South Africa: Today’s latest n

roland schoeman fikile mbalula

South Africa: Today’s latest news and headlines, Tuesday 3 August 2021

In the latest news in South Africa on Tuesday 3 August 2021, Fikile Mbalula felt a backlash when he tried to critique SA’s Olympic journey.

South Africa: Today’s latest n

roland schoeman fikile mbalula

We’ve got the latest news stories and headlines in South Africa on Tuseday 3 August 2021 to keep you informed.

Fikile Mbalula, former Minister of Sport and current Minister of Transport was told to stay in his lane after he tried to offer a critique of South Africa’s Olympic performance thus far. It didn’t go down well in many quarters, as one by one, users of Twitter pointed out the obvious; that being a former sports minister, blame must also rest with him for not doing enough.

One of those who called out Mbaks’ performance as sports minister, was none other than Olympic gold medallist swimmer Roland Schoeman, who said he and fellow athletes had to beg for money to remain competitive. Minister Mbalula tried to recover by claiming he “was a champion”, but social media was having none of it.


Roland Schoeman slams Mbalula ahead of ‘cabinet reshuffle

When he was Minister of Sport, Fikile Mbalula – now Minister of Transport – dubbed himself “Mr Fear Fokal” as he rallied the likes of the Springboks ahead of their tour to the New Zealand World Cup. 

A stint in charge of South Africa’s police Ministry came next, but Mbalula still thinks that he could have done a better job at ensuring that the current crop of Team SA Olympic Athletes return with gold medals. 

Mbalula was lambasted by the South African public on Sunday when he posted the following tweet in which he criticised government’s efforts to assist the country’s most elite athletes:

“We as government we must invest more money for sport development,” he said. “We want non-racial teams, we want medals at Olympics, yet sport is not getting much financial support our kids and nation as a whole want heroes and role models but we don’t unearth them and support.”

Former Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer Roland Schoeman joined the public in rubbishing Mbalula’s claims that he championed any kind of success through his efforts as Sports Minister, saying that when he was part of the country’s sporting fraternity, he and administrators had to “beg” Mbalula’s department for funding. 

“I don’t remember [you being a champion]. We had to beg for money,” he said. 

Schoeman then said that should President Cyril Ramaphosa go ahead with speculated plans to perform a cabinet reshuffle, he’d like to nominate himself for the position of Sports Minister. 

Schools will allow mask breaks – due to fears of ‘carbon dioxide retention’

South African school pupils are likely to be given mask breaks ‘of up to 15 minutes’ when full-time teaching resumes in primary institutions this week. That’s because the Ministerial Advisory Committee has expressed concerns about the impact of ‘carbon dioxide retention’ for younger people wearing face coverings.

As Times Live report, the mask break ‘entails going outdoors, removing face coverings, and breathing freely for a short period of time’. The MAC recommends that this takes place every two hours or so.

In April this year, a study from the BMC Institute for Infectious Diseases found that there are ‘significant concentrations of carbon dioxide’ in routinely used face masks. However, it must be stressed that these levels are acceptable for ‘short-term use’. The paper also concludes that ‘debate remains’ over just how high these CO2 numbers really are.

Zikalala condemns racial ‘hate speech’ in viral video

KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala has condemned a video inciting racial violence that has been circulated widely on social media and has called on citizens to work together to build peace and unity. 

Jackie Shandu, a former Economic Freedom Fighter and now the convenor of the Justice for Phoenix Massacre Victims, told The South African that he had unequivocally retracted the video after he spoke out in a “fit of rage”. He said he had been visiting the family of victims who had been killed in Phoenix during the unrest and that he had shouted “One Settler, One Bullet” and “One Indian, One Bullet” after handing a memorandum of demands to eThekwini Municipality management on Thursday. He also circulated a second video on social media in which he retracted the remarks.

“I was caught in a fit of rage because the issue we are dealing with is really hurtful and traumatising, especially when you have been spending time with families of the victims and hearing how they have been killed. In that video I made an unconditional retraction. The remark is unfortunate and I retract it,” he said.

SASSA: Bank to roll out mobile ATMs to help with cash needs

FNB is rolling mobile ATMs to KwaZulu-Natal communities, starting in Dalton and Harding, while other units will soon be set up in Jozini and Richmond to help SASSA grant recipients and other customers with their cash needs, the bank announced on Monday.

FNB is also deploying mobile ATMs to Vosloorus, Sebokeng, Diepkloof and Orange Farm in Gauteng. 

FNB Points of Presence CEO  Lee-Anne van Zyl said that more than 90% of the bank’s ATMs  are currently available around the country. However, she said that in areas impacted by the unrest, some of the infrastructure may still take some time to repair.

Van Zyl said the bank had partnered with the banking industry, communities and local government structures to expedite its plans for alternative mobile solutions in these affected areas. This will enable SASSA grant recipients to access their money in local communities.

 “Our immediate plans have focused on mobile ATMs to help communities and SASSA grant recipients with cash needs, and we are simultaneously working to deploy mobile branches in a matter of days. In line with the earlier industry commitment announced by BASA (Banking Association of South Africa), we’re also working with other banks to ensure that customers can use any bank’s ATMs without incurring Saswitch fees,” she said.

Uh oh: SABC ‘distances’ itself from a Twitter blunder

Someone at the SABC News’ digital team is probably shaking in their boots, after unwittingly posting a tweet from the public broadcaster’s Twitter account.

By all indications, the person in question most likely forgot to log out from the account.

Here’s what happened: Former radio host Redi Tlhabi posted a tweet, responding to another tweet, which showed the flow of funds from the lucrative R150 million Digital Vibes contract and further implicating the Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize.

“In the middle of a flippen pandemic. Greedy, immoral thugs,” Tlhabi wrote.

“I honestly thought he was one of the good ones. ARE there any good ones…,” another Twitter user by the name of Nicola Vaughan posted, in response.

That’s when the unlucky SABC News staffer tweeted back, “A good politician!?! Do you know what oxymoron means?,” prompting a chain of reactions from fellow Twitter users, including one who asked the broadcaster’s editor Sophie Mokoena whether she was the one behind the social media blunder. The tweet has since been deleted.

COVID-19: SA ‘not out of the woods yet,’ warns expert

While the third wave of COVID-19 infections may arguably be over, a health expert has however warned that the country is not yet on the mend as positivity rates in several provinces are still worryingly high.

There is particular concern over the Western Cape as it is now the epicentre of the virus, due to a spike in cases, in just a matter of days.

“The Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal are still in an upward trajectory, whereas Gauteng has turned the curve and on a downward trajectory, but what we can expect to occur is that those numbers are going to remain stable, if not increase over the course of the next two to three weeks,” Wits University’s Professor Shabir Madhi said in an interview with eNCA.


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