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sabc news Bok squad
Bok squad in self-isolation after three players test positive for COVID-19
27 June 2021, 6:00 PM

Three Springbok rugby players have tested positive for COVID-19. The positive results came when the Springbok squad assembled in Johannesburg on Saturday.

The players were subjected to real time testing upon arrival at the team base. All Sunday training was cancelled, and the squad has been put into self-isolation while team management seeks specialist medical advice.

The team is preparing for two test matches against Georgia, starting this Friday in Pretoria.

SA Rugby Director of Rugby, Rassie Erasmus, is adamant that the Boks have followed all protocols and precautions when they were in Bloemfontein for a three-week camp, including getting the team tested three times a week.

Team management is in contact with the medical advisory group connected to the incoming British and Irish Lions Series.

sabc news Florida new pic
Searchers race to find 156 missing in Florida building collapse
27 June 2021, 4:40 PM

Searchers worked on Sunday to find more than 150 missing residents amid the rubble of a Florida apartment building that collapsed three days ago, as questions arose about the tower’s structural integrity. The death toll of five is expected to rise as emergency workers in Surfside, a shore town near Miami, are joined by teams from Israel and experts from Mexico.

“Everybody that is needed is on the site and doing the work and we’re continuing our efforts to find people alive,” Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava told CBS on Sunday. Officials said they harbored hope that some of the 156 people unaccounted for might be alive. Aided by dogs, infrared scanning and heavy equipment, they hope people can survive in air pockets that may have formed in the debris.

A smoldering fire beneath the rubble that produced thick smoke and hindered the work of rescuers has abated, officials said. “The biggest thing now is hope,” Fire Chief Alan Cominsky said. “That’s what’s driving us. It’s an extremely difficult situation.”

Some families of those missing have provided DNA samples to officials while others recounted narrow escapes. Champlain Towers South resident Erick de Moura was supposed to be home when the building collapsed, but his girlfriend persuaded him to spend the night at her place less than 2 miles(3 km) away in Miami Beach, likely saving his life.

“Only by God. To me this is a miracle,” the 40-year-oldBrazil native told Reuters. Photographs of the missing were posted on a nearby fence, along with flowers and messages.

On Saturday, family member sprayed and kept a silent vigil at a barrier erected on the beach by authorities several hundred yards north of the building site. They declined to comment.

Surfside officials have released documents including an engineer’s report from 2018 that found major structural damage beneath the pool deck and “concrete deterioration” in the underground parking garage of the 12-story condominium. The report was produced for the Champlain Towers South condominium board in preparation for a major repair project set for this year. It was not immediately clear whether the damage described in the report was connected to the collapse about 1:30 a.m. (0530GMT) on Thursday.

Donna DiMaggio Berger, a lawyer who works with the condo association, said the issues outlined in the 2018 report were typical for older buildings in the area and did not alarm board members, all of whom lived in the tower with their families.

The report estimated it would cost $9.1 million to make the recommended repairs. Berger said the board had taken out a $12million line of credit to pay for the repairs and asked owners to pay $80 000 each.

Work had started on replacing the roof ahead of hurricane season and the board was gathering bids for the concrete work, but the pandemic slowed the project, she said. The condominium was also preparing for recertification this year, a safety requirement for buildings older than 40 years in Florida.

Officials said on Saturday that Miami-Dade County would audit all buildings more than 40 years old within the next 30days to ensure they have been recertified. Satellite data from the 1990s showed the building was sinking 1 to 3 millimeters per year, while surrounding buildings were stable, according to Florida International University professor Shimon Wdowinski.

Police open case against conveners of EFF vaccine march
27 June 2021, 4:24 PM

The police have laid charges of contravention of the Disaster Management Act against the conveners of the Economic Freedom Fighters’ (EFF) march on Friday.

An estimated 2 000 EFF supporters marched to the offices of the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA), demanding that the Russian and Chinese vaccines also be made available to South Africans.

The protest contravened lockdown regulations that limit outside gatherings to 100 people. Police Spokesperson, Brenda Muridili, says a case was opened at the Sunnyside Police Station.

“At this stage there hasn’t been any charges that has been. The main charge now is the contravention of the Disaster Management Act. But there is also a possibility of more charges that might be introduced. For now, there is an investigation on the part of the investigators to ensure they present to court a water-tight case,” Muridili says.

She says police were initially prepared for 100 protestors, but when the masses turned up they had to think strategically on how to handle the situation.

“You looking at the police asking the conveners of the march to disperse and then peacefully do so. We are also looking at the possibility that should we ask them to do that and they become violent, how are we going to handle the situation. We did not want to find ourselves in a situation where the police had to use force on people that were resisting or not complying with an instruction.”

The march took place in an environment, where the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus is fuelling the high numbers of infections in Gauteng.

EFF leader, Julius Malema, has denied that the march was a super-spreader event.

Acting Health Minister, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, is appealing to the leaders of political parties not to hold events that contravene COVID-19 lockdown regulations.

“Whether you deny that your event is a super-spreader, it’s not about that. It’s scientifically proven that, when we have a gathering of many people, that event becomes a super-spreader. Two wrongs don’t make it right. Don’t argue that people are doing this. Let’s help each other. Each one of us has a duty. Each one of us has a responsibility. So play your part. Help us,” Kubayi-Ngubane.

The Delta variant was first detected in India. Experts says the variant is expected to become dominant in other provinces as well.

Chiefs’ CAF Champions League win big reward for fans, says Zwane
27 June 2021, 4:05 PM

Kaizer Chiefs say their qualification for the final of the CAF Champions League was a big reward for their fans who have had to endure a string of disappointments in recent seasons. The Soweto giants displayed resilience in the goalless draw at the FNB Stadium in the second leg semi-final against Wydad Athletic Club of Morocco on Saturday night, to advance one-nil on aggregate after the first leg win in Casablanca last weekend.

Chiefs went into the match with a couple of challenges, which left them with just 16 players to select from for the crucial encounter.

SABC Sport caught up with a small group of fans who waited outside the stadium to cheer their team after on after a successful evening. Their excitement was a symbol and representation of the thousands of Amakhosi fans across the country.

“We stand a chance for a star. We came here hoping if we draw or win it means the final is ours. I hope for the best for the final,” said one excited fan.

“In the history of Chiefs – this has never happened. We thank the coaches for the good result,” added another.

“We were at Atteridgeville. We were listening on the SABC Radio. I said to my friend – we must run to the stadium before the boys can get out. We must be here to celebrate with them because this is a big win for us; for South Africa and for all football on the SADC,” says another fan.

After losing out on the 2019/2020 Premiership title in the last 20 minutes of their last match of the season, the team made a promise to themselves that they needed to go for something bigger to present to their fans.

“Something big was this one. There is nothing other than this one to make everyone happy…the supporters, the chairman, marketing; the people cutting the grass and the people washing the kit. All the people that played a part,” says Chiefs Assistant Coach, Arthur Zwane.

Lebohang Dube reports on this in the video below:

Chiefs had to overcome a few challenges before the start of the match. Many of their key players, including some technical team members and support staff, were ruled out due to COVID-19.

Sixteen players were available for selection. This was another test of character, which they passed with distinction. Chiefs’ qualification for the final of the most prestigious club competition on the continent after a difficult season, was affirmation that the players understood the pride of wearing the Chiefs jersey.

“Through all these years – it has been tough…never been easy for us because we believe as long as we love one another, support each other and be there for each other -all the time even when chips are down – that is what the team taught us,” says Zwane.

Over the years, the Soweto Giants have been accused of not taking CAF competitions seriously.
The win brings a shift in mindset.

Zwane, who has been with the club for over two decades, is better placed to understand the significance of this achievement for club chairman, Kaizer Motaung.

He says: “It has always been our dream since I was a player before I became a coach that we want to win this for the chairman. Hopefully the man above will give us the strength in the final to make sure we win it for the Chairman.”

Chiefs will face Al Ahly of Egypt in the final in Casablanca on July 17. It will be an interesting affair – squaring off against fellow South African coach Pitso Mosimane who guided his side to a four-nil aggregate win over Esperance of Tunisia in the other semi-final.

Saving lives vs livelihoods – all eyes on Ramaphosa as battle to strike balance continues
27 June 2021, 4:00 PM

As the clock ticks towards President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement on Sunday night on how the country is to deal with the rapid rise in coronavirus infections, especially in Gauteng, the debate around saving lives and livelihoods continues to rage.

Gauteng is the economic hub of the South African economy and getting the balance right in terms of ensuring the economy keeps running, while curbing the spread of the disease remains a near impossible task.

The rapid rise in coronavirus cases has set the scene for inevitable adjustments in government’s lockdown level restrictions. South Africa is currently on level 3 of the lockdown, which tends to put more restrictions on numbers at gatherings and some restriction on alcohol retail. But the fear is that the country may be headed to lockdown level 4, especially in Gauteng, which is currently bearing the brunt of the highest incidence of infections.

Health experts urge South Africans to refrain from social gatherings:

Looking back at level 4, which came into effect on the 1st of May of last year, restrictions included,
the complete ban on alcohol sales as well as cigarettes; a curfew of 8pm to 5am, with the exception of essential workers; limits on inter-provincial travel; heavy border crossing restrictions, with mainly trade still permitted to go on. There was also a rule that tenants could not be evicted, and
there were limitations on when and where people could exercise, among other measures.

On whether the province or any other place in the country really afford to endure these sorts of restrictions again, Executive Director of Inkunzi Wealth, Owen Nkomo, says: “We are stuck between a rock and a hard place as a country obviously…also the economy is lying on the floor.”

The alcohol sector has been the subject of three bans since the start of lockdown restrictions last year. It’s reached out to the government for a more pragmatic approach to the sector, with a view to saving jobs.

“We feel we can look at at the issue of off site consumption as well as on consumption…seek to encourage people to consume alcohol in the comfort of their own homes where trading can resume from Monday to Thursday from 10am to 6pm. But also on-site consumption can be given a special dispensation where they’re able to sell only as off premise, so that allows people to only partake liquor in the comfort of their own homes, so I think maybe we need to look at being careful at how we deal with restaurants, where we feel that an issue of having a limited number of people visiting restaurants can be introduced so that we’re able to further promote that sector and not really destroy it as we’re all battling the pandemic, more especially in the Gauteng province,” says SA Liquor Traders Association Spokesperson, Lucky Ntimane.

The restaurant industry, which has been on the backfoot for most of the lockdown period, says if there’s another alcohol ban, South Africans can kiss many more restaurants goodbye.

“We have run surveys on our industry to show that the transmission within the restaurant sector is very low and we cannot afford another alcohol ban as it will destroy the industry; destroy people’s lives and destroy businesses as well as lose thousands of jobs. It’s not only about the direct jobs that will be impacted, but the entire future that will be decimated as a result of this,” says Restaurant Association of South Africa CEO, Wendy Alberts.

President Ramaphosa expected to announce stricter lockdown restrictions:

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