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Chefs cook up a soup storm in honour of Madiba
18 July 2020, 7:42 PM

Chefs from across South Africa have come together in response to Madiba’s call to help those who are less fortunate. Over 300 chefs from 10 cities, including Durban, Cape Town, Pretoria and Rustenburg, prepared 77 000 litres of soup and distributed it to vulnerable communities.

They exceeded their initial target of 67 000 litres.

The initiative is the brainchild of Non-Governmental Organisation, SA Harvest and Chefs with Compassion.

A survey, by the National Income Dynamics Coronavirus Rapid mobile survey, shows that almost three million South Africans have lost their jobs during the country’s nationwide lockdown. Stats SA says the number of people who are not receiving an income had increased from 5.2% to 15.4% in the six weeks of the national lockdown.

Fifty one-year-old Nomawisile Kamaboza is one of those who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic. Kamaboza who lives with her three grandchildren at in Umlazi, south of Durban, says the soup kitchen has helped them a lot.

“This soup kitchen has made a huge difference in our lives. In this place as we are not working even if you cook what little you have for supper, at least you had something for lunch especially if you stay with many children. They all come out with dishes to get the food after the boys have announced the dishing time. We no longer have that worry we had since most of us lost our jobs through this virus.”

In the video below, chefs distribute 67 000 liters of soup across SA:

A group of young people created the Isigqi Sobuntu organisation (ISO), with the aim of alleviating hunger in the community. Organiser, Thabo Sigwebela, says they’ve seen how the coronavirus pandemic has affected most families in their community. ISO is one of the NGOs that received soup from the Chefs from across South Africa Mandela initiative. Sigwebela say their soup kitchen helps to feed over 250 families in his area.

“We started the kitchen because we are from this area, this area has been disadvantage for a very long time, so we know that people are suffering and they don’t have money to buy something for themselves so we made a kitchen so that they can be able to put some food on the table, because if you come here and get something to eat you don’t have to cook the little that you have and you save a lot from your side. So it has been increasing from the start, the number has been increasing we now serve about 250 per day.”

The KwaZulu-Natal Secretary of the Chefs with Compassion, Jodie Gillespie, says they have delivered over 10 000 buckets of soup to families in various rural and disadvantaged areas in the province, including Eshowe and Umbumbulu.

“Just alone of the soups that we made yesterday the cooked soup that’s going out today it was 560 litres. It’s going to feed 2 300 people we should hopefully come through with a total of about 12 000 litres in Durban today alone that will feed over 50 000 people today chefs with compassion have paired together with SA harvest and come together to make 67 000 litres of soup throughout South Africa for today and our target for Durban was 10 000 and we’ve managed to come up with 12 000 litres through the produce that we’ve got and the people that signed up to make the soup for everybody in need.”

The chefs managed to feed more than 300 000 people.

Hospitality is one of the hardest hit industries during the COVID 19 pandemic. Despite this, however, most of the chefs have lost their jobs but they say they find comfort in knowing they’ve given someone less fortunate a hearty meal.

Call to build lasting partnerships to defeat global pandemics, poverty and inequality
18 July 2020, 6:15 PM

International Relations Minister, Naledi Pandor, has called on leaders across the world to build lasting partnerships  and work towards defeating global pandemics, poverty and inequality.

The coronavirus has affected billions of people around the world and highlighted global inequalities as well as exposed corrupt and inefficient governments.

Pandor was speaking in a virtual media briefing on International Mandela Day.

“The international community can indeed make a difference by building meaningful and lasting partnerships for a developmental agenda to enable the world to stand as one against global pandemics, poverty, inequality and injustices. We believe that the outbreak of this pandemic has forced onto the global agenda the imperative of re-imagining a social contract between nations to reduce inequality and poverty,” she said.

In the video below, DIRCO and Nelson Mandela Foundation special tribute:

Tourism Deputy Minister Fish Mahlalela has honoured Mandela Day by donating dignity help packs to needy girls and blankets to nine wards in Mpuluzi village under Chief Elbert Lithuli Municipality, in Mpumalanga.

Mahlalela says they also donated R10 000 to a family whose house was gutted by fire.

“It’s not just sanitary towels is everything that the girls need. From washing just what the girls need tooth phase, tooth brushes soap, washing racks. Everything is a pack. We then donated blankets to nine wards. Each ward was  given twenty blankets.”

Madiba’s values

Cape Town Mayor,  Dan Plato, says Mandela Day gives South Africans an opportunity to focus on the values Madiba lived by. He says Madiba was the embodiment of discipline, compassion, fairness and hope. Plato has called on South Africans to follow in his footsteps and show compassion, especially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Seeing residents and businesses reach out to those in need during this time has been encouraging, displaying the same humanity which Nelson Mandela lived by. His compassion and deep understanding of his fellow South Africans, enabled him to reconcile conflict in the spirit of nation building and healing. This is especially important now  as we grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic which impacts all of our lives.”

KwaZulu-Natal ANC chairperson Sihle Zikalala says South Africans must commemorate Mandela Day by taking care of those who are needy and destitute. Zikalala was speaking at the Mandela Capture Site in Howick outside Pietermaritzburg. He says if Mandela was alive he would have acted against incompetent leaders.

“We must ensure that we support those who are needy, we must ensure that we provide for them but we must continue with the struggle which Madiba represented because Madiba represented a struggle of reconciliation and unity, but more than the struggle for human rights. I am sure that Mandela would not have kept quite as we see the world being dominated by bully leaders,” he says.

In Homevale, in Kimberley volunteers spent Mandela Day educating people about the dangers of Covid 19 and drugs. Homevale is a community gripped by poverty and crime, with drug abuse also rife. A community activist, Gamiem Abrahams says drugs are not what Nelson Mandela stood for…

“Nelson Mandela stood for so many good things. One of which was the development of young people and we want to bring back that, we want to restore our community and in that sense we want to make use of this platform to send out a message to all drug dealers to stop with your operations in our areas, and the young people stop falling prey to substance abuse.”

In the video below, volunteers distribute food and PPEs around Kimberley:

Trek4Mandela climbers have distributed food parcels to 140 staff members at the Cradle of Humankind and neighbouring hotels and reserves who have been negatively affected by COVID-19.

Today the climbers would have been summiting Mount Kilimanjaro as part of Mandela Day celebrations. However the event has been postponed due to COVID-19.

NGO, the Imbumba Foundation, which has been the custodian for Trek4 Mandela for the past 10 years has identified three key areas of need in the current climate which they wish to address: Menstrual Hygiene, Education and Food Security.

The foundation’s Chief Executive Richard Mabaso says: “As part of menstrual health, we looking at collecting more then 10 million sanitary pads to support a minimum of 67 000 new girls across the country. We also looking at the education by enabling the class of 2020 the matriculants whereby we will be assisting them with applications at various universities throughout the country. But we also looking at our exciting sustainable food production initiative.”

 

Germany pledges 3 billion euros for poor countries
18 July 2020, 5:29 PM

Germany pledged 3 billion euros ($3.4 billion) at a meeting of G20 finance ministers to help the world’s poorest countries, the finance ministry said on Saturday.

The funds will be made available as long-term loans for the International Monetary Fund’s Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust(PGRT).

The news comes as finance officials from the Group of 20 major economies seem poised to recommend extending a freeze in official bilateral debt payments by the world’s poorest countries, according to sources briefed on a virtual G20 meeting taking place on Saturday. Multiple sources said there was strong support for extending the Debt Service Suspension Initiative agreed in April into 2021, but the move would not be finalised until later in the year, when G20 leaders are due to meet.

World Bank chief economist Carmen Reinhart told reporters on Friday that the move was “highly probable” since the novel coronavirus pandemic was more severe and taking longer to overcome than initially expected. The debt standstill, which is due to expire at the end of 2020, has proven challenging to implement, with only 41 of 73 eligible countries expressing interest, while some official bilateral creditors like China have failed to participate fully. The private sector has also failed to match the freeze  thus far.

The initiative would save $12 billion in service payments on official bilateral debt through the end of the year, but finance officials in developing countries say they will need far more help to weather the pandemic and its economic fallout. Top international officials, industry leaders and civil society groups have called for extending the debt freeze – which is intended to let the poorest nations focus on fighting the pandemic, not servicing their debts – and expanding it to include other countries hit by the crisis.

More than 200 religious, labor, human rights, environmental and development groups signed a separate letter spearheaded by Jubilee USA Network that was sent to G20 leaders, the White House and the International Monetary Fund this week.

“The G20 will make decisions this weekend that affect the survival of billions of vulnerable people confronting the pandemic,” said Eric Le Compte, the group’s executive director. “We need to mobilize a lot more resources for people to confront the crisis.”

FF Plus livid over repealing of state disaster for drought
18 July 2020, 5:16 PM

The FF Plus says it views the government’s revocation of the state of drought disaster as a slap in the face of commercial farmers who work tirelessly to ensure food security in South Africa.

The state of drought disaster was declared on the 4th of March 2020 and has since lapsed unnoticed because the government failed to extend it by 4 July.

The head of the National Disaster Management Centre, Dr Mmaphaka Tau, said he had consulted with provincial disaster management centres and decided to revoke the state of drought disaster ‘after reconsidering the extent and seriousness of the drought conditions’.

In a written reply to the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, the government admitted that it only offers support to the farming community if it relates to ‘market access and certification’.

“A second wave of destruction is about to hit South Africa seeing as farmers cannot produce enough food due to the drought that has persisted for years and they can also not rely on a government that is indifferent to such a serious drought and the possibility of a food crisis,” says the party in a statement.

“The ANC government is taking the agricultural community for granted and does not seem to realise that food security is in serious jeopardy if farmers do not get the support and drought relief that they need from the government.”

The FF Plus says it will make an official inquiry into the matter and “will demand that all the information used to make this decision must be submitted to the Committee.”

‘Failure to wear a mask in public is tantamount to intentional suicide’
17 July 2020, 12:20 PM

The Circuit Minister in the Presbyterian Church of Africa in the Western Cape, Reverend Mkhuseli Dukwana, says failure to wear a mask in public is tantamount to committing intentional suicide.

Dukwana had contracted the disease and has now recovered.

In an exclusive interview with SABC News in Parliament, Dukwana said it was a difficult road to recovery. He is pleading with those who disobey wearing a mask, not to do so.

“I was tested positive with COVID-19. By the grace of God I have fully recovered. The journey was not an easy one at all. It was a tough, hard and strenuous one. I would like to urge everybody in our country to take the issue of wearing masks in public seriously. If you do not wear your mask, you are not too far from a person who is intentionally committing suicide. If you do not want or wish to contract the virus, let us try to be subservient and adhere to the regulations that have been set forth by our government,” he says.

Dukwana’s call comes amid government’s continued calls for South Africans to take the virus seriously and protect themselves and others by observing safety protocols put in place to control it.

Constant washing of hands or sanitising; the wearing of masks and social distancing are measures encouraged to prevent the spread of the virus. South Africans are also urged to avoid social visits.

So far, more than 324 000 South Africans have contracted the virus and over 4 000 others have succumbed to it.

On Thursday night, 216 new COVID-19 related fatalities were reported in a 24-hour cycle.

Below are the COVID-19 statistics in SA:

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