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SA economy drops by 51%
8 September 2020, 12:12 PM

South Africa’s economy has shrunk by 51% in the second quarter of 2020.

Statistics South Africa released the data today.

In the statement, the organisation describes this as a severe punch in the gut.

“Perhaps the second quarter of 2020 will become known as the pandemic quarter. South Africa’s economy suffered a significant contraction during April, May and June when the country operated under widespread lockdown restrictions in response to COVID-19.”

The organisation says the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) fell by just over 16% between the first and second quarters of 2020, giving an annualised growth rate of ‑51%.

“This contraction dwarfs the annualised slowdown of 6.1% recorded in the first quarter of 2009 during the global financial crisis. Historical data from 1960, sourced from the South African Reserve Bank, show that the second quarter of 2020 experienced the biggest fall in GDP since that year, far steeper than the annualised 8.2% decline in the fourth quarter of 1982.”

Nearly all industries experienced a massive drop in output in the second quarter of 2020. The construction industry was hardest hit, slumping further by 76.6%.

It was already in bad shape before the pandemic. This was the sector’s eighth consecutive quarter of economic decline.

Manufacturing output shrank by 74.9% due to work stoppages and low demand for steel.

The ban on alcohol sales is said to have also had a heavy impact on the food and beverage division of manufacturing.

Expenditure on GDP tumbled by 52.3%. Falling exports and household spending are cited as reasons for this.

Economists had been expecting the slump with Chief Economist at Efficient Group Dawie Roodt earlier telling SABC News that they expected it to be  the country’s biggest drop in history.

Analysis of SA economy during COVID-19 pandemic:

Matona disputes Ngubane’s claim that he was offered his job back at Eskom
8 September 2020, 6:16 AM

Former Eskom CEO Tshediso Matona has denied the claims made by former Board chair Ben Ngubane that they offered him his job back after he was removed over loadshedding in 2015. He was testifying at the State Capture Commission in Johannesburg.

Matona together with other executives were suspended from Eskom in 2015 after the Board passed a resolution for an external inquiry.

Ngubane claimed to have offered Matona his job back after the former CEO approached the CCMA claiming unfair dismissal. Matona told the Commission on Monday that Ngubane’s claims are untrue and he would have jumped at the offer to get his job back, but this never happened.

“I would have because to start it would have probably suggested a change of heart on the part of the Board, suggested that maybe they made a mistake and I could work with them. I would have gone, the only reason that I decided to move on is because I realised I was never going to work well with this Board, I realised there was no support that a CEO requires from a Board that had taken this kind of action that the Eskom Board did.”

The Commission will today hear evidence from former Board chairperson of Eskom Zola Tsotsi, who was implicated in alleged wrongdoing when he was at the helm of the power utility.

Former Eskom CEO’s testimony on his suspension:

 

Fallout over sewage spillage in Bushbuckridge
5 September 2020, 10:55 PM

The Bushbuckridge Local Municipality in Mpumalanga has committed to fix leaking pipes that are causing raw sewage to spill into streets and homes in Malaynini section, Bushbuckridge. This follows residents’ complaints of an unbearable stench in the area. The community alleges that the local municipality is aware of their plight, but does nothing.

“The stench is unbearable. The children will get sick even the elders, we are now worried about coronavirus and now it’s the sewer spillage. You can’t even eat here. Where would we go because this is home, they should help us,” pleads resident, Herold Mashego.

He says they have been living with these unhealthy conditions for about two months.

Another resident, Kgomotso Malomane, claims to have written letters asking for assistance from the municipality without success. She says her daughter is now asthmatic as a result.

“It has been 3 years having this problem of sewerage, in and out of hospital for the baby girl. The problem is they don’t come she is asthmatic by now because of this thing; it is not because of the ground or what. It’s because of this thing, even us the elders, we can smell it; I am blocked.”

The Bushbuckridge Local Municipality has acknowledged the sewer spillage in the area, but denied that it’s been continuing for two months. Spokesperson for the municipality, Claiton Khosa, says the mushrooming of houses in the area is to blame.

“It only started last week; we have been attending to the issue. The problem of buildings there has led to people building on top of the sewer and last week when our team went they had to dig mostly bricks and other materials, which is the cause we had to wait to get manpower from our regional office as we speak now the team is on site.”

The Bushbuckridge Local Municipality has warned communities against land invasions to avoid damaging existing infrastructure.

Raw sewage spills into residents’ yards in Bushbuckridge:

Kroonstad community bands together in search of missing 9-year-old
5 September 2020, 9:13 PM

Residents of Maokeng in Kroonstad, Free State, have joined hands in the frantic search for a missing nine-year-old girl.

Boipelo Sesele was last seen on Tuesday afternoon playing with her friends. Her mother says she was nowhere to be found, when she sent her 15-year-old brother to call her home for lunch.

“My mother went out saying she’s going to fetch her, she came back and told me that my daughter is missing and they told her that she left with a male person wearing overalls. I just rushed out and went to her friend’s place and asked the friend where was she, and she said she doesn’t know,” says Boipelo’s mother, Mpeile Sesele.

Community member Pinkie Monyake says: “We are so devastated; we can’t even sleep or eat. This thing has unsettled us as a community.”

A missing person’s case has been opened with the police.

Maokeng residents join hands in a frantic search for missing girl:

Life will never be the same without Nathaniel, says Julies family
5 September 2020, 8:04 PM

The family of Nathaniel Julies says life will never be the same without him. Julies, who had a Downs syndrome, was laid to rest on Saturday.

Eldorado Park residents came out in their numbers to pay their last respects to the 16-year-old teenager.

His mother Bridget Harris says she holds special memories of her son and she’ll always cherish them. She was speaking at his funeral service. Only family members and close relatives were allowed access into the venue.

“A wonderful boy Nathaniel for 16 years he has borrowed me him for 16 years and that’s one thing Scorpion can never take away from me. He has engraved wonderful memories in our hearts. Scorpion might have taken him away but we will always have these memories,” she said.

Nathaniel Julies laid to rest:

His peers say the police have become the enemy of the community and they are now scared of them.

“For a policeman to shoot someone that has nothing to do with anyone it is just heartbreaking.”

“I am very scared now I don’t know what are they going to do over this, but I’m very scared. I am very scared the same thing can happen,” they lamented.

One of the older community members said: “It’s very painful especially to his parents to say goodbye in this way. When I looked at the child’s face in the coffin – he was well-loved and it’s hard to say goodbye to something so horrible and traumatic.”

African Christian Democratic (ACDP) leader, Kenneth Meshoe, also attended the funeral service. He has called on the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) not to grant bail to the suspects accused of killing Julies.

“The perpetrators must not be given bail. They are guilty of murder. They must not only be charged for murder but also for possessing illegal ammunition that they are not supposed to be in their position. Why did they use that kind of ammunition or bullet to shoot at an innocent boy who is sick? They must be punished severely so that people who have concluded that all police are brutal they would know that brutality is punished.”

Businessman Gayton McKenzie pays tribute to Nathaniel Julies:

Julies was shot and killed last week allegedly by police in Eldorado Park, south of Johannesburg.

Three police officers have since been arrested. Community members allege that the implicated officers told staff at Baragwanath Hospital that the boy was caught in the cross-fire between rival gangs.

His funeral service was held at the Mount Carmel Ministries.

 

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