Telling empowering stories, South Africans want to hear

Tuesday, 31 May 2022 20:34

SA records 2,809 new COVID-19 cases bringing total cases to 3,957,777.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), reports 2,809 new COVID-19 cases that have been identified in South Africa, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 3,957,777.

The majority of new cases today are from Gauteng (29%), followed by Western Cape (25%). Kwa-Zulu Natal accounted for 18%; Eastern Cape accounted for 11%; Free State accounted for 5%; Mpumalanga and North West each accounted for 4% respectively; Northern Cape accounted for 3%; and Limpopo accounted for 2% of today’s new cases. 

This increase represents a 12.6% positivity rate.

The proportion of positive new cases/total new tested today is 12.6%, and is higher than yesterday (9.4%). The 7-day average is 12.7% today, and is lower than yesterday (13.1%).

Today, the NDoH reports 28 deaths and of these 5 deaths occurred in the past 24 to 48 hours. The cumulative COVID-19 deaths are 100,190 to date.

Meanwhile supply chain pressures on the local economy are now worse than at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic and the 2008 global financial crisis, says auditing and professional services giant PwC.

"Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the Covid-19 lockdown in China, the floods in KwaZulu-Natal and load shedding are making things more dire," PwC warns in its latest South Africa Economic Outlook Report for 2022, published on Monday.

"This requires companies to evaluate the resilience of their supply chains to continue providing goods and services," says PwC South Africa senior economist Christie Viljoen.

PwC chief economist Lullu Krugel said the challenges companies are facing now are a result of a failure to diversify their supply chains.

"When [the] Covid-19 pandemic happened, everyone was saying we need to diversify our supply chains, and if you speak to a lot of South African businesses, they tell you that they have not done that, "she says.

"In some instances it's because it was very difficult – the costs [were prohibitive] or they could not get alternative supply, or for some it was a matter of [focusing on] survival … I don’t think anybody anticipated that we would be sitting with the type of problems that we are dealing with today."

PwC forecasts real economic growth of 3.7% in South Africa's key trading partners during 2022, down from a January projection of 4.7%.

Its gross domestic product (GDP) forecast for the South African economy this year is much lower, at around 2%.

"South Africa's key trading partners include some of the world’s largest economies, including China and the euro area. These economies are currently facing a multitude of headwinds, including rising interest rates, supply chain disruption, resurging Covid-19 waves, as well as producer and consumer inflation at the highest levels in decades," said Krugel, adding that this is an indication that growth patterns are returning to sluggish pre-Covid-19 levels.

Last year was a bit of an outlier because the economy had to recover from Covid-19 – yes, it was great that the economy grew at almost 5% but we knew that would be very unlikely to continue," she added.