After load shedding and steel strike, the new variant adds to SA's economic woes

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The new Omicron variant was detected in South Africa last week.
The new Omicron variant was detected in South Africa last week.
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Load shedding and a three-week steel strike are expected to weigh on fourth quarter GDP, and the discovery of the new Omicron Covid-19 variant will add more pressure depending on what unfolds next, according to economists.

Last week, the government announced it had identified a new Covid-19 variant - dubbed Omicron by the World Health Organisation. Subsequently, a host of nations - the UK, US, Canada and Europe - imposed international travel bans on South Africa and its neighbouring countries.

Uncertainty about the new variant possibly being more infectious than Delta and resistant to vaccines triggered sell-offs, with oil prices plunging and the rand also hitting new lows. But by Monday, oil prices, the rand and stocks rebounded.

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Rand - Dollar
15.49
-1.0%
Rand - Pound
20.71
-0.2%
Rand - Euro
17.25
+0.0%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.89
+0.2%
Rand - Yen
0.13
-0.3%
Gold
1,792.23
-1.5%
Silver
22.62
-3.8%
Palladium
2,371.50
+1.6%
Platinum
1,024.00
-1.0%
Brent Crude
89.96
+2.0%
Top 40
67,070
-0.4%
All Share
73,504
-0.4%
Resource 10
75,094
-0.2%
Industrial 25
90,477
-1.1%
Financial 15
15,064
+0.9%
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