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Govt finalising support schemes for informal traders, spaza shops
1 April 2020, 11:34 AM
Small Business Development Minister, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni says government is finalising the support scheme for informal traders and spaza shops.
Addressing the media in Pretoria on Tuesday, Ntshavheni says the support will come in the form of bulk buying arrangements, access to seed capital and business management training.
Government will also facilitate the licensing of spaza shops.
She says more details about the support scheme will be announced later this week.
“We are also going to assist spaza shops those without banks accounts to access bank accounts … the spaza shop owner must be willing to register on the CIPC and UIF.”
”They must give us proof of banking, they must register in SMME SA. We are going to communicate that when we communicate the date for opening,” explains the minister.
Inter-ministerial committee media briefing on COVID-19
SARS to announce its preliminary results for revenue collection
1 April 2020, 10:58 AM
The South African Revenue Services (SARS) will on Wednesday announce its preliminary results of revenue collection for 2019/2020.
The final audited figures are expected to available later this year.
For the financial year ending 31 March 2019, SARS collected a total of R1.287 trillion, against the 2019 Budget estimate of R1.302- trillion, resulting in a deficit of R14.6-billion.
SARS Commissioner Edward Kieswetter also introduced a number of interventions in SARS to increase the level of tax compliance and collection.
Government announced in February that its tax revenue for the current year is expected to be significantly lower than that estimated in the 2019 medium term budget.
Tax revenue estimates have been revised down by R10.7 billion.
Treasury also announced that increases in taxes are limited in the current economic environment.
The results are also likely to reveal significant growth in pay -as -you earn collections and VAT.
In the video below, SARS reports on the billions it has paid out in tax refunds:
US spring breakers contracted coronavirus after returning home: Mexico
1 April 2020, 8:46 AM
A group of 28 US students that tested positive for coronavirus after traveling to Mexico’s Los Cabos resort area were infected after their return and not in Mexico according to local authorities.
“Due to the date and the incubation period, they returned and became infected there (US), which is the natural course of the illness, and it’s also corroborated by the fact that there are no positive (coronavirus cases) among the workers where they were staying,” said Victor George Flores, the health minister for Baja California Sur, the peninsular state where Cabo San Lucas is located, in a news conference on Tuesday.
The 28 confirmed cases are self-isolating and dozens more are under quarantine while being monitored and tested, the city of Austin said in a statement on Tuesday.
Mexico overall has confirmed just over 1,200 cases of coronavirus and 29 deaths, a fraction of the numbers in its northern neighbor.
Critics of the government’s strategy say a relatively low number of tests carried out mean more cases could be undetected.
Baja California Sur had 17 cases of coronavirus as of Tuesday, Mexican health ministry data shows.
Mexico declared a health emergency on Monday and issued stricter rules aimed at containing the fast-spreading coronavirus.
UK coronavirus deaths rise by 27%
The number of deaths from coronavirus in the United Kingdom rose by 27% in the space of a day, according to new figures on Tuesday that a senior cabinet minister described as shocking and disturbing.
The government said 1 789 people have died in hospitals from coronavirus as of 1600 GMT on Monday, an increase of 381 from Sunday, the largest rise in absolute terms yet.
“The increase in the number of deaths is deeply shocking, disturbing (and) moving,” Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove said at a news conference, adding that it was not possible to predict when fatalities would peak.
“It depends on the actions of all of us,” he added. “We can delay that peak, we can flatten the curve through our own particular actions.”
Later on Tuesday, a London hospital announced that a 13-year-old boy had died after contracting coronavirus, Britain’s youngest fatality from the pandemic.
Britain initially took a gradual approach to containing the virus compared with European countries such as Italy.
But Prime Minister Boris Johnson imposed stringent controls after projections showed a quarter of a million people could die. Johnson has since become the first leader of a major power to announce a positive test result for coronavirus.
Britain lags Italy, Spain and France in terms of the number of deaths, but they are still doubling around every 3.5 days.
The video below, reports that nearly 3900 COVID-19 deaths in the United States
Gauteng government to roll-out its sanitisation solution programme
1 April 2020, 8:21 AM
The Gauteng government will on Wednesday morning roll-out its province-wide Sanitisation solution programme in the fight against COVID-19.
As part of the ongoing efforts to help curb and combat the spread of the coronavirus, Human Settlements MEC Lebogang Maile, will launch the programme in Alexandra, north of Johannesburg.
On Monday, the Gauteng Health Department confirmed that there was a confirmed case of the virus in the township.
The sanitisation solution seeks to propel Section 24 of the Constitution by ensuring that measures are put in place to protect and safeguard the rights of citizens against a harmful environment which could arise out of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Gauteng province-wide Sanitization solution will comprise of the Decontamination of Public Areas, Fogging of Public Buildings and Direct Household Sanitisation. Hand sanitisers will also be distributed to residents at the Hellen Joseph Hostel, Stjwetla informal settlement and Pan African Mall.
Visits to Gauteng hospitals not allowed during lockdown
The Gauteng Health Department has again reminded the public that no hospital visits are allowed for the duration of the lockdown.
It says only emergencies, surgical out-patients, pregnant women and medical out-patients who are booked to collect their medication will be allowed at hospitals. The department is concerned that community members continue to visit in numbers at public hospitals to see their loved ones.
The department’s spokesperson is Kwara Kekana says, “We wish to inform the public that visiting times as of Thursday, 26 March 2020, have been cancelled at all Gauteng public hospitals for the duration of lockdown period.”
“Everyone will be expected to be sanitised when entering our premises and everyone will be screened for COVID-19. Depending on the outcomes of the screening, patients will be directed accordingly to triage points set up in our facilities. Lastly, anyone with respiratory symptoms will be provided with a mask.” Kekana adds.
In the video below, teams countrywide are tracing COVID-19 contacts:
Homeless people in Cape Town demand showers and mattresses
1 April 2020, 6:35 AM
Some homeless people who live in tents just outside the Cape Town CBD are demanding showers and mattresses which they say were promised by officials.
Around 300 of them are living in tents put up as part of the lockdown regulations.
The city is continuing efforts to round-up as many homeless people as possible to either put them up in tents or shelters.
SABC News spoke to some of the city’s homeless.
“Everyday they want to give us a cup of soup, we need coffee, we need mattresses, we need toiletries and people need blankets. Porridge has no sugar in it. How can you give somebody jungle oats with banana, apple, sweet potato. Soup with beans, lentils, mushrooms carrots, cabbage, is that what you give to a human being,” say some of the homeless people.
In the video below, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize says COVID-19 cases have risen to 1353, and 5 deaths
Fight against COVID-19 taken to Tshwane taxi ranks
Meanwhile, the fight to combat COVID-19 has been taken to various taxi ranks in Tshwane. This is after the Gauteng government partnered with AngloGold Ashanti to provide water tanks at Hammanskraal taxi ranks, north of Pretoria.
Gauteng is the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak with more than 500 cases, and the government believes more efforts are needed to curb the spread of the virus.
Tshwane Administrator Mpho Nawa says it is important to work together.
“So, it is important that we resolve the Hammanskraal water problem. The Mamelodi issues of floods … surely, soon we will be giving some feedback on what we are doing. There’s a lot of problems that have been mentioned. So, we are all in this work and that’s priority number one for us.”