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Protesting community healthcare workers demand permanent jobs
8 July 2020, 4:12 PM

Western Cape Health Minister, Nomafrench Mbombo, has cut short a visit to health facilities in Khayelitsha due to safety issues. A group of healthcare workers staged protests at various clinics, demanding permanent employment, benefits and protective equipment in the fight against COVID-19.

The community-based healthcare workers staged a demonstration at the entrance of the Khayelitsha Community Health Centre in Site B ahead of Mbombo’s arrival.

Health worker Ntombethemba Maduna says their work in the community is not being recognised.

“We demand permanent employment like professional nurses because our work is the same and more, but the money we are earning is not enough when compared with the work we are doing. We want to be recognised by your department as permanent workers in South Africa.”

In the video below, the SABC looks at the impact of COVID-19 on healthcare workers. 

Mbombo later invited the leadership of the workers to a meeting next week.

“Let us meet next week. I’m not going to promise you anything in front of the TV and later say something else, but let’s meet next week and deal with the problems once and for all,” says Mbombo.

Community health workers staged a similar protest at the nearby Michael Maphongwana Community Health Centre in Harare. Health worker Bongiwe Chipeio says they are demanding proper PPEs.

“Our demand is proper PPEs. Most of our CHW’s have been infected with this COVID-19. One of us died yesterday (Tuesday) and nothing has been done. Our workplaces are overcrowded. There’s is not social distancing and nothing is being done.”

The healthcare workers are also demanding permanent employment by the provincial health department.

NEHAWU says it is worried about COVID-19 infections among healthcare workers: 

33% of students allowed back on campus: Nzimande
8 July 2020, 4:05 PM

The Department of Higher Education has appealed to students who are yet to return to tertiary institutions to ensure they stay home to help slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

South Africa has recorded over 215 000 COVID-19 infections, of which over 100 000 have recovered and 3 502 COVID-19 related deaths.

Below is a breakdown of the latest figures as of 07 July 2020:

Speaking during a media briefing in Pretoria, Minister Blade Nzimande says only 33% of the student population has been allowed back on campus.

He says this includes students in their final years.

“This 33% of the returning students include students in their final year of their programmes, who are on a path to graduating in 2020. Final year students who require access to labs, technical equipment, data connectivity and access to residence and private accommodation; students in all years of study that require clinical training in their programmes and post-graduate students who require lab equipment and other equipment. Students who are not supposed to go back, we urge them not to attempt to go back to campuses.”

Nzimande says his department has repurposed some of its scientific laboratories to conduct COVID-19 tests.

“At the beginning of the pandemic, the department embarked on a process to repurpose some of our labs to assist in testing. This means a number of labs that were doing other scientific work have been supported to refocus on work to support the fight against COVID-19. Labs are already conducting tests, or ready to receive samples from the National Health Lab Services. The work that we are doing is contributing to expanding testing as well as the production of new testing kits.”

In the video below, Minister Blade Nzimande addresses the media on COVID-19 measures at institutions of higher learning:

Alan Winde tests positive for COVID-19
8 July 2020, 3:45 PM

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde has tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19). Winde announced his positive status on his Facebook page.

He says he tested positive after he experienced flu-like symptoms over the weekend.

Winde says he will now be going into isolation for 14 days. He says he will continue to perform his duties while in isolation.

Winde, who’s a diabetic, says he is at a higher risk of developing a more serious illness.

“The digicons continue this week. The PCC meeting with the president and other premiers carry on this week. The cabinets carry on this week. I’ll just be doing them from home from my laptop. But also, just a side note that I am a Type 2 diabetic, which means that I must also be extra vigilant and that’s the message that we send to everybody in this province. When you have a co-morbidity, please you must be extra vigilant during this time and specifically diabetics.”

Western Cape COVID-19 update

North West Premier in self-isolation

On Tuesday, North West Premier Job Mokgoro also tested positive for the coronavirus. Another MEC also tested positive and went into self-isolating.

That was a day after the provinces Cogta MEC Gordon Kegakilwe died of COVID19-related complications.

Kegakilwe died in hospital on Monday afternoon after testing positive for the coronavirus last week. Eight other MECs, who were in contact with Kegakilwe, are reportedly in self-quarantine.

Mokgoro’s Spokesperson Vuyisile Ngesi said the premier was in self-isolation, after receiving results, confirming that he has tested positive for the virus.

According to a statement released by the provincial government, Premier Mokgoro is not incapacitated to carry out his duties as he was only presented with only one symptom -which is cough – although he tested positive.

“The Premier will, therefore, continue to discharge his duties albeit remotely and has instructed members of the Premier’s Support Staff who have worked with him closely in the last two weeks to test; while taking the necessary precautions,” reads the statement in part.

Eskom to proceed with planned interruption of supply to Magareng Local Municipality
7 July 2020, 9:50 PM

Eskom says it has reached agreements with four municipalities from the Northern Cape that were due for scheduled electricity supply interruptions from Wednesday due to outstanding debts.

The Kamiesberg, Khai-Ma and Richtersveld Local Municipalities have made a payment agreement with the power utility while the Tsantsabane Local Municipality reached an interim agreement with Eskom.

However, the Magareng Local Municipality failed to make a satisfactory payment agreement with Eskom and the power utility will proceed with power cuts in the municipality from Wednesday.

Eskom said on Tuesday that the five municipalities owe more than R200 million and unlike other municipalities in the province, they have failed to honour their payment arrangements.

Below is the full statement by Eskom on electricity supply cuts for Northern Cape municipalities:

COVID-19 cases at Correctional Service centres rise to 3 083
7 July 2020, 9:44 PM

The Department of Correctional Services (DCS) has recorded 171 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases at their centres to 3 083.

98 of the new cases are of officials while 73 are those of inmates.

1 721 of the total confirmed cases are officials while 13 62 are of inmates.

DCS says active cases are standing at 1 162.

36 people have died from the virus while 1 885 have recovered.

Below are the full COVID-19 statistics in SA Correctional Centres. 



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