For all official information and updates regarding COVID-19, visit the South African Department of Health's website at

Home » Articles Posted by Chuma Nobanda (Page 3)

Author Archives: Chuma Nobanda

Numsa calls on SAA subsidiary to justify possible retrenchments following cash injection
13 May 2021, 7:01 AM

Trade union, National Union of Metalworkers of SA (NUMSA), says the South African Airways  Technical (SAAT), a subsidiary of the South African Airways (SAA), must justify its reasons for possible job cuts, despite being given a cash injection of R1.6 billion by National Treasury last week.

NUMSA, SAAT and the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) are due to meet on Thursday over the state-owned aircraft maintenance company’s Section 189 notice to unions.

In its notice, SAAT blames its woes on, among others, the cash-strapped SAA, as well as the negative financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the travel industry.

NUMSA’s National Spokesperson, Phakamile Hlubi-Majola, says SAAT needs to demostrate and justify retrenchments.

“SAA Technical will have to demonstrate that this money – which government has given to them through the Appropriations Bill, has not, or will not be able to prevent job cuts and that is the point. They have to demonstrate and justify the retrenchment,” says Hlubi-Majola.

Video: Over 2 000 SAA Technical staff face retrenchment

Plans to restart the airline

SAA interim CEO, Thomas Kgokolo, says plans to restart the airline are already under way. Kgokolo says the company will soon start the process of retraining its pilots and reviewing its air safety compliance.

The airline is working on a marketing strategy aimed at regaining old customers.

SAA’s interim Board appointed Kgokolo, a qualified chartered accountant, with a wealth of experience as a non-executive director for various organisations.

He took over the reins from the business rescue process and is set to facilitate the airline’s process of getting a strategic equity partner.

Kgokolo says his priority, for now, is for the SAA to resume flights.

“We need to do training for the pilot, remember they have not been flying for a while. Secondly, from the compliance perspective, we need to ensure that we are at the right level. But more importantly, we need to make sure that from a marketing perspective we are organised so that we can reach out to our customers,” says Kgokolo.

He also says operationally at the corporate level, the compliance level must be done adequately as well.

SA COVID-19 infections worrying, not yet in third wave
13 May 2021, 6:00 AM

The National Department of Health says, while the increase in new COVID-19 infections is worrying, South Africa has not yet hit the third wave of infections.

On Wednesday, another  2 759 new cases were recorded – pushing the total number of recorded cases to 1 602 031 in South Africa.

Gauteng accounts for more than a quarter of all cases recorded so far. Another 72 people have died from COVID-19, taking the death toll to 54 968.

Gauteng ready to respond to looming COVID-19 third wave:

The Health Department says it is working with provinces to update their resurgence plans to ensure they are ready to deal with a possible influx of COVID-19 cases.

The Department of Health has assured South Africans that the country is not experiencing the third wave, however, the risk remains. In the last week, a 46 % increase in new infections was recorded.

All provinces have shown a positive percentage increase, in particular the Northern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo, North West and the Western Cape. The department says the country needs to be on heightened vigilance and is again urging strict adherence to safety protocols.

Prof Salim Abdool Karim says SA likely to experience the third wave of COVID-19 infections during winter:

Concern for rural communities

Last week, COSATU raised concerns over the impact of a potential third wave on rural communities.

COSATU Provincial Secretary Kopano Konopi said there is a need for government to speed up the COVID-19 vaccination programme.

“We understand that there is a challenge from national government in terms of providing sufficient vaccine doses to the North West but we still believe that if the province can demand a higher portion, it can be delivered. There are many rural areas that are not going to get vaccines on time and if the third wave comes it will be devastating for the province.”

In Conversation | Minister Mkhize confirms presence of variants dominant in UK, India in SA

Ariya Jutanugarn
Ariya weathers storm to give LPGA Thailand first local winner
9 May 2021, 1:02 PM

Former world number one Ariya Jutanugarn hit a flawless nine-under-par 63 in the final round of the Honda LPGA Thailand on Sunday to become the first local winner of the $1.6 million tournament.

The 25-year-old Thai had a nervous wait in the clubhouse before her 11th LPGA title was confirmed when a thunderstorm forced a one-hour suspension of play at the Siam Country Club with six players still on the course.

After play resumed, Thai teenager Atthaya Thitikul, who led by a shot with two holes to play as she chased her maiden LPGA title, was only able to par the 18th for a 68 to fall one stroke short of Ariya’s tally of 22-under 266.

South Koreans Ryu So-yeon and three-times tournament champion Amy Yang both shot fourth round 64s to share third place with American Angel Yin (66) and overnight leader Patty Tavatanakit (70) on 20-under.

Four die in a crash in Koue Bokke Veld in the Western Cape
9 May 2021, 11:22 AM
Four people have died on the R303 near Ceres in the Koue Bokke Veld in the Western Cape.
Western Cape Traffic Spokesperson Jandre Bakker says four vehicles were involved in the collision. The cause of the collision is unknown.
Bakker says six passengers in one of the vehicles have sustained injuries.
“In vehicle one, a light motor vehicle, the male driver and his three passengers, one male and two females died.  The male driver of the second vehicle was rushed to the Ceres hospital while the driver of vehicle three could not be found on scene. The minibus taxi was the fourth vehicle and the driver died and six passengers of which two are male and four females sustained injuries. The crash is being investigated.”
Involvement of senior govt officials in mining in North West believed to be cause of lack of transparency
9 May 2021, 10:55 AM

The involvement of senior government officials in mining interests in the North West is believed to be a driving force behind the lack of transparency and accountability to communities in mining areas.

Speaking during a Corruption Watch webinar on Traditional Governance Threatened by Government’s Lack of Transparency, a member of the Bapo ba Mogale traditional community near Brits in the North West, Joseph Rapanyana, says the community has grown even more divided as the provincial government continues to withhold the Mafereka Commission Report.

The Mafereka Commission was established in 2011 to look into traditional leadership in the North West province. While it submitted its findings in 2014, the report was never released.

It was instead superseded by the release of a report by the Baloyi Commission of Inquiry and the recognition of Andrew Nkwane Mogale as the new chief of the Bapo Ba Mogale last year.

However, according to Joseph Rapanyana, a community member of Bapo Ba Mogale, they remain divided over traditional leadership disputes.

“At this stage, our community is divided, the royal family is divided. There is no true understanding of what is really taking place and the issue again is the D Account. The community’s funds have been misused and corruption around here is rife. Everyone does as he pleases. I think hands in the cookie jar is the biggest problem. Government officials having businesses around or interests in the mining areas around Bapo Ba Mogale is a problem.”

The main source of revenue for this tribe has been royalties from mining companies doing business on their land. These royalties are deposited directly to the D Account, which is controlled by the North West government.

While at the beginning of April 1991 the balance of Bapo Ba Mogale’s D Account was over R600 million by June 2016 just over R490 000 remained. To this day, it is not clear what had happened to the money in the D Account.

While the platinum-rich Bapo ba Mogale has had a long history of mining activities in their area, many business deals with mining companies were done with the exclusion of most of the community. Listen to Wilmien Wicomb from the Legal Resource Centre.

In 2014, this challenge was brought against basically 2 things; on the one hand, Lonmin entered into a very complicated suite of agreements with the Bapo traditional council and in essence, what those agreements meant was that the community gave up its entitlement to royalties that it had for decades and in return, they got an equity stake in Lonmin. So that was the essence of the agreement and it was co-signed by a traditional council that at the time was not even lawfully constituted.”

Sibanye recently acquired the Lonmin operations and Wicomb says they hoped for more inclusive consultation with the community, but this seems not to be.

“We had a meeting with Sibanye at the end of last year where they asked us or advised us on how to not make the mistakes Lonmin made and the one message that we wanted to get across was to be careful of only engaging with the traditional leader whoever that is because that is not the community. And unfortunately, it was very clear to me that they saw their role again as only engaging with the very top structure.”

When we asked the Premier office to comment on why the Mafereka Report has not been released to date the Premier’s Office had this to say: “The Premier publicly released various reports between 2019 and 2020 pertaining to traditional leadership disputes and claims in the province, whose recommendations the Premier has implemented. The Premier is convinced that he has not left out any report, but if there is any report outstanding, the aggrieved are advised to approach a competent court of law to find a legal solution to their grievances.”



SABC © 2021