Thursday, April 23, 2020

World Book Day

Thursday, 23 April, is World Book Day.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), first celebrated this day in 1995 to promote reading and publishing around the world.
The Western Cape’s MEC for Education, Debbie Schafer, says that the importance of reading at an early age cannot be overstated. ‘’In fact, without a solid grounding in basic literacy, a child will struggle with all other areas of learning, from introductory to advanced subjects.’’
According to World Population Review, South Africa is ranked 75th in the world, in terms of literacy levels. The 2016 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) found that 78% of our country’s Grade 4 learners could not read for meaning in any language.
With South Africa’s lockdown regulations in effect, libraries are closed, but there are other ways to get hold of a book, such as a magazine for example. As much as it is World Book Day, the aim is for individuals to read, whether it is through the internet, newspaper, recipe or even the back of a grocery item.
I have to agree with MEC Shafer – ‘’the greatest gift a parent can give their child is to inspire in them a love of reading. It is an investment in their education that will make all the difference to their learning when schools are able to reopen.’’

Done By: Mitchum George

Sunday, April 05, 2020

DA launches online platform to link Government and local manufacturers with PPE

The Democratic Alliance has launched an online service on Sunday, 5 April 2020, to link local manufacturers that produce personal protective equipment, (PPE), ventilators and other much-needed resources, with national and provincial governments in an attempt to resource South Africa’s healthcare facilities with life-saving equipment.
The political party says that several reports not only indicate chronic shortages of PPE, but also other essential resources such as testing and screening equipment across the country for frontline health professionals.
In the spirit of working together with the Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize, in the valiant fight against this pandemic, the DA said it wrote to the Health Minister, Zweli Mkhize, last week to make proposals for dealing with, what they call, ‘’catastrophic shortage’’.
The opposition party has called on the Health Ministry to bring together manufacturing companies and give them the brief on the products that are most needed, have these approved by the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) and roll them out to provinces and facilities that need it most.
The DA commended government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, but however, said that in order to beat COVID-19, government needs to protect front-line staff in the process. 

Done By: Mitchum George

Western Cape’s MEC for transport and public works urges all transport operators to follow lockdown regulations.

The Western Cape’s MEC for transport and public works, Bonginkosi Madikizela has urged all transport operators to follow lockdown regulations. The MEC said that social distancing on public transport is critical, in order to stop the spread of Covid-19.
Madikizela says public transport can only be used for rendering essential services, obtaining essential goods or services, seeking medical attention, funeral services and for collecting payment of grants and pensions.
He says that essential services workers using public transport must carry a permit from their employer proving their status.
The transport MEC says public transport will only be available between 5a.m and 10a.m and then again between 4p.m and 8p.m, with one-hour grace periods are provided for minibus taxi services.
He says private institutions or companies may make arrangements for transportation of their essential services workers in line with shifts or schedules. 
Outlining the number of passengers on public transport, Madikizela says:
  Bus services, metered taxi and e-hailing services are restricted to carrying 50% of licensed capacity
  Minibus and midi-bus taxi services: Restricted to carrying 70% of licensed capacity, and
• Private vehicle are restricted to carrying 60% of licensed capacity

Madikizela says hand sanitiser must be available at public transport facilities and, ideally, onboard the vehicle, drivers and marshals must wear a mask, and vehicles must be cleaned regularly.  He said that this applies to all bus, minibus taxi, metered taxi and e-hailing services. 

Done By: Mitchum George

Saturday, April 04, 2020

Dunoon tavern slapped with hefty fine for selling liquor during nationwide lockdown

A tavern's decision to keep selling alcohol, despite it being barred for the nation-wide lockdown, cost it more than half a million rand, yesterday.
The liquor was confiscated in Dunoon, Cape Town, after two men selling alcohol from a car led them to the tavern.
Metro police spokesperson, Ruth Solomons, said that at around 14:30, metro police were tipped off about alcohol being sold from a vehicle in the area.
''Officers soon found the Hyundai Getz and after a short pursuit, cornered the vehicle and arrested two men for failing to remain confined being as per the lockdown regulations.”
Solomons says during questioning, the men gave officers the address of the tavern, and they found a customer buying alcohol from a side door.
''Inside, officers found three individuals who were arrested for selling prohibited goods.''
She added that they also confiscated liquor, two fridges and just over R35 000 in cash.
The suspects were all detained at Milnerton police station.

Done By: Mitchum George

Friday, April 03, 2020

Man seriously injured following shooting incident in Salt River

A man was left seriously injured yesterday morning after a shooting outside a residence on Bromwell Road in Salt River, Cape Town.
ER24 spokesperson, Russel Meiring, said that paramedics, along with the Life Healthcare, arrived on the scene at 00:28 and were led into the home.
Meiring said the patient was found lying in the one bedroom.                          Medics assessed the man and found that he had sustained a gunshot wound to his neck and was in a serious condition.
He added that the man was treated for his injuries and provided with several advanced life support interventions.
He was then transported to a Provincial Hospital for further care.                    Local authorities were on the scene for further investigations.

Done By: Mitchum George

Thursday, April 02, 2020

Western Cape now has 393 confirmed cases of COVID-19

The Western Cape premier, Alan Winde, gave the latest figures of the COVID-19 in the province. The premier was joined by the province’s MEC of community safety, Albert Fritz.
As of Thursday, 2 April 2020, the Western Cape has 393 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, 321 of those are from the Cape Town metro.
22 people are in hospital, while 7 people are being treated in ICU.
Meanwhile, MEC Fritz has asked the Western Cape Liquor Authority to invoke the maximum fine of R100 000, should liquor outlets, especially Fritz says big companies distributing alcohol into townships.
Fritz says any person found in possession of liquor will be fined and on top of that the alcohol will be removed, and is non-returnable.
He added that as of 6 o’clock last night and 6 o’clock this morning, 50 people were arrested for violating the lockdown regulations.
The MEC has called on citizens to report bad policing to the police ombudsman. Fritz says 7 City law enforcement officers has been suspended and is pending a legal process.
Winde says last Sunday saw the first case of COVID-19 in Khayelitsha, that person was subsequently moved to an isolation place.
Winde says as of today, Khayelitsha has now two confirmed cases, M/Plain 7, and Klipfontein 9 confirmed cases of the coronavirus.
Winde says these areas specifically is where the governments risk lie, as the virus shows it move among citizens.

Done By: Mitchum George

Transport Minister amends public transport regulations

Transport Minister, Fikile Mbalula, has amended public transport regulations to accommodate concerns from the taxi industry around regulations implemented to minimise the spread of Covid-19 during a 21-day lockdown
This comes after Mbalula met with the Taxi Council, Santaco, and the National Taxi Alliance on Monday. 
The transport minister said that during the lockdown, transport vehicles must reduce the number of maximum passengers to 70% of the licensed capacity if the passengers are not wearing masks.
According to the Government gazette, a minibus taxi licensed to carry 10 passengers will now be limited to carrying a maximum of seven passengers, while those licensed to carry 15 passengers are limited to 10. A midi-bus permitted to carry a maximum of 22 passengers are now permitted to carry 15, while a vehicle licensed to carry a maximum of four passengers is now allowed to carry two people.
The City of Cape Town says as from Saturday, 4 April 2020, during the morning peak-hour period, minibus drivers will be allowed to travel to the pickup points as from 4a.m, but may only start loading passengers at 5a.m. The municipality says all passengers must be offloaded by 11a.m, and that no passenger may board the taxi after 10a.m.
During the afternoon peak-hour period, passengers can board taxi’s from 4 p.m and must be offloaded by 9p.m, and no passengers may board the taxi after 8p.m.
Furthermore, Golden Arrow Bus Services and MyCiTi bus services says buses are operational with the times that have been gazetted.

Done By: Mitchum George

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Record petrol price drop

The Department of Energy has confirmed that of a record breaking fuel drop of nearly R2-per-litre.
The petrol price decrease kicked in on Tuesday midnight.
The cut came as the world is battling with the coronavirus pandemic.
Petrol will cost you R1.94 cents per litre, less. While Diesel and Paraffin will cost you R1.40, and 174cents per litre, respectively..
Motorists at the coast will now pay R13.26. The last time Motorists paid this price for petrol was in 2013.
Global oil price is the major contributor to the reduction of fuel costs. The outbreak of the coronavirus has left international markets ‘unstable’, thus the demand for oil has subsided.

Done By: Mitchum George

UWC goes unorthodox through virtual graduation

The University Of Western Cape (UWC) held its first graduation for the year - unprecedented and unconventional.
Due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the institution had a virtual graduation on Tuesday.
Myriads of graduates turned to YouTube as the university celebrated the students through technology. UWC hosted a 30-minute event that kicked off at 10 a.m.
On their YouTube page, UWC said: ‘’students look forward to this day when they can share their achievement with loved ones and receive their certificates proudly.”
The university says it hopes to hold a physical ceremony for graduates who may wish to attend. UWC is celebrating 60 years of existence this year.
Meanwhile, other universities such as the University of Cape Town and Stellenbosch University, have suspended or cancelled ceremonies.

Done By: Mitchum George

Former ANC Western Cape chairperson tests positive for COVID-19

Former ANC Western Cape chairperson, Marius Fransman, is currently in hospital after testing positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Fransman shared the news in a Facebook post last night.

“Since my return from abroad 2 weeks ago, I didn't feel too well and decided in line with health protocols and realising that this has become life's reality, to do a test last Monday.''
“After a week of waiting for my results, it is now confirmed I tested positive for the coronavirus,” he said.

Fransman said that he was doing fine and his family would also be tested.
''I am doing well under the circumstances and want to appeal to everyone to get themselves tested if you show symptoms and let’s all start practising good hygiene, adhere to the lockdown regulations, and all join in the call to flatten the curve.”
He advised anyone who came into contact with him over the last month to also get tested.

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 ...