COVID-19 WRAP | Western Cape Covid-19 deaths 'fewer than 10 a day' by end-September: Panda

31 July 2020 - 07:37 By TimesLIVE
President Ramaphosa will share the platform with World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
President Ramaphosa will share the platform with World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Image: Alaister Russell/The Sunday Times

July 31 2020 - 21:51

SA passes 8,000 Covid-19 deaths as 11,000 new cases confirmed

SA recorded more than 11,000 Covid-19 cases for the second consecutive day on Friday, as the country stood on the verge of a half million infections.

Barring the lowest number of new cases in well over a month, SA will pass the 500,000 case mark on Saturday, becoming only the fourth nation to do so.

SA has recorded 493,183 cases to date — with only the US (4,664,624 cases), Brazil (2,625,612), India (1,694,705) and Russia (839,981) having recorded more infections.

July 31 2020 - 16:28

Good news for Jozi property owners as city doles out rates relief

Johannesburg has taken another step towards alleviating pressure on the city's property owners who have been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

After announcing a reduction in tariffs two weeks ago, the municipality on Friday said it was now waiving penalty interest charges for defaulting accounts.

“The recent relief includes the waiving of penalty interest charges on defaulting municipal accounts between April and June, together with the relaxation of credit control measures during the lockdown.

July 31 2020 - 16:18

Youth, expectant mothers, urban families to get Solidarity Fund help

The Solidarity Fund is ramping up efforts to bring relief to those who have lost their income and those who have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The loss of employment and livelihood for many has prompted the fund to earmark R175m for phase 2 of its food relief programme as well as a R100m support package to be disbursed through one-off food vouchers.

The intervention was announced on Friday by the head of the humanitarian pillar of the fund, Wendy Tlou. She said the renewed efforts were in the final stages of planning.

July 31 2020 - 16:06

Amid the gloom, SA scientists share innovation and data to help others

Prof Glenda Gray, chief executive of the SA Medical Research Council (SAMRC), said at around the time of SA's first Covid-19 case in March, she was about to board a domestic flight.

Midair, she did a frenetic brainstorm.

That moment has now come to symbolise the time pressures and balancing act of SA’s abundant science community, many of whom shared their wisdom at a summit on innovation hosted by higher education, science and technology minister Blade Nzimande and health minister Zweli Mkhize on Friday.

July 31 2020 - 15:14

Durban suspends bus service for two days to prevent spread of Covid-19

Durban is suspending the city's bus service for two days to prevent the spread of Covid-19 to commuters and its workers.

According to a statement issued by eThekwini Municipality, the city, after discussions with bus operator Tansnat, resolved to temporarily halt municipal bus services from Friday until Sunday.

The decision, it said, was prompted by its “quest to aggressively prevent the spread of the coronavirus to commuters and employees”.

July 31 2020 - 13:34

Western Cape Covid-19 deaths 'fewer than 10 a day' by end-September: Panda

Experts monitoring the coronavirus pandemic on Friday predicted Covid-19 deaths would decline to fewer than 10 a day by the end of September in the Western Cape.

“We hit the peak [in the province] on June 24 at a level of 52 deaths a day, and since then it’s been gradually declining ,” Piet Streicher of Pandemic Data and Analytics (Panda) said during a radio interview on CapeTalk.

Panda is comprises a voluntary group of actuaries, economists, data scientists, statisticians, medical professionals, lawyers, engineers and business people who have been analysing the human cost of the pandemic in SA.

July 31 2020 - 11:42

Maphorisa wants an end to the lockdown: 'Why should we die broke?'

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to ravage the country, DJ Maphorisa has spoken out on the economic impact the lockdown to contain the coronavirus has had on poor communities.

The star had a serious moment on Twitter this week, reflecting on the state of the country and calling for an end to the lockdown.

He said it would be better to die trying to make coins than to die broke.

“Why should we die broke? Rather die trying. This is sad man. Lockdown must end. This doesn’t make sense anymore,” he said.

July 31 2020 - 11:40

Leaked document reveals new proposals for 2020 school calendar

Contrary to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement on July 23 that the academic year “will go beyond 2020”, it has been proposed that the school year end on December 15 for pupils in grades R to 11.

This is among the proposed amendments to the 2020 school calendar, according to a leaked document presented to a Hedcom workshop on July 28. Hedcom comprises the director-general of basic education Mathanzima Mweli and the superintendents-general of education of the nine provinces.

July 31 2020 - 09:39

Job cuts, lock-ins, and fear: Domestic workers suffer Covid-19 squeeze

Domestic workers have faced the brunt of the Covid-19 crisis, say trade union officials, whose members have often been left high and dry by employers, with little protection from the government.

“Hunger is getting worse,” Gloria Kente, an organiser in the Western Cape for the South African Domestic and Service Allied Workers Union (Sadsawu).

She said many domestic workers had either lost their jobs or had been indefinitely laid off due to Covid-19.

Some of those who lost their jobs were not registered with the Unemployment Insurance Fund because employers did not comply with the regulations.

July 31 2020 - 08:21

Five important takeaways from David Makhura's briefing on PPE tender irregularities

Gauteng premier David Makhura briefed the media on Thursday during a weekly command council briefing about Covid-19 in the province.

He began by addressing the investigations into alleged PPE tender irregularities in the province. The premier described the allegations as the biggest financial scandal since he took over in 2014.

Makhura said he wants officials found guilty of wrongdoing to be held accountable.

July 31 2020 - 08:20

IN QUOTES | Tourism minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane says funds not specifically for black people

Tourism minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane has silenced the “noise” regarding the Tourism Relief Fund (TRF).

Addressing the media on Thursday on the latest Covid-19 regulations governing the tourism and hospitality sector under level 3, Kubayi-Ngubane said there was “misleading noise” about who the funds are meant for.

July 31 2020 - 08:19

Gauteng shows taxi industry the money in anti-Covid-19 drive

The Gauteng government will pay R50m to taxi rank marshals and managers to help fight Covid-19. 

But the plan has been questioned by transport specialists.

July 31 2020 - 08:17

WATCH | Gauteng MEC joins officials on special leave as SIU probes 102 companies

July 31 2020 - 07:29

Ramaphosa to address science summit on SA's response to Covid-19

"Under the theme "Harnessing science, technology and innovation in response to COVID-19: A national and international effort", the Summit will focus on health innovation and technologies, and social and economic sustainability during and after the pandemic. "