For all official information and updates regarding COVID-19, visit the South African Department of Health's website at

Home » Articles Posted by Yolanda Mhlathi (Page 13)

Author Archives: Yolanda Mhlathi

Cyril Ramaphosa
Working together Africa can solve its problems: Ramaphosa
25 May 2020, 4:08 PM

President Cyril Ramaphosa says the coronavirus pandemic has shown Africa’s ability in working together to solve its own problems. Delivering the Africa Day speech as African Union (AU) Chairperson on Monday, he says Africa is firmly managing the global public health crisis.

The continent has more than 96 000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with more than 3 000 deaths.

Ramaphosa says the positive that can be taken from the pandemic is that governments have accelerated their development agendas.

“The virus has exposed the deep inequalities that continue to exist on our continent and across the world. But at the same time, this global crisis should enable a new Africa to come to the fore. It should be an Africa of heroic acts of solidarity; an Africa of cross-border collaboration and sharing of knowledge and resources; an Africa that is united by a common goal.”

Below is the African Union Chairperson’s address: 

History of Africa Day 

In 1958, a congress was held in Ghana to both celebrate countries that had reached independence from European colonial rule and plot a way forward to free nations on the continent that were still under colonial rule. South Africa was not invited to the congress as it was governed under apartheid.

Much of the decolonisation of Africa happened between the 1950s and 1975. This saw countries move from colonial rule to independence under the leadership of African leaders.

South Africa was the last country on the continent to celebrate freedom when it held its first democratic election and had its first Black president, Nelson Mandela in 1994.

Below is a graphic of the history behind Africa Day:


Below is today’s full speech:

Today marks the 57th commemoration of the establishment of AU.


The economic impact of COVID-19 on Africa

Africa Day is being celebrated under the cloud of COVID-19 with the impact being felt across Africa. People’s lives have been greatly affected and the economic impact has been catastrophic.

According to Worldometer, Africa’s population as of May 2020 was over 1.33 billion as per United Nations’ estimates.

Research done by the World Bank says one in three Africans (over 420 million) lives below the Global Poverty Line.

Many African countries have implemented lockdowns amid the virus. This has meant restricted movement, with many businesses not operating and in most cases, only essential services being allowed to continue. Social gatherings have been banned under many of the lockdown regulations.

The impact of the virus has put economies of African nations under severe stress with many seeking help from organisations like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.

Countries have also pledged money within their economies to lessen the blow the virus has had on businesses and people’s livelihoods.

Highlights of economic initiatives to combat the effect of COVID-19 in Africa:

  • The World Bank approved a $1 billion loan for Kenya to help it close a gaping budget deficit and tackle the economic shocks from the coronavirus.
  • Nigeria’s economy could shrink as much as 8.9% in 2020 in a worst-case scenario without stimulus, Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed said.
  • Egypt’s central bank will provide up to 100 billion Egyptian pounds ($6.36 billion) in loan guarantees to banks to encourage lending to businesses during the coronavirus
  • Uganda will receive an emergency loan worth $491.5 million from the International Monetary Fund to help cushion its economy from the impact of the new coronavirus
  • The World Bank will grant $7 million to Zimbabwe to help it fight the new coronavirus outbreak that is expected to worsen an already struggling economy and food crisis
  • The African Union (AU) has pledged $1.3 million to accelerate development, production and equitable global access to new COVID-19 essential health technologies.
  • African Investors agree that fast-tracking the African Union’s 5% infrastructure agenda is critical in the fight against COVID-19.
  • Nigeria is wooing local companies to boost manufacturing and food production in the West African country, the central bank said, after the novel coronavirus disrupted imports and created large financing needs.





Cyril Ramaphosa
Alcohol sale to be allowed under level 3 lockdown, tobacco sales remain banned
24 May 2020, 10:21 PM
The sale of alcohol will be allowed when South Africa moves to level 3 lockdown in June.

Alcohol may be sold for home consumption only under strict conditions, on specified days and for limited hours.

The sale of tobacco products will remain prohibited.

The President says the ban is due to the health risks associated with smoking.

President Cyril  Ramaphosa made the announcement on Sunday night.

Government’s decision on this comes amid an industry outcry over the ban on the sale of tobacco products, with cigarette traders saying the ban is empowering illegal tobacco traders.

Below is the president’s address:

The President says all economic activity will be permitted with a few exceptions. Businesses like hair salons and entertainment areas will remain closed as they pose a high risk of transmission.

“Places such as restaurants, bars, taverns accept for the collection or delivery of food. Accommodation and domestic air travel accept for business travel which will be phased in on dates to be announced conferences events, entertainment and sporting facilities, personal care services including hairdressing and beauty services.”

Below is an infographic of what will be permitted during level 3 lockdown:


INFOGRPHIC: Some restrictions will be in place at every level of the lockdown

Curfew on movement

People will still be able to leave their homes to buy goods or obtain services, including medical care.

Exercise will now be permitted any time during the day, however not in groups.

The 8 pm and 5am curfew has been lifted.

All gatherings will remain prohibited, except for funerals with no more than 50 people and work meetings.

Below is the President’s full speech:


Protection of workers 

Ramaphosa says the return to work of employees must be done in a manner that avoids and reduces risk of infection.

“Companies will need to put in place sanitary and social distancing measures and facilities; they will need to screen workers on arrival each day, quarantine those who may be infected and make arrangements for them to be tested. They also need to assist with contact tracing if employees test positive. Because of their vulnerability, all staff who are older than 60 years of age and those who suffer from underlying conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease and cancer should ideally stay at home.”


Ramaphosa says high infection areas will be declared COVID-19 hotspots. The President has urged the nation to continue with preventative measures against the virus such as washing hands regularly, physical distancing and cleaning of surfaces.
“Now, as we enter the next phase of our struggle against the coronavirus, it is once again your actions that will determine the fate of our nation. As individuals, as families, as communities, it is you who will determine whether we experience the devastation that so many other countries have suffered, or whether we can spare our people, our society and our economy from the worst effects of this pandemic.”

Health workers praised

President Ramaphosa thanked public servants, especially those in the front line in the fight against COVID-19.

He says the safety of all workers, including public servants, is a matter of concern.

The President promised to provide adequate personal protection equipment to ensure the safety of all workers.


Health workers
Mahatma Gandhi Hospital confirms six cases of COVID-19
24 May 2020, 8:43 PM
KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Health, Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu, says there are nine confirmed cases of coronavirus at the Mahatma Gandhi Hospital in Phoenix, north of Durban. The MEC says they are still awaiting more test results.
She says the hospital will not be closed as some health care workers had indicated their intention to down tools following reports of positive coronavirus cases at the facility.

“Six are healthcare workers and three are patients. We still have results that are outstanding. The issue of infections in hospitals is something that we are going to be faced with because we are dealing with an infectious disease. We are dealing with facilities that are receiving people who are not well, we are not going to be closing down all hospitals. How we close or where we close the facility will be dictated to by the spread of the virus. We are not going to close the hospital.”

Other KZN hospitals closed due to COVID-19

The General Gizenga Mpanza Hospital in KwaDukuza closed after nine mothers and 42 health workers tested positive for COVID-19.

St Augustine’s Hospital in Durban was closed at the beginning of April when 48 health workers tested positive for the virus.

Staff members at Kingsway in Amanzimtoti  contracted the disease and the hospital was closed.

Parkland in Durban was also temporarily closed.

KwaZulu-Natal has over 1 700 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 48 deaths.

Founder of Limpopo traditional fist fight tournament dies
24 May 2020, 7:41 PM

The president of the  traditional bare-knuckle fist fight, known as Musangwe in Limpopo, Tshilidzi “poison” Ndevane has died in hospital  after a long illness.

The former school teacher and African National Congress (ANC) councillor in Ward 8 of the Thulamela Local Municipality in Tshaulu village, outside Thohoyandou, was the president of the tournament for more than a decade.

The Ndevane family says it will reveal more details in due course.


Musangwe, an indigenous Tshivenda boxing sport, started in the 1800s when the herd boys would encourage their bulls to fight one another.

The fighting of the bulls would then encourage the boys to start fighting.

The men of Venda tribes have for decades fought each other.

Below is a report on the sport by SABC’s Nndanganeni Mudau:

ANC slams attacks on Dlamini-Zuma
24 May 2020, 7:34 PM

The African National Congress (ANC) is urging South Africans to support the decisions of the Cabinet and the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC).

The party’s appeal follows recent criticism on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) Minister, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, on alleged proposed extension of a ban on the sale of cigarettes, tobacco related products and alcohol.

“ANC notes with dismay the continuing attacks on Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma for diligently carrying out her duties as the Minister responsible for the coordination of our country’s national mitigation efforts, in terms of the Disaster Management Act of 2020. It is entirely unacceptable that there are evidently wedge drivers, who are in the service of certain businesses. They maliciously attack and undermine our leaders. ” said the party in a statement issued on Sunday.

The governing party has also moved to remind South Africans that Cabinet and NCCC decisions are not taken by individuals.

“The discussions are supposed to be confidential, until the final decisions of the collective are publicly announced. It must always be remembered that the decisions of Cabinet and the NCCC are collectively taken, and should never be individualised,”  the statement added.

The ANC  has on the other hand praised government’s response to COVID-19 and its impacts thus far.

“The ANC welcomes the diligent manner that Cabinet and the NCCC, under the leadership of President Ramaphosa, are carrying out their difficult duties. We fully support the decisions that have been taken. We call on those who are trying to undermine Cabinet and the NCCC, and the decisions that they collectively take, to forthwith cease with their selfish and unpatriotic behavior.”

Below is the governing party’s full statement on the matter:

The below graph is the latest COVID-19 stats in the country:







SABC © 2020