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Transnet IT breach not related to recent unrest in SA: Acting Minister Ntshavheni
24 July 2021, 9:30 AM

Acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni says the Transnet IT breach that has affected rails and ports operations will be fully restored soon.

The IT breach forced Transnet to resort to manual processing of containers at the country’s major ports resulting in backlogs.

The IT disruptions come a few days after widespread violence and looting in KwaZulu-Natal(KZN) and Gauteng that brought freight movement to a halt.

Ntshavheni says the IT challenges at Transnet are not related to last weeks’ events.

“The IT bridge at Transnet is still regarded as an unrelated event to the unrest. Transnet is seized with the responsibility to restore full operations and it is expected that Transnet Freight and Rail will be operational later today. Minister Gordhan together with the management of Transnet met with industry players affected by the disruptions to explain measures undertaken to restore operations and prevent future attacks.”

Mixed reactions from political parties over IEC’s decision to accept recommendation to postpone elections
24 July 2021, 8:40 AM

Political parties have expressed mixed reactions over the  Independent Electoral Commission’s (IEC) decision to accept the recommendations of the Moseneke Inquiry regarding the postponement of the local government elections in South Africa.

The Moseneke Inquiry recommended that free and fair elections will not be possible on October 27 and that the elections should take place in February 2022.   On Friday, the IEC announced its acceptance of the recommendations.

Judge Moseneke delivers his report on whether the local elections in South Africa should take place in October 2021.

IEC accepts findings of Moseneke’s report to postpone elections

IEC Chairperson Glen Mashinini says the first step will be to postpone the national voter registration weekend scheduled for the end of this month.

 

United Democratic Movement (UDM) National Treasurer Thandi Nontenja says they welcome the decision.

“We feel that the UDM is vindicated because this is what we’ve been calling for –  to say the environment is not conducive. Even the February we still don’t think will be convenient. 99.9% of the parties today in our MPL called for a flexible situation where when the IEC apply for the extension or the postponement, it must be a flexible one up to April at least.”

The Democratic Alliance (DA), which is against the postponement, says it will closely monitor the IEC’s next move to make sure it’s in line with the country’s constitution. Party Spokesperson Siviwe Gwarube says they have noted the decision by the IEC.

“We have noted the decision by the IEC to fully adopt the Moseneke report,” says Gwarube.

Gwarube says it is important to consider how the  IEC and the court plan to approach the situation.

“Because what we want to make sure is that whatever mechanism is being used, we want to make sure that it’s consistent with the constitution. We want to make sure that a dangerous precedent of postponing the elections for whatever reason is not set,” says Gwarube.

Political parties react to IEC’s adoption of the Moseneke report

Cyril Ramaphosa
COVID-19 lockdown | President Ramaphosa expected to address the nation on Sunday
24 July 2021, 8:01 AM

The Presidency has confirmed that President Cyril Ramaphosa will address the nation on Sunday evening before the extended alert level four lockdown expires at midnight.

There is speculation that Ramaphosa will extend the regulations as COVID-19 infections remain high.

Schools are set open on Monday. Other sectors of South Africa’s economy including the alcohol industry are hoping that Ramaphosa will relax the regulations to open up the country’s ailing economy.

Meanwhile, the Ministerial Advisory Committee on COVID-19 says South Africa reached the peak of the third wave of coronavirus infections at the beginning of this month.

It says there’s been a slight decline in the number of cases but hospital admissions are still increasing. Admissions and deaths trail new infections by a number of weeks.

 

Latest COVID-19 statistics in SA:
South Africa has recorded 13 719 new COVID-19 cases, pushing the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 2 356 049.
This increase represents a 26.1% positivity rate.
The death toll has risen to 69 075 after 450 South Africans succumbed to the virus overnight.

 

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COVID-19 Advisory Committee expected to call on the government to review lockdown restrictions

The Ministerial Advisory Committee on COVID-19 says it will advise the government to review its current lockdown restrictions when it meets with President Cyril Ramaphosa this weekend.

It says this is because the country has started to see a turnaround in COVID-19 infections.

It says there has been a decline in the number of cases,  but hospital admissions deaths are yet to start decreasing.

Admissions and deaths are trailing new infections by a number of weeks. A few days ago,  the committee’s co-chair Professor Koleka Mlisana said South Africa had reached the peak of the third wave of COVID-19 infections at beginning of this month.

 

More than 2 000 COVID-19 related deaths recorded in SA this week: NICD
24 July 2021, 7:33 AM

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases says more than 2000 people have succumbed to COVID-19 related complications since the beginning of this week.

It has reported 450 new deaths in the last 24-hour cycle, bringing total fatalities to 69 075. 13 719 new COVID-19 cases have been recorded.

Meanwhile, Acting Health Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi says KwaZulu-Natal)KZN) has activated a coronavirus surge response team to deal with the projected rise in infections in the province in the next few weeks.

This comes follows riots and looting in the province recently. Kubayi who was in Durban to monitor the COVID-19 vaccination roll-out told the media that the recent unrest had negatively affected the province’s vaccine rollout.

“Super-spreaders always present a surge in the area,  that is why we are talking about a surge response.  Part of what we had to go through this morning was to look at reassessing our surge response, looking at hospital capacity, in terms of beds, in terms of field hospitals,” says Kubayi.

 

Kubayi says the department is confident that the province will be able to respond appropriately should it experience a surge in CCOVID-19 cases.

“We are comfortable in terms of capacity in the province to be able to respond should we have a surge. Indeed we do always have projections, our epidemiologist will always give us that if you have these instances, this is what comes. The numbers in Gauteng were driven by gatherings that we were seeing – the marches that we were seeing,” says Kubayi.

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Nile River
Second filling of Ethiopia’s giant dam nearly complete: State Media
19 July 2021, 12:21 PM

Ethiopia has nearly completed the filling of a huge dam on the Blue Nile river for a second year, state media reported on Monday, a move that has already angered Egypt.

Addis Ababa says the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), a $4 billion hydropower project, is crucial to its economic development and to provide power.

But is has caused  concern over water shortages and safety in Egypt and Sudan, which also depend on the Nile’s waters.

“The second filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam will be completed in few minutes,” the Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC) reported on Monday.

Egypt said last month it had received official notice from Ethiopia that it had begun filling the reservoir for a second time and said it rejected the move.

Egypt views it as a grave threat to its Nile water supplies, on which it is almost entirely dependent. Sudan has also expressed concern about the dam’s safety and the impact on its own dams and water stations.

Long-running diplomatic efforts to resolve the dispute between the three countries have yielded little success.

The United States has also said Ethiopia’s filling of the dam had the potential to raise tensions and has urged all parties to refrain from any unilateral actions.

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