South Africa: Rising Cost of Living May Fuel Social Tensions, Economist Warns - South African News Briefs - January 19, 2023

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19 January 2023

Cape Town — Rising Cost of Living a Catalyst for Rising Social Tensions, Economist Warns

According to Eyewitness News, the rising costs of food, fuel and electricity may give rise to social tensions, Efficient Group economist, Dawie Roodt has warned. Roodt explains that the "toxic mixture" of weak economic growth along with the rising cost of living may be what sparks an uprising, an issue that may be compounded when election campaigns next begin with politicians making grandiose promises.

Reserve Bank Conducts Tests for Digital Currency

The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) is conducting investigations and testing a central bank digital currency (CBDC), Business Tech reports. A CBDC is controlled by a country's central bank and is essentially a digital version of a nation's fiat currency. SARB governor Lesetja Kganyago  spoke at the annual World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland and said South Africa would implement rapid development of central bank currencies based on results of similar tests made by other nations at further stages of development.

Covid-19 Booster Shots for Over-18s to Be Made Available at the End of January

The window for Covid-19 booster shots aimed at over-18s has been extended to the end of January, Eyewitness News writes. The shots were initially only made available to people over the age of 50 and come in the wake of the detection of the "Kraken"  XBB.1.5 variant. According to the Department of Health's s deputy director-general Nicholas Crisp, work is under way to improve the impact off the vaccines.

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