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Three City of Tshwane offices closed following COVID-19 cases
15 June 2020, 11:34 AM

The City of Tshwane has temporarily closed three of its buildings after staffers tested positive for COVID-19.

They include Tshwane House, Mini Munitoria in Mamelodi West and the Silverton Fire Station.

The city says the affected buildings will be disinfected during the evacuation period.

The city says all contacts will be traced and managed according to the Department of Health COVID-19 guidelines and protocols.

During the disinfection and deep cleaning, all employees working at the three affected buildings will be working from home.

The three buildings will be back in operation this coming Friday.

Joburg mayor self-isolates after staffer tests positive

Johannesburg Mayor Geoffrey Makhubo has since placed himself under isolation after a staff member in his private office tested positive for COVID-19.

The said staffer had travelled to the Western Cape for a funeral and has also been at home in self-isolation.

The entire staff complement in the Executive Mayors office has also, as a precaution, undergone tests to determine their COVID-19 status:

Gauteng braces for increase in cases

With more people returning to work under Level 3 lockdown, Gauteng is bracing for an anticipated increase in infections.

The province currently has the third highest recorded cases in the country.

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Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku says the province is dealing with cluster outbreaks, where people sharing a common job or geographic location infect one another.

Late last month, 47 workers in a factory in Centurion tested positive for COCID-19.

Cases in mining are also a mounting concern as over 190 workers at the AngloGold Ashanti’s Mponeng mine in Carletonville tested positive.

The video below outlines the anticipated increases in cases for the province:

SA nuclear energy prospects costly: EarthLife Africa
15 June 2020, 9:42 AM

Earthlife Africa has voiced opposition to the possibility of South Africa’s use of nuclear power in the future, saying it has a negative climate change impact and is costly.

This as the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy begins consultations in preparation for the development of the proposed 2 500 megawatt nuclear power plant building programme.

Three years ago, Earthlife Africa and other environmental groups succeeded in persuading a court to block a nuclear power agreement with Russia, signed under then-president Jacob Zuma.

Earthlife Africa’s spokesperson Makoma Lekalakala says they do not believe South Africa should build any more nuclear plants.

“Before any intentions to go ahead with the 2 500 megawatt, there should be proper public participation, which has not been done. The court previously found that they ruled against the Zuma case. Nuclear power is not safe at all. Considering the climate change impact, it is very costly and the waste that comes from the reactors – there is no place on earth where this can be stored,” says Lekalakala.

SA to embark on nuclear power based on affordability

Last year, President Cyril Ramaphosa said South Africa will only embark on a nuclear project when it can afford it.

This followed an announcement by the Energy Ministry in October last year that government’s plans for additional power generation will include a variety of energy sources over the next decade.

Ramaphosa added that there are plans to extend the lifeline of the Eskom-owned Koeberg – South Africa’s sole nuclear power plant.

In the video below, Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe says while coal remains the bulk of the country’s energy mix, additional nuclear capacity would be added in the future:

Limited domestic flights resume at Cape Town International Airport
10 June 2020, 12:37 PM

The Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA) says limited domestic scheduled flight services have resumed at the Cape Town International Airport.

ACSA General Manager at the airport Deon Cloete says the resumption of services will be compliant with regulations aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19.

Limited domestic scheduled flights on two airlines resumed at the airport on Wednesday.

Cloete says various COVID-19 procedures including verification of travel documents, sanitizstion processes and social distancing protocols have been put in place.

“There’s additional requirement now in terms of PPE equipment. There are sanitisation processes. We validate documents and there are also announcements that we regularly make reminding passengers. You’ll see marking all over the floor just to maintain social distancing. The screens have gone up everywhere.”

He says every second counter is used as a sanitising station.

The tweet below outlines some safety measures:

Travellers happy with safety measures 

Western Cape Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities David Maynier visited the airport earlier.

He says he is happy with the airports’ state of readiness to resume domestic flights.

A passenger travelling to Johannesburg Amahle Ngqwemla says she is happy with safety measures implemented.

The airport says it expects traveller numbers to increase from next week as more domestic services get underway under level three of the lockdown regulations.

The re-opening of domestic travel has been welcomed as local economies battle the loss of revenue.

The graphic below outlines sectors that are allowed to operate under level three lockdown:

Cluster infections in workplaces increasing COVID-19 cases in Ilembe district
10 June 2020, 12:06 PM

KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu says the spread of the coronavirus infections in the Ilembe district is due to cluster infections in work places.

The province has 3 555 positive cases and 62 deaths.

The graphic below shows a breakdown of SA COVID-19 and provincial infections: 

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Ilembe and the eThekwini Municipality account for over 80% of the province’s COVID-19 infections.

Simelane-Zulu says infections began to decrease when health officials were able to control the cluster areas: 

Measures in place to tackle rising cases

The first case of COVID-19 in South Africa was recorded in KwaZulu-Natal in March, but now has been overtaken by provinces such as the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Gauteng.

Since then, Simelane Zulu says swift action had to be taken in a bid to avoid overwhelming increases in cases.

These interventions up until now include investment in field hospitals, including the Pietermaritzburg Royal Show grounds and the Durban Exhibition Centre.

The province says it is also looking into renovating its own facilities to meet the National Health Insurance (NHI) requirements beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, and the recruitment of almost 5 000 healthcare workers.

Outrage over recent spate of GBV related murders
10 June 2020, 9:42 AM

South Africans have expressed their shock and outrage over the recent murders of Naledi Phandingwayo and Tshegofatso Pule who were both murdered over the weekend.

Phadingwayo and Pule are the latest victims in a series of violent acts against women which have gripped the country over the past several months.

Heinous acts of murder

Pule’s lifeless body with several stab wounds was found hanging from a tree close to Florida Lake in Roodepoort in Gauteng’s West Rand.

The 28–year-old was eight months pregnant.

Gauteng Police Spokesperson Kay Makhubele says a case of murder is being investigated.

In the video below, SABC News speaks to Phandingwayo’s best friend Zanele Zwane and her family, who are left reeling after her death:

25-year-old Phadingwayo was murdered in KwaNonqaba in Mossel Bay in the Southern Cape on Saturday after being stabbed to death, allegedly by her partner.

According to Southern Cape South African Police Service Spokesperson Captain Malcolm Pojie, eyewitnesses say the suspect attacked Phandingwayo with a knife and an axe; and she was hacked all over her body, face and limbs.

Pojie says the suspect handed himself over to police on Sunday and is set to appear in court on Wednesday.

Mounting calls for justice

The #JusticeForTshego and #JusticeforNaledi have been doing rounds on Twitter, where citizens have expressed their dismay over their deaths and have called for justice to be served.

Many have also condemned the violent acts of murder against young and defenceless women.

Strong calls for action against gender based violence

During a visit to Pule’s family in Meadownlands Soweto on Wednesday, Gauteng Community Safety MEC Faith Mazibuko urged society to work together in ending gender based violence.

Mazibuko called upon men to take up the fight against gender-based violence.

“We are disturbed that gender based violence continues unabated. We wish to call upon members of the community to help us bring an end to such atrocities against women. Calling all males to say not in their name will they see women being abused. Let it be them that champion such campaigns. It can’t be right that always it’s us women who are standing in the streets singing, whilst the perpetrators are the ones that are just looking at us. Can we find an end to gender based violence,” says Mazibuko.

 

Spike in GBV violence since COVID-19 lockdown

In April, Police Minister Bheki Cele said police received over 87 000 gender-based violence complaints during the first week of the national lockdown.

The calls received by the command centre include cases of domestic violence, rape, abuse (verbal, physical) among others.

Spikes of the scourge during lockdown in other countries around the world have also been recorded, as the video below outlines:

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