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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: 

SABC-News Export
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.”

COVID-19

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
31 August 2020, 7:33 PM

African National Congress (ANC) President Cyril Ramaphosa says government will soon be equipped with all the necessary resources to make sure that the monies stolen through COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) tenders are recovered.

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.”

President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers NEC outcomes: 

Nkoana-Mashabane announces Inter-Ministerial Committee for GBV fight
31 August 2020, 6:13 PM

Minister for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane announced a six minister Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) that will focus on the fight against gender-based violence and femicide.

Nkoana-Mashabane was speaking during a security cluster dialogue on gender-based violence and femicide. The dialogue was held under the theme: “Improving access to justice for the victims and survivors of GBV and Femicide”.

It marks the closure of the 2020 Women’s Month programme and is part of the Justice Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) cluster’s effort to fight the scourge of gender-based violence and femicide.

Nkoana-Mashabane says the IMC has a strategic plan that needs other role players in implementing. She decried GBV as a second pandemic following COVID-19.

The strategic plan has six pillars.  Six pillars are accountability, coordination, and leadership. Prevention and rebuilding social cohesion, efficient and sensitive criminal justice, adequate care, support, and healing to the victims. Building women’s economic power and financial access. Lastly better information management to inform action,” says Nkoana-Mashabane.

SA women should be able to walk down the streets without fear says Nkoana-Mashabane : 

A call for a united front against GBV 

Speaking during the same dialogue, Police Minister Bheki Cele said that it is everybody’s business to wage war on gender-based violence and femicide.

Cele said all gender-based violence and femicide victims should be able to access the criminal justice system.

“They should access a system that is efficient and sensitive to the needs of survivors while being accessible and responsible. In our response to gender-based violence, femicide, the police are making progress in resourcing specialised units that deal with gender-based violence and femicide cases with both funding and human capital. We have the FCS, that is the family violence and child protection, the sexual offenses unit has trained specialist detectives to investigate gender-based violence.”

Minister Bheki Cele calls on all South Africans to play a role in fighting GBV and femicide: 

Mokgoro says North West government will cooperate with PPE corruption investigations
31 August 2020, 5:28 PM

North West Premier Job Mokgoro says his administration will fully cooperate with law enforcement agencies on allegations of fraud and corruption in the procurement of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The SIU is probing three provincial departments and two municipalities.

Mokgoro made this commitment after tabling the province’s COVID-19 procurement expenditure report in Mahikeng. Over 200 companies are reported to have been awarded PPE tenders. However, a number of them are currently being investigated by the SIU.

Premier Mokgoro says two municipalities under investigation include the Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality in Mahikeng and the JB Marks Local Municipality in Potchefstroom.

“Government is aware of the reports that are in the public domain regarding COVID-19 expenditure in particular in the Ngaka Modiri Molema District and JB Marks Local Municipality. The expenditure matters relating to the two municipalities are currently with the law enforcement agencies and we are encouraged about the manner in which the law enforcement agencies are dealing with the matters.”

Internal audit

Mokgoro further says an internal audit of provincial departments is also under way.

“The audits focus among others on whether departments are assessed or managed the risk with regard to this expenditure and whether the prescribed procurement processes were followed, whether prices paid are market-related and in accordance with price determinations and whether the quality of goods received are compliant with prescribed standards. Where there are transgressions, necessary consequence actions will be taken and cooperation will be provided to law enforcement agencies.”

No stone to be left unturned

Spokesperson for the Special Investigating Unit Kaizer Kganyago says no stone will be left unturned.

“At the end of every investigation, we have three outcomes. One is that where we are able to set aside contracts and that one we’ve got control over as the SIU. The second outcome is the one of criminality.  Sometimes when we do an investigation we find criminality, in such a case we then refer that to the NPA for prosecution with the evidence. The last outcome will be disciplinary.”

Members of the public have weighed in on this matter.

“ I only want those people implicated to be investigated so that justice can prevail.”

The Special Investigating Unit says a preliminary report will be given to the President this on all investigations conducted.

What some public officials have said about COVID-19 corruption:

Weather

 

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