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More people getting vaccinated will help boost Gauteng’s economy : Tau
17 September 2021, 2:06 PM

Gauteng’s Economic Development MEC Parks Tau says the only way the economy can be boosted, is if more people are vaccinated.

Tau has visited the COVID-19 vaccination site at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand, as part of the government’s campaign to vaccinate 10 million residents, especially the youth, by December.

Tau says as the country celebrates tourism month, vaccination would help boost the sector and create more jobs.

“We are really promoting vaccination so that we can open up the tourism industry and enable the economy to grow. Vaccination is about protecting our lives, protecting our loved ones, but it’s also about our livelihoods. It is about opening up the economy and ensuring that the economy is able to pump, tourism can be open and jobs can be created in this province.”

Coronavirus in South Africa

Gauteng currently accounts for 10% of the total number of cases. The country yesterday reported 4 215 new COVID-19 cases bringing the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 2 873 415.

The total number of fatalities now stands at 85 779 to date.

Below are the latest coronavirus statistics:

 

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Springboks player Duane Vermeulen joins Irish club Ulster
16 September 2021, 2:21 PM

Irish club, Ulster, has announced the signing of Springbok number eight, Duane Vermeulen.

The 35-year-old who was voted Man-of-the-Match in the World Cup final in Japan in 2019, will join the club after having completed his duties with the Springboks on the end-of-year tour to the northern hemisphere.

Vermeulen was on the books of the Blue Bulls but has now signed a deal that will see him playing rugby at the Kingspan Stadium until 2023.

According to the 55 test cap Springbok veteran, he and Ulster had detailed discussions about the club’s values, expectations, and the potential role he could play going forward.

He says it appealed and resonated with him to a point where he got very excited and decided to commit himself to Ulster.

ANC to launch election manifesto in Tshwane on 27 September
16 September 2021, 2:00 PM

The African National Congress (ANC) has announced that it will launch its election manifesto in Tshwane on 27 September, emphasising that the event will be conducted in compliance with COVID-19 protocols.

The ANC has outlined its plans ahead of the local government elections:

ANC Head of Elections, Fikile Mbalula, was speaking during a media briefing at Luthuli House, Johannesburg.

“The ANC will launch its manifesto in Tshwane on Monday, 27th September 2021. In compliance with COVID-19 protocols and regulations, the ANC manifesto launch will be held in Tshwane with less than 500 people in attendance. The launch will be followed by the localised manifesto launches in the metros and the rest of local municipalities.”

Mbalula says its leadership and members will approach various communities this weekend to encourage people to register to vote.

“The ANC chose the path of engaging with communities in the selection of public representatives. We are satisfied that all our processes are proceeding according to schedule and we will meet the timelines as set out by the IEC. This coming weekend, our movement, led by President Cyril Ramaphosa and national officials, will be on the ground encouraging communities to take advantage of the IEC’s open voter registration weekend.”

Accused in cases linked to Phoenix murders intimidated at Westville prison
15 September 2021, 3:19 PM

The accused in cases linked to the Phoenix murders in July are being threatened and assaulted in Durban’s Westville prison. This is apparently instigated by wardens. This emerged in the Verulam Magistrate’s Court when three men appeared again on charges of murder and attempted murder.

Emotions have been running high over the deaths of 36 people in the Phoenix area, north of Durban, in alleged racially motivated attacks during the widespread unrest in July.

Defence attorney Carl Van Der Merwe has told the court that the brothers Dylan and Ned Govender, and their co-accused, Jeetendra Jaikissoon, are being intimidated when they are waiting in a common area to be taken to their cells after returning from court. Van Der Merwe has told the court these threats are being incited by prison wardens.

This is despite a court order that the three men be kept separately for safety reasons. Magistrate Irfaan Khalil says in another Phoenix case he heard earlier this week, that some of those accused have been assaulted by other prisoners.

Emotions are still running high about the Phoenix cases, with people protesting outside the court and demanding that bail be denied to all accused in cases linked to the Phoenix killings.

Some community members marched yesterday, calling for peace in the area: 

Meanwhile, friends and relatives of the Govenders and Jaikissoon have attended their court appearance for the first time.

The bail application by the three men, which was abandoned about a month ago, is due to resume on Friday. The Govenders’ legal team withdrew last month.

Their new legal representatives needed time to familiarise themselves with the case. The men are charged with being part of a group of people who attacked five unarmed men on 12 July as they walked down a residential street in Phoenix.

The court has heard evidence that Dylan Govender shot and killed Mondle Majola as the men tried to hide in a yard.

Meanwhile, the attempted murder case against three other men, Seelan Chetty, Owen Chinnasamy, and Keillen Pillay has been postponed to 27 October for further investigation.

Boks aim to improve their performance against Wallabies
15 September 2021, 2:33 PM

The Springbok team to face Australia in the fourth round of the Rugby Championship at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Saturday morning shows just three changes from the team that lost to the Wallabies by two points a week ago. The changes are amongst the forwards with Trevor Nyakane starting at loose-head prop and Steven Kitshoff moving to the bench.

Marvin Orie starts at lock in place of the injured Lood de Jager, who is in the midst of concussion protocols. It is basically the same Springbok side that lost to Australia on the Gold Coast a week ago.

The way the match ended and the series of scrums that led up to the finish will certainly be fresh in their minds on the match day.

While Trevor Nyakane, who starts at loosehead prop this weekend, was not on the pitch, he was able to offer an insight into how the Springbok pack is feeling right now, and what they intend on doing about it at the Suncorp Stadium on Saturday.

“It hurts us as a pack, it doesn’t matter when and how it happens for us we always want to be dominant. If the scrum happens in the halfway line or in their own five-meter and they manage to get a penalty it will always hurt us.  We always strive to be dominant and to try and get 100%  scrums that we go in, so it was tough to see that and we as a team knew that we have to come back and look at those pictures and try to understand what actually happened and see if we followed our system and we did what we had trained for. So, we have looked at those images and it is deep in our heart, it is sore, it is buried in the back of our minds. We know what they are capable of and we know they will even come much harder than they did last week.”

Still smarting from the narrow loss, and yet there were no wholesale changes to the team, Handre Pollard is still backed at flyhalf.

Springbok coach, Jacques Nienaber wants to prevent any knee-jerk reactions in looking to fix a problem.

“We try to take as much emotion out of it as possible and when we looked at it from an unemotional point of view, yes nobody misses goals because they want to, nobody knocks a ball on because they want to, nobody misses a tackle because they want to, and if you look at it unemotionally you say we could have won that test match and then nobody would have said anything, you know.”

The Springboks are also looking at ways to improve communication with the referee, so that they know how the officials are looking at situations, and also so that there is accountability and players do not suffer in team selection when it transpires later that the referee got a call wrong.

“That’s all we want from coaches, from our teams’ point of view is to have clarity on the first day, the test match on Sunday, Monday do our review the referees, do their review, we align on Tuesday so when we select the team or we start talking about team selection that we don’t nail a player because we thought his discipline was poor. If it comes back from a referee that is a better option there would have been play on,” says Nienaber.

The Springboks come to the Suncorp Stadium with only one win in seven previous performances.

It is not a happy hunting ground, rather a Wallaby stronghold, and possibly the worst ground for the Boks to try and bounce back from last week.

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