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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...
Coronavirus – South Africa: Minister Thulas Nxesi urges more Employers to apply for Coronavirus COVID-19 Relief Benefits

Coronavirus – South Africa: Minister Thulas Nxesi urges more Employers to apply for Coronavirus COVID-19 Relief Benefits

AFRICA, CORONAVIRUS, South Africa
The quest by the Minister of Employment and Labour to ensure that more vulnerable workers benefit from the COVID-19 TERS scheme is beginning to bear fruit with a number of domestic workers being paid directly. As of Saturday, 16 May 2020, the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) figures showed that 14 113 domestic workers had benefitted from the special lockdown benefit to the tune of R55 572 870.00. The figures further showed that 10 092 employers had lodged claims on behalf of their domestic workers. “Certainly, we are beginning to ensure that the spirit and letter of our intervention is reaching the most vulnerable of our society. While we are happy that the efforts are beginning to bear fruit, we are worried that this still represents...
Parliament – South Africa: Communications committee briefed by ICASA, SITA, USAASA, GCIS and SAPO on their APPs and budgets

Parliament – South Africa: Communications committee briefed by ICASA, SITA, USAASA, GCIS and SAPO on their APPs and budgets

AFRICA, South Africa
South African Parliament ---- The Portfolio Committee on Communications was today briefed by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) on its Annual Performance Plan (APP) and budget for the 2020/21 financial year, and the committee welcomed the report that ICASA will place on auction the current temporary spectrum in December 2020. The temporary free spectrum that was released in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic will be closed at the end of November. ICASA Council’s Acting Chairperson told the committee that they believe that they will get attractive offer from bidding companies, because those companies would have experienced open spectrum. ICASA presented five outcomes for the medium-term strategic framework, namely increased access to quality broadband servic...
Coronavirus – South Africa: Minister Motshekga to convene a Special Council of Education Ministers to consider progress on State of Readiness for the Reopening of Schools

Coronavirus – South Africa: Minister Motshekga to convene a Special Council of Education Ministers to consider progress on State of Readiness for the Reopening of Schools

AFRICA, South Africa
The Minister of Basic Education Mrs Angie Motshekga will convene a special meeting of the Council of Education Ministers (CEM) to consider progress made towards the reopening of schools. The purpose of the meeting will be to consider the work done by provinces this week including taking deliveries of the COVID-19 Essentials required as preconditions for the reopening of schools. In a meeting held on Monday provinces reported that they were at various stages of readiness and they requested more time as they waited for deliveries of personal protection equipment from the supplier. “We agreed in our meeting on Monday that one week is needed to finalise outstanding. So on Monday (18 May) we will reconvene to consider progress made and then report to the public on the state of readine...
Coronavirus – South Africa: Employment and Labour praised for prompt payment of Coronavirus Covid-19 Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) Benefits

Coronavirus – South Africa: Employment and Labour praised for prompt payment of Coronavirus Covid-19 Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) Benefits

AFRICA, CORONAVIRUS, South Africa
A number of companies and individuals have expressed appreciation at the work of the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) and its quick response in disbursing COVID-19 Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) benefits which have, in most cases, been handed over to the workers. The UIF, an entity of the Department of Employment and Labour has since April 16, 2020 paid benefits of over R11-billion (R 11 314 188 205.70) for the benefit of 2 047 227 workers through 161 567 companies that launched claims on their behalf. This method of paying out was borne out of an agreement reached at National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC) which represents workers through unions, employers and the community. In one of the letters of testimonial, ...
Coronavirus – South Africa: COVID-19 impact on the economy

Coronavirus – South Africa: COVID-19 impact on the economy

AFRICA, CORONAVIRUS, ECONOMY, South Africa
The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic) has noted with concern a series of recent comments and news articles that give the impression that the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Mr Ebrahim Patel, has underplayed the extent of the costs that Covid-19 and the lockdown will impose on the economy. This is exactly the opposite of the truth. The impression seems to be based on an interview that Minister Patel conducted with the Sunday Times shortly after he had addressed Members of Parliament regarding Covid-19 in a session that was broadcasted live. In the address to the Parliamentary Committee, he stated that the pandemic has caused a massive and rapid shock on the economy, starting globally and transmitted rapidly to South Africa and the rest of the continen...
South Africa: Committees on tourism urge Minister of tourism to prioritize previously neglected communities

South Africa: Committees on tourism urge Minister of tourism to prioritize previously neglected communities

AFRICA, South Africa, TOURISM
Parliament, Tuesday, 12 May 2020 – The Portfolio Committee on Tourism, and the Select Committee on Trade and Industry, Economic Development, Small Business Development, Tourism, Employment and Labour yesterday received a briefing from the Minister of Tourism on the reasons for the withdrawal of the 2020/21 Annual Performance Plan of the Department of Tourism. The Minister of Tourism, Ms Mamaloko Kubayi-Ngubane, informed the joint meeting of the committees that tourism portfolio that includes the Department of Tourism and the South African Tourism has been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic more than any other department. The annual performance plan included programmes such as the Tourism Incentive Programme to assist Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) with market ac...
Coronavirus – South Africa: Western Cape Treasury adopts a whole-of-government response to COVID-19

Coronavirus – South Africa: Western Cape Treasury adopts a whole-of-government response to COVID-19

AFRICA, CORONAVIRUS, South Africa
The COVID-19 pandemic facing South Africa requires a whole-of-government and whole-of-society response. That is why the Provincial Treasury, working together with all departments in the Western Cape government, is working hard to support a full-scale response to COVID-19. In the immediate term, Provincial Treasury has taken a number of steps to support key departments like Health, Social Development and Public Works and Transport with streamlined decision-making around supply chain matters to ensure that critical procurement decisions are made as fast as possible, while ensuring full compliance under the emergency procurement protocols put in place by National Treasury.We are also engaging with National Treasury on a weekly basis, both in technical committees, and with Minister Tito Mb...
Coronavirus – South Africa: Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane on access to menstrual and hygiene products during the Coronavirus COVID-19 lockdown

Coronavirus – South Africa: Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane on access to menstrual and hygiene products during the Coronavirus COVID-19 lockdown

AFRICA, CORONAVIRUS, South Africa
The Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities (DWYPD) together with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Water Aid Southern Africa, Footprints Foundation and Langelihle Youth Foundation formed solidarity partnerships in ensuring that menstrual and hygiene products are made available for vulnerable women and girls in indigent households, shelters, informal settlements and quarantine spots during the lock-down period and beyond. As part of the social impact resulted from regulations to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus, there is general increase in the need for sanitary products for destitute families. The lockdown period also disrupted the normal sanitary dignity programme delivery channels such as schools. Displacement or relocation to places of safety and she...
SOUTH AFRICA:  COMMITTEE ON COGTA REMINDS THE DEPARTMENT TO SUBMIT REPORTS NOTWITHSTANDING THE LOCKDOWN PERIOD

SOUTH AFRICA: COMMITTEE ON COGTA REMINDS THE DEPARTMENT TO SUBMIT REPORTS NOTWITHSTANDING THE LOCKDOWN PERIOD

AFRICA, South Africa
Parliament, Saturday, 9 May 2020 – The Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs yesterday received briefings from the Department of Cooperative Governance and Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent (MISA) on their Annual Performance Plans (APP) for 2020/21, and Strategic Plans for 2020/24. The committee noted that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, National Treasury has requested all government departments to reprioritise, and identify savings to be used towards fighting the pandemic. Based on that, the department will revise and resubmit its annual performance plan later to the committee. The committee questioned the department about the feasibility of using the District Development Model by the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) programme which is aimed a...
Coronavirus – South Africa: Committees on Agriculture welcome the absorption of all employees in the reconfigured department

Coronavirus – South Africa: Committees on Agriculture welcome the absorption of all employees in the reconfigured department

AFRICA, AGRICULTURE, South Africa
CAPE TOWN, South Africa -- The Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, and the Select Committee on Land Reform, Environment, Minerals and Energy were today briefed by the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, the Commission on the Restitution of Land Rights and the Ingonyama Trust Board on their strategic and annual performance plans, and the medium term expenditure framework budget for 2020/21. The Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Ms Thoko Didiza informed the committees that the department’s new reconfigured structure has been finalised by the Department of Public Service and Administration. She said, according to the new structure, the employees of the former two departments will be absorbed without any...