Daily news update: Covid-19 stats, load shedding suspended and Proteas’ security concerns allayed

Mark Boucher (Head coach) and Quinton de Kock(C) during the South African national mens cricket team training session and press conference at Mangaung Oval on March 03, 2020 in Bloemfontein, South Africa. (Photo by Frikkie Kapp/Gallo Images)

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9,010 new cases takes to total 1,346,936

A nurse adjusts an oxygen bottle at Lenasia South Hospital in Johannesburg during a visit by MEC Bandile Masuku and Minister Zweli Mkize’s visit to the facility, 20 July 2020. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

As of Monday, 18 January 2021, the cumulative number of detected Covid-19 cases is 1,346,936 with 9,010 new cases identified, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has confirmed.

344 more Covid-19 related deaths were reported, with 66 from Eastern Cape, 11 from Free State, 63 from Gauteng, 91 from Kwa-Zulu Natal (KZN), 12 from Mpumalanga, 13 from Northern Cape and 88 from Western Cape.

This brings the total number of Covid-19 related deaths to 37,449.


Recoveries now stand at 1,117,452, representing a recovery rate of 83%.

Load shedding suspended as schedule changes create confusion

Picture: iStock

Power utility Eskom has announced that load shedding will be suspended as of 11pm tonight as generation capacity has improved.

“Over the past 24 hours Eskom teams have successfully returned two generation units each at Kusile, Kriel, and one at Tutuka Power Stations to service. Another two generation units are expected to return to service tomorrow while emergency generation reserves have also adequately recovered,” Eskom said in a statement on Monday afternoon.

Not out of the woods but promising signs of virus decline in SA, says Mkhize

Lenasia South Hospital being renovated in Johannesburg during MEC Bandile Masuku and Minister Zweli Mkhize visited Nasrec as part of monitoring state of readiness as COVID-19 cases increase in Gauteng and to support staff working during pandemic, 20 July 2020. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has revealed that South Africa has seen some promising signs of decline in Covid-19 transmissions. As of Sunday, the country has seen a 23% decrease in cases compared to the previous seven days.

Making his opening remarks during a panel discussion on Monday evening, Mkhize said the reduction was contributed to a number of elements, including the amended lockdown level 3 regulations, the wearing of masks, social distancing, hand washing and sanitising.

DA gives Ramaphosa 7 days to give full vaccination plan… or else

John Steenhuisen

DA leader John Steenhuisen. Picture: Gallo Images/Sowetan/Veli Nhlapo

The Democratic Alliance (DA) said on Monday its lawyers will be sending a letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa asking for full details of the vaccine procurement and rollout strategy.

Party leader John Steenhuisen said they will give the President exactly seven days to reply to the letter on how the government intends to manage the vaccination programme. Failure to respond will result in the party taking the government to court.

‘Choose your battles wisely’ Shivambu warns Mashaba after complaint against Malema

EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu outside the Joburg Council after the vote for Joburg Mayor was postponed. Picture: Michel Bega

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) deputy president Floyd Shivambu has warned Action SA leader Herman Mashaba to stay clear of the red berets and choose his battles wisely.

This after Mashaba announced that he had laid a formal complaint against EFF leader Julius Malema “for his public encouragement of illegal immigration” last week.

More Covid-19 waves may follow, warns Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers an eulogy at the state funeral of Struggle stalwart Andrew Mlangeni, Johannesburg, 29 July 2020. Picture: GCIS

Public finances are under extreme strain and the second wave of the novel Coronavirus may be followed by further waves, President Cyril Ramaphosa has warned.

The President penned his first letter to the public for 2021, entitled From the Desk of the President, on Monday.

NPA withdraws baby formula case, couple to file a civil claim against cops

AfriForum’s head of policy and action Ernst Roets and legal representative Daniël Eloff. PICTURE: AfriForum

The case against a Centurion father who was arrested for breaking curfew to buy baby formula has been withdrawn by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

According to the organisation’s Gerrie Nel, the mother and her baby were discharged from hospital on Thursday, 7 January. The next day, they realised the baby was restless and had difficulty breastfeeding.

Temporary disability grant applicants sleeping outside Sassa offices in Bellville

Taylin Andreas from Ravensmead said she spent two nights outside the office with her 17-month-old child. Picture: Ashraf Hendricks

Many of the applicants used to go to community halls near where they live for the administrative processes, but these were closed due to Covid-19 regulations, and applicants have congregated at their nearest Sassa office to get back into the system instead.

The people sleeping opposite the office hailed from suburbs that included Elsies River, Bishop Lavis, Delft, and Uitsig.

It’s each university for itself with different academic plans in the tertiary sector

Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande, 26 August 2020. Picture: GCIS

Higher Education, Science, and Innovation Minister, Dr Blade Nzimande on Monday said while many had completed the formal teaching programmes for the 2020 academic year, some were still finishing their academic programmes and providing catch-up opportunities to students.

Funeral parlours appeal for weekend shifts at Home Affairs as Covid-19 deaths surge

Sello Headbush, the owner of a Funeral Parlour adjusts Venetian blinds, inside the showroom where coffins are on display in Port Elizabeth on July 11, 2020. – “People were not taking this seriously” said the owner of the family run business, as numbers in South Africa of COVID-19 related deaths soars. Photo by MARCO LONGARI / AFP (This picture is for illustrative purposes only.)

The funeral industry in South Africa has appealed to the Department of Home Affairs to extend working hours, including working over weekends, as it struggles to cope with high mortality numbers related to Covid-19.

The second wave of the pandemic has hit the industry hard as it runs short of coffin supplies and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

BEMAWU joins CWU in protest to Union Building over SABC retrenchments

General views of the SABC building in Auckland Park, Johannesburg, on 18 November 2020. Picture: Michel Bega

The Broadcasting, Electronic, Media and Allied Workers Union (Bemawu) said its members will join its sister union in a march to the Union Buildings on Wednesday.

This came after the Communication Workers Union (CWU) served the SABC with a notice to resume their strike action as the public broadcaster forges ahead with retrenchments.

Schools that open for physical classes ‘defiant of the state’ – Lesufi

Gauteng MEC for Education Panyaza Lesufi. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said that any school that is operating in Gauteng, whether private, independent, or public, will be defiant of the state in doing so.

Lesufi said on Monday that any school that is opened under the amended lockdown level 3 regulations will be “persuaded” otherwise, but should they fail to be persuaded the state would be forced to act accordingly.

Numsa protesting nationwide to demand that ‘retrenched’ workers be reinstated

NUMSA demonstrates at MPact in Pinetown last year. Image: Twitter

The National Union of Metalworkers (Numsa) will be embarking on a nationwide protest against steel manufacturing giant Macsteel, following the alleged retrenchment of 99 workers. 

Macsteel has branches in Port Elizabeth, the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and Mpumalanga. Numsa members said they would be picketing at “various offices and workplaces nationally” from Monday morning. 

Chiefs set to offer Siphelele Ntshangase new deal

Siphelele Ntshangase of Kaizer Chiefs (Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix)

Word has it that Kaizer Chiefs could once again hand Siphelele Ntshangase a one-year contract extension even though he has not played much since joining the club a couple of years ago.

Ntshangase, who is highly rated by the Amakhosi faithful, was largely ignored by former head coach Ernst Middendorp who accused the player of laziness and always passing the ball when unnecessary.


Security concerns allayed, it’s Pakistan’s spinners who have Proteas in a tizz

Quinton de Kock

Proteas captain Quinton de Kock in action during the recent Test series against Sri Lanka. Picture: Gallo Images

Proteas captain Quinton de Kock said on Monday that all his team’s security concerns about being in Pakistan have been allayed, but given their location on the sub-continent, they are still anxious about whether they will be playing on pitches that will massively favour spin.

Erasmus full of praise for Currie Cup teams in ‘challenging 2020 season’

South Africa head coach Rassie Erasmus, 27 September 2019. Picture: EPA-EFE / MARK R. CRISTINO

SA Rugby Director of Rugby, Rassie Erasmus, on Monday congratulated the four Carling Currie Cup semi-finalists and praised all the participating sides for their perseverance in what has been a challenging 2020 season.

Erasmus also lauded competition sponsors, Carling Black Label, for their unwavering support as a partner during one of the most trying seasons in rugby’s history – both on and off the field – due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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