President Cyril Ramaphosa
Image source: GCIS
President Cyril Ramaphosa
Image source: GCIS
Are you keeping up with the latest news stories and headlines in South Africa? We’ve got the news you really need to know on Thursday 12 August 2021.
President Cyril Ramaphosa was the centre of attention of the State Capture Inquiry on Wednesday, revealing that he almost resigned as Jacob Zuma’s deputy. Some observers thought that a piece of useless information, Ramaphosa went on to explain that resigning would have been counterproductive to achieving social and economic transformation.
Ramaphosa will continue his testimony on Thursday 12 August.
Ramaphosa gave his testimony at the commission on Wednesday, 11 August 2021, his capacity as the country’s president and deputy president.
In December 2015, Zuma decided to give Nene the axe, replacing him with Des van Rooyen, who became known as the “weekend special” because he only served in the portfolio for four days. Unhappy by the decision, he then informed the African National Congress (ANC) deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte that he would be stepping down as Zuma’s second-in-command.
Looks like former Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has been handling unemployment rather well. Since asking President Cyril Ramaphosa to excuse him from his duties at National Treasury, Mboweni has been wining and dining with other fellow politicians. He has since been replaced by Enoch Godongwana, the chairperson of the Development Bank of Southern Africa, and head of the ANC’s economic transformation committee.
His latest lunch guest was disgraced ANC MP and former State Security Minister Bongani Bongo, whom he caught up with in Limpopo just recently.
“Spent a beautiful afternoon at Monya’s Restaurant with Adv Bongo in Tzaneen. Great conversation. I have always liked this young comrade,” he captioned a Tweet with several pics of the two of them.
Bicycles may be restricted on the Sea Point Promenade in Cape Town but not to worry, nothing has been set in stone as yet. The proposal is still up for discussion, and more importantly, public participation but why the need to restrict them? Ward Councillor for Ward 54 (Sea Point, Camps Bay and Clifton), Nicola Jowell, explained this.
Jowell said it was decided in 2013 to allow bicycles, e-bikes, skateboards etc to make use of the Sea Point Promenade. While the decision was well-received, Jowell said there has been an increase in the number of users over the last eight years. In some cases, the speeds of these devices have also increased, causing crashes between pedestrians and users, which has resulted in injury.
On 5 August 2021, a report with recommendations about the recreational use of the Sea Point Promenade served before the City’s Portfolio Committee on Transport. The Portfolio Committee on Transport referred the report back to the local Subcouncil for further investigation and discussion, and importantly: public participation.
A recent report from the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Development Policy Research Unit has revealed that in quarter four of 2018, 46.6% of all minimum wage earners received below the national minimum wage in their sector, with numbers well above that in some major industries.
Although implementing a minimum wage is seen as contributing to reducing poverty and inequality in South Africa, Associate Professor Ines Meyer of UCT’s School of Management Studies believes a different approach is necessary.
The main focus of Meyer’s research has been on the effect that paying employees a living wage – rather than minimum wage – can have on individuals and their lives, and how best to determine what amount constitutes a living wage.
“Minimum wage and a living wage are very different. Minimum wages are merely meant to enable people to survive but people earning minimum wages tend to continue living in poverty. The idea behind a living wage is that work for pay should allow people to live decent lives,” she explained.
South Africa recorded a little more than 7500 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, 11 August, according to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD). The 39 639 tests done over the past 24 hours represent a positivity rate of 18.9%, slightly up from yesterday’s 18.8%. KwaZulu-Natal leapfrogged the Western Cape and was the province with the most new daily cases on the day.
The 7502 new COVID-19 cases detected in South Africa on Wednesday brings the total number of active cases in the country to 140 875. For comparison, the NICD reported 151 758 active cases on Tuesday. A further 573 people died of COVID-19-related complications, according to the Institute, bringing the death toll to 75 774.
A further 459 people were admitted to public and private hospitals across the country within the past 24 hours. There are currently 14 743 people admitted for COVID-19 treatment
Travelling to the UK is set to become harder for South Africans with increased quarantine costs. South Africa is currently on the “red list” for countries entering England with a petition being started to remove South Africa from the list.
Since the UK introduced its COVID-19 risk assessment traffic light system, South Africa has been categorised as a high-risk country, therefore placing the country on the red list.
Being on the UK’s red list means that the only people allowed entry into the UK, are British or Irish nationals or people who have residential rights in the UK.
According to Business Tech, the current travel restrictions mean that if you have been in a country or territory on the red list in the previous 10 days, you have to undergo a mandatory 10-day quarantine.
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