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By Cheryl Kahla

Content Strategist

Week ahead in SA: Lockdown restrictions, inflation, employment stats

We await the Q3 employment statistics as Ramaphosa is set to address the nation this week on possibly tightening lockdown restrictions.

Apart from the announcement of a possible tightening of local lockdown restrictions, we face a tough week ahead of the third-quarter employment statistics.

And this after a rollercoaster weekend, with the top story being President Cyril Ramaphosa receiving treatment for mild Covid-19 symptoms after testing positive on Sunday.

The week ahead: 13 to 19 Dec

Possible lockdown restrictions

As South Africans wait to hear the outcome of the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) meeting on Tuesday, Ramaphosa is “doing a lot of consultations on the issue” of tightening restrictions.

As reported over the weekend, sources within the Presidency said Ramaphosa was not happy with the rapid rise in new Covid-19 infections.

The source told City Press: “Don’t be surprised when we have a family meeting before Thursday. [Ramaphosa] is serious about protecting the country.”

READ MORE: Ramaphosa ‘doing a lot of consultations’ on tightening lockdown restrictions

Lockdown state of disaster

Last Thursday, the national State of Disaster was extended by another month, in terms of section 27(5) (c) of the Disaster Management Act, 2002 (57 of 2002).

Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele said “these measures continue to assist in the country’s fight to stop the spread of Covid-19”.

Many have argued the Disaster Management Act gives government unfettered freedom to act as it wishes by extending the State of Disaster without parliamentary oversight.

Q3 employment statistics

The Q3 employment report is set to be released on Wednesday, with the Bureau of Economic Research (BER) saying “the focus will be on whether the quarterly statistics also show a meaningful decline”.

The Q2 employment statistics released back in September 2021 showed approximately 86,000 jobs were lost, specifically in the formal sector.

While 9,652,000 people were employed in March 2021 – as per the Q1 statistics – that figure dropped to 9,566,000 in June 2021.

ALSO READ: Lower paid employees returning to workplace, but pay stagnant

In Parliament this week

The National Council of Provinces (NCOP) will wrap up its work for 2021 with two hybrid plenary sittings.

Delegates will embark on a constituency period from 16 to 24 December before going on leave from 27 December to 28 January 2022.

On Tuesday, the hybrid plenary sitting will consider the following five bills:

  • National Gambling Amendment Bill
  • National Environmental Management Laws Amendment Bill
  • National Forests Amendment Bill
  • Civil Aviation Amendment Bill
  • The Financial Sector Law Amendment Bill

Also on Tuesday, the Select Committee on Appropriations will consider and adopt reports on 2021 Adjustments Appropriation Bill; and proposed division of revenue and conditional grants allocations to provinces and local government.

On Wednesday, the hybrid sitting will consider the Rates and Monetary Amounts Amendment Bill, Taxation Laws Amendment Bill, Tax Administration Laws Amendment Bill and the Adjustments Appropriation Bill.


The BER warns: “On the inflation front, sharp fuel price hikes in November should contribute to a further acceleration in both the CPI and the PPI.”

“The Bloomberg consensus sees the CPI increasing by 5.5% y-o-y [year-over-year] in November, up from the 5% recorded in October.”

The South African rand weakened on Monday, trading at R16.07 against the dollar at at 7.15am South African Standard Time (SAST) – 0.2% weaker than its previous close.

Finance scams in South Africa

Meanwhile, Ryan Mer, CEO, eftsure Africa, says fraudsters are constantly finding new ways to exploit vulnerabilities and attack corporate payment systems.

Mer warns of five payment scams currently targeted at South African consumers. This includes internal fraud, social engineering and phishing.

A report from JP Morgan found 81% of organisations were hit with payment fraud in 2019, and only a relatively small portion of losses were recovered.

Additional reporting by Molefe Seeletsa.

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