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Fire
UCT students retrieve personal belongings following Table Mountain fire
22 April 2021, 4:15 PM

Some University of Cape Town (UCT) students are rushing to retrieve their personal belongings following a fire which spread to campus from Table Mountain.

Four thousand students had to be evacuated last week and were accommodated at various hotels across the city.

Students who reside at Fuller and Smuts Hall residences will have to collect their belongings and will be moved to another temporary accommodation as the fire has affected their residences.

First-year student, Siyabonga Nhlapo, says the experience has been traumatic.

“I don’t know the state of my personal belongings and the thing that I am most worried about is all my belongings that have sentimental value to me, something like my mothers pictures and my father’s pictures something that is very close to my heart because it’s just those little things that you can’t replace,” Nhlapo says.

Evacuated UCT students begin returning to their residences:

The fire gutted buildings and the library on campus. The students are receiving meals three times a day, thanks to donations which have been pouring in from the public.

Yesterday, the SRC also urged South Africans to donate laptops, toiletries and stationery.

The university’s academic programme is expected to resume next week. It was suspended in the wake of the fire.

Gallery of the fire and destruction below:

White House virtual leaders’ summit on climate change kicks off
22 April 2021, 4:07 PM

Forty world leaders are expected to make firm commitments to lower their greenhouse gas emissions when they join a virtual White House Leaders Summit starting today.

US President Joe Biden is expected to commit to cutting US emission by at least 50% by 2030 while the EU has set a goal of a 55% cut by the end of the decade.

Countries will make their Nationally Determined Contributions public at the summit as the White House seeks to reassert it’s leadership on the global climate change agenda after former President Donald Trump withdrew the country from the Paris Climate Change Accord.

The UN wants countries to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 but the world’s largest polluter, China, has previously pledged to meet that mark in 2060.

Africa will be represented by the AU Chair and DRC President Felix Tshisekedi as well as the Presidents of South Africa, Nigeria, Gabon and Kenya.

The summit will also address global financing for climate mitigation and adaptation in a reinvigorated push as ambition has lagged since Paris in 2015.

Alan Winde encourages citizens to register for COVID-19 vaccination
22 April 2021, 3:01 PM

Western Cape Premier, Alan Winde, has called on members of the public to register for the vaccine rollout via online platforms.

The provincial government is targeting at least 750 000 people over the age of 60 to be on their vaccination database.

Winde was speaking during an online briefing on COVID-19.

He says the second phase of vaccinations is expected to begin on May 17.

“We are having our registration systems. They are already open. You will see that 1 11000 people in the 60-year category and above have already registered online from our province. Thank you very much for those of you that registered. We need to make sure we need to get all our citizens in that category registered,” says the Premier.

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize launched the COVID-19 Electronic Vaccination Data System for people who are aged 60 and above last week.

Essential workers, persons in congregate settings, those over 18 with comorbidities are also among those eligible to receive COVID-19 shots in SA’s second phase of its vaccine rollout programme.

However, for now, government wants to prioritise the registration of the elderly.

“You must have your ID and medical aid card (if you have one) ready before you register. When you register, it is very important that you put in the correct cellphone number, the address where you live, and the correct medical aid number (if you have one). Remember that registration does not guarantee that you will be vaccinated immediately. We will use the information you provide when you register to communicate with you about the vaccination program when necessary,” explains Mkhize.

In the video below, Minister Mkhize launches Eletronic Vaccination Data System:

To register on the website:

1. First make sure you have internet access,
2. You will need a smartphone, a tablet or a computer,
3. Connect to the internet and go to vaccine.enroll.health.gov.za. The welcome screen will guide you through the steps and this is what the demonstration team will show us shortly,
4. It is important to follow the instructions and put in all the details the system asks for,
5. When you are finished, the system will send an SMS to the phone number you provided. This SMS will confirm that you are registered.
This means that the system now has your details in a queue to be scheduled for your vaccine,
6. When it is your turn to be vaccinated, the system will send you another SMS with a date and the place where you will be vaccinated. If you put in the correct address, you will be sent to the vaccination centre that is closest to your home. Some of you may be directed to your place of work,
7. If you have problems you may contact the COVID-19 Hotline at 0800 029 999. A dedicated call centre for the EVDS is being finalized and that number will be announced and displayed on the EVDS portal when you register.

 

Photo Gallery: Prince Philip Funeral
17 April 2021, 4:38 PM

The UK bids a final farewell to Prince Philip at a ceremonial funeral.

Prince Philip died last week Friday at Windsor Castle with the Queen reportedly by his side.

Procession photos below:

Condolences pour in for struggle icon and education specialist Graeme Bloch
9 April 2021, 10:06 PM

Messages of condolences are being sent to struggle stalwart Cheryl Carolus, whose husband Graeme Bloch, died at Constantiaberg Hospital in Cape Town today. The 65-year-old Bloch died following a long illness.

His brother, Lance, broke the news of his passing on social media.

Bloch was actively involved in the struggle for liberation, especially in the 80s.

He was part of the End Conscription Campaign against military deployment under apartheid.

“Comrade Graeme Bloch was one of the outstanding activists and member of the ANC, a committed revolutionary democrat in the struggle against racism in this country especially fighting against apartheid. He was one of those actively involved in the End Conscription Campaign,” says Western Cape ANC Convenor, Lerumo Kalako.

Bloch was married to former ANC Deputy Secretary-General, Cheryl Carolus, for 31 years.

Family spokesperson and former Finance Minister, Trevor Manuel, says Bloch will be remembered for his self-sacrifice.

“Graeme was an activist already at high school, at UCT he was the part of the group of students arrested and tortured after a march in solidarity in 1976 soon thereafter and this was at the age of 20 Graeme was banned for five years,” says Manuel.

Veteran journalist, Dennis Cruywagen, says he has fond memories of Bloch.

“He was prepared to put aside his White privilege and to join us in the struggle and to fight for liberty and equality and freedom for all, he was a prominent member of the UDF, he was a prominent member of the National Education Crisis Committee and he was a prominent member of the end conscription campaign,” says Cruywagen.

In a statement, President Cyril Ramaphosa says South Africa will always remember with admiration his contribution to the liberation struggle. He also praised Bloch’s contribution in the education sector towards adopting policies that opened the doors to millions of historically excluded people.

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