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‘Determination of equitable compensation for land expropriation is not a technical exercise’
10 September 2021, 12:31 PM

The determination of just and equitable compensation is not a technical exercise nor it is reduced to a simple mathematical equation. These are some of the concerns raised during submissions during the public consultation process on the Constitution 18th Amendment Bill.

It is reflected in the Ad Hoc Committee report to amend Section 25 of the Constitution to Expropriate Land Without Compensation. The report has been published in the daily parliamentary publication – the Announcements, Tablings and Committee (ATC) report.

The Ad Hoc Committee’s lifespan has now ended after completing its work on time.

The rights of the individual must be weighed up against the interest of the fiscus. This is in one of the submissions arguing against who is best placed to determine fair compensation when land and property is expropriated. In the committee report, the submitter says the court is best placed to make value judgement on compensation.

Parliament’s progress on allowing expropriation of land without compensation: Dr. Mathole Motshekga

The submission says it is also critical for the courts to have powers to use their discretion because compensation may differ between properties of a similar value depending on the circumstances of the owner and the expropriation.

The Committee report and the Bill will be brought before the National Assembly for final approval after the local government elections.

The Bill was adopted by the Committee on Friday last week while the Committee report was adopted on Wednesday.

The next step will be to consider the report and the Bill for final approval of the House.

The Order Paper of the National Assembly reflects that the Bill and the Ad Hoc Committee report are the first items scheduled for debate when the House resumes after the Local Government Elections.

Discussion on amendments to Section 25 of the Constitution with Mathews Phosa

 

‘Digital vaccine certificates will soon be issued to fully vaccinated South Africans’
10 September 2021, 12:08 PM

South Africa will soon begin to issue vaccine certificates to those who have been fully vaccinated. Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla announced on Friday morning that government is in the process to issue digital certificates that are in line with standards set by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Phaahla says fully vaccinated South Africans will be able to access a digital vaccination certificates in just over a week. The certificate will be available online and can be printed.

“We have however commenced with the development of a digital vaccination certificate to confirm that a person has been vaccinated. We have made sure that this certificate will be protected from fraud and will be uploaded on your smartphone and can be printed. Through this initiative, we must mention that it is in line with the WHO-initiated vaccination certificate. The WHO is attempting to standardize vaccination proof all over the world,” says Phaahla.

Health Department struggling with the issue of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy

Access to public venues, essential services

Vaccine passports have been a subject of controversy as some countries and establishments around the world limit access to only those who have been fully vaccinated. Phaahla says the government has no intention to require certificates for access to public premises and essential services.

“We know that in the future this may be a useful intention of accessing various services but again I must add that we have no intention as government to require people in future to produce this certificate to access public services, it may be useful for access to some entertainment, sports and other events but not essential services, not public service,” says Phaahla.

Government also intends to boost the vaccine uptake by integrating the campaign with the upcoming voter registration weekend set for the 18th and 19th of this month. 7 million people have been fully vaccinated, while 10.5 million have received one dose.

“Our current target for vaccination is the very same age group, 18 years and over as the voting age group which is 18 years and over and therefore, there is very good alignment in this regard. We advise voters and candidates to be vaccinated to ensure we have safe local government elections on the 1st of November,” says Phaahla.

Health Ministry media briefing on efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic

Meanwhile, Phaahla says the number of new COVID-19 cases recorded over the last seven days is showing an encouraging downward trend. Hospital admissions have also dropped by 10% over the last seven days. Gauteng and Limpopo have officially exited the third wave while coastal provinces still lead with high infection rates.

Phaahla says there has been a 24% drop in the number of cases compared to the same time last week.

“Yesterday, we recorded new cases, positive cases of 6 270 in total which again iis consistent with the downward trend. If you look at the previous 7-day average, it was well above 8 000, so this is quite a good downward trend,” says Phaahla.

Over 84 320 South Africans have died of COVID-19.

How vaccine passports can also result in greater inequality in Africa and other low-income regions

eThekwini Municipality to launch Tourism Month campaign
10 September 2021, 10:20 AM

In a bid to revive the tourism sector that was affected by COVID-19 and civil unrest in July, the eThekwini Municipality is expected to launch its campaign for Tourism Month. The My City, My Heritage campaign is hoped to give the sector a much needed boost.

COVID-19 forced strict regulations amidst an ongoing lockdown. A number of businesses have been forced to close down, struggling to make ends meet.

eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda is expected to unpack efforts to to revive the sector throughout this month.

Meanwhile, with Tourism Month now well under way, workers at some of the popular tourist attractions in Cape Town are hoping that they will be able to keep their jobs and be able to provide for their families.

The World of Birds Wildlife Sanctuary and Monkey Park in Hout Bay has also felt the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The daily operational costs of the park are under strain. Park Manager, Hendrik Louw, says they need a substantial increase in visitor numbers to sustain the park.

“COVID locked us down for five months with no income. We had a sponsor from Switzerland that carried all of our staff through that time and supported all our feed. After that, we received a bequest which is currently carrying us, but like I always say, it’s not going to carry us forever. The only way we going to survive is by getting feet through this park,” says Louw.

Discussion on the COVID1-19 4th wave, what it means for tourism in SA

Events and Tourism Co-ordinator at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, John Masilo, says they hope more locals will visit the gardens.

“What we are hoping for specifically, this is the beginning of spring. Spring is time for a new dawn and we are hoping that we will have more people coming into the garden, particularly locals to come and enjoy this beautiful space,” says Masilo.

Western Cape has officially passed peak of COVID-19 infections: Authorities
10 September 2021, 7:06 AM

Health authorities in the Western Cape say evidence shows that the province has officially passed the peak of the current wave of COVID-19 infections. It warns that it is still within the third wave of the pandemic, urging people to continue vaccinating and adhering to prescribed protocols.

A study with healthcare workers during the current wave of the pandemic at a public health facility shows the vaccine programme is working.

“These are the healthcare workers of the Health department that are on Purcell and obviously we looked at this data over a period of time during the third wave. In the unvaccinated group, you can see that the risk of death is one in 418. In the vaccinated group the risk of death is one in 1 490. So the risk of death is 3.3 times higher in the unvaccinated versus the vaccinated health care worker group. For us that’s a really powerful, really crucial message in terms of the effectiveness of the vaccine,” says Western Cape Health Chief of Operations Dr. Saadiq Kariem.

Possibility of annual vaccination for COVID-19: Dr. Catherine Scheepers

Meanwhile, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases says the current surge in COVID-19 infections seems to be showing signs of a sustained downward trend.

The NICD reports that 6 270 new COVID-19 cases have been identified. Another 175 people have died from COVID 19-related complications bringing the death toll to 84 327.

The number of cases remain high in the Western Cape with 1 479. KwaZulu-Natal has 1 223 and the Eastern Cape with 1 117.

COVID-19 Pandemic | Vaccines may have to be administered every year: NICD

Over 20 Free State health facilities battling with staff, medication shortage
10 September 2021, 6:39 AM

At least 22 health facilities across three districts in the Free State are battling with staff shortages, infrastructural issues, shortages of medicines and poor TB infection control among others.

This was revealed in a report by community-led clinic monitoring organisation Ritshidze Project, which monitors South Africa’s HIV and TB response and health systems strengthening.

The report has also found that the state of healthcare facilities forces ARV patients to have unnecessary trips to clinics.

“There are long waiting times in the facilities, where on average patients wait for 5 hours in queues before they see your professional nurses. About 79% of facility managers we interviewed also indicated that there was not enough clinical, non-clinical facilities. Even the testimonies that patients shared today, a lot indicated that they are waiting in queues for a long time because there are not enough staff members,” says Project Assessor Ndivhuwo Rambau .

Meanwhile, Health Minister Joe Phaahla says during the 2019/20 financial year, upgrades to the tune of R1.5 billion were made to public hospitals. This came out in a written Parliamentary reply.

Phaahla says this is a combination of rehabilitation, renovations, refurbishment, upgrades and additions. All nine provinces benefitted from these upgrades.

The upgrades were done for hospital projects funded under the Provincial Equitable Share as well as the Health Facility Revitalisation Grant.

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