COVID-19 LIVE UPDATES | 132 new Covid-19 deaths in 24 hours

01 October 2020 - 07:48 By TimesLIVE
“To facilitate the free movement of people, goods, and services from SA, Southern African Development Community (Sadc), and the African continent, travellers from neighbouring countries are allowed to visit our country.
“To facilitate the free movement of people, goods, and services from SA, Southern African Development Community (Sadc), and the African continent, travellers from neighbouring countries are allowed to visit our country.
Image: Sawubona Blog/ File photo

October 01 2020 - 22:07

132 new Covid-19 deaths in 24 hours as fatalities approach 17,000

SA's Covid-19 fatalities are approaching the 17,000 mark, with 132 new deaths recorded in the past 24 hours.

There were also 1,745 new cases of the disease recorded since Wednesday night, taking the country's total to 676,084. Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize released the latest figures shortly before 10pm on Thursday.

Of the newly recorded deaths, 41 were Mpumalanga, 49 in KwaZulu-Natal, eight Gauteng, seven each in the North West and the Northern Cape, six in the Western Cape and 14 in the Free State.

October 01 2020 - 20:58

Diko's 'proxy' paid R46m in PPE deal, Gauteng government report confirms

Politically connected operator Ledla Structural Development was paid more than R46.4m, the Gauteng government revealed on Thursday.

Ledla has been named in court papers as a “proxy” for Thandisizwe Madzikane Diko — a family friend of Gauteng health MEC Bandile Masuku and the husband of President Cyril Ramaphosa's spokesperson Khusela Diko, the Sunday Times reported in August.

It was reported that the company made an 800% profit on Covid-19 personal protective equipment (PPE) sold to the government, according to claims the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) laid out in the court documents. Ledla was on Thursday named among the companies that scored from the PPE scandal now besetting the Gauteng health department. In a report posted on the provincial government’s website, it was revealed that the company was paid R46.465m.

October 01 2020 - 15:45

Makhura waiting for SIU report to decide on health MEC's fate

The future of Gauteng health MEC Bandile Masuku may be decided this week when premier David Makhura receives a report of the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) into personal protective equipment (PPE) tenders.

Masuku is now on leave pending the SIU investigation and another process of the provincial integrity committee of the ANC.

He is embroiled in a multimillion-rand tender scandal for procurement of PPE, which also involves spokesperson to president Cyril Ramaphosa, Khusela Diko, and her husband Thandisizwe Diko. Masuku and his wife Loyiso are friends with the Dikos.

October 01 2020 - 12:10

WATCH | Education briefing: School calendar amended, matric exam dates and sports rules

Minister of basic education Angie Motshekga gave an update on Thursday on schools' progress on moving to Covid-19 lockdown level 1 restrictions. 

Motshekga touched on school nutrition plans, bullying and, most importantly, school calendar amendments.

She also paid tribute to teachers who have been working around the clock to ensure that pupils are kept up to date, even if it means having to teach on weekends.

October 01 2020 - 11:54

Matrics to sit for final exams from November 5

Grade 12 pupils across the country will start writing the 2020 National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations from November 5.

Basic education minister Angie Motshekga said during a briefing on Thursday that the matric exams would continue until December 15.

“As we had already announced before, the June Senior Certificate (SC) examination was postponed, and will now be written together with the NSC examination in November ,” she said. 

October 01 2020 - 11:27

Rise in Nelson Mandela Bay Covid-19 cases

At the same time that Eastern Cape health MEC Sindiswa Gomba has warned that the province could see a surge in Covid-19 cases, about 20 people a day are testing positive for the virus in Nelson Mandela Bay.

That figure — 149 cases registered in seven days — was revealed in a provincial health department report dated September 29.


October 01 2020 - 10:29

Lockdown licensing woes turn garbage collection in Cape Town into a late show

Sounds of the suburbs in Cape Town increasingly include garbage bins being emptied as late as 11pm and over weekends.

Up to 40% of city council garbage trucks have been unavailable for several weeks, mayoral committee member for water and waste Xanthea Limberg told TimesLIVE on Thursday.

“Due to lockdown, vehicles could not be tested for certificate of fitness, roadworthied and licensed, which in recent weeks has impacted on the availability of vehicles,” she said.

October 01 2020 - 09:18

UK seeks to avoid national lockdown to stop unemployment in millions, minister says

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government is seeking to avoid a full national lockdown to prevent unemployment soaring into the millions, Environment Secretary George Eustice said on Thursday.

"I've not seen any projections of 4 million but certainly we know that there are some 700,000 extra people that are already unemployed as a result of this, and yes you know the projections are, that there are going to be economic impacts," Eustice told Sky.

"It's for precisely that reason that we are trying to avoid full lockdown," he said.

Britain's Office for Budget Responsibility's central economic scenario sees unemployment averaging 3.5 million next year, and rising to 4 million in a downside scenario.


October 01  2020 - 07:26

250,000 domestic worker jobs lost in lockdown

More than 250,000 domestic worker jobs were lost between the first and second quarters of 2020.

This is according to the latest data from Stats SA which shows a decline of 259,000 domestic workers in employment in the second quarter (April to June) compared to the first quarter of this year (January to March).

October 01  2020 - 07:00

6 things you need to know from Naledi Pandor announcing the easing of travel restrictions

Travellers from all African countries are allowed into SA but certain countries from beyond the continent are not, says minister of international relations and co-operation Naledi Pandor.

On Wednesday, ahead of the reopening of international borders, Pandor provided more information on international travel under level 1 of the lockdown.

October 01  2020 - 07:00

Older people 'especially isolated during lockdown': study

Older people with cognitive impairment have had smaller social networks and less frequent communication with others during the coronavirus pandemic, a Wits University study has found. 

“South Africa is emerging from arguably one of the strictest lockdown responses to the Covid-19 pandemic worldwide,” said Dr Ryan Wagner, a researcher at the South African Medical Research Council/Wits Agincourt Research Unit in Mpumalanga.

October 01  2020 - 06:27

IN QUOTES | Blade Nzimande says students and staff affected by Covid-19 will receive counselling

Higher education minister Blade Nzimande gave an update on level 1 lockdown regulations relating to the Covid-19 pandemic during a press briefing on Wednesday.

He spoke about the impact the coronavirus had on the sector and announced initiatives to help those affected by it.

October 01  2020 - 06:30

This is why some people will not wear masks, according to an expert

The fear of being silenced or conforming to societal standards at large are among the reasons some people resist wearing masks, says a specialist.

Erica Munnik, a clinical psychologist and lecturer at the University of the Western Cape, says from the start of the pandemic, some people have ignored or minimised the threat of Covid-19, while others have adopted imposed safety measures.