The Citizen
11 minute read
10 Feb 2021
5:05 am

Daily news update: Covid-19 stats, minimum wage increased and by-elections postponed

The Citizen

An easy-to-read selection of our top stories. Stay up to date with The Citizen – More News, Your Way.

Picture for illustration. Sealed IEC ballot boxes at a voting tent in Brackenfell, Western Cape on 8 May 2019. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency

As of Tuesday, 9 February 2021, the cumulative number of detected Covid-19 cases is 1,479,253 with 1,742 new cases identified, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has confirmed.

396 more Covid-19 related deaths were reported. This brings the total number of Covid-19 related deaths to 46,869.

Recoveries now stand at 1,367,247 representing a recovery rate of 92%. 

National Minimum Wage: Unhappiness about increase for farmworkers

The EFF’s labour desk has ramped up efforts to protect farm workers. Photo for illustration: iStock

The National Minimum Wage (NMW) Commission has stuck to its recommendation in November that the national minimum wage should increase by 1.5% over and above inflation, and decided that the national minimum wage will be R21,69 for each ordinary hour worked.

Minister of Labour and Employment, Thulas Nxesi, on Monday published the new minimum wage in the Government Gazette. The inflation rate stood on 3% in September last year and the commissioners said that the adjustment of 1.5% above inflation was compatible with previous collective bargaining outcomes.

Electoral Court postpones 10 more by-elections due to Level 3 restrictions

Community member from Riverlea casts vote.

Another 10 by-elections, scheduled to take place in March, have been postponed by the Electoral Court.

The Electoral Court authorised the postponement of by-elections due to adjusted Level 3 lockdown restrictions, which prohibit political activities, the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) said in a statement.

Scientists working on plan to vaccinate population in ‘shortest possible time’ – Ramaphosa

South Africa received its first batch of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine from India on 1 February 2021. Picture: GCIS

President Cyril Ramaphosa has revealed Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has instructed scientists to come up with a plan to vaccinate the population in the shortest possible time following delays caused by problems with the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine acquired from the Serum Institute of India.

Ramaphosa was speaking at an Eastern Cape provincial government executive committee lekgotla on Tuesday.

DBE releases official 2021 school calendar

Motheo Tshwagong writes her preliminary examination at Krugersdorp High School in Johannesburg, 17 September 2020. 2020 academic year with long school breaks posed by Covid-19. Exams for most provinces will end during the first week of October. Final examinations start on November 5 and run until December 15. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

The Department of Basic Education (DBE) has released the official 2021 school calendar, including term dates and public holidays.

The 2021 academic year has been shortened by 15 days. The year kicked off on an uncertain note for parents and learners when the dates for the reopening of schools were moved twice.

#RamaphosaHatesBlackPeople trends ahead of Sona 2021

President Cyril Ramaphosa can be seen on the steps of Parliament ahead of his 2020 State of The Nation Address, 13 February 2020, Cape Town. Picture: Jacques Nelles

South Africans have taken to social media to voice their frustration with the ruling ANC and President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa will deliver the 2021 State of the Nation Address (Sona) to the first ever hybrid joint sitting of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces on Thursday. Among other issues, South Africans were outraged by the difference in treatment of white people and black people.

‘More are on the way’ – Bushiri says God is not yet done with his enemies

Shepherd Bushiri in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court during a bail application on 2 November 2020. Picture: Jacques Nelles

Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) church leader Shepherd Bushiri says five more critics of his life and church are “on the way” to their comeuppance.

This after his critic and Back to Christ Movement leader Jay Israel was arrested last week. While reports allege Israel was found in possession of a fraudulent passport and permit, the Back to Christ Movement says it knows of a plot by three “specific individuals” who were exposed by Israel.

Some Gauteng doctors still waiting for January salaries

A Covid-19 patient waiting to be admitted at the field hospital by the entrance to Steve Biko Academic Hospital where Gauteng Premier David Makhura visited, 11 January 2020, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

Several doctors and medical support staff in Gauteng have not been paid their January Salaries.

According to the South African Medical Association Trade Union’s (Samatu) data, 48 medical interns, 14 community service doctors and several doctors under Covid-19 contracts have not been paid in Gauteng. These figures were only based on the number of complaints it had received.

Ramaphosa’s Sona 2021 will not provide any solutions for SA’s ills, says Mashaba

Herman Mashaba together with DA leader Mmusi Maimane address the media at a press conference at the Johannesburg city council, 21 October 2019. Herman Mashaba announced his resignation, effective on November 27. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark.

ActionSA president Herman Mashaba has written to the leaders of different opposition parties to propose a multi-party platform to unseat the ANC in the coming local government elections.

This was revealed by Mashaba on Tuesday as he delivered his party’s vision ahead of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Thursday. Mashaba said the solutions for problems faced by the country presently were not going to come out of Ramaphosa’s address on Thursday.

Gauteng municipalities in ICU as MEC Maile ‘does nothing’

Gauteng MEC for Human Settlements, Urban Planning and Cogta, Lebogang Maile, centre, briefs media at Ghallager Estate in Johannesburg, 23 January 2019, on suspensions of Tshwane speaker Katlego Mathebe and former Johannesburg speaker Vasco da Gama. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

Gauteng’s municipalities continue to flounder under poor leadership, lax financial controls and a lack of oversight, says the Democratic Alliance (DA).

This follows the tabling of 2019-2020 annual report for the provincial department cooperative governance and traditional affairs in the legislature on Tuesday morning.

Gauteng records 320 new trauma cases since booze ban lift

Picture: iStock.

The alcohol-related incidents fuelling trauma ward cases debate is back in full force.

This as the Gauteng health department has now recorded 320 new trauma cases since the ban on the sale of alcoholic beverages was lifted on 2 February. On 1 February the number of cumulative cases stood at 180 for the province.

‘This finding is wrong’ – Ingonyama Trust Board disputes AG’s qualified audit opinion

King Goodwill Zwelithini addresses thousands of his subjects at an imbizo in Ulundi, 4 July 2018. The king called the imbizo to address the issue of communal land held under the Ingonyama Trust. Picture: ANA

The Ingonyama Trust Board (ITB) obtained a qualified audit opinion after the Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA) found it did not disclose the full extent of its irregular expenditure.

“We are saying this finding is wrong,” ITB chairperson Jerome Ngwenya told the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development. The ITB disclosed R943,824 as irregular expenditure in the annual financial statements submitted to AGSA for audit purposes.

RFA calls for Aarto scrapping following suspension of traffic agency’s CEO

Photo for illustrative purposes. Twitter/@SANRAL_za

The Road Freight Association (RFA) says that it would be “reckless and irresponsible” for the government to forge ahead with the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto) Act, set to commence in July.

The comments come at the back of the suspension of the Road Traffic Infringement Agency’s (RTIA’s) chief executive officer (CEO), Japh Chuwe, amidst allegations of “serious maladministration” by the Auditor-General of SA.

Eskom to implement stage 2 load shedding

File Image: iStock

Eskom has announced it will implement stage 2 load shedding from 10pm on Tuesday until 5am on Wednesday in order to replenish emergency generation reserves

“This load shedding is necessary in order to preserve and replenish the emergency generation reserves and to maximise the capacity available during the daytime hours. The power generation system is still severely constrained due to high generation unit breakdowns during the past two days, as well as the delayed return to service of some units out on planned maintenance.”

Numsa and Sacca’s application over SAA settlement agreement dismissed

A South African Airways Airbus A320 lands on runway 03R at OR Tambo International Airport in Kempton Park, 22 September 2016. Picture: Neil McCartney

The urgent application brought by the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and the South African Cabin Crew Association (Sacca) to have the South African Airways (SAA) settlement agreement declared unlawful or unfair has been dismissed by the Labour Court.

Judge André van Niekerk’s decision has dealt a blow to Numsa and Sacca’s bid to compel the SAA business rescue practitioners and the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) to pay their members a lump sum comprising an agreed-to 5.9% increase backdated to April 2020, as well as an equivalent pro-rata contribution towards a 13th cheque.

Sluices stay closed as Vaal Dam reaches 100% capacity

Vaal Dam. Picture: Vaal Weekblad

Consistent, above-average rainfall has boded well for most provinces in South Africa, notably areas that do not receive much rainfall at this time of the year. 

In Gauteng, the results are tangible, with the Vaal Dam reaching 100% capacity for the first time since 2017. The dam currently sits at 101%, and was at 100% on Monday, the Department of Water and Sanitation’s spokesperson, Sputnik Ratau, said. 

It’s been a very busy 2021, says Rasta as he’s run out of paint

One of the murials Rasta did in 2016 that has been covered by grafiti in a park in Berea, Johannesburg, 8 October 2020. Picture: Jacques Nelles

It has been a busy year for artist Rasta (real name Lebani Sirenje) even though we’re just two months in 2021.

Rasta confided in his social media followers on Monday and told them he’s run out of paint, due to the number of portraits he’s had to complete in honour of our fallen public figures. So, Rasta is asking for donations.

‘Just post nudes and shut up’ – MacG lashes out at Thando Thabethe

Thando Thabethe 5fm

Thando Thabethe 5fm | Image: Twitter

MacGyver “MacG” Mukwevho and his co-host Sol Phenduka have come out guns blazing after they were dragged in the mud for transphobic comments made on Podcast and Chill with MacG

MacG did not hold back on the latest episode of his podcast, blasting celebrities such as Thando Thabethe, also known as Thabooty, and 947 media personality Mantsoe Pout, who had publicly condemned the transphobic comments.

Early-bird Pirates catch out City

Deon Hotto provided the assist for Gabadinho Mhango’s goal on Saturday. Picture: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix.

A flying start by Orlando Pirates was enough for them to see off Cape Town City 2-0 in the DStv Premiership at the Orlando Stadium on Tuesday.

It was a fine way to bounce back for the Buccaneers, who had lost their previous league game 2-0 to Golden Arrows last week, though they did also beat Uthongathi FC on Saturday to reach the last 16 of the Nedbank Cup.

New captain Klaasen keen to see Proteas youngsters grab their chance

Heinrich Klaasen. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Heinrich Klaasen not only has the challenge of leading South Africa on his first venture back on to the park since late November due to catching Covid, but also doing it with a Proteas T20 squad that is missing some major personnel.

The 29-year-old wicketkeeper/batsman has not played since the second T20 against England in Paarl on November 29, having tested positive for Covid shortly before the first ODI against the tourists, a series which was eventually cancelled. And Klaasen revealed just how badly he was affected by the coronavirus.

What next for SA rugby – the Franchise Cup, the Rainbow Cup, or no cup at all?

Arno Botha

Arno Botha of the Bulls celebrates with the Currie Cup trophy after the final against the Sharks. Picture: Gallo Images

The staging of the new Franchise Cup is currently posing a few challenges for the top local teams in the country.

A period of non-activity followed immediately after the final of the Currie Cup on January 30 between the Bulls and the Sharks – and now nobody knows when the next competition will take place, at one stage rumoured to be getting underway at the end of this month.

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.