  • Collapsing municipalities: Director-general of the National Treasury, Dondo Mogajane, says that of the 257 municipalities in the country, about 170 are in financial distress and need Treasury intervention. Mogajane added that the Treasury is unable to cope with the situation. The finance minister also noted that 43 of the worst-performing municipalities meet the criteria for mandatory intervention by the national government as prescribed in the Constitution. [BusinessLive]

  • SARS strike: The South African Revenue Service (SARS) warns taxpayers to avoid going to their branches amid a strike by workers for a 12% salary increase. The National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) and the Public Servants Association (PSA) have threatened to shut down branches. SARS said it could not extend its 1.3% wage increase offer. SARS, like other government departments, were not given the budget to increase wages. [EWN]

  • Broadband development: The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) says it is looking abroad to find a feasible way to allocate a wholesale open-access network, which can improve access to broadband connectivity. The wholesale open-access network was meant to be allocated alongside the high-demand spectrum but was put on hold. This follows the regulator saying that it aims to introduce an additional credible player into the ICT sector to promote competition. [News24]

  • Passed peak: A group of medical scientists says that South Africa has just passed the peak of the current wave of Covid-19. The experts said that there had been a reduction in new cases being recorded week on week in most provinces. The head of the Centre for Respiratory Diseases and Meningitis noted that the Northern Cape is the only province where cases are rising while Gauteng continues to slowly wind down. [EWN]

  • Markets: Emerging market currencies edged higher on Wednesday, with the Russian ruble extending gains to a four-year high against the dollar. While at war with Ukraine, the Russian currency firmed against the dollar to a level not seen since 2018, helped by export-focused companies selling foreign currency to pay taxes. The South African rand slipped as the dollar bounced ahead of the release of the US Federal Reserve minutes of its last meeting. The rand is currently trading at R15.76/$, R16.84/€ and R19.81/£. [Nasdaq]



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