Today’s latest news and headlines, Friday 29 May
Stay informed and up to date with the latest news in South Africa; check out the country’s biggest headlines on Friday 29 May.
With Level 3 lockdown regulations finally being ratified and gazetted by the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC), businesses hurry to ready operations in line with government’s risk-adjusted approach, which includes stringent health and safety protocols in the workplace. Good news for South African sports fans, as government permits non-contact disciplines behind closed doors.
TODAY’S LATEST NEWS IN SOUTH AFRICA, Friday 29 MAY
Level 3 lockdown: Official regulations revealed
After a series of delays, Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has finally gazetted the latest amendments to the Disaster Management Act relative to Level 3 lockdown. The relaxation of regulations, aimed at resuscitating the economy which has lain dormant for more than two months, will come into effect on Monday 1 June.
As chair of the NCCC, Dlamini-Zuma reiterated the President’s call for individual responsibility in flattening the curve further. Some of the major changes coming into effect on Monday include:
- The sale of alcohol (off-consumption permitted between Monday and Thursday, 09:00 and 17:00)
- Religious gatherings permitted (limited to 50 people)
- Limited domestic air travel (for business purposes only)
- Curfew and exercise limitations nullified
Although these regulations do allow for greater social freedoms and economic activity, some industries, classified as ‘high-risk’, have still been prohibited from operating during Level 3 lockdown. Additionally, the continued ban on tobacco products, which has been supported with vigour by Dlamini-Zuma, will be fought in court.
Last weekend to ready schools
South African schools have just a few days left to ready classrooms for the return of Grade 7 and 12 pupils on Monday. Worryingly, most provinces, outside of the Western Cape and Gauteng, have noted concerns with the education sector’s state of readiness.
A delay in personal protective equipment (PPE) deliveries, school vandalism and theft has harmed the Department of Basic Education’s back to school plan. Teachers unions have also noted serious concerns; calling on members to exercise extreme caution and not return to schools if the facilities have not been adequate prepared.
Amid rising anxieties among teachers, pupils and parents, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has reiterated the department’s commitment to safety. Motshekga added that parents had a right not to send their children to school but could not impede on other pupils’ right to education.
SANDF brutality under fire following Khosa investigation
The South African National Defence Force (SANDF), led by Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, has come under fierce fire for its handling of an investigation into the death of Alexandra resident, Collins Khosa.
Despite a court finding SANDF personnel and local law enforcement officers responsible for the death of Khosa, an internal investigation has cleared soldiers of wrongdoing. Mapisa-Nqakula, when questioned about the SANDF investigation into Khosa’s death, refused to comment on the matter.
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have revealed that they are assisting Khosa’s family with legal recourse. EFF leader Julius Malema condemned the SANDF investigation, saying:
“We will continue on this journey, including challenging the blatant cover-up of the report of the Board of Inquiry released yesterday. That report is not worth the paper it is written on. It is replete with nonsensical findings, contradictions and evasions.”
Vaal Dam drops below 50%
As the country fights against the Coronavirus pandemic and the message of washing hands takes centre stage, South Africa’s dam levels continue to take a dip.
The Vaal Dam has plummeted below the neutral 50% mark as it persists to decline week-on-week for the first time in 12 months.
According to the Water and Sanitation Department’s spokesperson Sputnik Ratau, the dam levels have dropped to 49.8%, compared to 71.5% recorded in the same week last year.
“Last week the dam was sitting at 50.6%,” he added.
Meanwhile, the other dams that form part of the Integrated Vaal River System with the Vaal Dam, have also taken a knock.
“One such dam is the Grootdraai, which fell from 89.0% last week to 87.8% this week. The present levels of the dam are reduced compared to 75.5% it was last year at the same time.”
Katse and Mohale dams are no different as they continue to drop weekly. (Source: SAnews)