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Senegal president self-quarantines after contact with COVID-19 case
25 June 2020, 12:21 PM

Senegalese President Macky Sall is quarantining for two weeks after coming into contact with someone who has since tested positive for the coronavirus, state television said on Thursday.

The measure is precautionary as an initial COVID-19 test of Sall has come back negative, it said.

Senegal’s handling of the pandemic

While Senegal’s government has not faced major opposition to its handling of the pandemic, protests broke out earlier this month in the capital Dakar against some imposed restrictions.

Government subsequently relaxed a dawn-to-dusk curfew and lifted a ban on inter-regional travel.

The country currently sits at 6 129 cases, with 4 072 recoveries and 93 deaths.

Supplementary budget leaves Western Cape short-changed: Maynier
25 June 2020, 12:02 PM

Western Cape Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities David Maynier says the Special Adjustment Budget has left the province short-changed in the fight against COVID-19.

He says the costs for temporary hospital, quarantine and isolation facilities, humanitarian relief and ensuring that schools can operate safely are expected to exceed R5-billion for 2020/21 in the province.

He says the budget cut means they will fall far short of what will be required to fund the frontline response to the pandemic in the province.

“Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni tabled a special adjustment budget which effectively cut the provincial budget by R113.1 million at precisely the moment the COVID-19 pandemic is gaining momentum in the Western Cape.  What this means is that we are effectively on our own in the fight against COVID-19 in the Western Cape,” says Maynier.

SA’s epicentre

Accounting for more than half of the country’s confirmed cases, the Western Cape is South Africa’s COVID-19 epicentre.

The province currently sits at over 55 000 confirmed cases.

Premier Alan Winde has since disputed remarks that the coronavirus infection rate in the province is out of control, adding that the infection rate seems to be increasing.

Below is a provincial breakdown of COVID-19 stats:

 

Health sector given financial boost

The Health sector has been given a financial boost of R21.5 billion, with allocation of R12.6 billion for frontline services.

This is money desperately needed to employ additional health workers and equip hospitals properly to deal with the impact of the virus.

In the video below, Mboweni outlines measures to boost healthcare:

Mpumalanga man accused of daughter’s rape to appear in court
25 June 2020, 10:04 AM

A 37-year-old man who allegedly raped his 13-year-old daughter at Masoyi village near White river in Mpumalanga is expected to appear before the Kabokweni Magistrates Court on Thursday.

It is alleged the suspect forcefully undressed his daughter and raped her in the presence of her step mother at their home.

According to police, the suspect allegedly called the victim into the bedroom and instructed her to undress and the victim refused and ran out of the house.

The father then allegedly followed her, grabbed her back into the house, forcefully undressed her and forced himself on her.

Mpumalanga Police Spokesperson Leonard Hlathi says this is the third recent case of a biological father allegedly raping his daughter.

Victims urged to report cases within 72 hours

Sexual victims have been urged to report their cases to the police within 72 hours.

The Greater Rape Intervention Program (GRIP) in Mpumalanga urges reporting within that time frame in order to receive medication that prevents infection of HIV/AIDS.

Cases of gender-based violence have surged in South Africa since the beginning of lockdown.

Most victims have either been raped or suffered domestic violence.

GRIP has various centres around Mpumalanga to support and keep victims safe.

In the video below, a shelter in Bloemfontein raises concerns over lack of support and funding:

The Infographic below gives guidelines on how to report rape:

Matjhabeng mayor asked to resign following racist slurs
25 June 2020, 8:07 AM

Matjhabeng Executive Mayor Nkosinjani Speelman has been asked to resign and publicly apologise to the coloured community and all South Africans.

He was found guilty by the African National Congress (ANC) disciplinary committee of contravening certain provisions of the party’s Constitution.

This comes after a video which went viral in which he is allegedly heard using a derogatory term to refer to the coloured community of Bronville in Welkom while addressing South African National Defence Force (SANDF) members deployed in Matjhabeng to enforce lockdown regulations.

Free State ANC PEC member Mandala Ntombela says the judgment also includes that Speelman resigns from all party deployment.

Residents lodge complaints

Following the racial slurs, residents of the Matjhabeng Municipality lodged a complaint with the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) against Speelman.

Angry residents demanding that he resigns, saying failure to do so would result in them making Bronville ungovernable.

The ANC had then taken a decision to suspend Speelman, as seen in the video below:

 

 

Santaco not optimistic ahead of supplementary budget
24 June 2020, 12:16 PM

The South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) says they do not have high expectations of Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s supplementary budget that will be delivered this afternoon.

On Monday, taxi operators in Gauteng blockaded roads around Pretoria and Johannesburg to protest against the government’s COVID-19 relief fund, which offers them an amount of more than R1-billion.

Operators say the amount is not nearly enough compared to the losses incurred since the start of the lockdown.

Santaco President Phillip Taaibosch says they will meet with Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula this afternoon to continue discussions.

He says they are not expecting the current status quo to change.

“We are expecting a situation where it will be said to us after the budget speech that you have to accept things as they are. We will be getting excuses. I know that this matter is still on the table with the Minister. I know we made proposals. We have a meeting with the Minister this afternoon and we have been having very cordial meetings with government and I believe that through talks, we will find each other and I’m still very positive,” says Taaibosch.

Taxi owners, drivers share their frustrations

After 20 years of being in the taxi industry, operator Oupa Skosana says his two taxis have not been generating sufficient income for his family since March after the country went into lockdown.

“I cannot run the risk of running up and down, coming back and park and accumulate high mileage and repair. As I’m saying, there’s no business. That’s on the metre taxi site. On the minibus, at times we park and at times, we work, maybe for two or three days (we) don’t work. That’s because of the loading capacity and because locally there’s no people going to work or coming back,” says Skosana.

In the video below, a taxi owner says his vehicle was repossessed as he was unable to service his debt:

During his address to taxi drivers amid the shutdown, Transport minister Fikile Mbalula urged protesting taxi drivers and owners to refrain from violence.

He reiterated that the allocated funds were merely to provide relief to the taxi industry, but will not possibly cover all losses incurred since the lockdown started.

In the video below, angry taxi drivers share their frustrations:

 

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