Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Uncertainty of when schools will reopen

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that South Africa will enter a nationwide lockdown for 21 days.
The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) said it had engaged with the National Department of Basic Education on the lockdown’s effect on the public schooling system.
Head of Department for the WCED, Brian Schreuder, said currently, the date for the reopening of schools is uncertain.
‘’Millions of learners across the country will be on lockdown and we need every parent to do their bit to ensure that our learners remain focused and stimulated. I am aware of the many holiday programmes or learning opportunities communicated to parents by teachers from various schools. This is greatly appreciated.’’
‘’I encourage parents to continue to pay school fees, as many teachers employed by of our governing bodies rely on the payment of these fees for their salaries. We are aware that many families will suffer income losses during this period and remind them that there is an option to apply for fee exemption when schools return. This is important to do, as it will enable schools to apply for fee compensation.’’
Schreuder says the WCED has arranged security at 450 schools across the province. Schools were asked to ensure that alarm systems and other essential security features were tested before schools closed last week.
He asked that communities remain vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour in and around oschools to the police as soon as possible.

Done By: Mitchum George

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

An unprecedented move as SA goes under lockdown

President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced stricter measures to deal with the spread of the coronavirus in South Africa.
Ramaphosa addressed the nation on Monday evening saying that he is ‘’heartened that every sector of society has been mobilised and has accepted the role that it needs to play.’’
The president thanked people in health, teachers, border officials, police and traffic officers who helped during this difficult time.
Ramaphosa says the number of people will rapidly increase in the coming days, and thus has announced, in an unprecedented move in the history of South Africa's democracy, a lockdown, from midnight on Thursday, 26 March, until midnight on Thursday, 16 April.
Health workers in the public- and private sector, emergency personnel, security services workers, and ‘’other persons necessary for our response to the pandemic’’ are not included in this lockdown.
Individuals will not be allowed to leave their homes except under strictly controlled circumstances, such as to seek medical care, buy food, and other supplies or collect a social grant.
Ramaphosa says temporary shelters will be identified for the homelessness. Banks, pharmacies, labs, and essential financial and payment services will be closed.
Furthermore, Ramaphosa says in the coming days, the nation’s ‘’resolve, resourcefulness, and unity will be tested as never before.’’ Adding that South Africans are a nation at one and we will overcome this.

Done By: Mitchum George

Sunday, March 22, 2020

'Elderly' and 'persons with disabilities' to get early SASSA payout

The South African Social Security Agency, SASSA, has brought forward the payment of social grants for the ‘’elderly’’ and ‘’persons with disabilities’’ for the month of April in an effort to lower the risk of Covid-19 infection.
In a statement issued on Thursday, social grant beneficiaries were advised to access their monies via their bank accounts and not rush to paypoints on the first day of payment.

Sassa said it had decided to bring forward the payment of April's grants by two days, from the 1st of April to the 30th of March.
The agency said that all other grants should be collected from the 1st of April.

Done By: Mitchum George

Hotel and casino magnate, Sol Kerzner, dies at age 84.

The founder of the Southern Sun Hotel Group and Sun International, Sol Kerzner, has died.
Kerzner died on Saturday night surrounded by family members at the family home in Leeukoppie Estate, Hout Bay, near Cape Town. He had been suffering from cancer.
Family spokesperson Ian Douglas said in a statement: ''Kerzner maintained a massive business reputation but remained an intensely family-orientated man.''
He was 84 years old, and is survived by his 4 children and 10 grandchildren.
Douglas added that Sol Kerzner will be buried in a small, private funeral with only immediate family in attendance.

Done By: Mitchum George

Western Cape now has a total number of 74 COVID-19 infections

People infected with the coronavirus in South Africa now stands at 240.
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize announced an increase of 38 confirmed cases on Saturday, after Friday's number stood at 202.

The Eastern Cape has recorded its first case, after a 28-year-old woman who travelled to Germany tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
The province is now the seventh province to record a case of the virus. The only provinces with no confirmed cases are the Northern Cape and North West.
Meanwhile, the University of Cape Town has confirmed its third case of the coronavirus. In a statement, the institution said that the third person worked in the same department as the second case.
The Western Cape now has a total number of 74 COVID-19 infections- with 18 new infections recorded.
Of the total number of infections in the province, only two have required hospitalisation.
Premier Alan Winde said: "We all need to be taking more decisive action to stop the spread. Stay home if you can, and if you must go out, make sure that there is a 1.5 metre distance between yourself and any other person. We need to maintain regular handwashing and hygiene. If you have flu like symptoms, you must stay home and seek advice before you go to the clinic or hospital."
Premier Winde added: "If we all commit to implementing decisive measures in our own lives, we will be able to stop the spread and help to protect vulnerable people and communities from this virus. Together, we must stop the spread."

Done By: Mitchum George

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Portfolio Committee plans to reintegrate Cape Town Refugees

The Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs held a multi-stakeholder meeting on Tuesday, 10 March, whereby the discussed the impasse of refugees specifically that of Cape Town and Pretoria.
Refugees embarked on a protest action in Pretoria in October last year, where they gathered outside the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
Present at the Committee was the Department of Home Affairs, the City of Cape Town, South African Human Rights Commission, and the UNHCR.
Home Affairs Minister, Aaron Motsoaledi, said the City of Tswane adopted an attitude that the issue of foreign nationals is the Department’s problem.
In Cape Town, refugees who were forcibly removed earlier this month are now camping outside the District Six Museum.
A scuffle broke as the refugees living outside the Central Methodist Mission church in Green Market Square after the City of Cape Town enforced its by-laws, granted by the court.
Motsoaledi says if the matter was not resolved with the eventual reintegration of those involved in the sit-in, they would be repatriated to their countries of origin.
The UNHCR's head of the Cape Town office, Miranda Gaanderse, expressed concern about the welfare of the protesters sleeping in the church, and false promises made to people who joined the protest.
The City’s Executive director for safety and security, Richard Bosman, explained that the refugee situation has made it difficult for the City of Cape Town, maintaining that the only way forward is through reintegration.

Done By:
Mitchum George

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

THINK before you shake!

While we all might be aware of the new Corona virus, it's not to say everybody knows everything about it nor how to protect themselves against it. If you happen to be one of those people that don't, this is for you.

The Western Cape has its first confirmed case of the Corona-virus, according to Minister of Health, Zweli Mkhize. It is for this reason that we should be even more cautious about COVID-19, commonly know as the Corona-virus. One of the most important things to remember is NOT to cause panic by any means, whether it be in casual conversation,jokes or by spreading fake news. There are very simple ways that you as a citizen can protect yourself and those around you from contracting this virus. 

They include:

  • Washing your hands ( soap, when used is more effective)
  • Maintaining a safe social distancing
  • Avoiding touching yours eyes, nose and mouth
  • Practice respiratory hygiene
  • If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early
  • Stay informed and follow advice given by your healthcare provider

The City's Mayco Member for Community Services and Health,Zahid Badroodien is also reassuring us that they are working closely with the lead agencies involved to ensure effective response. It is important to remember that it is not okay to stigmatize or associate the virus with a particular race, age or gender. So should you find yourself in a position where you do have to talk about COVID-19 these are some do's and dont's:

  •  talk about the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

  •  talk about “people who have COVID-19”
  •  talk about people “acquiring” or “contracting” COVID-19


  •  attach locations or ethnicity to the disease, this is not a “Wuhan Virus”, “Chinese Virus” or “Asian Virus”. The official name for the disease was deliberately chosen to avoid stigmatization  the “co” stands for Corona, “vi” for virus and “d” for disease, 19 is because the disease emerged in 2019.
  •  refer to people with the disease as “COVID-19 cases” or “victims”
  •  talk about people “transmitting COVID-19” “infecting others” or “spreading the virus” as it implies intentional transmission and assigns blame.

Where do you go should there be an emergency you may ask. Below is a list of the designated hospitals in South Africa.

Western Cape:– Tygerberg Hospital

Gauteng:– Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital,– Steve Biko Academic Hospital
KwaZulu-Natal:– Grey’s Hospital in Pietermaritzburg
Limpopo:– Polokwane Hospital
Mpumalanga:– Rob Ferreira Hospital in Mbombela
Free State:– Pelonomi Academic Hospital in Bloemfontein
North West:– Klerksdorp Hospital
Northern Cape:– Kimberley Hospital
Eastern Cape:– Livingstone Hospital in Nelson Mandela Bay (PE)
Should you want additional information you can visit numerous resources that have been made available to the public regarding Covid-19. 
Done by: Erin Johnson, Bush Radio team

Friday, March 06, 2020

WCED exceeds their expectations regarding school admissions

The Western Cape Education Department said that despite a challenging start to the online admissions process, it has already exceeded the expected number of applications captured and submitted on the online system in comparison to the same time in the admissions process in 2019.
Applications for learner enrolment for 2021 in the Western Cape opened on 17 February and closes on 17 March 2020.
The department says that on the first day, 33 518 applications were submitted and at close of business on the 25th of February, 154 449 applications have been successfully captured by parents on the system.
The WCED said it received several complaints from the public, relating to irregular and unlawful admissions practices which were brought to the attention of school principals and governing body chairpersons for resolution where applicable.
The education department says that schools were reminded that although the WCED was actively encouraging parents to apply online, there are still parents who may be unable to access the internet and who are not able to manage the online process. Schools need to cater for such parents and accept hard copy applications. Alternatively, schools are asked to support such parents by availing their computer centres to guide and assist parents to apply.

Done By: Mitchum George

Sunday, March 01, 2020

SA Government’s plan to repatriate South African citizens from coronavirus-hit city, Wuhan

The inter-ministerial committee dealing with the repatrition and quarantine of South African citizens that are in Wuhan, China provided details of how they will come back home.
Health minister, Zweli Mkhize, said there are around 201 South Africans citizens living in the Wuhan area and around 151 have indicated they want to return to South Africa The health minister said 121 people have been tested for the Coronavirus as at 26 February, and all results were negative.
Mkhize added that following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s directive for the repatriation of South Africans showing no signs of the virus in Wuhan City, contingency plans such as every citizen in the Asian city must be frequently contacted directly personally and their concerns recoded, are now being effected as a matter of extreme urgency. 
The plan will be executed in three parts: evacuation, quarantine and reunification. A medical team will greet the passengers on the plane for pre- and in-flight evaluations. Those suspected of being ill will be left in the treatment of the Chinese health system.
Mkhize commended the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), embassy staff, and the Chinese authorities for assiting to locate South African citizens in China. He appealed to the families who may have relatives in Wuhan to contact DIRCO.

Done By: Mitchum George

8-year-old Tazne van Wyk laid to rest

The funeral of 8-year-old Tazne van Wyk was held on Saturday, 29 February, at Moddderdam Cemetery in Belhar.
Myriads of people attended the funeral to bid farewell to the little girl.
Van Wyk was murdered and found in a storm water drain near Worcester after being kidnapped from her home in Elsies River
The funeral started with a private viewing at the family home before the procession left for the Goodwood Uniting Reformed Church. Extra chairs and TV equipment were put up outside the church to accommodate all the mourners.
Dignitaries such as the police minister, General Bheki Cele; Deputy Minister of Women, Youth and People with Disabilities, Hlengiwe Mkhize; and Cape Town mayor, Dan Plato; along with Western Cape MEC for Health Dr. Nomafrench  Mbombo, were in attendance.
Minister Cele said the criminal justice system had failed the young murder victim. Cele added that government needed to relook the country's laws.
The man accused of kidnapping and murdering the child, 54-year-old Moyhadien Pangarker, appeared briefly in the Goodwood Magistrates Court on 21 February 2020. Pangarker is alleged to have committed the crime while out on parole. His case has been postponed until 17 of April.

Done By: Mitchum George

Steady progress being made on Cape Flats water maintenance - CoCT

The City of Cape Town says steady progress has been made across the five sites where the municipality’s 72-hour water shutdown on the Cape ...