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By Citizen Reporter


Daily news update: Repo rate hike, Digital Vibes scandal, and more load shedding

Here’s your morning news update: An easy-to-read selection of our top stories. Stay up to date with The Citizen – More News, Your Way.

Here’s your morning news update: An easy-to-read selection of our top stories. Stay up to date with The Citizen – More News, Your Way.

Daily news update – 22 July

Digital Vibes scandal: Health department sanctions top officials

Digital Vibes scandal: Health department sanctions top officials
Dr Anban Pillay, the health department’s acting director-general. Photo: Gallo Images / Financial Mail / Russell Roberts

Three senior Health Department officials have been found guilty for their involvement in the awarding of a communications contract to Digital Vibes.

The department on Thursday released the outcomes of the disciplinary hearing process involving suspended officials.

Dr Anban Pillay, Popo Maja and Shireen Pardesi were suspended last year following the investigations by an independent forensic audit firm and the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) into the multi-million-rand tender.

Biggest interest rate hike since 2002 to drain South Africans’ pockets

More pain for South Africans as interest rates increased
Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago. Picture: Gallo Images

South Africans will feel even more pain in their pockets after the repo rate was increased by 75 basis points on Thursday, a day after it was announced that inflation is at its highest since 2009.

Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago announced the hike on Thursday.

It brings the repo rate up to 5.5% and the prime rate to 9%. This is the steepest hike since 2002, when the Reserve Bank (Sarb) increased the repo rate by 75 basis points.

Eskom extends load shedding to Sunday

Eskom 'collating information' on staff involved in the wild cat strike
Citizens are battling stage four load shedding and unplanned cuts at local level. Picture: iStock.

Eskom has confirmed that load shedding will be implemented at least until the weekend.

After the dark lords of Megawatt Park cut the lights last week, employees work overtime to bring units back online.

The parastatal CEO, Andre De Ruyter, said there was light at the end of the tunnel, but warned the national grid remains under tremendous strain.

Ramaphosa asked to act against Mantashe for ignoring renewable energy ultimatum

Civil society calls on Ramaphosa to act after Mantashe ignores renewable energy ultimatum
President Cyril Ramaphosa and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe at an ANC NEC meeting in Cape Town on 20 May 2019. Photo: Gallo Images/ESA ALEXANDER/SUNDAY TIMES

After being ignored by Minerals and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe, civil society organisations have now asked President Cyril Ramaphosa to force him to introduce renewable energy to SA’s electricity grid.

The 16 groups had given Mantashe 10 days to respond to an open letter calling for him to open the country’s renewable energy floodgates.

They said wind and solar energy systems, as well as renewable storage capacity, would lessen the severity of load shedding on South Africans.

KZN RET won’t reveal slate ahead of crucial elective conference

ANC failed to make sense since 2017, powerful people chased away the Guptas - Zuma
Former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: Gallo Images

Former president Jacob Zuma’s supporters, who will be a formidable voting block at the ANC’s KwaZulu-Natal elective conference, are keeping their cards close to their chest on who they will be backing in the race to elect the party’s provincial leader.

They dismissed the speculation that Zuma and his supporters will endorse one of the five candidates who will be standing against the Sihle Zikalala in the ANC provincial leadership race.

‘No national plan to address poverty’ – Mbeki says he fears SA’s own ‘Arab Spring’

Jessie Duarte memorial service
President Cyril Ramaphosa greets former President Thabo Mbeki during the launch of the ANC’s election manifesto at Church Square on 27 September 2021. Picture: Gallo Images/Daily Maverick/Felix Dlangamandla

Former president Thabo Mbeki has once again criticised the ANC for having “no national plan” to deal with South Africa’s socio-economic challenges.

Speaking at the memorial service of ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte on Thursday, Mbeki reiterated the importance of renewal in the governing party and expressed concern that some members were still focused on serving their own interests.

Stellenbosch University expels Theuns du Toit with immediate effect

Stellenbosch Racism allegations
A general view of Stellenbosch University on 12 June 2020 in Stellenbosch, South Africa. Picture: Gallo Images/Ashley Vlotman

The University of Stellenbosch has expelled student Theuns du Toit after finding him guilty of contravening a number of rules of the university.

In a statement on Thursday evening, the university said it had found Du Toit of contravening clause 9.3 of the general rules, which reads: “A student shall not act in a manner that is racist, unfairly discriminatory, violent, grossly insulting, abusive or intimidating against any other person.”

Charl Kinnear murder accused’s dad fights for his release

Portrait of Charl Kinnear at the funeral service for the slain officer. Picture: Gallo Images/Brenton Geach

Everyone’s equal under the law, but murder accused Zane Killian’s dad, Hein, believes that some people may be more equal than others.

Killian is implicated in the killing of Cape Town Anti-Gang Unit’s Lieutenant-Colonel Charl Kinnear in 2020. He has since been in detention, awaiting a trial date, for more than 666 days.

The former Valke rugby club player turned debt collector and vehicle repo-man is charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and contravening the Electronic Communication and Transactions Act.

Free State Asbestos saga: Former Gauteng Human Settlements HOD arrested

Three more arrested on VBS Bank scandal
Picture: Jacques Nelles

A 56-year-old former senior government official in Gauteng has been arrested by the Hawks in connection with the Free State asbestos roof removal project.

Margaret-Ann Diedricks was arrested on Wednesday in Alberton, Gauteng, by the Hawks’ Serious Corruption Investigation team based in Bloemfontein.

Hawks Spokesperson, Christopher Singo, said it is alleged that in the period between 2014 and 2017 an irregular contract was awarded to a service provider for the eradication of asbestos roofs by the department of Human Settlements in the Free State.

Schedule revealed for Rugby World Cup Sevens in Cape Town

Blitzboks team
The Blitzboks team after the final of the 2019 World Rugby Sevens Series tournament in Cape Town. Picture: Gallo Images

The Blitzboks will face Germany or Chile and the Springbok Women’s Sevens team are up against France in their opening encounters of the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Cape Town in September, it was confirmed on Thursday after the first match-ups for the showpiece were revealed.

The innovative ‘winner takes all’ knockout format means every match counts and teams will need to win every time they step on the pitch in order to become world champions.

SuperSport confirm Williams move to Sundowns

Ronwen Williams - SuperSport - Sundowns
Ronwen Williams was an amazing servant to SuperSport United. Picture: Muzi Ntombela/Backpagepix.

What was the worst kept secret in the current transfer window has come to light as SuperSport United confirm Ronwen Williams’ move to Tshwane rivals Mamelodi Sundowns.

Willians, who bid farewell to Matsatsantsa A Pitori after 18 years of serving the Pretoria side, is said to have signed a five-year deal with the Brazilians.

SuperSport chief executive officer Stan Matthews described the former United captain as the son of the club as he made well over 300 appearances for Matsatsantsa to become their most capped player.