The Rand as a currency has been trading at 18.9800 against the dollar, not far from its previous close of 18.9850.1 This shows it is stabilizing. The South African Reserve bank (SARB) will announce its interest rate decision on Thursday and provide clues on the country’s future rate path.2 The dollar last traded near its previous close of 105.260 against a basket of global currencies.3 “The SARB is expected to keep rates unchanged but remain hawkish on the back of concerns of an uptick in inflation on the back of the higher fuel price,” Andre Cilliers, currency strategist at TreasureOne.4
The US Federal Reserve is also expected to keep rate unchanged when it meets on Wednesday, he added, “but with a hawkish outlook given the higher oil price and higher inflation numbers”.5 Shares on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange opened lower, with the blue-chip Top-40 index last trading down more than 0.6%.6 The fact that the rand is stabilizing is good news as it means that investors will be attracted to invest in the economy. Inflation has relaxed somewhat as well which will improve people’s livelihoods. Investment in the South African market means more jobs for the people if the money is used correctly. However not all the news is good Cape Town was hit by strong tides combined with violent winds caused a powerful swell over the weekend, with sea water overtopping the dykes and flooding the streets and houses in palces.7
A 92-year-old woman died in the bad weather that began on Saturday, Craig Lambinon, spokesman for the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI), told AFP on Sunday. In a seaside restaurant in Kalk Bay, a fishing village nestled in an open bay on the Atlantic, around thirty kilometres from Cape Town, the water surprised customers by rushing in through the windows. “I still get goose bumps,” admits Asemahle Daniels, a 26-year-old waitress. Cloth in hand, she takes a break after spending most of Sunday morning mopping up the floor. On the pier, a handful of curious onlookers watch excitedly as the rollers break against a lighthouse:
“You have to see this with your own eyes at least once in your life”, enthuses 44-year-old Yuri Ray. A rising tide, with an above-average coefficient, can cause “large waves”, Lehlohonolo Thobela, a forecaster at the South African Meteorological Institute, told AFP. In impressive images widely shared on social networks, the water surging through the streets of several towns near Cape Town washed away bins and parked cars on Saturday. The National Meteorological Institute has issued a warning for the country’s 3,000 km of coastline until Monday. Emergency services have called for caution and several beaches in the region have been closed. (South Africa: Unusual waves hit the coast of Cape Town)
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The tragic storm shook the coast of Cape Town and some like the 92-year-old woman lost their lives. These tragedies show that the national Government along with the administration of the Western Cape and the Cape Town Municipality need to cooperate on raising awareness of climate change. All these disasters related to storms and floods tie in to climate change. The latest disaster to hit South African shores could see a loss of coast line. However, in some countries like Japan they have Tsunami walls to protect them from the sea. We need to possibly invest in that, but with rising sae levels we need to switch to using renewable energy such as solar or wind. The latest rise in coastal waters has been happening all along the West Coast of Africa, this latest disaster off the infamous bulging cape should send alarm bells ringing.
The destruction left in the wake by the storm shows Pretoria and the rest of the continent should be weary of rising water levels. With a growing population conserving land mass should be a point of concern. Another way to combat climate change is to grow more trees. These conserve carbon dioxide and give us oxygen. The government needs to raise the issues of rising storms with its other counterparts and find an appropriate solution. Right now, the people of the Western Cape need to come together and focus on rescue efforts. Retrieval of bodies and rebuilding with South Africans’ help should be a main concern.