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8 minute read
8 Jan 2021
10:00 pm

Daily news update: Covid-19 stats, ANC January 8 statement and weekend load shedding suspended

Citizen Reporter

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Picture: Gallo Images / Thapelo Maphakela

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Daily Covid-19 update: 616 more deaths bring total to 32,425

Source: Department of Health

As of Friday, 8 January 2021, the cumulative number of detected Covid-19 cases is 1,192,570 with 21,980 new cases identified, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has confirmed.

616 more Covid-19 related deaths were reported, with 215 from Eastern Cape, 27 from Free State, 75 from Gauteng, 72 from Kwa-Zulu Natal (KZN), 11 from Limpopo, 11 from Mpumalanga, 55 from North West, 4 from Northern Cape and 146 from Western Cape.

This brings the total number of Covid-19 related deaths to 32,425. Recoveries now stand at 947919 with a recovery rate of 79,5%.

‘ANC weakened by corruption, controversies involving leaders’ – Ramaphosa

ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: ANC/Twitter

Conceding that corruption and controversies involving African National Congress (ANC) leaders weakened the governing party, President Cyril Ramaphosa on Friday said internal party problems widened the social distance between the ANC and the people.

Addressing the virtual ANC’s January 8 Statement from party headquarters Luthuli House, flanked by members of the ANC top six, Ramaphosa warned that unless ANC challenges were resolved, they were bound to have “the effect of rendering our society rudderless, at a time when firm and principled leadership is required”.

Ramaphosa cautioned that here was a danger of internal conflicts “consuming us and detracting from the very real work we need to do to unite and transform our society”.

SA dropped the ball in preparing for second wave, says South African Medical Association

A woman selling clothes along a busy street in Olievenhoutbosch can be seen wearing a mask to prevent contracting Covid-19, 21 Agust 2020. Picture: Jacques Nelles

The South African Medical Association (SAMA) has said despite prior warnings and expectation of the Covid-19 infection second wave which is currently gripping the country, not much preparation was done to prepare for it.

The association’s Dr Akhtar Hussain said there was enough time to prepare for the second wave, adding that when it hit the province of KwaZulu-Natal, within a few days both the private and public sectors were struggling to deal with the disease, with multiple healthcare workers and paramedics in the province testing positive.

“Where is the readiness?” Hussain questioned.

Hussain raised concern that the private sector was more focused with being profit-driven, instead of battling the scourge of Covid-19.

Though space was created in public sector hospitals during the December period and the ban on the sale of alcohol saw a reduction in the number of trauma cases, these spaces were not equipped for Covid-19 patients, Hussain said.

Eskom suspends load shedding ahead of weekend as demand drops

File Image: iStock

Eskom announced on Friday that it will suspend load shedding as demand declined ahead of the weekend.

This after the power utility had implemented stage 2 load shedding between 10pm and 5am on Wednesday and Thursday.

Though load shedding has been suspended because the demand for electricity has dropped, Eskom still requested that South Africans continue use electricity sparingly as the system remained vulnerable.

Home Affairs seeks public comments over new ID management draft policy

A home affairs building. For illustration purposes. Picture: Ashraf Hendricks

In keeping up with government’s so-called fourth industrial revolution (4IR) endeavours, the Department of Home Affairs is building a digital national identity system (NIS), which it says will be inclusive, secure, accurate, confidential and responsive.

This has prompted the department to draft the Official Identity Management Policy, which is open for public comment until 28 February.

Department spokesperson Siya Qoza said interested parties could submit their written comments to oimpolicy@dha.gov.za

In the draft policy, the department said it was important to modernise its identity management system because continuing to rely on a manual one “poses a serious risk to the accuracy of the population register”.

AfriForum, Solidarity to challenge state’s ‘monopoly’ on Covid-19 vaccine distribution

Photo for illustration. Picture: Jack Guez/AFP

AfriForum and Solidarity have announced that they are preparing a case to challenge government’s proposed monopoly on the buying and distribution of Covid-19 vaccines.

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said on Thursday that the first batch of one million AstraZeneca vaccine vials would arrive in the country in January, with the second batch of 500,000 coming in February.

Mkhize explained that vaccines for healthcare workers would be outsourced and distributed through a central distributor, to both the private and public health sectors.

This includes hospitals, vaccination centres, pharmacies, mobile clinics, occupational health sites, outreach teams and other public and private sector sites.

But the two organisations want to ensure that those who seek to get the vaccine are not obstructed from doing so by government mismanagement or corruption.

Khayelitsha community network ‘refuses to be bullied’ after Sisulu altercation

Lindiwe Sisulu. Picture: Chantall Presence/ANA

The Khayelitsha Community Action Network (CAN) says it refuses to be bullied by politicians following an altercation involving one of its members and Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu earlier this week.

EyeWitness News reported that Sisulu had confirmed that she would be opening a case against Cape Town housing activist Nkosikhona Swartbooi following an altercation between the two over building materials that went viral on social media.

But on Friday, when News24 contacted Sisulu’s spokesperson Steven Motale about the minister’s intentions to open a case, he said: “The minister considers the matter closed and is focused on assisting distressed residents of Masiphumelele and Taiwan informal settlements whose homes were destroyed by fires.”

The altercation between Swartbooi and Sisulu happened during the minister’s visit to the fire-ravaged Taiwan informal settlement.

The video Swartbooi took was posted on Twitter on Monday.

Applications for new temporary Sassa grants now open

Picture: Moneyweb

Applications for temporary South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) disability and care dependency grants opened this week, with beneficiaries making their way to local offices to apply as grants lapsed on 31 December.

Temporary disability grant beneficiaries, who felt that their medical condition still prevented them from working, were advised to visit their nearest Sassa office from 5 January 2021 to reapply.

“It must be understood that this is not a review process, but a new application, as temporary disability grants are awarded for a specific period only.”

Sassa said last year that caregivers of children whose care dependency grants would have lapsed on 31 December were also requested to visit Sassa local offices from 5 January 2021 to apply for disability grants for the young adults.

They are not required to bring the children to the Sassa offices, but should complete the application process as proxy for them.

Chiefs, Sundowns Caf Champions League opponents revealed

Manqoba Mngqithi, co-coach of Mamelodi Sundowns instructs Thapelo Morena and Lebogang Maboe (Gavin Barker/BackpagePix)

Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns have avoided defending champions Al Ahly in the Caf Champions League draw.

The Caf Champions League group draw made in Cairo on Friday afternoon.

Amakhosi, who have qualified for the group stage for the first time, were drawn in Group C alongside Wydad Athletic Club of Morocco, Guinea’s Horoya and Atletico Petroleos (Petro Atletico) of Angola.

The Brazilians are in Group B with DR Congo giants TP Mazembe, Al Hilal of Sudan and CR Belouizdad of Algeria.

Baartman and Dupavillon given a chance to impress in Proteas Test squad

Ottneil Baartman

Ottneil Baartman in action for the Dolphins. Picture: Gallo Images

In his franchise career of just 14 matches, Ottneil Baartman’s 36 wickets have been priced at 32.33 runs apiece and this season, following his move from the Knights to the Dolphins, he has taken only seven wickets in four matches at the expensive average of 45.57.

They are hardly figures that suggest he should be called up for a Test debut, but on Friday the 27-year-old paceman was named in the Proteas squad for the upcoming two-match series in Pakistan.

The reason for Baartman’s selection is linked to South Africa’s quest for the next Vernon Philander or at least someone who can fulfil the same role as the great Cape Cobras seamer.

Springbok loose forward Du Preez handed three-match ban

Dan du Preez

Dan du Preez will be cleared to play again later this month. Picture: Gallo Images

Sale Sharks loose forward Dan du Preez has been suspended for three weeks for reckless play after he was cited following last weekend’s 22-19 win at Gloucester in the Premiership.

The Springbok appeared before an online independent disciplinary panel on Wednesday.

Du Preez was cited for striking with the shoulder, which is contrary to World Rugby law 9.12, or in the alternate, reckless or dangerous play, contrary to World Rugby law 9.11.

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