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PODCAST | In First Person, Part 6 – ‘My 10-day ordeal in the boot of a car’
27 May 2020, 9:04 PM

In the sixth episode of our podcast series: ‘In First Person’ we follow the story of Tumi Moilwa, a nurse who was abducted and forced to endure 10 days in a car boot, gagged and blindfolded without food and water. She had been working in Scotland, in the UK, at the time of the incident.

What happens when one goes through a traumatic experience that changes their lives forever?

In the audio below, Tumi opens up about her experience and how it changed her life:

*Tumi Moilwa – not her real name*

Teachers return to school on Monday amid concerns
25 May 2020, 7:04 AM

South African teachers say while they wish to return to the classrooms to catch up on lost time, they remain apprehensive and fearful for how their safety will be prioritised at school.

Teachers across the country, except for KwaZulu-Natal, are expected to return to work on Monday morning to prepare for the re-opening of schools next month. South Africa will move to lockdown alert level 3 on June 1.

Some teachers who spoke to the SABC say protective equipment delivered to schools is insufficient.

“I feel some anticipation; I’m not sure how things are going to work. However, I do feel that it’s necessary for us to get back to help the kids that are not getting any work.

I am a bit nervous, if we do have underlying conditions, what safety conditions have been taken for the teachers?

The amount of stuff delivered by the Department is not enough for the teachers arriving on Monday.  There is some fear as there should be. I have basically been at the frontline of getting everything sorted, sanitation, hygiene, cleaning.

I am not as fearful but I think once the kids come in, that’s when the anxiety is going to set in, it’s their lives more importantly.”

This comes after Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, announced that schooling will resume on June 1, with Grades 7 and 12 expected to be the first to return to classes. She emphasised that the safety of children will be a priority as they plan to open schools. This after teacher unions disputed the readiness of the sector, saying that schools were not ready to receive educators and learners on the proposed dates.

In the video below, Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga briefs the media on the re-opening of schools:

Motshekga says that a safe school environment is in the interest of all stakeholders in the sector.

SA moves to level 3 on June 1

On Sunday evening, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the country will move to lockdown alert level 3 on June 1. Level three will see the opening of more sectors and learners returning to school gradually.

In the video below, President Cyril Ramaphosa announces that he country will move to lockdown alert level 3 on June 1.

Impala Platinum Mine suspends operations after detection of more COVID-19 cases
17 May 2020, 8:12 AM

Impala Platinum Mine has temporarily suspended operations at its Marula Platinum mine in Limpopo. This follows the detection of six more COVID-19 cases among workers at the plant. The latest figure brings to 19 the number of mineworkers who have tested positive at the mine.

In a statement, Implats says none of the 19 infected workers had started working when they were tested. Two of the cases are employees who had travelled back to the mine from the Eastern Cape. One is a contact of one of the employees who tested positive earlier.

The company adds that 17 of the cases reside in the Burgersfort area, which the company fears indicates high prevalence of the virus in the locality.

According to the company, all the mine workers who tested positive have been placed at the mine’s isolation site. The company says they are continuously tracing and screening the infected workers’ contacts.

Meanwhile, the Limpopo COVID-19 Command Council will meet with various mining companies this coming week. Health MEC Phophi Ramathuba says the meeting will focus on the provision of quarantine facilities for workers in high-risk areas.

“We will quarantine, but we will only quarantine those who test positive. So this is where there is a gap to say we are saying from our side, quarantine everyone because we don’t know who is infected and who is not.”

In the video below, Health MEC Phophi Ramathuba talks about the cases

Mkhize commends nurses’ efforts in combating the coronavirus pandemic
12 May 2020, 2:41 PM

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has commended nurses for their efforts in combating the coronavirus epidemic from the frontlines. Mkhize is commemorating International Nurses Day at the King Edward Hospital in Durban.

Across South Africa, the selfless role of nurses is being honoured through symbolic candle lighting ceremonies.

The Minister says he is committed to ensuring that no nurse will be allowed to treat or screen COVID-19 patients without critical equipment.

“We are resolute in ensuring that all health professionals are provided with the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment and they require tools of the trade. As we celebrate our nurses and midwives, I would like to affirm our commitment to ensuring that no nurses will be allowed to care for patients without the appropriate protective equipment; be it at a community level during testing and screening or in the health facility.”

In the video below, Zweli Mkhize speaks at the candlelight ceremony:

Meanwhile, Chief Nursing Officer at the Department of Health, Doctor Nonhlanhla Makhaya, says this is a significant time for healthcare workers around the world.

Nurses in the Free State say they have come to accept the reality of COVID-19.

A nursing sister at Pelonomi Hospital in Bloemfontein, Zanele Mlandu says they used to view the COVID-19 pandemic as a monster, but that has changed after they witnessed the recovery rate.

Mlandu says as nurses, they were encouraged to deal with the disease head-on as they were given daily updates and information about how the disease mutates.

Mlandu says as they observe International Nurses Day they are more encouraged to overcome the disease.

In Mpumalanga, Phola Clinic is one of the many health facilities that often experience long queues of patients, who are in need of medical assistance. Some of the patients who have been waiting for assistance at the facility since this morning say more should be done to appreciate the role of nurses, especially in rural communities.


SA Express to appeal judgment placing it under business rescue
6 February 2020, 2:21 PM

SA Express says it will appeal a judgment by the High Court in Johannesburg – placing the company under business rescue. This after logistics firm, Ziegler, took SA Express to court over its failure to pay R11 million in debt and requested that the court place it under business rescue.

It is the first time that a court order of this nature has been made against a state-owned firm, which could have far-reaching implications for other cash strapped SOEs.

Solidarity’s Connie Mulder says the judgment sets a precedent for other SOEs.

“This judgment has a massive precedent being set. We have now seen with the Companies Act that theoretically SOEs can be placed under business rescue. It says every SOE in SA is under the jurisdiction of the courts and the Companies Act and should be able to be placed under business rescue – if they do become financially distressed and is technically insolvent.”

“Business rescue is the working room, the emergency room, just before liquidation – in SA Express’ case, that is true. If you think SAA was in bad shape, SA Express was in much worse shape. It’s a situation where you are looking at some form of labour restructuring, hopefully, they can try and avoid it, but it is better than liquidation where everyone loses their jobs,” says Mulder.

After a long delay,  SA Airlink tabled its financial statements in Parliament in November 2019.

The airline recorded losses to the tune of R590 million for the financial year that ended on the 31st of March 2019.

The airline had also received a disclaimer audit opinion from the Auditor General. The books then showed the company was really struggling.

The airline also disclosed fruitless and wasteful expenditure worth over R50 million, while irregular expenditure stood at R834 million.

Meanwhile, SAA Business Rescue Practitioners are due to hold talks with trade unions this afternoon to discuss further their restructuring plans for the cash strapped national airline.

It’s the second such meeting in as many days as they race against time to finalise their work and submit a report to the government and creditors of the troubled national airline.

Towards the end of January 2020,  the Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA) bailed out SAA with an amount of R3.5 billion.

Some analysts were concerned that taxpayers’ money that could have been utilised for valuable projects is now going to bail SAA once again.

They were nonetheless chuffed that the money will be going into the hands of Business Rescue Practitioners instead of executives.

The financial boost has put an end to a month-long search for funding by the government.

Analysts were optimistic that this will help facilitate the business rescue process and avert liquidation, which could have cost taxpayers R40 billion.

The business rescue process began in December 2019 with the local commercial banks providing the initial post commencement funding of R2 billion.

SAA has not made a profit since 2011 and has been relying on government bailouts to remain solvent.



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