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5 important things happening in South Africa today


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

  • Mask mandates: Despite the government’s move to drop its remaining Covid regulations, some businesses are still set to require mask-wearing while on the premise. Health minister Joe Phaahla has confirmed that stores can still block entry to customers should they refuse to wear masks, while several businesses are expected to keep their own mandates in place for now [EWN], [News24]

  • Extra power: Eskom has announced 1,800MW of renewable power will be added to the national grid after it identified 18 winning bids for independent power producers (IPPs). The projects will be constructed on land owned by the power utility in Mpumalanga, with 4,000ha made available for the first round of bids. [BusinessDay]

  • Changes for Covid vaccinations: South Africa is set to change its rules around Covid vaccinations as its moves to drop the last of its remaining lockdown restrictions. Covid vaccinations will now be integrated into normal vaccination services, health minister Joe Phaahla said on Thursday. The government also plans to shift and reallocate resources as the pandemic drew staff and resources away from everyday medical needs. If a new wave of Covid-19 requires boosters, there should be a plan to quickly offer those shots via schools and private sector outlets. [BusinessInsider]

  • Ramaphosa holds meetings with Putin: President Cyril Ramaphosa is set to continue discussions with Vladimir Putin and other BRICS country leaders on Friday, with the Russian leader calling on the partner countries to close ranks on its decision to invade Ukraine and push back against ‘Western sanctions’. Chinese President Xi Jinping also criticised the sanctions for stoking global economic pain. [eNCA], [Bloomberg]

  • Markets: South Africa’s rand has continued to remain flat over the last week as markets remained pressured by rising concerns of a recession in the United States. The rand seemed little affected by the South African government repealing Covid-19 rules due to a dissipating fifth wave of the pandemic, as investors continued to weigh the risk of steep interest rate rises amid fears of a global economic slowdown. The rand is currently trading at R15.93/$, R16.79/€ and R19.54/£. [Reuters]

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