Pilgrimage in a pandemic: Lessons from Mecca on containing COVID-19

12 May 2021, 9:43 PM
Muslims perform the short “Umrah” pilgrimage at any time of the year, and there could be over 19 million pilgrims each year.
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President Cyril Ramaphosa’s credibility at stake, says IRR 11 February 2021, 5:18 PM

South Africans will be listening critically to today’s State of the Nation Address (SONA), and President Ramaphosa must know that his credibility, whatever might be left of it, is at stake, writes Hermann Pretorius.

The 3-Pandemics SONA 11 February 2021, 10:21 AM

The backdrop for SONA 2021 is therefore one in which a battered economy is weaker, the job market even more constrained and fiscal conditions have tightened considerably.

‘Parliament failed to effectively play its oversight role’ 11 February 2021, 10:18 AM

Political analyst Ralph Mathekga says Parliament is completely failing to effectively play its oversight role.

A vision for an inclusive and prosperous South Africa 9 February 2021, 6:05 PM

This year’s SONA will be delivered in the face of the greatest suffering we have seen since the end of apartheid, writes Herman Mashaba.

‘Ramaphosa must now put system and processes in place to execute plans’ 9 February 2021, 1:10 PM

The President must send a clear, crisp, concise and precise strategic message that South Africa is not only open for business but, alas, have now put system and processes in place to execute writes Bonang Mohale, Chancellor of the University of the Free State.

Digital economy is the biggest industry created during COVID-19: Economist 9 February 2021, 11:08 AM

Economist Ntombana Mbele says the biggest industry that was created during COVID-19 in South Africa is the digital economy.

‘President Ramaphosa should look at Section 12J tax incentive to help rebuild economy’ 8 February 2021, 2:26 PM

President Ramaphosa is no doubt grappling with the huge task of rebuilding an economy ravaged by the Covid-19 pandemic writes Dino Zuccollo, chairperson of the 12J Association of South Africa.

From the Desk of the President 8 February 2021, 10:18 AM

President Cyril Ramaphosa has described as "disturbing" the SIU report into the extent of PPE tender corruption in the country.

What it will take to produce vaccines in Nigeria: money’s just the first step 7 February 2021, 2:26 PM

The Nigerian government recently released N10 billion (about US$26 million) in support of the local production of COVID-19 vaccines. Wale Fatade, from The Conversation Africa, asked Daniel Oladimeji Oluwayelu, a professor of virology, for his views on this and how the country can get full benefits from the money.

Why the African Union’s decision on a top post is being seen as a litmus test 6 February 2021, 2:39 PM

The 34th summit of the African Union (AU) which is currently under way has a particularly significant job to do: it will be electing six commissioners to the AU’s secretariat, which is a vital cog in the organisation.

Zuma’s abuse of South Africa’s spy agency underscores need for strong civilian oversight 4 February 2021, 5:28 PM

If people who work for the government tell us our safety depends on us not knowing what they do, we might suspect that they wanted to cover up wrong-doing, writes Steven Friedman, Professor of Political Studies at the University of Johannesburg.

Why Motsepe may lose CAF Presidency bid 3 February 2021, 4:07 PM

Despite a well-documented business acumen, winning the bid to become the CAF President is not going to be a walk in the park for South Africa's Patrice Motsepe, argues Mpho Tsedu, CEO of the Institute of Foreign Affairs.

Citizens more interested in what happened under Zuma’s administration: Experts 3 February 2021, 6:06 AM

Experts say South Africans are more interested in what happened during former President Jacob Zuma's administration and care less about his defiance and questioning the credibility of the State Capture Commission.

Are we snubbing vaccines from Russia and China? 2 February 2021, 7:10 PM

About 40 countries representing more than half of the world’s population had reportedly raised their hand for access to Sputnik V.

President Ramaphosa reflects on his term as AU Chair amid the COVID-19 pandemic 1 February 2021, 9:53 AM

President Cyril Ramaphosa says South Africa assuming Chairship of the African Union (AU) was a baptism of fire as it was the same month the first COVID-19 case was recorded on the continent.

Wall St Week Ahead-Sideshow or main event? GameStop stock ride weighed as bubble warning 31 January 2021, 5:02 PM

Some investors are growing concerned that wild swings in GameStop and other stocks driven by small-time traders could be fresh signs of overexuberance that foreshadow volatility for the broader stock market.

COVID-19 has hurt some more than others: South Africa needs policies that reflect this 29 January 2021, 7:28 PM

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and the policy measures to combat it, are having profound effects on the economic and social lives of citizens. They are threatening employment as well as the long-term livelihoods and well-being of millions around the world.

‘Govt faces difficult task in convincing citizens to pay wealth tax during COVID-19’ 28 January 2021, 11:19 AM

Political analyst Sanusha Naidu says it would be difficult for government to convince South Africans to pay the wealth tax during the COVID-19 pandemic because of the corruption that's being committed during this time.

Jonas Gwangwa’s music and life embody the resistance against apartheid 26 January 2021, 8:16 PM

When South African President Cyril Ramaphosa recently sent good wishes to hospitalised trombonist/composer Jonas Gwangwa, it represented far more than a routine official courtesy.

In America the more things change, the more they stay the same 26 January 2021, 6:33 AM

The ink has hardly dried on the paper newly-elected US President Joe Biden has signed and the similarities – instead of differences – with his predecessor Donald Trump are as clear as day-light. 

SA’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout will be the most extensive in country’s history: Ramaphosa 25 January 2021, 8:28 AM

In his weekly letter to the nation, President Cyril Ramaphosa says the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine will be the most ambitious and extensive in the country's history.

Mthembu’s COVID-19 related death unites friends and rivals in tribute 23 January 2021, 12:10 PM

The death of Jackson Mphikwa Mthembu, Minister in the Office of the President of South Africa, has been met with sorrow across the country. Tributes have come from across the political spectrum for the country’s first government minister to succumb to COVID-19.

South African scientists who discovered new COVID-19 variant share what they know 23 January 2021, 11:42 AM

Late last year the Network for Genomic Surveillance in South Africa (NGS-SA) led by the KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform (KRISP) identified a rapidly spreading new variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The new variant, called 501Y.V2, raises critical questions – including whether current vaccines and treatments will still be effective.

Vaccine production in South Africa, how an industry in its infancy can be developed 21 January 2021, 9:07 AM

The issue of vaccine production has become a topic of hot debate following the approval of treatments for COVID-19. In South Africa, angry exchanges have been spurred by the country’s lagging access to COVID-19 vaccines.

A desperate tale of two “countries” fighting for self-determination 19 January 2021, 8:15 PM

SABC News' Abbey Makoe looks at the situation of two nations, Russian-speaking Crimea and Western Sahara, seeking self-determination.

Cyril Ramaphosa
COVID-19 core of Ramaphosa’s first letter of 2021 to the nation 18 January 2021, 6:16 PM

On Monday, President Cyril Ramaphosa released his first letter of 2021 to the nation, detailing the challenges that face the country as a result of the COVID -19  pandemic and the hopes he has for the country in the year ahead.

No country is an island: Collective approach to COVID-19 vaccines is the only way to go 15 January 2021, 9:10 PM

As countries across the world begin to purchase and roll out COVID-19 vaccines, a key question is how far the vaccine is from reaching Africa and how accessible it will be for the continent. Moina Spooner, Commissioning Editor with The Conversation Africa, asked Mosoka Fallah, an expert on infectious diseases, to provide his insights.

Social media seized the narrative in Uganda’s election. Why this was good for democracy 13 January 2021, 9:45 AM

For months, Ugandans have witnessed a vicious presidential election campaign without precedent. While the incumbent, Yoweri Museveni, has enjoyed free rein on the campaign trail, his youthful main opponent Robert Kyagulanyi and his supporters have faced numerous obstacles – and physical assault.

‘Discourage friends and relatives from attending funerals’ 13 January 2021, 9:42 AM

Political analyst Sanusha Naidu says South Africans must come to terms with avoiding funerals during the coronavirus pandemic.

African countries differ widely in prenatal HIV testing: Why it matters 12 January 2021, 2:30 PM

The introduction of antiretroviral drugs has resulted in a remarkable decline in mother-to-child transmission of HIV. New infections among children declined by 52% worldwide and 55% in sub-Saharan Africa between 2010 and 2019.