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EFF confident of attaining municipalities in the North West
9 October 2021, 8:44 AM

Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema says he is confident that the party will attain some municipalities in the North West.

Speaking while campaigning in Sunrise Park in Rustenburg, Malema says the party has gained valuable local government administrative experience since the 2016 Local Government Elections.

The Rustenburg area which still has water shortages, lack of housing and electricity, has been one of the party’s strongholds.

Malema says if voted into power, they will revive struggling municipalities in the North West.

“Remember in 2016, we did not have experienced leadership, especially when it comes to the local municipality. We are now in a much much more better position and that’s why our people in North West are calling for the EFF everywhere and that’s what we are going to do.”

Julius Malema takes the EFF’s election campaign to Rustenburg:

The EFF’s 2021 Manifesto priorities

Land and agrarian economy

Every EFF municipality will conduct a land audit of its municipal areas and expropriate abandoned and unused land for redistribution to the landless. Informal settlements will also be formalised to ensure that these areas are provided with services and properly zoned to ensure that houses can be built in these areas in the short to medium term.

Indigent households and free basic services

The increase of most social grants, for example, grants for older persons to increase from R1 890 to R3 780 per month; and child support grants to increase from R460 to R920 per month.

Local government capacity

Every EFF municipality will abolish tenders and insource services including security services, cleaning services, gardening, horticulture, and landscaping services.

Economy

Every EFF municipality will declare a special economic zone with zero company taxes and building allowances for all companies that require infrastructure in exchange for producing products that contribute to municipal services and create jobs.

Gender and women

Every EFF municipality will ensure that there is more than 50% women representation in all spheres representing economic benefit, political participation, a managerial and leadership responsibility.

Health

EFF municipalities will prioritise primary healthcare that focuses on quality clinic services, home visits, and municipal disease profiling through municipal clinical facilities.

Human settlement

Every EFF municipality will re-zone all informal settlements within its jurisdiction into formal settlements and provide them with water, electricity, and sanitation.

Fisheries

EFF municipalities will grant indigenous and traditional fishers 50% of all fishing quotas

Water

EFF municipalities will discontinue private ownership of bulk water infrastructure and will ensure that every household, factory, farm, school, and public infrastructure has access to clean drinkable water.

Sanitation

EFF municipalities will ensure that all schools have flushing toilets.

Crime

EFF municipalities will strengthen law enforcement to fight corruption, gangs and drug lords.

Environment and climate change

EFF municipalities will incentivize businesses that use clean energy, have clear water recycling methods, and limit their levels of pollution.

Youth

Every EFF municipality will ensure that a minimum of 40% of the people in its employ are between the ages of 18 and 35. Every EFF municipality will guarantee for all matriculants in its locality free driver’s license lessons and a driver’s license test.

Transport

EFF municipalities will conduct an audit of all municipal infrastructure such as stadiums, lodges, farms and airports to determine true ownership and status of contracts and cancel all contracts that do not advance the development of the municipality.

Infrastructure

EFF municipalities will repossess all hijacked buildings and repurpose all such buildings and will review all long-term leases that previous municipalities entered with different businesses and individuals.

Corruption

Every EFF municipality will ensure that the chairperson of the Municipal Public Accounts Committee (MPAC) is elected from the opposition benches to safeguard transparency and oversight over the executive.

Read the full EFF 2021 Local Government Elections Manifesto:

-Compiled by Amil Umraw, SABC Specialist Researcher

-Sourced from EFF website

I hope tensions with Algeria will soon ease: Macron
5 October 2021, 1:09 PM

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday that he hoped diplomatic tensions with Algeria would soon ease.

“My wish is that is that we can calm things down because I think it is better to talk to one another and to make progress,” Macron told France Inter radio in an interview, adding he had “very cordial” relations with Algeria’s President.

On Saturday, Algeria recalled its ambassador to Paris, citing comments attributed to Macron, who was quoted in the Le Monde newspaper as saying Algeria’s rulers had rewritten the history of its colonisation based on “a hatred of France”.

The following day, Algeria closed its airspace to French military planes, according to France’s military.

The row comes on top of strains last week when France said it would slash the number of visas available to citizens of North African countries drawing a formal protest from Algeria.

IEC ‘unlikely’ to add 15 party names omitted in the LGE 2021 ballot paper
5 October 2021, 12:59 PM

The Electoral Commission of South Africa says it is unlikely that it will be able to add the names of 15 parties whose names are omitted from the Local Government Elections ballot paper.

These parties, which include Herman Mashaba’s ActionSA did not, according to the Electoral Commission, provide an abbreviated name or acronym when registering their parties with the institution and thus will only have their logo and names of the ward candidate featured on the November 1 ballot paper.

The parties are aggrieved as an abbreviated name is recognized as an important way in which voters identify the political party they wish to vote for.

IEC Deputy CEO Mawethu Mosery says, “The process to amend your identifiers on the party register is also regulated. It is a thirty-day process which where we are now it is unlikely that it will be successful by the 1st of November so it is unlikely that we will be able to assist any of the 15 political parties”

ActionSA is one of the 15 parties that says it will be filing an urgent application challenging the IEC.

ActionSA was formed in August 2020 by businessman and former Mayor of Johannesburg under the DA, Herman Mashaba.

With the focus to move South Africa forward from corruption and failed government, the party presents itself as a credible alternative to a “broken political system that has failed South Africans for many years”.

The party’s slogan is: “Act as One to build a prosperous, non-racial and secure future for all South Africans.”

Other prominent names of the party include former ANC MPs Dr Makhosi Khoza [eThekwini mayoral candidate] and Vytjie Mentor; and former DA Gauteng leader, John Moodey.

For the 2021 Local Government Elections, the party is contesting six metros around the country –  Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni and Tshwane in Gauteng. But it also has candidates lined up for eThekwini, Newcastle and KwaDukuza.

Its inaugural manifesto was launched in September at Old Park Station in Newtown, Johannesburg.

Herman Mashaba addresses ActionSA manifesto launch:

 

Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness drops after 6 months: study
5 October 2021, 12:08 PM

The effectiveness of the Pfizer Inc /BioNTech SE vaccine in preventing infection by the coronavirus dropped to 47% from 88% six months after the second dose, according to data published on Monday that US health agencies considered when deciding on the need for booster shots.

The data, which was published in the Lancet-published medical journal, had been previously released in August ahead of peer review.

The analysis showed that the vaccine’s effectiveness in preventing hospitalization and death remained high at 90% for at least six months, even against the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus.

The data suggests that the drop is due to waning efficacy, rather than more contagious variants, researchers said.

Researchers from Pfizer and Kaiser Permanente studied electronic health records of roughly 3.4 million people who were members of Kaiser Permanente Southern California between December 2020 – when the vaccine first became available – and August of 2021.

“Our variant-specific analysis clearly shows that the (Pfizer/BioNTech) vaccine is effective against all current variants of concern, including Delta,” said Luis Jodar, senior vice president and chief medical officer at Pfizer vaccines.

A potential limitation of the study was a lack of data on adherence to masking guidelines and occupations in the study population, which could have affected the frequency of testing and likelihood of exposure to the virus.

Vaccine effectiveness against the Delta variant was 93% after the first month, declining to 53% after four months. Against other coronavirus variants, efficacy declined to 67% from 97%.

“To us, that suggests Delta is not an escape variant that is completely evading vaccine protection,” said study leader Sara Tartof with Kaiser Permanente Southern California’s Department of Research & Evaluation.

“If it was, we would probably not have seen high protection after vaccination, because vaccination would not be working in that case. It would start low, and stay low.”

Testing for variants is more likely to fail in vaccinated individuals, which could lead to overestimation of variant-specific effectiveness in the study, the authors cautioned.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized the use of a booster dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for older adults and some Americans at high risk of getting infected. Scientists have called for more data on whether boosters should be recommended for all.

R6 billion in insurance claims paid to businesses after unrest, looting
5 October 2021, 11:59 AM

The South African Special Risk Insurance Association (SASRIA) has so far paid more than R6-billion of claims following the violence and looting that took place in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng in July.

It says it has received about 13 000 claims from businesses. Over 300 people died while property and goods were vandalised during the riots in the two provinces.

SASRIA’s Cedric Masondo says there are also people taking chances by lodging fraudulent claims.

“We did expect that there would be a number of claims throughout the country for whatever the reason. What we didn’t expect was the magnitude. Of-course you make assumptions. You assume that if there are riots there would be police in time and will be able to control the crowds so we have to change those assumptions. I think we have learnt we can’t rely on those assumptions.”

Black businesses excluded in rebuilding work related to unrest: Council

In August, the Black Business Council accused government of excluding black businesses in the rebuilding work related to the unrest.

The council says the state insurer SASRIA is only appointing white suppliers for the reconstruction work linked to the unrest.

The Black Business Council slammed the alleged claims by SASRIA and other private insurers that they can’t find black supplies for the rebuilding work linked to the unrest.

SASRIA said it had allocated R700-million for private insurers to pay out claims under one-million-rand.

Gregory Mofokeng of the Black Business Council said, “One of the issues that we’re already witnessing is that the beneficiaries of all this work that must be done now is the white owned businesses to the exclusion of black businesses. Let me make an example, if you look at what is now happening with SASRIA, and we had an engagement with SASRIA a week ago, the loss assessors that are now going to ascertain the loss are mainly white companies. The people that are being called to fix the damage that was caused are also white companies.”

Mofokeng said the council is worried about corruption in relation to the money set aside by the Unemployment Insurance Fund to support workers working in businesses that were affected by the unrest.

“Once this kind of an arrangement was put in place, we had people with corrupt intentions actually hijacking the system. We were happy that there were actually some arrests as a result of the corruption that happened under TERS and we are hoping that our systems this time around are fortified so that we do not have these opportunistic elements coming through.”

Who should be held accountable for recent unrest in SA?

Weather

 

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