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Schools must close with immediate effect, says Malema giving Minister just 7 days to act
10 June 2021, 5:42 PM

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has given the Department of Basic Education seven days to close down all schools or face a forceful total shutdown. He was briefing the media in Johannesburg on Thursday.

He says the country is now on a third wave of COVID-19 infections and should be concerned about the lives of learners. Infections have been increasing with the country recording almost 9 000 coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours.

 

Electoral Commission

Malema says the IEC would compromise the integrity of former Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke if it forges ahead with the holding of the 2021 municipal elections – without his report.

The commission has announced that it is ready to hold the 2021 local elections as planned on the 27th of October. This is despite the IEC still waiting for the Moseneke report on whether the conditions are conducive to hold the local polls.

Malema says going ahead with elections without the much-awaited Moseneke report would impinge on his integrity and reputation.

He is unyielding on his position that the 2021 Local Government Elections will be a super spreader for the coronavirus and he has two options for the 27th October polls. Firstly, he says these elections should be harmonised with the provincial and national elections in 2024; and secondly, if all fails they should be postponed until early next year when the virus has subsided.

The EFF says it will make a presentation before Moseneke to convince him to help save lives by setting a new date to hold free and fair elections.

EFF leader Julius Malema briefs the media on Local Government Elections and other issues: 

‘Profit before lives’

Malema has also accused President Cyril Ramaphosa of putting profit before the lives of South Africans by denying them access to the Chinese and Russian vaccines.

The Health Department wants to vaccinate 40 million people. It has so far given more than 1.5 million people a jab.

EFF says the government is only interested in making profits at the expense of poor people.

 

Amendment of Schedule 2 of Electricity Regulation Act to help deal with load shedding: Ramaphosa
10 June 2021, 5:04 PM

President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced the amendment of schedule two of the Electricity Regulation Act to increase the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) licensing threshold for embedded generation projects to 100 megawatts.

He says the amended regulation will exempt generation projects up to 100 megawatts in size from the Nersa licensing requirements whether or not they are connected to the grid.

Ramaphosa says generation projects will still need to obtain grid connection permits. “In the mining sector level, there are already companies that want to generate more energy and their ability to do so is in part what has motivated us to go beyond the 50 megawatts because we did not want to do things on a peace mill basis. Approaches have been made and some have come forward with slightly more than 50 saying this is the need we have and being able to put it at a 100mw means that we’re giving the capability to those who can.”

President Ramaphosa is taking part in a virtual question and answer session in the National Council of Provinces: 

 

Economist Iraj Abedian has welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement, saying it will speed up SA’s economic recovery. Abedian says this decision by the government is long overdue.

“Cabinet is beginning to make the right decision but the sad thing is that we knew this a while ago, why do we have to wait until the economy suffers, jobs are lost, lives are lost before we make the right decision. We try everything else before we do the right thing. The very fact that the government at the policy level has shown commitment to push the process from 10 to 100, enables municipalities to start making their own plans. We need to create as many sources of energy as we can as quickly as we can and free the economy as it’s a hostage to lack of energy.”

President Ramaphosa says his government is taking steps to ensure the end of load shedding in South Africa.

The country has experienced 15 days of load shedding since April with almost half of all these power cuts recorded in the first week of June.

Taverns located near schools remain a huge problem in rural Eastern Cape
10 June 2021, 4:44 PM

Taverns that are located close to schools remain a huge problem in the Eastern Cape, especially, in rural areas. Learners and even teachers sometimes frequent the establishments and return to school inebriated. The music from the taverns also distracts learners during school time.

Taverns are regulated and are not allowed within a certain distance from schools, but the regulations are often ignored and not enforced.

Jamangile High School principal in Maclear, Luthando Yaso says this situation is uncontrollable. “There are more taverns and that affects our school very negatively because we teach learners that some of them are over the schooling age. Some of them are 19 -20. So they do things that others do – like the abuse of alcohol. Some of them  come to school drunk.”

The Eastern Cape Liquor Board has issued a stern warning to the liquor traders that are non-compliant.

“We would like to send a very strong warning to liquor traders that are involved in this behavior. We also urge members of the community to also report to the liquor board, liquor traders that sell to school children, they may report on our toll-free number  0800 0420,” says board spokesperson Dr. Mgwebi Msiya.

Western Cape urges residents to avoid large gatherings as it enters third wave of COVID-19 pandemic
10 June 2021, 3:47 PM

The Western Cape is now entering the third wave of COVID-19 with sustained increases in infections over the past few weeks. The province currently has 5 800 active cases with more than 1 000 COVID-19 hospitalisations.

The government has urged members of the public to avoid large gatherings and continue to observe stipulated regulations.

After weeks of a resurgence of cases, largely driven in affluent areas, authorities say the province is now entering the third wave.

Provincial Health Department Head Dr. Keith Cloete says more than 400 cases are being recorded daily with a steep increase of active cases in the last week.

“We continue to see this increase week on week, so the big issue is, we currently have 5 800 active cases which is almost 6 000, which has increased by more than 1 400 from last week alone.  So, that is a more than 34% increase in active cases, so we announced that we are officially entering the third wave in the Western Cape, because of this acceleration over the last ten days.”

Cloete says the government is yet to get the go-ahead to use the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. He says vaccine delivery is piling up and putting pressure on the system. He says about 160 000 people have been vaccinated in the province so far in line with their targets.

“The available doses we have are actually just enough doses to titrate how many vaccines we can do per day for the following five or six working days. That’s where the supply is. It’s very tight, we have the supply and now we have to say we only have enough doses to do x amount of vaccinations.”

Provincial Health Department Head Dr. Keith Cloete and Premier Alan Winde brief the media regarding developments in the fight against coronavirus in the province:

J&J vaccines

The hold on the supply of Johnson and Johnson vaccines, pending Food and Drug Administration approval in the United States, continues hampering the speed at which the rollout can take place.

“We have built the vaccine sites and the model of getting vaccines into arms efficiently and effectively in this province. We have built it on this predictive supply line but of course, the Johnson& Johnson vaccines that are now piling up because those vaccine delivery dates are now piling up, one on top of each other, is really starting to put pressure on the system and we really do need to see an urgent outcome of the FDA in the USA on whether we can actually go ahead with the rollout of Johnson & Johnson,” says Western Cape Premier, Alan Winde.

The province says vaccination registration of people over the age of 60 is increasing daily and is approaching the 50 % mark.

Limiting travel to high-risk areas and reducing the number of people attending gatherings indoors to 50 and 100 outdoors are among the public health recommendations to curb the spread.

Springboks in camp with notable absentees
9 June 2021, 8:48 PM

The South African national rugby team is in Bloemfontein preparing for the international season. They have already suffered a setback, eighth man, Duane Vermeulen, had to undergo ankle surgery, while two Ireland-based players, R.G Snyman and Damian de Allende, picked up first-degree burns when they poured petrol on a fire.

The Boks are set to take on the British and Irish Lions in a series that will test the World Champions like no other team. The squad that has assembled in Bloemfontein is small group consisting of locally-based players and those from Japan.

Coach Jacques Nienaber is only expecting a full squad on 27 June. For the next three weeks in the City of Roses, it will be a conditioning camp ahead of the international season.

The players are meeting for the first time since the parade of their World Cup trophy in November 2019 and Nienaber is pleased to be with the players.

“It’s nice to be on the field again, to see the players again, and to coach again. The last time I was on a rugby field was the Wednesday before the world cup final, in the springbok environment where you actually make plans for the training sessions. The franchises were good enough to give us some coaching opportunity with them which was nice, which we are very thankful for because we didn’t have a lot of opportunities but now there is fantastic ground and nice energy for the guys who haven’t seen each other for such a long time.”

There is an unfortunate situation regarding centre Damian de Allende and lock RG Snyman, both with Munster in Ireland. The two suffered superficial burns from a fire pit incident, but they are said to be fine and eager to be cleared for travel. But Nienaber’s biggest concern on the injury front is the injury to his big number eight, Duane Vermeulen.

“The feedback that I got is that hopefully the surgery goes well firstly, and then the rehab goes well. Jessie had a similar injury and obviously, we can’t be discussing such injuries because of all the privileged information and stuff like that. But some players come back from 5 weeks to 16 weeks.”

The 48-year-old Kimberley-born Nienaber is still in the process of assessing his player stocks and has made it clear that he realises how important the British and Irish Lions tour is.

“I think it’s massive. It would be a pity if one loses the British and Irish Lions’ series because there is such a rich history in it. When we flew up to Bloemfontein I was on the flight with Nas Botha. He spoke about the 1980 British and Irish Lions. So people are talking about the Lions’ tour like it’s a world cup; ’95, 99, 2003, 2007, you almost can remember where you were in 2007 and I remember where I was in 2003, ’95.”

The Springboks will play against Georgia in two tests early next month before taking on the touring Lions.

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