18 border posts will open for transportation of goods

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Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says only 18 border posts will remain open from midnight on Thursday to allow for the transportation of goods.

This comes as the country prepares itself for a nationwide lockdown that kicks off at midnight on Thursday as part of the government’s efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The number of confirmed cases of the virus currently stands at 709 with no deaths.

Motsoaledi was addressing the media in Pretoria about interventions that her department will make to alleviate the impact of the coronavirus.

He says Home Affairs will only provide essential services such as issuing death certificates and temporary identity documents.

Motsoaledi says there will be no issuing of other documents including new marriage certificates, new births certificates, and passports.

He has also announced that people who have circulated false news about the pandemic will be charged.

Motsoaledi says, “I want to state here that this fake news  and it tends to be more dangerous sometimes as much as the virus itself because it worries people. Because of this and because we are on possession of the original source of the pictures, I’ve instructed my officials to go and lay a charge with the police. This is the first test case of whether fake news can be charged or not. We are going to charge these ones and we have identified at least three of them.”

In the video below, Aaron Motsoaledi speaks about his department’s measures for COVID-19:

Mining operations to be scaled down

Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Gwede Mantashe says mining operations will be scaled down significantly during the 21-day lockdown announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Mantashe was speaking in Pretoria during an inter-ministerial briefing on government’s measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus in the country.

Mantashe says mines that supply coal to Eskom will remain open, but production levels will be reduced.

“Mining operation will be scaled down significantly. Mines supplying coal to Eskom will remain in operation albeit at reduced production levels. Services being rendered to communities such as the supply of water will continue. Production in coal, chrome, manganese and other sectors will be scaled down, while processing of surface material in PGM sectors will continue for production of among other medical products.”

In the video below, Gwede Mantashe outlines his department’s measures for COVID-19:

16 suspected coronavirus cases among prison officials

Justice Minister Ronald Lamola says there have been 16 suspected coronavirus cases among officials at correctional centres across the country.

This comes as the country prepares for national lockdown on Thursday midnight, following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement on Monday night.

Lamola says 11 of the officials have tested negative for the virus and results for the remaining five are pending.

He says, “There has been processes of sanitisation, deep cleaning some of the correctional centres which are still continuing as we speak since the period of the lockdown. There has been suspected cases from our officials about 16 officials. 11 of them have been cleared to processes of testing, we are still awaiting results for the 5 officials.”

In the video below, Ronald Lamola speaks about security measures for COVID-19 :