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South Africa

S.AFRICA: Ribbons to remember COVID-19 victims

S.AFRICA: Ribbons to remember COVID-19 victims

AFRICA, CORONAVIRUS, South Africa
A South African church is honouring the country's coronavirus victims by putting out white ribbons to mark each and every death from the disease. The fence outside St. James Presbyterian church in Johannesburg is a stark reminder of the suffering caused by the pandemic in South Africa. "We feel honoured, because we honour the people who passed away from coronavirus. So I think it means a lot to us and to the people of South Africa," explained Rhudzani Makuya, a church caretaker. Every morning, the church's caretakers walk out from the church with a bucket full of ribbons to tie them to the fence. The fence has turned into a wall of white satin. Each ribbon represents one the almost 8,000 people killed by the virus so far. "So we wanted a visual representation of that pain a...
S.AFRICA: Trade and industry committee engages on sugar and steel industry

S.AFRICA: Trade and industry committee engages on sugar and steel industry

Business, South Africa, TECHNOLOGY
Parliament, Tuesday, 28 July 2020 – The Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry today had fruitful discussions on developments in the South African sugar and steel industries. Committee Chairperson Mr Duma Nkosi noted that the sugar industry is in the process of applying for an exception from the Competition Commission to implement the provisions of the master plan as drawn up by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC). The committee heard that the South African share of the sugar market has shrunk from 1.6 to 1.2 million tons. Furthermore, there has been a significant decrease in sugar cane production, mainly in KwaZulu-Natal. Consequently, there have been job losses and small growers have gone out of business. The DTIC’s proposed sugar masterplan interventions for sta...
S.AFRICA: Committees reject water tariff increase proposals and call for further consideration of issues

S.AFRICA: Committees reject water tariff increase proposals and call for further consideration of issues

AFRICA, South Africa
Parliament, Tuesday, 28 July 2020 – A joint meeting of the Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation and the Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) today rejected a reconsidered presentation from the Department of Water and Sanitation and the South African Local Government Association (Salga) on proposals for the 2020/21 water tariff increase.  While the committees note the movement in finding common ground between the department, representing water boards, and Salga, the committees believe that the impact of Covid-19 on households has not been taken into enough consideration in the scenarios presented. As a result, both committees resolved that a downward adjustment in the proposed tariffs should be considered. The committee is ...
Coronavirus – South Africa: Sports, Arts and Culture on the status of Coronavirus COVDI-19 relief to the creative sector industry

Coronavirus – South Africa: Sports, Arts and Culture on the status of Coronavirus COVDI-19 relief to the creative sector industry

AFRICA, CORONAVIRUS, South Africa
Department of Sport, Arts and Culture on the status of relief to the creative sector industryCAPE TOWN, South Africa, July 6, 2020/ -- In line with the National Development Plan's 2030 vision, our intention as a Department is to build a cohesive society in which everyone has access to sport., arts and culture resources . facilities and opportunities.Whilst COVID-19 has robbed our industry of gaining fruitful employment, this challenge has further inspired us to ensure that our mandate becomes even more pronounced.101 days into lockdown in South Africa, the relief fund process has provided much needed relief and has enabled us to empower over two thousand practitioners from the creativeindustry.We remain resolute in improving the quality of the lives of South Africans, in spite of the huge...
SOUTH AFRICA: Message from the Desk of the President.

SOUTH AFRICA: Message from the Desk of the President.

AFRICA, CORONAVIRUS, South Africa
Dear Fellow South African, For those fortunate enough to have an elderly parent or grandparent still alive, not being able to spend time with them has been one of the most difficult parts of the lockdown. For millions of senior citizens, social activities like meeting friends and family and attending religious services and stokvel and burial society meetings are the mainstay of their lives. Because of social distancing regulations, most of these activities have been curtailed, potentially leaving them feeling socially isolated and lonely. And leaving their loved ones anxious for their wellbeing. The reality however is that in keeping our distance from our elderly parents and grandparents at this time we could be saving their lives. Coronavirus can infect anyone, but older people are among...
Coronavirus – South Africa: Government commences urgent investigation into the supply of scrap to the Metals Industry in response to COVID-19

Coronavirus – South Africa: Government commences urgent investigation into the supply of scrap to the Metals Industry in response to COVID-19

AFRICA, CORONAVIRUS, South Africa
The downturn in global manufacturing resulting from COVID-19, has led to the amount of scrap metal available locally and internationally being dramatically reducedPRETORIA, South Africa, July 3, 2020/ -- The Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic), Mr Ebrahim Patel, has today issued a trade policy directive to the International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa (ITAC) to urgently look into measures to help support the metals industry which, as a result of COVID-19, is facing several severe challenges due to increased global demand for raw materials and a significant price increase for all main inputs into the sector.The downturn in global manufacturing resulting from COVID-19, has led to the amount of scrap metal available locally and internationally being dra...
S.AFRICA: Police operates under church premises after  station is shut down due to Covid-19.

S.AFRICA: Police operates under church premises after station is shut down due to Covid-19.

AFRICA, CORONAVIRUS, South Africa
Johannesburg - The Mhala Police Station in Mpumalanga will on Monday and Tuesday be operating from a nearby church after it had to be shut down due to an officer testing positive for Covid-19. The officer received his results on Sunday and the police station was immediately shutdown so it could undergo deep cleaning. Spokesperson for the Mpumalaga Police Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said the station was big which a huge staff complement and needed two days to be properly disinfected.  He said communities that used the police station would need to go to the Roman Catholic Church which was not far from the station as that's where officers would be temporarily based. "There are no services that will be affected. We will be operating as normal but with limited resources. We don't...
Parliament – South Africa: Mineral resources and energy committee finalises process of listening to presentations on APPs by department and entities

Parliament – South Africa: Mineral resources and energy committee finalises process of listening to presentations on APPs by department and entities

AFRICA, CORONAVIRUS, South Africa
Parliament - South Africa,Thursday, 21 May 2020 – The Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources has finalised a process of listening and interrogating presentations on the Annual Performance Plans (APPs) and budgets for the 2020/21 financial year of the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE), together with its entities, and it will now consider and adopt a committee report with some recommendations, based on what was presented. Presentations also dealt with the Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) for the period 2020-2024. The DMRE has presented an estimated budget of R9.3 billion for the current financial year, most of which will be transferred to its entities. The entities reporting under the DMRE are the Council for Geoscience (CGS), National Energy Regulator of South Af...
Parliament -South Africa: Committees on public enterprises call for COVID-19 recovery plan for state owned entities

Parliament -South Africa: Committees on public enterprises call for COVID-19 recovery plan for state owned entities

AFRICA, CORONAVIRUS, South Africa
Parliament - South Africa, Thursday, 21 May 2020 – The Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises, and the Select Committee on Public Enterprises and Communications were briefed by the Department of Public Enterprises on its annual performance plan and budget for 2020/21. Briefing the committees, the Deputy Minister of the Department of Public Enterprises, Mr Phumulo Masualle, told the committees that the state-owned companies (SOCs) experienced difficulties before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, and according to him, the pandemic has worsened the situation in which the SOCs were in before. He said Eskom is unable to raise revenue, and both the South African Airways (SAA) and the South African Express (SAX) are not flying as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. “Six months bef...
Coronavirus – South Africa: Home Affairs on Civic Services rendered at Front Offices during Coronavirus Covid-19 Level 4

Coronavirus – South Africa: Home Affairs on Civic Services rendered at Front Offices during Coronavirus Covid-19 Level 4

AFRICA, CORONAVIRUS, South Africa
CAPE TOWN, South Africa, May 21, 2020/ -- The Department of Home Affairs wishes to outline civic services that are rendered at front offices in alert level 4 of the national state of disaster which had commenced on 1 May 2020. The limited services were published in Government Notice No. R. 518 of 9 May 2020 together with directions on temporary measures regulating entry and exit from South Africa for emergency medical attention, return of SA citizens and repatriation of foreign nationals. The services are rendered to citizens and other clients at civic services front offices across the country, between Monday and Friday, from 08h30 to 15h30, as follows: Registration of Births, excluding late registration of Birth Births are registered at health facilities and local Home Affair...
Coronavirus – South Africa: Statement by Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga giving an update on preparations for the re-opening of schools

Coronavirus – South Africa: Statement by Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga giving an update on preparations for the re-opening of schools

AFRICA, CORONAVIRUS, EDUCATION, South Africa
PRETORIA, South Africa, May 20, 2020/ -- By Angie Motshekga Let start by acknowledging Deputy Minister Mhaule and DG Mweli, members of the media, good afternoon. The Coronavirus has brought a lot of trauma and anxiety to all of us as a nation and the rest of the world. It has turned our lives upside down and there is a lot of fear about what will happen next.Since we started planning for the reopening of schools we have received many representations from parents and organisations. We highly appreciate. I am aware that parents and their children, teachers and non-teaching staff and all South Africans have been asking questions about the future of the academic year.There was always certainty that school would have to be reopened. Cabinet agreed that as much as it was important to...
Coronavirus – South Africa: Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) publishes Mandatory Code of Practice to fight COVID-19

Coronavirus – South Africa: Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) publishes Mandatory Code of Practice to fight COVID-19

AFRICA, South Africa
PRETORIA, South Africa/ -- The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) has published guidelines for a mandatory Code of Practice (COP) for the mitigation and management of COVID-19 in the mining industry. The guidelines are issued in terms of section 49(6) of the Mine Health and Safety Act, 1996, after consultation with the Mine Health and Safety Council inluding a process of public comments to the draft guidelines. The objective of this guideline is to assist employers as far as reasonably practicable to establish and maintain a COVID-19 prevention, mitigation and management programme. This is to ensure that mine employees returning to work and any other persons at mines, are protected from transmission of the Coronavirus at the workplace, and where reasonably practicable, i...
Coronavirus – South Africa: Employment and Labour Officials in Self-Isolation as Colleague Tests Positive for COVID-19 in Gauteng

Coronavirus – South Africa: Employment and Labour Officials in Self-Isolation as Colleague Tests Positive for COVID-19 in Gauteng

AFRICA, CORONAVIRUS, South Africa
An Occupational Health and Safety Inspector in Gauteng has tested positive for COVID-19. As a result, all his Employment and Labour Provincial office colleagues who may have come into contact with him have been advised to self-isolate while their health is being monitored and necessary protocols are effected. These officials have been in contact with the Department of Health. The infected employee self-reported after undergoing medical tests following a consultation with a medical practitioner who advised for further testing after initially presenting flu-like symptoms. “As we have indicated before, as the Department we recognise that the pandemic is also likely to affect us as well especially frontline workers like inspectors. To the extent possible, we are urging our officials ...
Coronavirus – South Africa: Employment and Labour on 150 000 workers benefitting from Coronavirus Covid-19 Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) Temporary Relief Scheme

Coronavirus – South Africa: Employment and Labour on 150 000 workers benefitting from Coronavirus Covid-19 Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) Temporary Relief Scheme

AFRICA, CORONAVIRUS, South Africa
CAPE TOWN: The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), an entity of the Department of Employment and Labour today processed and paid COVID-19 TERS relief payments to the tune of  R748 815 094.20 benefitting 149 263 workers represented by 9 362 employers. This bring to 2 551 236 the total number of workers who have been given relief during lockdown which may be in lieu of or a top up to their salaries. The total amount disbursed since April 16, 2020 has now topped R14-billion (R14 079 099 409.20). This is over and above the payments that the UIF makes to ordinary benefits payments which now stand at R1 849 992 773.21. According to the UIF Commissioner, Teboho Maruping, with all the necessary information and documents furnished, the Fund is now pa...
Coronavirus – South Africa: Employment and Labour dismisses allegations of non-compliance with Coronavirus COVID-19 regulations in Kimberley office

Coronavirus – South Africa: Employment and Labour dismisses allegations of non-compliance with Coronavirus COVID-19 regulations in Kimberley office

AFRICA, CORONAVIRUS, South Africa
The Department of Employment and Labour would like to dismiss the allegations of the PSA as baseless with regards to conditions of Kimberley office. All occupational health and safety protocols has been observed to combat COVID-19 infections. A limited number of officials who have been working since lockdown are still reporting for duty as per schedule and they have been issued with Personal Protective Equipment like Masks, Latex gloves and Sanitizers. The face shield will be provided to frontline officials and partitions are being installed to promote social distancing in the workplace. The Department has not re-called any additional officials back to work as it is busy finalizing the Return to Work Plan for the Northern Cape. The service provider has been appointed to perform industr...
Coronavirus – South Africa: Member of the Executive Council (MEC) Anroux Marais on Coronavirus COVID-19 supporting measures for learners under lockdown

Coronavirus – South Africa: Member of the Executive Council (MEC) Anroux Marais on Coronavirus COVID-19 supporting measures for learners under lockdown

AFRICA, CORONAVIRUS, South Africa
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and subsequent school shut down, many of our most vulnerable learners in the province are at home without access to learner-led fun and educational material. A partnership quickly emerged between the After School Programme Office (The Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport), The Learning Trust, ASSITEJ-SA and the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation to develop an online resource portal for NGOs to share activities to do while at home. If you would like to view or contribute, please do so by visiting the Treasure Box. All the resources are available to anyone who can connect online. However, Minister Anroux Marais said, “Recognising that many vulnerable learners cannot access online resources the next action was to print an offline pack for learners ...
South African Parliament to resume virtual parliamentary meetings this week

South African Parliament to resume virtual parliamentary meetings this week

AFRICA, Politics, South Africa
cape Town – Parliament’s business will continue this week with Committees of the National Assembly(NA) and the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) receiving briefings from various government departments regarding their strategic plans, annual performance plans and budget allocations. Matters of the oversight of the COVID-19 pandemic will also receive attention in some committees. The National Assembly Rules Committee is scheduled to meet on Tuesday, 19 May. The meeting will consider the Rule on Virtual meetings in terms of National Assembly Rule 6 (unforeseen eventualities) and the reconfiguration of the clustered system of government portfolios for Questions to Ministers. The National Assembly is scheduled to hold its first hybrid sitting (both physical and virtual setting) on 2...