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US says its citizens were among those killed in Israeli festival disaster
1 May 2021, 12:49 PM

A number of US citizens are among the dozens killed or injured in a stampede at a Jewish religious festival in Israel, a US Embassy spokesperson said on Saturday.

At least 45 people were crushed to death and more than 100 injured in the disaster on the slopes of Israel’s Mount Meron, which occurred overnight between Thursday and Friday.

“We can confirm that multiple US citizens were among the casualties,” the spokesperson said, and casualties included both dead and injured. “The US Embassy is working with local authorities to verify whether any additional US citizens were affected, and is providing all possible consular support to affected US citizens and their loved ones. Out of respect for the families at this difficult time, we have no further comment.”

The Israeli Foreign Ministry said on Friday that consulate officials in New York were in contact with four families of victims and the embassy in Argentina was in contact with one family.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Friday that he had learned of the death of two Canadians in the disaster.

The Israeli Health Ministry said 32 of the dead had been identified by late Friday. The identification process paused for 24 hours in observance of the Jewish Sabbath and would resume on Saturday evening.

More than 20 of the people injured were still hospitalised by Friday night.

VIDEO: Cosatu’s 2021 May Day celebrations
1 May 2021, 10:00 AM

Workers around the world are observing Workers’ Day, known as Labour Day in most countries and referred to as May Day in South Africa.

This day is observed to celebrate the achievements of the workers and to spread awareness about the exploitation that the workers face.

SA’s biggest labour federation, Cosatu, is holding a virtual celebration instead of a rally due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Cosatu President, Zingiswa Losi, will deliver the main May Day speech.

Her address will be preceded by messages of support from the federation’s alliance partners, which will be delivered by ANC President, Cyril Ramaphosa and SACP General Secretary, Dr Blade Nzimande.

Below is the live stream of the event:

Durban musicians raise awareness of their struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic
25 April 2021, 2:15 PM

Up-and-coming musicians in Durban have come together to hold open-air busking performances in public spaces as part of the Independent Artists Busking Project.

The initiative provides a platform for musicians who have been struggling to earn a living during the COVID-19 pandemic. Artist Sandy B has turned to online platforms to host virtual gigs, saying it’s been an opportunity to draw in global audiences.

But he’s lamented on how COVID-19 relief funding is managed for struggling artists.

“As I’m talking to you now, I’m even feeling emotional. It’s not nice ’cause you stand in front of a big audience somewhere abroad and say all these nice things and the way we are treated as South African artists is not nice. We have built our own profile sometimes, most of us without even pressurizing the government. Even when these funds are being distributed you get shocked that people who are beneficiaries are new in the industry, one or 2 years old. Or some new companies and so on.”

The Denis Hurley Centre’s director, Raymond Perrier, says music plays a powerful role in bringing together people from all walks of life.

“I think it’s really important in South Africa today to bring together all citizens of this country so they can share a space and share an experience. We’re getting closer to Freedom Day and we remember that wonderful moment in 1994 all kinds of South Africans came together to vote and in the same way music brings people together. But we also have to remember that during this terrible time of COVID musicians and artists are some of the people who haven’t been able to make a living. so giving them a chance to make a living to be able to perform their art and make some money is also really important.”

In the video below, artists cry foul after struggling to access COVID-19 relief fund: Dr Sipho Sithole

Blue economy poised to drive up job opportunities
25 April 2021, 1:34 PM

The blue economy of the ocean has the potential to drive job creation and skills development in Cape Town. The Mother City is currently playing a crucial role in the manufacturing of yachts.

It also plays host to some of the biggest ocean sports events in the world. The V&A Waterfront and the City of Cape Town have now joined forces to promote the economy of the sea.

Director of the BlueCape Partnership, Bruce Tedder, says the initiative is aimed at unlocking even more economic opportunities in the Blue Ocean economy.

“It’s more encouraging for the superyachts to come to Cape Town to stay longer and spend more, but more importantly, it’s the value chain. We want to expand that value chain. We don’t want the same suppliers doing business with superyachts. If someone asks me when do we think we would have succeeded, I’m saying when the flower sellers in Adderley Street, those incredible ladies who sell flowers, when they are selling their flowers to superyachts every morning, that would be successful.”

Cape Town plays a crucial role in job creation, skills development:

South African Cricketers Association expresses disappointment at Mthethwa’s decision to derecognize CSA
25 April 2021, 11:52 AM

The South African Cricketers Association (SACA) has expressed disappointment at Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa’s decision to strip Cricket South Africa of national recognition.

This means that the Proteas will not be recognised as South Africa’s national cricket team and that CSA will be stripped as the authority to run the sport in the country.

Mthethwa’s decision came after the CSA members council voted not to implement a new memorandum of incorporation which would have meant having more independent directors and an independent chairman.

ACA CEO Andrew Breetzke says, “It’s obviously a dark day in the history of cricketing in SA where there is a ministerial intervention to the extent that CSA has been stripped off their power to govern the game. It is unprecedented and it places the sport in peril.”

“Obviously, we are disappointed, but having said that, I think it was probably unavoidable if you have been following events over the past 5-6 months that we might end up at this point and sadly we have reached that point,” he adds.

Mthethwa loses patience with CSA, de-recognises the federation

Mthethwa informed the Members Council and the Interim Board that he is invoking Section 13 of the National Sports and Recreation Act. 

It means that once it is gazetted, CSA will no longer be recognised as the controlling body of cricket in the country.  

It will be gazetted as soon as possible. 

The move will have a profound effect on all the national teams, which will no longer be recognised as representative teams of South Africa.  

CSA may no longer be recognised as the controlling body of cricket in SA:

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