As infections exceeded 500 000, it was revealed that South Africa lost more in tax revenue in the first three-and-half months of the fiscal year than it borrowed from the International Monetary Fund and the African Development Bank combined.
Fin24 reported that South African Revenue Service Commissioner Edward Kieswetter said in an interview on Friday that the lockdown led to an under-recovery of R82 billion for the fiscal year to July 15.
The report said that in the three months to the end of June, there was an under-recovery of about R47 billion, with excise-duty collections including levies on alcohol, tobacco products and fuel contracting by 42% from a year earlier.
Kieswetter said the revenue agency would work with the National Treasury and SA Reserve Bank on proposals for the main budget review in February next year.
Positive cases grew in South Africa yesterday by 10 107 to a cumulative total of 503 290 (with 342 461 recoveries). Deaths rose by 148 to 8 153.
The highest tally of cases is in Gauteng (178 119), followed by the Western Cape (96 189), the Eastern Cape (78 782) and KwaZulu-Natal (79 607).
The Department of Basic Education announced that the school year for grades R to 11 would end on 15 December. Matric exams would be completed by the same date, with results being announced on 23 February 2021.
There would be a short school break between the third and fourth terms from October 26 to 30.
In other virus-related news
- Reuters reported that Russia announced it would begin a mass vaccination campaign in October, with doctors and teachers being the first to receive the vaccine. Anonymous sources said Russia’s first potential vaccine would be approved by regulators this month. Some have expressed concern at Russia’s fast-track approach. The United States’ leading infectious disease expert, Dr Anthony Fauci, said he hoped Russia was ‘actually testing the vaccine’ before administering it to anyone. Dr Fauci said the US should have a ‘safe and effective’ vaccine by the end of this year;
- About 20 000 people protested in Berlin against the country’s coronavirus restrictions. Demonstrators said measures including the wearing of face masks violated their rights and freedoms. Police broke up the protest, saying organisers had not respected coronavirus hygiene regulations. The BBC said Germany had been less badly affected by the pandemic than some European countries, but cases were rising. On Friday it recorded more than 900 new cases and seven deaths;
- The World Health Organization warned yesterday after its emergency committee met to evaluate the crisis that the pandemic was likely to be ‘lengthy’, and cautioned against ‘response fatigue’; and
- Reuters said more than 17.61 million people had been reported to be infected globally and 679 094 had died.