Daily news update: Joburg explosion, surgery backlog, N1 road closure
Here’s your morning news update: An easy-to-read selection of our top stories.
Image: iStock/The Citizen/Cheryl Kahla
In today’s daily news update: a gas line explosion rocked Johannesburg on Wednesday evening. In unrelated news, the N1 will be temporarily closed this weekend.
Meanwhile, around 18 000 patients are awaiting surgeries in Gauteng, and all eyes are on the repo rate after a surprising inflation decrease.
Daily news update: 20 July 2023
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Here’s your easy-to-read selection of our top stories.
Joburg CBD explosion
Authorities have called on Johannesburg residents and motorists to avoid areas around Eloff and Bree Streets in the CBD following an alleged gas line explosion.
In pictures and videos circulating on social media on Wednesday evening, the entire Bree Street can be seen damaged from the alleged explosion.
At least 20 minibus taxis were damaged in the explosion.
All eyes on repo rate
As the country records a decrease in inflation, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the SA Reserve Bank (Sarb) will sit on Thursday to decide on interest rates. Will it affect their decision? Can we now hope for no change?
The South African Reserve Bank (Sarb) has a constitutional mandate to protect the value of the rand by keeping inflation low and steady and uses interest rate to influence the level of inflation.
Inflation decreased by almost one percentage point in June to 5.4% from 6.3% in May. It is at its lowest level since October 2021, and below the upper limit of the South African Reserve Bank’s monetary policy target range of between 3 and 6%.
N1 road closures
The SA National Roads Agency (Sanral) warned of impending road closures along a vital portion of the N1 highway this weekend.
The closure is part of Sanral’s plan to accommodate the construction of a new bridge on Solomon Mahlangu Drive in Erasmusrand, Pretoria.
Alan Agaienz, the project manager for Sanral’s northern region, said the construction of the new bridge requires the placement of pre-cast concrete beams over the N1 highway.
In January this year, around 32 000 patients were awaiting surgical procedures at public hospitals in Gauteng. As of this month, that number is at around 18 000.
The alarming figures have shed light on the extreme pressure South Africa’s public health system is under.
The patients have been waiting to undergo surgical procedures such as plastic surgery, neurosurgery, urology, orthopaedics, hernia repair, prostate biopsy, colostomy closures and many others.
The SA Weather Service (Saws) said disruptive snow could cause hazardous driving conditions and pose a risk to livestock this week.
This alert was issued for the central and northern high-lying regions of the Eastern Cape, as well as the Free State and the southwestern regions of KwaZulu-Natal.
Chilly and damp conditions are set to prevail in the elevated regions across the Eastern Cape and the central and western parts of KwaZulu-Natal.
In other news:
- ‘Many wished Putin to be here, but wisdom prevailed’ – ANC
- Goalpost to gavel: Meet Senzo Meyiwa trial’s new judge, Ratha Mokgoatlheng
- Durban news photographer Bongani Mbatha gunned down
- Here’s how long it would take to restore Eskom’s grid in case of a blackout
- More than 6 000 public transport operating licences need to be renewed
- Sign language becoming official SA language a ‘fundamental human right’
- Digital Vibes: Former health spokesperson Popo Maja due in court on corruption charges