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SA needs to invest in its own vaccination programme: Ramaphosa
24 January 2021, 9:15 PM

African National Congress (ANC) President Cyril Ramaphosa says the party’s National Executive Committee along with its alliance partners have agreed on a massive social mobilisation campaign to help roll out the coronavirus vaccine across the country.

The ANC president was delivering the closing address at the party’s Virtual NEC Lekgotla on Sunday evening.

Ramaphosa says South Africa also needs to invest in its own vaccination programme and improve preparedness for the future crisis.

“We need to build broad acceptance amongst our people of the vaccine programme and to vigorously tackle misinformation and misunderstanding. Our planning and preparedness for the future crisis must be improved, this must include investment in our own vaccine development and production capacity. And this is when we need to have African solutions for African problems.”

The three-day meeting was attended by the party’s former presidents Thabo Mbeki, Jacob Zuma and deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe.

It was called to discuss among others the COVID-19 economic recovery plan and preparations for local government elections.

Ramaphosa says all ANC councillors in badly managed municipalities will have to go through an evaluation process.

Ramaphosa delivers closing address at the ANC Lekgotla:

SuperSport United beat TTM 2-0 to secure second position on PSL log
24 January 2021, 7:15 PM

SuperSport United are now second on the DSTV Premiership log following Bradley Grobler and Sipho Mbule’s unanswered goals away to Tshakuma FC in Thohoyandou.

Log leaders, Mamelodi Sundowns, SuperSport United, and third-placed Swallows FC, all have 27 points from their 13 matches.

In another encounter this afternoon, Cape Town City ended Golden Arrows’ unbeaten run in this campaign with a 4-2 win at the Cape Town Stadium.

Golden Arrows traveled to Cape Town City aiming to maintain their unbeaten run in the league so far this season.

It was expected to be a mouth-watering affair between the two sides.

They came into this match 4th and 5th on the log respectively and level on 19 points.

City took the game to the visitors from the word go. And moments later, Justin Shonga was also denied by Arrows’ defence. It was a matter of when would they break the deadlock.

However, they were up against a side with a never-say-die spirit. And just after the half-hour mark, the two sides were level pegging at 1-all.

City pushed bodies forward, looking to take the lead once again. But the side from Durban stood its ground, with Mlungwana pulling off yet another fine save.

Abafana Bes’thende couldn’t have asked for a better start to the second half.

Taariq Fielies who committed the foul that led to Arrows’ penalty, made amends with a thumping header.

A defense-splitting pass by Thato Mokeke found Mduduzi Mdantsane who rounded the keeper for City third goal.

And the Citizens were not done. The final score: Cape Town City 4, Golden Arrows 2.

North West funeral homes buckling under coronavirus strain
24 January 2021, 6:40 PM

Some funeral undertakers in the North West say they can no longer cope with the high number of funerals they are handling daily. They say the pre-COVID weekly number of three to four, has jumped to over five.

The North West has so far, recorded 863 deaths and more than 54 360 coronavirus infections.

“We used to conduct three to four burials a day, but now things have changed whereby we find ourselves in a very bad situation and difficult situation where we have to bury almost every day four to six numbers are increasing. so that is a challenge that are experiencing as the industry or funeral directors,” says the chairperson of the African Funeral Practitioners Association, Kabelo Maine.

North West Health authorities concerned about an increase in COVID-19  deaths:

Health authorities attribute the spike in deaths to the festive period.

“We are definitely worried about the increasing number of deaths, and what we are seeing now it confirms what we suspected that during the festive season there was this interaction of families that then transferred the virus even to those that were more vulnerable. in the first wave we tried very hard to protect the vulnerable but it’s very clear that there was a laxity that happened in the festive season,” says spokesperson, Tebogo Lekgethwane.

Medical practitioners are advising patients to test for COVID- 19 timeously.

A Mahikeng general practitioner, Dr Tshepo Matseke, says: “One of the challenges that we are having is the fear from our local community our patients to test for COVID. It is important to remember that the sooner you test, the sooner we can treat, but the later you present the more difficult it becomes for us to help patients. I have been telling patients ever since the start of the pandemic I was telling them please forget flu, just treat everything that is coming along as COVID until you are tested negative.”

Health authorities have, once again, emphasised the importance of complying with all COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

Warrenton couple defends burying infant in shallow grave
24 January 2021, 5:29 PM

The following story contains graphic descriptions, which may upset sensitive readers.

A couple in Warrenton in the Northern Cape insists their decision to bury their baby in a shallow grave behind their home was a necessary one.

The baby was eight months old at the time of her death earlier this month.

Her father says burying her in a shallow grave was a tough decision they couldn’t avoid.

He says the baby died of natural causes but they had no money for the burial and had nowhere else to turn.

The father says they did the best they could for their child.

“It is okay even if they arrest me. God is for all of us. I did what I had to because the baby was not insured and I am unemployed. I have nothing,” he says.

The audio below contains graphic descriptions, which may upset some listeners, including children:

He claims that the incident is taking a toll on his family. “We are not okay. We are not doing well at all. I also hate what happened. I’m even losing weight as a result of this. I am exhausted.”

Neighbours of the couple are shocked at the discovery of the shallow grave.

“We never thought something like this would happen here. As parents, we are hurting. How can one do this after carrying a child for nine months?,” asks one neighbour.

“This has hurt me. I have not spoken to my neighbours because even looking at them saddens me. This was just a baby,” adds another.

Police took the child’s parents in for questioning after exhuming her following a tip-off.

The couple has since been released, but an inquest docket into the child’s death has been opened.

Govt leaders should take COVID-19 vaccine in public to demystify myths: Mabuyane
24 January 2021, 5:00 PM

Eastern Cape Premier, Oscar Mabuyane, says government leaders should take the COVID-19 vaccine in public to demystify myths surrounding the vaccine and to show citizens that it is safe.

Mabuyane made the call as the province gears itself up to vaccinate 3.7 million people to achieve the mountainous task of defeating COVID-19. The provincial government says it is ready to innoculate its citizens with the the Astra Zeneza-Oxford University vaccine that it expects to be distributed by the national government.

The provincial authorities say 500 health workers will be tasked with giving the shots to 75% of the provincial population, which excludes children under the age of 18. The province has the highest number of COVID-19 deaths in the country at 9 510. Mabuyane has urged people not to listen to negative theories about the vaccine.

“We want to dispel the myth and conspiracy about the  vaccine. The pandemic we are dealing with is nothing to joke about. People must stop paddling uninformed information about the vaccine we have health authorities in this country that will ensure we receive a safe vaccine that has gone through rigorous scientific analysis.”

Eastern Cape ready to roll out COVID-19 vaccine when it arrives:

Traditional leaders in the affirmative 

Traditional leaders are also fully behind the vaccination process and have vowed to spread the word with awareness campaigns in communities.

Eastern Cape Contralesa chairperson, chief Mwelo Nonkonyana, says: “Once the vaccination is certified and we are satisfied that the vaccine is indeed the right one, we will have to lead by example ourselves and get vaccinated publicly, so that the public can realise it’s the vaccination that they need to follow. And more and above we will have to tell our people and council them to make them understand because we have had vaccines before, it’s not the first time, and we sat with our people and talked to them and many lives were saved, and we will do the same thing now.”

A significant proportion of the province’s population lives more than 5km from a healthcare facility, but most communities have a school nearby. Acting Health of the Department of Health, Dr Sibongile Zungu, says they’re addressing this matter.

“We are aware that for many people living in the rural areas, access to getting the vaccine may be a problem, hence we are identifying schools that we can use as vaccine sites. We don’t want anyone to be left behind and we will make sure we use nearby facilities such as schools so that everyone gets vaccinated.”

The first phase of the rollout is aimed at healthcare workers; phase two will target essential workers, people over the age of 60, people with underlying health conditions, which increase their risk of severe COVID-19, and people in congregate settings such as prisons. The third and final stage includes all remaining adults.



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