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EC government probes Seaview Predator Park tiger attack
18 June 2021, 2:37 PM

The Eastern Cape Department of Environmental Affairs is investigating an incident at the Seaview Predator Park, where a Siberian tiger killed a park employee, David Solomon.

Solomon was walking in the passageway between the tiger enclosures when the animal jumped the fence of its enclosure and attacked him.

The tiger then jumped into the other tiger enclosure killing another male tiger.

At the time of the attack, work was being conducted on the electrical fence. The department has confirmed in a statement that the park has all the necessary permits to keep tigers and it complies with the required fencing specifications.

The investigation into the incident will determine if the tiger is to be euthanised.

13 learners contract COVID-19 at Marobathota High School in Limpopo
17 June 2021, 2:13 PM

The Department of Health in Limpopo has raised concerns over cluster COVID-19 outbreaks after 13 learners from the same class tested positive at the Marobathota High School at Boyne outside Polokwane.

The department says 18 learners exhibited high temperatures and other symptoms on Monday.

MEC Phophi Ramathuba says a team of health workers have started with contact tracing.

“Capricorn district, we have been doing well until we started to see this outbreak at the school. It’s a class of 36 learners, 18 of those through the screening process were taken for testing at our Evelyn Lekganyane Clinic on the 14th of June. 13 of those learners have tested positive, the results are back. Five of those have tested negative.”

Spokesperson for Limpopo Education Department, Tidimalo Chuene says the school has been closed for disinfecting.

Chuene has appealed to learners to adhere to safety protocols to prevent further infections.

“There are schools that are caught up in cluster outbreaks which is quite worrying. The school has been closed for deep cleaning and will reopen on Monday the 21st of June. What we are happy about is that schools continue to follow our standard operating procedure on the management and prevention of COVID-19, just by how they respond when cases are picked up. It is very important that we heighten vigilance and strictly adhere to non-pharmaceutical while at and also out of school to curb further infections.”

South Africa’s COVID-19 cases amid the third wave has broken the 13 000 mark.

The Health Department says 13 246 cases were reported in the last reporting period, which represents a 21.7% positivity rate.

According to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, this is the highest number of daily cases and positivity rate since January.

Health activist Dr Kgosi Letlape reacts to rising COVID-19 numbers:

The country now has 1 774 312 coronavirus cases since the outbreak of the pandemic in March 2020.

Hundred and 36 new fatalities were reported overnight, taking the total national death toll to 58 223.

The NICD is urging South Africans to remain vigilant and follow prevention measures as diligent as possible to help stop the spread.

It is also calling on young South Africans to assist the elderly register for vaccinations.

So far, 1 965 812 South Africans have received their COVID-19 shots.

 

SAOU decries challenges in disadvantaged schools during COVID-19 pandemic
4 June 2021, 9:24 PM

Teacher’s union SAOU in the Northern Cape says pupils from rural and no fee-paying schools will be disadvantaged when schools go back to operating at full capacity.

The union says the majority of schools in the province do not have proper infrastructure such as desks and classrooms to ensure social distancing and the safety of pupils.

Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga gazetted amended lockdown regulations which allow for primary school pupils to return to school on a full-time basis from July.

The provincial secretary of the union Henk Brand says,“The majority of primary schools only have double desks and there is no way that you can maintain a social distance when all the pupils return and have to sit [side by side]. Rural schools are poor schools and are no fee-paying schools. They do not have the money to buy PPE on their own. The rural school children will even lag behind further. We are concerned about the wellbeing of the children and that of the teachers.”

United Airlines inaugural direct flight from New York lands at OR Tambo International
4 June 2021, 8:40 PM

United Airlines has landed at the OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg after the airline recently announced its decision to return to South Africa with its direct service from New York to Johannesburg.

One of the airline’s flights left Newark in the US last night and landed in Johannesburg at six o’clock this evening (Friday).

Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane who joined Transport Minister, Fikile Mbalula and Airports Company of South Africa executives to wait for the inaugural flight, says this is a welcome development.

“They have listened to our message when we say it’s safe to come to South Africa and therefore they’ve started to show that confidence. We do believe that many that have put South Africa on the red list will see that there is no need for that. And also this speaks to what we have done previously. We talked about the tourism sector recovering. It started with the domestic market and now we are moving into the international market. And this is a huge milestone for us,” says Kubayi-Ngubane.

Reporter Naledi Ngcobo speaks to Minister Kubayi-Ngubane:

Learners in Limpopo shocked by spilling of school nutrition food
4 June 2021, 5:08 PM

Learners at some of schools in the Mankweng area outside Polokwane in Limpopo, where a group calling itself a business forum spilled school nutrition food, say they are shocked by the incident.

The group that is allegedly demanding tenders to supply food, targeted about ten schools and disrupted the feeding scheme on Wednesday.

The Limpopo Education Department says cases of malicious damage to property have been opened.

Department Spokesperson, Tidimalo Chuene, says it is worrying that the incidents happened during Child Protection Week.

“Quite a sad experience that this is happening during the Child Protection Week and we should be very worried if we have such people in our communities; people who can go to a point of spilling food that children are expecting to eat. The forum was engaged by the representatives from the department earlier in the month and they were advised on how they can do business with the schools and that’s why we are appalled and condemn in the strongest possible terms their recent actions,” says Chuene.

Learners at Makgwadiba Primary and Mmamabudusha High at Ga-Motholo village are among those affected.

“I attend Makgwadiba Primary School. Those people spilled our food, swore at our principal and assaulted teachers. We were then released early for home. They also threw soil at cars belonging to some of the teachers. I was so scared because they even pushed me and I hit a door. We ran away.”

Another learner shares what happened, “I’m a learner at Mmamabudusha High. They kicked the pots and spilled our food. It hurts us because we can’t concentrate without eating.”

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