Citizen Reporter
4 minute read
27 Nov 2021
5:31 am

Daily news update: Ramaphosa to chair NCCC meeting today, new variant named Omicron and the Summer Cup

Citizen Reporter

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.

President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS

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Scrapped or not, South Africans will pay for e-tolls, says Fikile Mbalula

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula says Finance Minister Enoch Godogwana will make an announcement on the future of e-tolls during his Budget Speech in February.

“The announcement that will be made in the February budget will be a Cabinet decision by the minister of finance. So there’ll be delays with regard to this and delays are informed partly because the decision we’ve got to make has financial implications,” said Mbalula on Friday, while discussing the state of South Africa’s transport system.

NCCC meeting brought forward to Saturday

The National Coronavirus Command Council meeting which was earlier announced as scheduled for Sunday, 28 November 2021, has been brought forward to Saturday, 27 November 2021, the Presidency has announced.

The Council will assess developments in the Covid-19 pandemic, including scientific updates around the newly detected coronavirus variant, which has been named Omicron by the World Health Organisation.

“The outcomes of this meeting will give direction as to whether further consultation is required at the level of the President’s Coordinating Council (PCC).”

WHO names new variant Omicron and classifies it as a variant of concern

WHO names new variant Omicron and classifies it as a variant of concern
Picture for illustration: iStock

The World Health Organization (WHO) has assigned the Greek letter Omicron to the newly identified Covid-19 variant and has classified it has a variant of concern.

The B.1.1.529 variant, with at least 10 mutations, was first reported to WHO from South Africa on 24 November 2021, with the first known confirmed B.1.1.529 infection from a specimen collected on 9 November 2021.

According to the WHO, preliminary evidence suggests an increased risk of reinfection with this variant, as compared to other variants of concern.

Dirco says UK govt rushed decision to place SA on its red list

Dirco on UK travel red list
Minister of International Relations and Coorperation Naledi Pandor. Picture: Gallo Images/Sydney Seshibedi

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) has criticised the UK government’s decision to return South Africa to its travel red list again, due to the detection of the new B.1.1.529 Covid-19 variant.

Dirco on Friday said while South Africa respected the right of all countries to take the necessary precautionary measures to protect their citizens, the UK government’s decision seemed to be rushed as the World Health Organization (WHO) was yet to advise on the next steps.

Minister Naledi Pandor raised concerns about the impact of the latest travel ban on South Africa’s recovering tourism industry, almost two months after its removal from the UK red list.

Summer Cup: Meet all the runners

Summer Cup runners
War of Athena and jockey Muzi Yeni will be in action in the Summer Cup at Turffontein on Saturday. Picture: Lee Warren/Gallo Images

The suspense and excitement of Cup Day will play out at Turffontein on Saturday and the 2021 edition of Joburg’s greatest horseracing event has virtually every ingredient fans of the sport adore.

The Summer Cup, presented by World Sports Betting again this year, has the leading role in a production that contains five other feature events and comprises 10 races in all.

Here, get the real inside track on all the runners in the Gauteng Summer Cup.

Cape Town’s Paarl-Bellville route closure extended after renewed taxi violence

Small victory for Vaal taxi violence after ceasefire agreement reached
Taxis parked in Pretoria on 18 November 2020. Picture for illustration: Gallo Images/Lefty Shivambu

Western Cape transport MEC Daylin Mitchell on Thursday announced that the B97 minibus taxi route between Mbekweni in Paarl and Bellville will remain closed for another three months.

Earlier this year in July, route B97 was closed after renewed taxi violence between operators affiliated to the Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (Cata) and the Congress of Democratic Taxi Associations (Codeta). The two taxi associations have been at war over control of the lucrative route in Cape Town between Paarl and Bellville.

Mitchell said the extended closure of the route would take effect from Friday.

Mama Joy leaves Pirates to become ‘Her Majesty’ at MaMkhize’s club

Mama Joy Chauke - Orlando Pirates - Royal AM
Mama Joy Chauke has pledged her allegiance to Royal AM.

By the time football fans are allowed back to the stadium in the DStv Premiership, Orlando Stadium will be quite different without the presence of super-fan Mama Joy Chauke, after she announced her departure from the club.

ALSO READ: Pirates’ scoring prowess finally pleases Davids

Transfer of coaches, players and administrators in football around the globe are something usual, but for a fan to switch their allegiance to their club isquite shocking, especially for a staunch supporter like Mama Joy, who, when she could, attended almost every Pirates game all over the country.