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Voter registration to continue online until midnight on Monday: IEC
20 September 2021, 6:23 AM

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) says although voting stations closed at 5pm on Sunday, people can still register online until midnight on Monday.

Special voters are also expected to be registered on Monday.

The IEC says it recorded a large number of registrations on its online portal.

IEC Deputy Chief Electoral Officer Mawethu Mosery says, “The online registration platform will continue operating until midnight Monday the 20th of September when the Minister of Cogta is expected to proclaim the elections.”

LGE 2021 | Voter registration – drama, protests, service delivery promises, and more:

The IEC in KwaZulu-Natal says they are impressed by the over 140 000 people who came to voting stations on the first day of the voter registration weekend.

A total of 4 940 voting stations were open during the voter registration weekend in the province.

Provincial Electoral Operations Manager Ntombifuthi Masinga says they’ve captured the details of over 35 000 new voters this weekend.

Masinga says they are excited at the number of new, young voters who came to register.

“We are pretty impressed with the level of activity in our voting stations. On the first day of the registration weekend on Saturday, we saw over 144 000 people showing up at 4 940 voting stations spread across the province of KwaZulu-Natal. Of those, over 35 000 were new registrations. We are also impressed by the level of young people between the ages of 18 and 21. We have over 20 000 of those in the province. We seem to have done well in the province compared to other provinces. KZN continues to lead. KZN is at the top of the list followed by Gauteng at 138 000 and the Eastern Cape by 114 000,” says Masinga.

LGE 2021 | Political parties criss-cross the country on the final day of voter registration:

Britain mulls easing COVID-19 travel rules for England
17 September 2021, 1:00 PM

The British government will on Friday consider easing England’s COVID-19 rules for international travel, a late-season boost for airlines, holiday, and tourism companies which say they will not survive another winter of onerous rules and red tape.

While Europe has relaxed travel restrictions for the fully vaccinated, expensive COVID-19 testing requirements remain in place for fully vaccinated arrivals into Britain, preventing a travel recovery as the tougher winter period nears.

But rule changes could be announced later on Friday, Agriculture Secretary George Eustice said, following hints from Prime Minister Boris Johnson earlier in the week and amid reports that popular winter sun destination Turkey may be opened up for British travellers again.

Travel shares jumped on Friday. British Airways owner IAG was up 5%, TUI traded up 4%, while Jet2 was up 5%, and On the Beach up 10%.

If the government fails to scrap expensive tests and the so-called traffic light system which ranks destinations as green, amber, and red, airports, airlines, and travel companies have warned more job losses will follow.

“There are hundreds of businesses out there who will not survive this winter unless changes are made,” TUI UK managing director Andrew Flintham told Sky News on Friday.

The travel industry, already on its knees after 18 months of restrictions, is facing a cliff edge as the government’s furlough scheme ends later this month and as winter approaches, when fewer people travel and businesses tend to make a loss.

COSTLY TEST RULES SCRAPPED

According to reports, the government will remove the requirement for fully vaccinated travellers to take a lateral flow test before departing their destination and a costly PCR test on their return to Britain, which can add hundreds of pounds per person to a trip.

Ministers will also simplify the destination categories into either low or high risk, scrapping amber, reported the Times newspaper, with many countries, including Turkey, expected to be removed from the high-risk red list.

Flintham said any new system would be better than the current setup.

“It will improve if we move anywhere away from the draconian measures that we really are using at the moment,” he said.

Data shows that Britain’s recovery is lagging. UK flights were down 39% compared to pre-pandemic levels for the two weeks to early Sept. 6, while France, Spain, and Italy were down between 24-28%, according to Eurocontrol.

On Britain’s red list there are currently 62 countries, a designation that requires 11 nights in a quarantined hotel at a cost of more than 2000 pounds. Quarantine hotels are expected to remain in place for red list arrivals.

Any change to the travel rules will apply to England, but devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland could later follow suit.

More than 135,000 people in Britain have died in the pandemic.

ConCourt using bullying tactics in Jacob Zuma judgment: Foundation
17 September 2021, 12:00 PM

The Jacob Zuma Foundation has accused the Constitutional Court of using bullying tactics in the way it deals with cases.

The Foundation made these comments after the court handed down judgment dismissing former President Jacob Zuma’s application to have the earlier decision to have his 15-month jail sentence rescinded.

The court says Zuma failed to meet the rescission requirements and says granting him the rescission would fly in the face of the principle of finality in litigation.

Jacob Zuma Foundation’s Mzwanele Manyi says it is unfortunate that the court is more concerned about its integrity than the rights of the accused:

Zuma’s contempt of court conviction and sentence stemmed from his defiance of the Constitutional Court order to continue to appear before the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture.

Representing the former President in his rescission case, Advocate Dali Mpofu had argued that his client is the only prisoner in the country who was jailed without trial.

But on behalf of the State Capture Commission, Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi said Zuma refused to state his case and chose to make disparaging remarks against the apex court.

Zuma has also been ordered to pay the costs of the secretary of the Commission, the Helen Suzman Foundation (HSF) and the Council for the advancement of the South African Constitution (Casac).

Zuma was granted medical parole after serving two months of his sentence.

Below is the judgment on the rescission case:

South Africans struggle to trust those in leadership: Oliver Dickson
17 September 2021, 11:29 AM

Political commentator Oliver Dickson says those who are in leadership positions should know that South Africans are struggling to trust them ahead of the November 1 Local Government Elections.

Dickson’s comment follows the findings of a survey which was conducted by Afrobarometer, that found that many of those who participated believe that corruption has worsened under the current administration.

He says leaders should not take members of the public for granted.

Participants believe corruption has worsened under Ramaphosa’s administration:

“Regardless of how much they are doing, people are not trusting them. Leading without trust from the citizenry means you are leading with an illegitimate mandate, and that should be worrying to anyone who is in any form of leadership in the government right now,” says Dickson.

The report also deals with corrupt perceptions among traditional leaders who are not necessarily in state leadership.

Dickson says, “It also deals with corruption perception in the private sector which isn’t as prevalent as corruption perception in government but is also on the rise. That’s all in that report. The entire country should be worried.”

 

 

VIDEO: Weekly Media Briefing on the National Vaccination Rollout
17 September 2021, 8:54 AM

Health Minister Dr. Joe Phaahla briefs the media on the national vaccination rollout.

He will also visit the Free State vaccination sites to monitor the province’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout programme.

Phaahla will be joined by the Free State Premier, Ms Sisi Ntombela and MEC for Health, Ms Montseng Tsiu on a site visit and walk-about at vaccination sites around the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality, and interact with both health care workers and clients.

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