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Implementation of Level-3 determined through scientific advice: Dlamini-Zuma
28 May 2020, 4:00 PM

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has assured South Africans that the implementation of Level-3 alert of the nationwide lockdown from 1 June has been determined through scientific advice from experts.

Dlamini-Zuma says this is intended to re-open economic activity in order to have a viable economy.

She was addressing the media in Pretoria, following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement last week that the country will enter Level-3.

“These next phases and of Level-3, allow us to open all the productive areas of our economy, all, be it to a moderate degree in some hot spots areas. This risk level, thanks to the employ of a risk-adjusted approach, allows us to maintain the delicate balancing act between one, saving lives and the other saving the livelihoods of South Africans. ”

More details of Level-3 lockdown regulations below:

 

Hotspots

Dlamini-Zuma says the country has potential hotspots for COVID-19. These include Cape Town, Johannesburg and Tshwane. The minister has warned that the hotspots could be subject to tougher restrictions if the situation requires it.

“Given our socio-economic conditions we’ve had to ease restrictions. Thus in the employ of a risk-adjusted strategy, we’ve subjected each province, district or metro…to its own level of the risk adjustment system. This will assist us in mounting targeted interventions, especially in the deployment of our limited resources.”

Alcohol

Dlamini-Zuma says alcohol will be permitted to be sold from Monday to Thursday between 9am and 5pm.  It will not be allowed to be sold on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.

She says e-commerce sales of alcohol will also be permitted during these times. Dlamini Zuma has reiterated that gyms, restaurants and bars will remain closed during Level-3.

She says people who go out in public must wear masks and that sanitisers must be widely available at public facilities and that there will be limits on the number of people allowed at workplaces.

Hotels will also remain closed unless they are accommodating tourists who have been confined or travelling business people.

Schools and exercising 

The minister also says learners who go to school in another province will be allowed to travel to that province for school. Dlamini-Zuma also confirmed that exercise will be allowed all day during Level-3 of the lockdown but that no group exercising is permitted. People out exercising must wear masks.

Below is the full briefing: 

 

Below are some measures which will be in place during Level: 3: 

 

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Malema questions handling of reopening of economy
28 May 2020, 3:00 PM

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has lashed out at President Cyril Ramaphosa and the African National Congress (ANC) – led government over how it is handling the reopening of the economy amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

More sectors are set to reopen under Level-3 of the lockdown which starts on Monday. This includes religious institutions and alcohol retail outlets, subject to strict restrictions.

Malema has appealed to church leaders during a virtual media conference not to reopen.

“We, as the EFF, fully respect the right of religious institutions to gather and worship in common spaces. We, however, appeal to all religious leaders to exercise this right with maximum caution and respect of life. Religious leaders who care about the wellbeing of their people should not rush into religious gatherings because this will compromise the health of their members and religious leaders know that religious rights can be exercised without gatherings of many people.”

Malema says religious leaders should show restraint.

“I want to really make a plea to religious leaders do not open your places to look at what the church did in Bloemfontein, we call upon the caring leaders of religion. Our people can still stay at home; our leaders can still reach out to our people through different methods.”

The Zion Christian Church has announced that it will not resume services under alert Level-3 of the nationwide lockdown. In a statement, ZCC Bishop BE Lekganyane says it is not safe to resume services.

Sale of alcohol

Malema says there is no rationale for the sale of alcohol to resume under Level-3. The sale of alcohol is expected to be restricted to certain days. There has been criticism over the decision to allow for the sale of alcohol while cigarette sales are still banned.

Malema has told a virtual media conference that the sale of alcohol for consumption at home will increase incidents of gender-based violence and community unrest. “You cannot keep on banning cigarettes and justify alcohol. You can buy alcohol and go and drink at home, you effectively are going to turn our homes into clubs. There will not be peace the abuse levels are going to increase the levels of intolerance by neighbours is going to increase you have just sent a mess into communities.”

Repossession of property

Malema has also called for a moratorium of 12 months on house and car repossessions by private banks amid the coronavirus pandemic. He says people should not have their possessions repossessed amid rising unemployment under the nationwide lockdown.

“We call for a moratorium of 12 months on the house and car repossessions by private banks because many people are going to lose their jobs and should not be condemned to absolute poverty and homelessness because of a pandemic that they did not create. We demand that banks must be prevented from house repossessions because unemployment will soon exit 50 percent and it cannot be justifiable that during a crisis, banks repossess houses and cars of retrenched workers. “

He also claims Ramaphosa is being led by his allegiance to those who funded his CR17 campaign.

“You are talking about opening the economy.  You close the restaurants and you open churches, what is the contribution of the church into the economy. The restaurants practice social distancing even without COVID-19 but also in the restaurants hygiene is number one because it’s compulsory. Why do you close restaurants because they are not owned by the Oppenheimers, the Ruperts, you only open sectors that are owned by people who contributed money into CR17.”

Elections

The EFF has proposed that the 2021 Local Government Elections be postponed to 2024 and be held with Provincial and National Elections. “The EFF will make policy and legislative submissions to Parliament which will seek to combine Local Government with the Provincial and National Elections so that South Africa transits into a common election system. If our proposal is accepted, the 2021 Local Government Elections must be postponed to 2024 and held together with the Provincial and National Elections. In our proposal we will articulate that all dysfunctional municipalities under administration must go for elections in 2021 for a term that will finish with the rest in 2024.”

Below is the full briefing in text and video: 

 

South Africa has recorded 25 937 coronavirus cases and 552 related deaths. Below are the latest statistics :

 

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State-owned Alexkor mine running out of cash
27 May 2020, 9:58 PM

Parliament has heard that state diamond mining company Alexkor will run out of cash in June. The coronavirus pandemic has placed  the spotlight on already struggling company and State-Owned Enterprises.

The former administrator of the state owned entity, Lloyd McPatie,  says he has recommended to government that Alexkor as well as the Pooling and  Sharing Joint Venture be liquidated.

Alexkor also owns property in Alexander Bay, which it maintains at a cost of R7.5 million per year while it only collects rent of R3.5  million from tenants. It also pays R6 million  for water and electricity, which it does not recover from tenants.

McPatie says the partnerships the company has entered into have not helped it get out of financial problems.

” I propose as a department that we need to look at liquidation of Alexkor because the company is not a going concern and it cannot generate cash flows to trade itself out of the current situation. And in terms of the Section 22 of the Companies Act, the company is trading recklessly because it can not meet its financial obligations for the next 12 months. The PSJV itself is technically in solvent. “

In the video below, Alexkor might have to retrench all staff members:

Various other state-owned entities are fighting for survival as years of poor governance have sucked their financial coffers dry.

Last week, the Department of Public Enterprises said the coronavirus outbreak has put further strain on the companies.

 

28 new COVID-19 deaths push SA’s death toll to 552
27 May 2020, 9:47 PM

South Africa has recorded 28 new COVID-19 deaths, pushing the number of fatalities to 552. The number of infections now stands at 25 937.

The country has a 52% recovery rate, with 13 451 people having recuperated from the virus.

As with deaths and infections, the Western Cape has the highest number of recoveries, followed by Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

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The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases within the Department of Correctional Services  (DCS) is now at 755. More than 200 officials and 482 inmates have contracted the virus. The department has recorded 173 recoveries.

Below is a breakdown of the stats: 

 

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The rising number of infections has caused alarm in some quarters as the country prepares for lockdown level 3 set to kick in on June 1, where most businesses will resume operating and worshippers will be allowed to gather. Children are also due to return to school, with some people arguing that this might put children’s lives at risk. Authorities have however assured South Africans that their decisions are in the best interest of the country. They have also warned of a possibility of a return to hard lockdown should measures to curtail the spread of the virus fail.

 

 

Legal showdown looms over government’s decision to reopen schools
27 May 2020, 8:39 PM

The One South Africa Movement is taking government to court over the reopening of schools. Leader Mmusi Maimane says President Cyril Ramaphosa has failed to respond to the organisation’s letter, asking for reasons why children will be going back to school in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak that has claimed the lives of 552 South Africans.

The Movement’s petition against the reopening of schools has garnered 150 000 signatures.

“These are passionate South Africans who believe that in fact the decision to open schools on 1 June is irrational and would put our children’s lives at risk. We are willing to take any action to ensure that children are safe in schools, educators and all support staff. “

Grade 7 and 12 learners will be heading to school on 1 June as the country will be entering Level 3 lockdown.

Below are the measures that will be in place when schools reopen:

 

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Various groups, including teachers’ unions, are also against the return to school in June. The Educators’ Union of South Africa (EUSA) has threatened to take the department of Basic Education to court over this. Some parents have also expressed concern. They fear that their children may contract the virus in school.

In the video below, #NotInMyName activists picket over the matter:

 

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