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Tshepiso Moche
Khumbudzo Ntshaveni appointed acting Minister in the Presidency
27 January 2021, 1:15 PM

President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed Small Business Development Minister, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni as Acting Minister in the Presidency: Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation until further notice.

In a statement released a short while ago, Ramaphosa says the appointment, follows the death of Jackson Mthembu on Thursday from COVID-19-related complications.

Ramaphosa says Ntshaveni will continue to perform her responsibilities in her portfolio while she acts.

Below is a media statement from the Presidency:

Hopewell Chin’ono granted bail
27 January 2021, 12:48 PM

Zimbabwean investigative journalist, Hopewell Chin’ono, has been granted bail after spending three weeks in prison.

The journalist was arrested earlier this month and charged with communicating falsehoods after he tweeted that police had beaten an infant to death while enforcing COVID-19 lockdown regulations.

This was the third time that Chin’ono was arrested in the last six months.

Chin’ono has become an easy target for Zimbabwe’s government and police.

His previous bail conditions limit his use of his social media and this is how the current charges were brought forward.

Zimbabwean journalist and government critic Hopewell Chin’ono arrested for the 3rd time in 6 months:

Before the latest arrest, Chin’ono was out on bail on separate charges of inciting violence after he voiced support for an anti-government protest in July.

He was also charged with contempt of court for allegedly claiming there was corruption within the country’s national prosecution agency.

Chin’ono’s investigative work has exposed deep seeded corruption in government.

His last piece unveiled tender corruption in the country’s Department of Health which led to the dismissal of then Health Minister, Obadiah Moyo.

Explosive evidence expected at State Capture Commission
27 January 2021, 12:09 PM

Political analyst Lukhona Mnguni says members of the public should prepare themselves for explosive evidence which an unidentified witness has started to give at the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture in Johannesburg.

The evidence which relates to the State Security Agency comes after the agency’s Director-General Loyiso Jafta appeared before the commission on Tuesday.

He confirmed the testimony of former Chairperson of the High Level Panel of Review into the agency Sydney Mufamadi, that the agency allegedly conducted illegal operations and siphoned huge sums of money from the organisation often for fictitious projects.

Mnguni says Wednesday’s evidence will definitely be interesting.

“Well I mean the fact that the identity of the witness is concealed, it means that there is some form of insider or whistleblower within SSA. Definitely we should expect some more damning evidence, if not strengthening evidence to what we have already seen. Without a doubt, we are all waiting anxiously to find out exactly what part of the evidence that particular witness is going to hand out,” explains Mnguni.

Below is the live stream of today’s proceedings:

Meanwhile on Tuesday, acting State Security Agency Director General, Loyiso Jafta, said the SSA has suffered from selective adherence to the law, employees being given illegal instructions as well as corruption and theft.   

Jafta, who was testifying at the State Capture Commission, was appointed in 2018.

He confirmed the use of the SSA for political as well as factional struggles within the ANC.  

State Capture Inquiry hears State Security Agency related evidence from Mr Loyiso Jafta – Part 1:

‘Travel ban imposed by US government will not affect business’
27 January 2021, 11:53 AM

The American Chamber of Commerce says the travel ban that the US government has imposed on South Africa will not affect business between the two countries.

A few days ago, US President Joe Biden signed an order banning non- US citizens, who were recently in South Africa, from entering the country.

This is in a bid to contain the spread of a coronavirus variant detected in South Africa.

The chamber in South Africa CEO Angela Russell says, “If you look at the countries that the ban has been imposed on, the UK, Rep of Ireland, Brazil and South Africa, these is where variant strains have been found that is why the CBC has re-examined the policy on business travel. There should be no impact to trade and business activity coming in and out of the country.”

The video below is on the US travel ban on SA:

‘Tourism Equity Fund will help tourism sector to bounce back’
27 January 2021, 10:03 AM

President Cyril Ramaphosa says the R1.2 billion Tourism Equity Fund will be used to help the sector to bounce back from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic to enable it to contribute to the country’s economic recovery.

The Department of Tourism established the fund in partnership with the Small Enterprise Finance Agency.

Speaking during the launch on Tuesday, President Ramaphosa said the aim of the fund was to boost struggling small businesses in the tourism sector.

“It is our aim through this fund to actively support black-owned businesses to run profitable, but more importantly sustain enterprises. It is also our aim to employ local people to procure goods and services locally and to make a real contribution to our economy. All qualifying enterprises who want to be part of the recovery and transformation of this vital industry, [can] apply to the fund starting from [Tuesday] because the funding is quite limited,” explains the President.

Government says the aim of its newly-launched tourism equity fund is to boost struggling small businesses in the sector.

The video below is reporting that businesses in the tourism sector to benefit from a R1.2 billion cash injection

Global tourism is believed to have lost more than R70 billion last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In South Africa, the sector lost many jobs.

Speaking virtually, Ramaphosa described the launch of the fund as a ground-breaking move that was expected to speed up the transformation of the tourism sector in the country.

“This launch is taking place when the tourism industry is facing severe challenges, from the smallest B&Bs, hotel chains, to local tour companies to airlines. The pandemic has had a profound impact on the tourism sector. Tourism directly accounts for about 2.9 and this industry supports about 1.5 [million] direct and indirect jobs.”

“These figures should be higher than what it is right now. It stimulates and supports the development of small business and it is one of the sectors that can play a pivotal role in transforming the economy,” explains the President.

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