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Freedom Day in South Africa

South Africa marks Freedom Day, the anniversary of the first democratic elections in 1994, today, as citrus exports get underway (up to week 16, 4.6 million 15kg cartons of shipped this season, out of a predicted 163 million) and the avocado season enters its export peak.

Temperatures are dropping, with light rain predicted over the Western Cape and snow predicted for the Drakensberg Highlands towards the end of the week.

Climate- and production-wise, the growing season has been unusually favourable.

Google's Doodle on South African screens today

South Africa's economic recovery was lagging behind that of comparable countries, Tito Moweni, minister of finance, told a conference this week. Global recovery has been faster than expected, he noted.

The International Monetary Fund has forecast economic growth of 3.1% for South Africa this year, down to 2% growth next year. It is below the IMF's growth figure for sub-Sahara Africa as a whole, which is 4% for next year.

The national debt is currently R3,75 trillion.

The announcement that the government would resume the vaccine rollout lifted spirits on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

The Rand is still strong against the US Dollar, diverging from its emerging market peers in that respects, but market analysts don't expect it to break through the R14 to the US$1 barrier. 


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