Photo: Flickr / GCIS
Photo: Flickr / GCIS
Stay informed and up to date with all the latest news in South Africa by reviewing the day’s major headlines on Friday 11 September.
As South Africa waits for word on a possible move to Level 1 lockdown, following hints from both President Cyril Ramaphosa and Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, Eskom successfully completes repairs to a damaged conveyor belt at the embattled Medupi power station.
Cabinet has reported back on a virtual meeting held earlier this week where issues of COVID-19, gender-based violence and the contentious Clicks saga were all discussed. Government has resolved to extend the National State of Disaster for another month, with regulations of Disaster Management Act likely to govern some stage of lockdown until 15 October.
The latest resolution comes amid talk of an imminent move to Level 1 lockdown. Health Minister Mkhize, who has been at the forefront of South Africa’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, recently confirmed that government was discussing a move to a more relaxed level of lockdown in light of the country’s dwindling caseload. Mkhize said:
“We can safely say we are over the surge. The president will give us a sense of direction, but we will be preparing to start easing to the next level.”
During a recent question and answer session with the South African National Editors’ Forum, President Ramaphosa revealed that said that the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) would convene in the coming days and deliberate proposals tabled by the Medical Advisory Committee and other stakeholders.
Alert Level 1 allows for “most normal activity” to resume and is likely to see a suspension of the curfew and some travel restrictions.
Clicks Group has reached an agreement with the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) which has led to the immediate suspension of protest action which has severely disrupted the retailer’s operations this week. A Clicks delegation, led by CEO Vikesh Ramsunder, led with EFF leadership, including Commander-in-Chief Julius Malema, on Thursday afternoon.
Following the public outcry, and national shutdown of Clicks stores — which was marred by isolated incidents of violence, arson and vandalism — Ramsunder reiterated his apology to the EFF, South Africa and black women in particular. Furthermore, Clicks agreed to withdraw all TRESemmé products from its shelves.
Additionally, Clicks agreed to donate a minimum of 50 000 sanitary towels (pads), 50 000 sanitisers, and masks to rural and informal settlements and will award a scholarship to five students to pursue pharmaceutical qualifications in the next academic year. All five students selected must be black, rural, African, female, and orphaned by HIV and Aids.
Retail giants Makro, Dis-Chem, Checkers and Pick n Pay have also removed TRESemmé products from their shelves following a racially insensitive ad campaign which defined African hair as damaged and dry.
South Africa’s embattled power utility, Eskom, has managed to conduct swift repairs on a damaged conveyor belt at the troubled Medupi station, thereby averting another bout of load shedding. According to the utility, the belt which feeds coal into Medupi’s generation units failed on Thursday morning, just hours after Eskom had announced that it had ‘significantly improved’ its capacity.
While the belt failure siphoned valuable megawatts from the grid and threatened to plunge South Africa back into darkness, Eskom confirmed, on Thursday evening, that repairs had been successfully carried out. The risk of load shedding remains low over the next 48-hours; still Eskom has urged South Africans to use electricity wisely.
Cabinet has been briefed on the progress made by the consultative task team on the transformation of the country’s heritage landscape.
The team, led by the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, was to reflect on the current heritage landscape and how Cabinet responds to the historical and critical values of the Constitution.
This is according to a statement by the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) issued following this week’s Cabinet meeting.
“The team makes recommendations of the statues/monuments that should espouse the founding values of the new democratic South Africa.
“It proposes the relocation of some of the historical statues to the theme parks that will be located across the country.”
The statement said a full audit of all the statues, symbols and monuments will be done and the outcome thereof will guide the identification of the proposed cultural nation-building parks.
“Cabinet endorses this process, which will contribute towards nation-building and ensure public spaces reflect the constitutional values of a post-colonial and post-apartheid democratic order.
“The cultural nation building parks will relocate all the historical details that depict colonialism and apartheid artefacts for future generations,” it said.
September is Heritage Month and this year it is being commemorated under the theme ‘Celebrating South Africa’s Living Human Treasures. (Source: SAnews)
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