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CORONAVIRUS: Your daily update
20 October 2021, 7:27 PM

South Africa reports 591 new COVID-19 cases, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 2 917 846This increase represents a 1.7% positivity rate.

A further 80 COVID-19 related deaths have also been reported, bringing total fatalities to 88 754 to date.

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DA urges Didiza to urgently set up task team to address ‘looming food crisis’ in KZN and Gauteng
1 August 2021, 9:00 PM

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is calling on Agriculture Minister, Thoko Didiza, to urgently set up a task team to address what the party says is a looming food crisis in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal after the recent massive looting and violence.

Labelling the mayhem as the ANC political unrest, the DA says it has left millions of South Africans unemployed and vulnerable.

The official opposition has acknowledged that South Africa has enough food – but says the task team it is proposing should focus on reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable nutritious food for those affected by the looting and violence.

The DA says indications from AgriSA are of immense pressure on the agricultural sector within three weeks.

Earlier on Sunday, SACP general secretary, Dr Blade Nzimande, reiterated the ANC alliance partner’s call for government to introduce a basic income grant to fight the high rate of unemployment, especially among young people. It has also welcomed the re-introduction of the R350 COVID-19 social relief grant.

The SACP believes that government should lead a huge public employment programme to pluck South Africans out of poverty, inequality and unemployment.

More on Nzimande’s views in the video below:

Le Clos says disappointing week in Tokyo will only make him stronger
1 August 2021, 7:21 PM

 

South African swimmer, Chad Le Clos, says his disappointing week at the Olympic Games in Tokyo will only make him stronger.

Le Clos, who bagged four medals at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, left the Tokyo Games empty-handed this week.

After winning medals at the London and Rio de Janeiro Games, much was expected from the 29-year-old Le Clos. But he finished fifth in the 200-meters butterfly final and failed to progress further than the heats in the 100-meters butterfly event.

But the South African is known as a fighter and while he admits that his life is about more than just winning, he believes he will be on the podium again.

“My journey is not just about maybe winning gold medals now. I’ve seen that and it branches off into different directions. But, I do believe that I will be – I do believe, I don’t want to jinx anything (Laughs) – but I can stand here not in the greatest place, but I still believe that I will be a champion again one day,” he says.

Le Clos’ journey has included many highs and lows, which has made him who he is today. “I haven’t had an easy journey from day one. I came from a little kid in Pinetown to the great heart of the London Olympics, the ups and downs of Rio and of course Tokyo now. But, I think all these experiences have actually changed me, have made me a different man to what I was even five years ago. I have a different perspective,” he says.

Heat poses a challenge

Meanwhile, apart from COVID-19, Games organisers also have to deal with soaring temperatures in Tokyo. A trackside thermometer at the athletics stadium reached 40 degrees Celcius, while the humidity was around 60%.

Some Games workers have suffered heat-related problems since the start of the showpiece, but their symptoms were mild, and many have already recovered.

The heat has also led to the rescheduling of many events, while several measures were introduced to reduce the effect of the heat on competitors.

But while organisers were trying to beat the heat – Tokyo residents have expressed concerns about record numbers of positive COVID-19 cases.

Government officials say cases in the Japanese capital have surged to a record 4 058 on Saturday, exceeding 4 000 for the first time.

The new records come a day after Japan decided to extend states of emergency to three prefectures, including Tokyo and Osaka.

Recent looting and burning of infrastructure was an insurrection, says Blade Nzimande
1 August 2021, 6:41 PM

SACP general secretary, Dr Blade Nzimande, says the looting and burning of infrastructure in July after the arrest of former president Zuma was an insurrection.

Dr Nzimande’s views come after several ANC members and ministers contradicted one another on whether the unrest was an insurrection or not.

“The dangerous insurrection emerged from its nesting place within the ANC itself,” says Nzimande.

The outspoken SACP general secretary says the plotters of the failed insurrection worked with criminal networks and mobilised along racial lines.

He lashed out on those who want to destabilise the country, saying the rule of law in South Africa should be respected by all and not a certain portion of the society.

Nzimande was addressing the SACP rally in celebration of its centenary.

“The dangerous insurrection emerged from its nesting place within the ANC itself,” says Nzimande.

Dr Nzimande further alleges the insurrection plotters wanted to halt economic activity in order to bring the country to its knees.

“The insurrection violence and turmoil of early July was both planned and funded, sometimes brazenly by those behind it. It was at once well-funded, relatively professional and hopelessly inept strategy. The plotters deliberately triggered and then lost control over a wave of looting mostly by the most marginalised strata in our society. They wanted to block the Durban Harbour, oil pipelines and burning of food depots.”

Small businesses, mostly belonging to Black people, were guttered when malls were looted and burnt. Dr Nzimande says the attack on these businesses made the plotters lose ground support in their failed coup attempt.

“Instead of winning sympathy for their political agendas, the insurrection plotters, who themselves have been involved in 10 years of globalised looting on an industrial scale found themselves on the backfoot,” he adds.

Nzimande says the SACP is not part of any ANC factions, but support the sitting administration under president Cyril Ramaphosa.

“It is indeed unfortunate that a leader like Jacob Zuma is behind bars and no one is celebrating but the rule of law must be maintained. Caught out by the back lash against the mass looting some of the conspiracy campo sort to back track. There were desperate condenses epitomise by one person calling looters to I quote “please do so carefully and please do so responsibly” unquote. What kind of a call is that. A ridiculous plea which sort simultaneously to distance itself and to support such other similar calls,” says Nzimande.

The party has also called on South Africans not to allow themselves to be racially divided, while urging law enforcement agencies to arrest the “thugs and criminals” in Phoenix, who killed Black people.

Grant

The SACP has also called on government to introduce basic income grant to fight the high rate of unemployment especially young people.

It has also welcomed the reintroduction of the R350 COVID-19 social relief grant until early next year. This comes amid concerns about the impact of the recent looting and violence on the poor – described by president Ramaphosa and Nzimande as a failed insurrection.

KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng have suffered billions in losses from the unrest which rocked the both provinces three weeks ago.

The communist party says they have been campaigning for the continuation of the social relief grant.

“There are millions of unemployed South Africans but who are willing and able to work and there are vast areas of socially needed work in our country, in our society, in our communities. Our way out of poverty, inequality and unemployment is for our government to lead a huge public employment programme,” says Nzimande.

Dr Blade Nzimande addresses the SACP rally:

Radical Economic Transformation

ANC chairperson, Gwede Mantashe, has urged alliance partners not to sloganise the idea of Radical Economic Transformation (RET), but to embrace it as a formula to change the lives of ordinary South Africans. He was also speaking during the virtual centenary celebrations of the SACP.

The founding conference of the SACP was held on this day in Cape Town 100 years ago as the Communist Party of South Africa.

Mantashe, who is also a member of the Central Committee of the SACP, said radical economic transformation could only be achieved by a formidable alliance which will be able to respond to challenges facing South Africans.

Vermeulen could join Boks in series decider against Lions
1 August 2021, 3:43 PM

Experienced eighthman, Duane Vermeulen, has joined the Springbok team at their Cape Town base on Sunday after missing the opening two test matches against the British and Irish Lions due to an ankle injury.

Vermeulen, who reported for duty briefly at the team’s training camp in Bloemfontein in June, has been undergoing rehabilitation following surgery several weeks ago.

However, his steady progress proved to be sufficient for Vermeulen to be called up to the squad that won the second test 27-nine at the Cape Town stadium on Saturday night.

According to coach Jacques Nienaber, Vermeulen will be medically assessed as soon as possible.

The series decider against the British and Irish Lions takes place at the same venue next Saturday.

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