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SASCOC assures Olympic medalists of their incentives
10 August 2021, 8:15 PM

Athletes who won medals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, and medal winners at the 2020 Paralympic Games, will receive financial incentives. That’s according to the president of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC ), Barry Hendricks.

Hendricks says they will announce the amounts the athletes will receive at a later stage because they are still in negotiations with their partners.

SASCOC has also defended the less stringent selection policy used to select the team for the Tokyo Games after the team’s poor overall showing.

While swimming sensation, Tatjana Schoenmaker, and surfer Bianca Buitendag gave South Africa something to cheer about, some of the other performances bordered on the embarrassing.

The overall performance of the team meant Team South Africa had produced its worst performance at the Games since the Beijing Olympics in 2008. But, SASCOC president,  Hendrick, says COVID-19 played a significant role.

“It had a profound effect you must remember there is a total difference between South Africa and the European countries most of who had access to competition especially in the build-up to the Olympics so yes covid did affect us.” 

The South African men’s and women’s water polo teams, for instance, were out of their depth and lost all but one of their matches, by a huge margin.

Their performances raised questions about SASCOC’s selection policy, which was relaxed for the Tokyo Olympics.

“We took a decision as SASCOC members to open the selection process and not make it as stringent as in the past. This gives us a platform from which to work now to say look this is our strength where do we need to work on to take our teams forward what systems programs do we need to help our athletes.

Hendricks says they will sit down with federations to map the way forward and use next year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham to gauge progress.

“We have to sit down with Swimming South Africa, we have to sit down with Waterpolo they are the ones who have to advise SASCOC regarding their strategies going forward and this is what we are going to do with all the coaches us.” 

Hendricks says Team South Africa was also hard done by defending 800 metres champion Caster Semenya not being allowed to compete and 400 metres world record holder, Wayde Van Niekerk, not being in top form.

And while track and field athletes also didn’t impress, Hendriks said there was optimism that sprinter Akani Simbine and others would be among the medal contenders at the next Games in Paris in 2024.

Sassa beneficiaries near Taung bemoan traveling long distances to access services
10 August 2021, 7:56 PM

Social grant beneficiaries in Reivilo, near Taung in the North West, have raised concerns about having to travel over 60 km to Taung to access the services of the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa).

The local Sassa offices have been closed and many beneficiaries depend on one ATM and the local post office, to make withdrawals.

However, some days both the ATM and the Post Office have no money and beneficiaries are caught between going to bed hungry or borrowing money to travel over 60 km to Taung to access a working ATM.

“We really struggle here. We have no money for transport to go to Taung. And when you buy things like groceries you also have to pay transport for them,” says one beneficiary.

“I don’t have money for transport. If  I did I would go to Taung. So now my children will go to bed hungry,” adds another beneficiary.

Young unemployed mothers are the ones who suffer the most. 41-year-old Sinah van Wyk says she has struggled to register her children as grant beneficiaries due to the distance.

“When I had to go register my children I was turned back more than three times because we don’t have offices here and we were forced to travel to Taung. We leave here with no money. Sometimes there’s money and sometimes there isn’t. But it seems whenever its time for Sassa payouts, the machine doesn’t work so often we get our money in Taung.”

Sassa in the province says its outreach programs in the area had to be suspended with the spread of COVID-19.

The agency suspended all outreach services in order to ensure the safety of both community members as well as the staff. Clients are advised to utilise the Sassa online portal to make applications as an alternative to going to the office. Beneficiaries in the area receive their social grants through SAPO that has been able to pay about 180 to 200 clients in a month“, says provincial  Sassa Spokesperson, Nthabiseng Mosieleng.

In the video below Social grant beneficiaries speak to SABC News:

Retail still largest employer of women but few occupy leadership roles
10 August 2021, 6:44 PM

The retail sector continues to be one of the largest employers of women in South Africa, providing a source of both livelihoods and income to many families and dependents.

Recruiters and retail workers representative bodies say women are employed in various customer-facing positions, however, fewer women occupy leadership roles in the retail sector.

President of the National Union of Retail Workers of South Africa, Victor Legoba, says of their 1368 members, the majority work in grocery stores.

He says female members make up 54% that work as cashiers, while around 45% of male members work as drivers and packers.

“You must remember Shoprite and Checkers they got many departments of which those departments are dominated by females. We’ve got daily departments, which have dominance of females. We’ve got cashiers, we’ve got cash office department, and we’ve got fruit and veggies. It’s those departments that are dominated by females.”

Staff Link recruitment founder, Karin Fivas, says although there’s been a greater demand for female workers among retailers, men continue to dominate senior roles in the sector.

“There is more demand for women in retail. There are well-trained women but men are still in senior positions. I feel that some women should be given an opportunity.”

The 2019 Good Business Journey report by Woolworths indicates that women represent 64% of their historically disadvantaged permanent employees.


Zuma to be examined by state’s medical practitioner
10 August 2021, 5:05 PM

The Pietermaritzburg High Court has ordered that the State be allowed to appoint a medical practitioner to examine former President Jacob Zuma who is currently in a military hospital.

Zuma’s fraud and corruption trial has been postponed to the 9th and 10th of September.

Judge Piet Koen granted the State’s application that its own medical practitioner examines the former President.

State Prosecutor Advocate Wim Trengrove told the court that the current letter from Zuma’s doctor does not identify his current medical condition but notes emergency procedures that have been delayed for 18 months.

“We are at the moment completely in the dark to the justification for the postponement for Zuma’s condition. The doctor’s letter does not identify the medical conditions which he suffers at all or says quite perplexingly there has been an emergency procedure that has been delayed for 18 months. We have found it very hard to understand how that’s transformed to his inability to stand trial. We also ask that you my lord that the State may appoint a medical practitioner to examine Mr. Zuma to determine his fitness to attend court or to stand trial.”

Video:  Former President’s case postponed to 9 September 2021

Cold front to hit KZN from Thursday
10 August 2021, 4:32 PM

The South African Weather Service says KwaZulu-Natal residents should brace themselves for cold weather conditions from Thursday this week.

Forecaster Julius Mahlangu says there’s a 30 to 60 % chance of showers in some parts of the province.

Mahlangu says there is also a possibility of snowfall over Drakensburg from Friday.

“From Thursday we are expecting a cold front to be moving through, it’s quite an intense cold front. So in the evening of Thursday, we are expecting some 30% chances of showers, and rain over the province of KZN. And there’s also dropping temperatures expected. So that will continue into Friday.

And there is also a possibility of some snowfall over the Drakensburg areas that is on Friday. Going into Saturday its mainly just going to be 30% chances of rain and showers in the morning. ”




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