Categories: GovernmentNews
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2023-11-17 12:45 PM

South Africa’s Current Affairs: Education, Energy, Diplomacy, Market Trends

  • Educational Reforms: The Department of Basic Education introduces measures to assist students in grades four to nine, offering extra marks and provisions for math pass marks, acknowledging challenges due to COVID-19 disruptions.
  • Agricultural Recovery: The egg and poultry supply faces recovery after shortages caused by a bird flu outbreak, with strategic imports ensuring stability and abundance ahead of the festive season.
  • Renewable Energy Impact: South Africa's significant adoption of solar power sees a surge in imports, reducing reliance on Eskom, impacting the economy positively and strengthening resilience against power outages.
By Miriam Matoma

In the heart of South Africa’s educational landscape, the Department of Basic Education has introduced measures to aid students in grades four to nine who face academic challenges. Amid disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, these pupils are set to receive up to 5% additional marks in three subjects they might fail at the year-end. Furthermore, a significant adjustment allows for the passing of math if other promotion criteria are met, even if the student falls short of the 40% threshold. This initiative seeks to address the setbacks experienced due to the pandemic’s educational upheavals, prioritizing progression while acknowledging the challenges faced by learners across the country. [TimesLive]

Egg enthusiasts, rejoice! South Africa’s egg and poultry supply, which faced a downturn owing to a bird flu outbreak earlier this year, is on a steady path to recovery. The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform, and Rural Development has strategically imported nine million fertilized eggs, 37,802 tonnes of day-old chicks, along with substantial quantities of egg products and poultry meat. This proactive step, guided by stringent biosecurity risk evaluations, aims to ensure ample availability during the upcoming festive season, offering relief to consumers and stabilizing the market after the recent shortages. [Mail & Guardian]

The realm of sustainable energy witnesses an impressive surge in South Africa’s adoption of solar power. Import statistics reveal an influx of over R16.5 billion worth of solar panels within the first nine months of 2023, translating to an impressive 4,500 MW in generation capacity. This substantial investment significantly diminishes reliance on Eskom for electricity, subsequently impacting the utility’s revenue. Moreover, this shift renders the South African economy resilient against the perils of load-shedding, underscoring the nation’s commitment to sustainable and diversified energy sources. [Daily Investor]

In the realm of global diplomacy, South Africa stands at a critical juncture regarding its relationship with Israel. There is a looming prospect of the temporary closure of Israel’s embassy in Pretoria and the suspension of all diplomatic ties until a ceasefire agreement is reached between Israel and Hamas. The African National Congress (ANC) has thrown its weight behind a parliamentary motion advocating for this stance, emphasizing the nation’s support for initiatives promoting peace and stability in the tumultuous Middle Eastern region. [Business Day]

Market fluctuations continue to shape South Africa’s economic landscape, with the rand experiencing a recent decline against the dollar. The currency’s ascent earlier in the week, bolstered by softer-than-anticipated U.S. consumer inflation data, seemed to reverse course as the week progressed. As of Friday (17 November), the rand was trading at R18.39 to the dollar, R22.81 to the pound, and R19.95 to the euro. Meanwhile, oil prices remain at $77.49 a barrel, contributing to the intricacies of the country’s economic outlook. [Reuters]

This comprehensive overview underscores South Africa’s dynamic landscape, encompassing educational adaptations, agricultural recoveries, renewable energy advancements, diplomatic deliberations, and economic fluctuations. These diverse facets weave together to shape the nation’s trajectory, reflecting its resilience and adaptability amid a spectrum of local and global challenges.

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Miriam Matoma

Miriam is a freelance writer, she covers economics and government news for Rateweb. You can contact her on: Email: Twitter: @MatomaMiriam

Tags: Diplomacy