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Jamie George
England hooker Jamie George signs new deal with Saracens Rugby Club
11 July 2020, 7:18 AM

England hooker Jamie George has signed a new three-year contract at Saracens, the Premiership club have said.
Saracens, the reigning champions, will be relegated from the Premiership at the end of the season after breaching salary cap rules, meaning the 29-year-old will feature in the second-tier Championship in the 2020-21 season.

“I couldn’t be happier to have signed for a few more years. I could never really picture myself playing anywhere else, this is home and I’m really happy,” George told the Saracens website.

“This is probably the most exciting period I’ve ever been involved in with Saracens in terms of the regeneration, the rebuilding structure, people going out on loan and coming back and the challenge of playing next season in the Championship.”

George has played 226 times for his boyhood club since his debut in 2009. He has represented England 49 times.
He joins Scotland international Sean Maitland, Ralph Adams-Hale, Dom Morris, Tom Woolstencroft and Manu Vunipola in extending their stay at the London club this week.

Saracens will resume the Premiership season stalled due to the COVID-19 pandemic with a trip to Bristol Bears on August 15.

 

Alcohol
National Coronavirus Command Council is considering the impact of lifting the alcohol sale ban
11 July 2020, 7:04 AM

The National Coronavirus Command Council is considering the impact of the lifting of the ban on the sale of alcohol. According to alert-level three regulations alcohol can now be sold from Monday to Thursday from 9am to 5pm.

However, it will not be sold on Fridays, weekends and public holidays. The Health Department has asked the council to consider the impact of alcohol-related trauma cases on the health system.

Speaking during a visit to the Tshwane District Hospital, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said his department had put forward the issue due to the influx of trauma patients since the lifting of the alcohol sales ban on the first of this month.

“When there was a lockdown the casualty departments did not have a lot of pressure. There were more beds which were open, there was less pressure in the ICUs and so on. We have now been receiving in this hospital and many other hospitals lots of complaints about the fact that the alcohol-related trauma is causing a lot of pressure so we have actually done studies that have shown that the lifting of the lockdown has actually resulted in sometimes 40-50% increase,” says Mkhize.

President issues stern warning against the abuse of alcohol

A week ago on the 100th day of the national lockdown, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the easing of lockdown regulations against restaurants and personal beauty care services including salons.

However, he issued a stern warning against the abuse of alcohol which he said contributes to criminality, especially gender-based violence.

Although President Ramaphosa is insisting that the national lockdown was necessary to curb the spread of the coronavirus, he admits that a continued economic shutdown is not sustainable.

Beauty salons had lodged a court challenge after not being allowed to operate for over 80 days prompting the President to lift the lockdown regulations against a number of businesses.

The President also stressed that all these businesses will be opened under strict conditions adhering to the lockdown regulations.

Below is the video of President Ramaphosa addressing the nation:

Loadshedding
Eskom’s stage 2 load shedding to start at 9am
11 July 2020, 6:37 AM

Eskom will resume Stage 2 load shedding at 9am on Saturday morning after suspending it at 10pm on Friday night. The power utility implemented load shedding for the first time on Friday since the beginning of the lockdown in March after a number of generation units broke down.

Three units have been successfully returned to service, reducing breakdowns to over 2000 megawatts of capacity.

Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha says it is still necessary to load shed.

“Even though some of the units are expected back in service tonight (Friday evening), continuing with load shedding tomorrow (Saturday) is necessary in order to replenish the emergency generation reserves to better prepare for the coming week. Due to the much colder weather, demand for electricity has risen significantly. Three of the six generation units contributing to the earlier breakdown have been successfully returned to service. We still have breakdowns at Arnot, Kendal, Tutuka and the Majuba power stations,” explains Mantshantsha.

On Friday, Mantshantsha said that the constrained supply may persist throughout this weekend.

Meanwhile, Eskom has urged customers to use electricity sparingly.

In this video below SABC News reports that Eskom will implement stage 2 load shedding:

ANC
ANC NEC, PEC given 72 hours to intervene in party affairs in Nelson Mandela Bay Metro
6 July 2020, 9:17 PM

Members of the African National Congress (ANC) in the Nelson Mandela Bay region have given the National Executive Committee and Provincial Executive Committee 72 hours to intervene in the party’s affairs in the Metro.

Representatives of ANC branches picketed outside the party’s regional offices, demanding the disbandment of the Regional Task Team, led by former Mayor Nceba Faku.

The Regional Task Team (RTT) was appointed after the ANC Provincial Executive Committee disbanded the regional structure in 2018, citing a decline in membership.

The members have accused the RTT of not growing the party, and also of working with the DA to topple the ANC-led coalition in the metro.

Ward 33 branch Task Team Member Ayanda Cakasi says lack of structures in the metro might have consequences in the future.

“There are no branches in Port Elizabeth and we need to go to BGMS as soon as possible so that we have a stable ANC that will lead towards local government, we take the metro back to the ANC,” says Cakasi.

Day care
Pretoria High Court rules nursery schools, daycare centres can operate
6 July 2020, 8:38 PM

The Pretoria High Court ruled that all nursery schools and daycare facilities, not affiliated to public schools, can open as of Monday.

Solidarity’s School Support Centre and the Bronkieland Nursery brought the application after the Minister of Basic Education announced that pre-schools and early childhood development centres affiliated to public schools may open, yet her counterpart in the Ministry of Social Development kept mum regarding the fate of independent early childhood development centres, daycare centers and nurseries.

Solidarity’s School Support Centre says the Pretoria High Court ruling declaring that all independent nursery schools and daycare facilities can open as of today, saved the industry.

Dirk Hermann of Solidarity says the ruling by Judge Hans Fabricious is in the best interest of children and will save many jobs.

Judge Hans Fabricious ruled that the schools can open subject to prescribed safety measures.

Anton van der Merwe of SA Childcare says government has made public a protocol document a few weeks ago for pre-school groups, nurseries and daycare centres. He says they follow the same protocols.

Van der Merwe says it is to the benefit of the children that the schools can open again.

“If you just think about the children. The parents had to go back to work. There was about 11 or 12 million parents that had to go back to work, but nowhere was there an opportunity for them to get daycare for their children. They were not allowed daycare for their children. And we found out and through research, we also saw there were many children that were harmed. Little children that were on their own and they didn’t have sufficient supervision. It was not going well with them,” says Van der Merwe.

In the judgment, Judge Fabricious accepted the expert evidence of the SA Pediatrics Associations which states that children biologically are less likely to get sick if infected, are unlikely to die of the virus and are probably less infectious.

Van der Merwe says the schools will be encouraged to teach children how to be safe.

“Children learn by play. We have told all our schools that they must develop some games of social distancing and so on and even sneezing. We already taught children to sneeze in their elbow long before COVID-19,” says Van der Merwe.

Spokesperson for the Department of Social Development, Lumka Oliphant, says they will comment further once they have studied the judgment.

“The Department of Social Development has taken note of the judgment delivered by the Gauteng Division of the High Court today, 6 July 2020, granting independent ECDs to open ‘subject to the appropriate and/or prescribed safety measures being in place.’ The Department will make a further statement once it has fully studied the judgment.”

Judge Fabricious slapped the department with a cost order and said he was dismayed at the way the department conducted itself during the proceedings by not filing documents and adhering to court rules.

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