1 985 new coronavirus cases in SA, 121 more deaths
31 August 2020, 9:44 PM
South Africa has recorded 1 985 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 627 041. The Gauteng province has the highest number of cases with 210 169, which is 33.5% of the total number of cases in the country.
In a statement, the Department of Health has also announced 121 more COVID-19 related deaths.
“One from KwaZulu-Natal; 20 from Gauteng; 20 from Eastern Cape; 24 from Western Cape; 8 from North West; 16 from Free State; 23 from Limpopo and 9 from Northern Cape.”
This brings the total number of COVID-19 related deaths is 14 149.
“We extend our condolences to the loved ones of the departed and thank the health care workers that treated the deceased patients. Our recoveries now stand at 540 923 which translates to a recovery rate of 86%.”
As of today, the total number of confirmed #COVID19 cases is 627 041 , the total number of deaths is 14 149 and the total number of recoveries is 540 923. pic.twitter.com/G7PPoJi8rj
Deputy President David Mabuza has responded to those who have been wondering where he was for the past few weeks. He was part of a virtual media briefing led by President Cyril Ramaphosa on the outcomes of the African National Congress National Executive Committee meeting which took place this past weekend.
Mabuza says it was not an easy couple of weeks because he fell ill but he is getting better. Deputy President David Mabuza has responded to those who have been wondering where he was for the past few weeks. He was part of a virtual media briefing led by President Cyril Ramaphosa on the outcomes of the African National Congress National Executive Committee meeting which took place this past weekend. He was recently trending on social media, with many claiming that he is dead.
However, Mabuza says he is feeling better now and has been back at work for the past ten days. “This I think it’s my tenth day at work and my health situation is improving, so I am grateful that I survived. Some of our people already were circulating information that I’m dead – well I’m still alive. It was a very difficult situation of course when you’re ill – it’s not an easy situation.”
President Cyril Ramaphosa and Deputy President David Mabuza brief the media after NEC meeting:
Western Cape to launch ‘We are Open’ campaign to revive tourism industry
31 August 2020, 9:34 PM
The Western Cape government will launch the “We are Open” campaign this week, in an effort to revive the domestic tourism industry.
Premier Alan Winde says the nationwide lockdown has had a severe impact on jobs in the tourism industry.
The provincial government, in partnership with Wesgro, will embark on a campaign to showcase the best of the province. The popular Table Mountain cableway is one of the tourist attractions that will open this week, as well as the Two Oceans Aquarium.
Winde has cautioned both local tourists and tourism businesses to act responsibly by encouraging the wearing of masks and sanitising regularly during outings.
The Western Cape currently has 4068 active coronavirus cases. The province has a total of 105 093 confirmed cumulative cases, 97 136 recoveries and a total of 3889 deaths.
Winde released the latest stats in the province earlier on social media:
DTI launches Export Barrier Monitoring Mechanism
31 August 2020, 8:41 PM
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has launched the Export Barrier Monitoring Mechanism (EBMM) in order to increase the ease of doing business in the country’s export market. The department says the EBMM is a single channel for companies to report and receive assistance in resolving export barriers.
DTI further notes that COVID-19 has exacerbated some of the export challenges the market continues to grapple with.
Companies reporting through EBMM will receive dedicated government support, and a resolution strategy for each of their reported barriers.
Barriers in markets
Deputy Director-General at DTI, Lerato Mataboge says the EBMM is open to receive barriers encountered in all markets, but it will have a particular focus on easing trade with other African countries.
Director for International Operations at DTI, Christopher Woods says the department’s response to reported barriers has been set against tight deadlines. He says companies also have the option to escalate their issues if they are not happy with the agents assigned to their cases.
“So, you can be assured that within 24 hours of reporting you we’ll give you an acknowledgment to make sure that we’ve registered your barrier on our system. Within three days you’ll be contacted by the official that’s been assigned to your barrier and we’ll start a conversation about gathering information on the barrier, confirming any outstanding details, and really explain the process from there onwards. Within two weeks, the official will contact you with what we’re calling a resolution strategy.”
The DTI notes that there have been measures taken at the SADC level to mitigate export challenges resulting from COVID-19.
Chief Director for African Trade Investment John Rocha says a number of challenges remain in immigration and border security, as well as border systems and customs clearance.
“While truck drivers are free to move to one area that is being negatively affected, it relates to technicians who need to cross our borders to do routine maintenance and repair work and also commissioning of vital equipment. This is having an effect on some of our companies that are operating across our borders as well. There is thus a need to try and ensure that these technicians are able to go and do this work, obviously while still obeying and complying with the COVID-19 measures.”
Ramaphosa calls for thorough investigations into COVID-19 corruption
He told a virtual media briefing earlier this afternoon, as he was giving the outcomes of this past weekend’s National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting, that corruption will not be tolerated.
In an unusual move, the outcomes of this NEC meeting were delivered to the media by Ramaphosa himself and not Secretary-General Ace Magashule.
He says law enforcement agencies must leave no stone unturned in making sure that the procurement processes have been followed to the tee.
“The NEC notes progress on the measures put in place to deal with corruption-related to COVID-19, including recouping illegally acquired funds. Law enforcement agencies must leave no stone unturned, repeat no stone unturned in dealing with this matter,” says Ramaphosa.
ANC members charged with corruption will be asked to resign
The NEC has endorsed the letter written by Ramaphosa last week, denouncing any acts of corruption by officials deployed in government.
Ramaphosa says the ANC will not tolerate any forms of corruption.
ANC cadres, who are formally charged with corruption, will be asked by the party to resign from their positions, immediately.
Ramaphosa says the National Executive Committee has decided that corrupt cadres of the ANC will not be allowed space to commit such crimes under the watch of the party.
He says even those who are alleged to have been involved in corruption will be called by the Integrity Commission of the ANC to come and explain and if they fail they shall be suspended.
“Cadres of the ANC, who are reported to be involved in corrupt and other serious criminal practices, must go to the Integrity Commission and explain themselves. Those who don’t give an acceptable explanation may be suspended. The NEC also decided that cadres who are convicted of corruption and other serious crimes must resign from leadership positions.”