Another week kicks off and The South African has you covered for all the latest news in South Africa on Monday 20 July. Take a look at some of the day’s big stories right here.
Restaurants and other sectors worst affected by the lockdown laws currently in place are set to turn up the volume on calls for relief, and the ban on the sale of cigarettes will yet again make headlines as judges at the Pretoria High Court continue to review their decision to side with government and keep the ban in effect.
The debate surrounding the possible closure of schools for the second time during the nationwide lockdown remains ongoing, with Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga having said on Friday 17 July that the decision will now rest with cabinet after she met with various stakeholders earlier in the week.
With rising cases of COVID-19 causing anxiety for parents, teachers and everyone involved in the schooling sector, big decisions are expected.
The Fair Trade Independent Tobacco (Fita) returned to the virtual courtroom on Wednesday 15 July to argue for leave to appeal the ruling by the Pretoria High Court that the nationwide ban on the sale of cigarettes should remain in place, as per the argument provided by government.
Fita attorneys argued that the data that informed government’s decision is untested and inconclusive, and cited the hundreds of thousands of job losses that are likely to result from the ban as reason for the decision to be reviewed. The full bench of judges who presided over the matter indicated that their decision is likely to be announced this week.
With the desperate pleas of South African restauranteers for restrictions to be relaxed falling on deaf ears, members of the embattled industry, which has been dealt severe blows by the decision to reimpose curfews and the ban on the sale of alcohol, are set to launch a full scale resistance in coming days.
A mass protest is scheduled for Wednesday 22 July is scheduled, and more fight back is expected to emerge from legal organisations representing the various restaurant associations.
With COVID-19 cases surging in South Africa, bringing the country to a concerning global rank in terms of reported cases, Provincial MECs and health departments are scrambling to ensure that hospitals are able to cope with the influx of patients.
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize begged for South Africans to focus on the task at hand on the weekend and continue implementing necessary social distancing and health precautions, and we can look forward to updates from some of the country’s worst hit metros on Monday.
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