NEWSFLASH NEWS AGENCY 19 November 7 am
In this bulletin:
# A political analyst says suggestion of sabotage at Eskom is dangerous
# Saccawu will kick start its indefinite national strike at Massmart stores today
# And, WHO has once again stressed the need to ensure Covid-19 vaccine equity
# Suggestions of sabotage at Eskom, if true, emphasise the dangerous role that patronage networks bring to governance in brazenly endangering an entire economy. This is the view of political analyst Daniel Silke. Eskom CEO André de Ruyter confirmed this week that they are investigating suspicious circumstances surrounding the simultaneous failure of three units at the Matimba power station located in Limpopo. Silke says the destabilisation of the grid is also a political destabilisation affecting the top ANC leadership.
# The South African Commercial Catering and Allied Workers Union will kick start its indefinite national strike at the Massmart group today. Massmart owns Makro, Game, Builders Warehouse, Rhino Cash and Carry, Jumbo Wholesale, and Shield stores. The union’s grievances include wages, retrenchments, and working conditions. Deputy general-secretary Mduduzi Mbongwe says the group’s management has refused to give workers a 500-rand increase across the board:
Play sound: ENG MbongweOnStrike
# BetterBond says the hike in the repo rate to 3.75-percent is not entirely unexpected. The property company believes it was time for the rate to normalise to pre-pandemic levels. Speaking on industry trends, CEO Carl Coetzee said the increase of 25 basis points should not be a cause for alarm as house price inflation is strengthening in most provinces. Coetzee is confident the housing market will see growth in the coming year:
Play sound: ENG-CarlCoetzee
# South Africa has recorded 585 new Covid-19 cases in the past 24-hours. The majority of new cases are from Gauteng with 33-percent, followed by KwaZulu-Natal with 18-percent and the Western Cape accounting for 16-percent. There has been an increase of 33 hospital admissions in the past 24 hours. A further 40 Covid-19 related deaths have been reported, bringing the total fatalities to 89-thousand-555 to date. The country’s recovery rate remains at 96.4-percent.
# The World Health Organisation has again stressed the need to ensure Covid-19 vaccine equity for all to end this pandemic. The organisation had set a target for all countries to vaccinate ten-percent of their populations by the end of September this year. However, 56 countries were not able to reach this target. WHO’s Maria Van Kerkhove says the global failure to share vaccines equitably is taking its toll on some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people:
Play sound: ENG KerkhoveOnEquity
# Rugby: England captain Owen Farrell will undergo ankle surgery and he is expected to be sidelined for ten- to 12-weeks. He suffered an ankle injury while playing against Australia in Twickenham last week. A ten-week layoff would leave Farrell sidelined until the weekend of January 29th, but twelve weeks out would see him definitely miss the England Six Nations games away to Scotland on February fifth, and then the February 13th match away to Italy.
# And the financial indicators: The dollar is trading at 15-rand-63-cents and the euro at 17-rand-75-cents. One British pound costs 21-rand-7-cents and Bitcoin trades at 55-thousand-923-dollar-6-cents. Gold is selling at one thousand-862-dollars-88-cents a fine ounce and Brent crude oil is quoted at 81-dollars-69-cents a barrel.
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