COVID-19 LIVE UPDATES | Wine farmers' lockdown challenge set for full bench of high court next week

17 August 2020 - 06:29
Police arrest a health worker during a protest against economic hardship and poor working conditions during the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak in Harare, Zimbabwe on July 6 2020.
Image: REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo Police arrest a health worker during a protest against economic hardship and poor working conditions during the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak in Harare, Zimbabwe on July 6 2020.

August 17 2020 - 18:38

IN QUOTES | Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma on booze, gyms and social visits

Co-operative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma briefed the media on Monday on new level 2 lockdown regulations.

Here are six important quotes from her address:

Daily infections

“After a rapid rise of infections over the month of June and July, the daily increases and infections recently appear to be stabilising. There is a noticeable decrease, particularly in the larger provinces — the Western Cape, Gauteng, Eastern Cape. However, KwaZulu-Natal still provides some challenges, but we hope it will decline soon as well.”

August 17 2020 - 18:29

PODCAST | The uncollected dead of Covid-19

A new directive from the health department that anyone who dies of natural causes outside a hospital be tested for Covid-19 before a death certificate is issued has thrown the funeral industry into confusion.

The instruction, issued on Wednesday by health director-general Sandile Buthelezi, has sparked anger and confusion among undertakers and health professionals, who say it will delay burials and pose health risks.

The directive states that “testing must be done before the human remain[s] are released to the funeral undertaker”.

Listen to what is happening outside your front door:

August 17 2020 - 18:25

Hold up, gym bunnies — you might not be able to work out just yet

It's been four months of no gym, and even though South Africans have been permitted to hit the pavement, many a cough is now firmly — and perhaps permanently — indented.

Luckily, lockdown level 2 brings with it the opening of gyms. But this is not automatic: the opening needs approval from the powers that be first. Gym owners are required by law to present their Covid-19 plans to the government for approval before they are allowed to reopen.

So for those of us who believe that being part of the human race does not count as exercise, you'll have to hold onto your dumbbells a little bit longer.

August 17 2020 - 17:42

R65.7m paid out by sports, arts and culture relief fund: Nathi Mthethwa

The sports, arts and culture ministry says it has paid out R65.7m in the first wave of Covid-19 relief funds.

Minister Nathi Mthetwa said this money had catered for various categories, such as the digital applications, the living legends, relief for athletes, as well as relief for arts and culture practitioners.

For the second wave, the department said it will be rolling out two processes to implement the sector relief: one for athletes and all technical personnel in the sport sector, and the other focusing on the arts and culture sector.

August 17 2020 - 16:06

'I do not run government': Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma grumpy over tobacco ban accusations

Cogta minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has lambasted those who associated her directly with the government's decision to ban tobacco sales for five months.

Dlamini-Zuma said the people who were pushing this line were using her as a scapegoat.

According to her, the decision to ban tobacco, which will be lifted on Tuesday, was never her individual decision as had been the impression created by many.

August 17 2020 - 15:58

POLL | Are you here for level 2 or nah?

South Africans are anticipating the reopening of gyms and beaches, and the sale of alcohol and cigarettes under level 2 of lockdown, which will start on Tuesday.

Alcohol will be on sale Mondays to Thursdays, from 9am to 5pm. 

“Restaurants, bars and taverns will be permitted to operate according to approved protocols as to times of operation and numbers of people. The suspension of the sale of alcohol will be lifted, subject to certain restrictions,” said the president.

August 17 2020 - 15:48

Dlamini-Zuma calls for vigilance amid fears of second Covid-19 surge linked to eased laws

Cogta minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has called on South Africans to remain vigilant as the country introduces level 2 lockdown laws to avoid a second surge of Covid-19 infections.

The call came as she gazetted the latest batch of lockdown regulations, which allow for a number of social activities, including the opening of bars, social visits and visiting of families.

And with the sale of cigarettes now allowed, Dlamini-Zuma has warned that smokers should not share their cigarettes with others.

August 17 2020 - 14:51

August 17 2020 - 14:23

China's chicken production continues to surge, reducing appetite for imports

China's chicken producers are pushing ahead with aggressive expansion plans despite a slump in demand due to the coronavirus, reducing reliance on imports amid recent fears about the safety of foreign meat.

The world's No. 2 poultry producer is expected to produce a record 14.85 million tonnes of chicken meat in 2020, according to the United States Department of Agriculture, a substantial increase over last year's 18% rise to 13.75 million tonnes.

The significant expansion is boosting demand for key feed grains like corn and soybeans, traders in China say, while pushing down poultry prices.


August 17 2020 - 14:21

OPINION | Does the government have a plan to save economy battered by Covid-19?

The economic crisis we’re in is the most serious any of us has experienced.

To confront it, we need the very best from our leaders, from business, government, labour and other social partners. Their leadership needs to be focused on driving the implementation of plans and policies that will mobilise our resources to drive a recovery leading to sustainable economic growth.

While President Cyril Ramaphosa's announcement over the weekend of a shift to level 2 lockdown will enable much more economic activity to resume, this is not,  on its own, a strategy for a recovery.

August 17 2020 - 13:19

Wine farmers' lockdown challenge set for full bench of high court next week

The Southern African Agri-Initiative (Saai), which represents farmers, says it will continue with its legal action to force the government to allow the sale of wine under level 3 of the lockdown restrictions.

Saai CEO Francois Rossouw said despite President Cyril Ramaphosa's announcement on Saturday that the ban on the sale of alcohol will be lifted from Tuesday when the country moves to level 2 of the lockdown, the organisation still wanted a declaratory order confirming the sale of wine under level 3.

“We still want a declaratory order. We should be able to sell wine in level 3,” Rossouw told TimesLIVE on Monday.

August 17 2020 - 12:43

Two GPs die of Covid-19 in Limpopo, first deaths among province's health workers

Limpopo, the province which has until now had no deaths related to Covid-19 among its medical workers, has reported the deaths of two doctors.  

In a statement, the Limpopo health department said: “The two doctors, aged 57 and 47,  are the first cases of health-care workers in the province to die of complications related to Covid-19. They were both general practitioners working for their own independent practices.”

August 17 2020 - 10:42

Don't get overexcited about level 2, warns President Cyril Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa has warned South Africans against complacency as the country moves to lockdown level 2 on Tuesday.

According to Ramaphosa, the country is still at risk of seeing a resurgence of Covid-19 infections which would mean a hard lockdown might be reintroduced.

This, he wrote in his weekly newsletter, had happened in New Zealand which was once declared coronavirus-free only to impose lockdown again thanks to a “second wave”.

August 17 2020 - 10:34

Giving birth in the Covid-19 pandemic: lonely, stressful & anxious

“I feel so bad for him. He only knows four people right now in his life and I ...”

Her face is eclipsed by the chubby cheeks of a curious baby. Before she can continue, he repeatedly attacks the screen with the palm of his hand, babbling away in baby talk. His bottom milk teeth are obscured when his drool drenches the camera before the call is summarily cut.

“Eish, this boy! Sorry sisi, I was saying he doesn’t know any other faces or people except us,” says Maria Beda*, wiping the camera clean.

Like Beda, 27-year-old Thembeka Sibiya is concerned that her newborn son will not enjoy the same social life as her seven-year-old son.

FULL ADDRESS | Lockdown level 2 implemented

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August 17 2020 - 09:51

Wine and cigarette industries to continue with court actions: what you need to know

The Southern African Agri-Initiative (Saai) and the Fair-Trade Independent Tobacco Association (Fita) will persist with their respective court actions, despite the bans being lifted on alcohol and tobacco product sales.

On Saturday President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the bans would be lifted at midnight on Monday, along with the restriction on interprovincial travel when the country moves to level 2 of the lockdown.

August 17 2020 - 09:42

Government to brief SA on Covid-19 level 2 lockdown regulations

Cabinet ministers who serve in the National Coronavirus Command Council will provide details on the regulations relating to the Covid-19 level 2 restrictions on Monday afternoon.

The briefing will start at 2pm, government said in a statement.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Saturday night that restrictions would be eased from Tuesday.

August 17 2020 - 08:44

'Happy new year, but be safe': SA on level 2, booze & ciggies

Lockdown level 2 will see a number of regulations eased from midnight on Monday after months of tough restrictions implemented by the government to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

On Saturday, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the lifting of numerous restrictions, including the bans on alcohol and tobacco product sales, social visits and inter-provincial travel.

From celebratory moods to warnings about staying safe and anger towards the government, South Africans had a lot to say about lockdown level 2.

August 17 2020 - 08:21

'There is always the risk of reinstatement of the ban': Batsa on cigarette sales during lockdown

British American Tobacco SA (Batsa) will not smoke a peace pipe with the government following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision to unban cigarette sales.

The tobacco giant and nine other litigants, including farmers, consumers and processors, are awaiting the judgment of a full bench of the high court in Cape Town in their legal fight with cooperate governance & traditional affairs (Cogta) minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Ramaphosa over the ban.

August 17 2020 - 07:42

Eastern Cape accounts for most Covid-19 deaths in the last 24 hours

The Eastern Cape has reported the most fatalities related to Covid-19 in the last 24 hours, the latest report from the health ministry revealed on Sunday.

Nationally, 162 Covid-19 deaths were reported, with the Eastern Cape accounting for 70.

Gauteng accounted for 27 fatalities and KwaZulu-Natal recorded 21. The Western Cape recorded 20 deaths, the North West 18 and the Free State six.

The health ministry said Covid-19 has now claimed 11,839 lives.

August 17 2020 - 07:02

Booze, crime and police officers: Bheki Cele on SA being 'safer' during lockdown

Police minister Bheki Cele said SA has been much safer during the lockdown and ban on alcohol sales. He made the comment while delivering the quarterly crime statistics.

August 17 2020 - 07:00

‘I just wanted to help’: SA teen sells masks to pay school fees

While most teenagers would delight on the opportunity to wriggle out of class, one Hillcrest schoolboy is selling masks to pay his own school fees.

And within a week, 15-year-old Liam Theunissen raised the R22,000

August 17 2020 - 06:28

Africa records 824, 000 recoveries as cases cross 1.1 million

Covid-19 cases in Africa have crossed 1.1 million, but of those 824, 000 recoveries have been recorded.

August 17 2020 - 06:25

India's coronavirus death toll surpasses 50,000

India's death toll from the coronavirus surpassed 50,000 on Monday, as infection numbers surged and total cases were nearly at 2.65 million.

The country reported a daily jump of 57,981 infections, taking the total to nearly 2.65 million, third only behind the United States and Brazil.

The death toll jumped by 941, with the total now 50,921. 


August 17 2020 - 05:59

Calls for Covid psych support soar among pupils, teachers​

Thousands of anxious teachers and pupils are seeking help from psychologists and social workers over fears of contracting Covid-19 at school.

So social workers have turned to phone and WhatsApp help as stress wears down kids and adults alike.