Thursday, December 31, 2020

COVID-19 information

The Western Cape currently has a rapidly rising number of Covid-19 cases and hospitals and other health facilities are under severe pressure.

Here are some of handy facts to keep you safe during the upcoming days and weeks:

When and where can I go for a COVID-19 test?

All government clinics and hospitals offer COVID-19 testing. However, you will first be screened (asked questions) to determine whether you meet the test criteria. If you meet the criteria, you will be referred for testing. Depending on testing capacity, some facilities may restrict testing to specific timeslots.

Who will qualify for a test (testing criteria)?

We have restricted our testing so that we can make sure we have tests available for those who really need it.

In the Cape Metro you will only be tested if:

        You are admitted to the hospital and have coronavirus symptoms

        You are over 45 years and have coronavirus symptoms (in rural districts all people with symptoms may be tested should the facility have capacity to do so)

        You are of any age, have coronavirus symptoms, and have a chronic condition such as diabetes, TB, HIV, kidney disease, hypertension, chronic lung disease on treatment, and cancer on treatment

        You live in a care or old age home and have coronavirus symptoms

        You are a health worker and have coronavirus symptoms

Please note that testing for travel purposes is not done at any Western Cape Government Health clinic or hospital.

How long will it take to get my results?

You should expect a turn-around time of 48 - 72 hours. You and your household should isolate until you receive your test results. Do not go to the shop, visit other people, or go to the clinic to ask for your results. You will receive a phone call or SMS with your results.

How must I isolate?

You must isolate if: you have symptoms, if you tested positive or if you were in close contact with someone who has symptoms or tested positive.

This means staying in a separate room from everyone else at home. Do not leave your house until you have completed your isolation period. Do not go out or have visitors. If you have been in close contact with someone, let them know you tested positive so that they can quarantine.

Mild symptoms: Isolate for 10 days after your symptoms started

COVID-19 positive but no symptoms: Isolate for 10 days after you were tested

COVID-19 symptoms but do not qualify for test: Isolate for 10 days after your symptoms started

Ongoing symptoms: Sometimes you can experience symptoms for much longer than your 10 days isolation. It may take some time to feel well again and you may experience some chest discomfort and a degree of breathlessness. You can stop isolating after 10 days since your symptoms started (if you isolated at home without needing hospitalisation).

If you cannot breathe, go to the hospital’s emergency centre or call the ambulance on 10177.

What if I can’t isolate or quarantine at home?

You can use a free government facility. It is safe, you will have a room and access to a bathroom. Call your clinic or the hotline on 080 928 4102 (toll-free) for more information.

What is a close contact?

Someone you have been in contact with for more than 15 minutes, closer than 1.5 m, without wearing a mask.

Download the CovidAlertSA app to receive notifications if you were a close contact.

When must I go to the hospital’s emergency centre?

Our hospitals are under severe pressure. Only go to the hospital’s emergency centre if it is an emergency. If you struggle to breathe, have chest pain, lose consciousness, or experience confusion, you must go the hospital’s emergency centre or call the ambulance on 10177.

I am referred to a hospital, what should I expect and what is allowed?

Most facilities allow patients to bring their own cellphone, chargers. Bring basic toiletries (soap, washcloth, toothbrush, toothpaste) if you can. They do not allow food deliveries, clothes and bedding delivered. Visitation at our facilities are not allowed under COVID-19 restrictions. Please try and be patient with staff who are doing their best to reassure concerned family members.

What is the best way to remain safe and healthy?

The most important safety tip is to try and stay safe and healthy. Continue wearing a mask, keep your social distance, and if you were in close contact with COVID-19 case or show any symptoms, stay home and isolate. We urge the public to protect themselves, their families and the healthcare system by adhering to regulations and safety measures.


Information from: Western Cape Government

Western Cape records highest COVID-19 infections within SAPS

Deputy Police Minister, Cassel Mathale has tested positive for COVID-19. Mathale results came back on Wednesday, and is currently asymptomatic and is self-isolating.

Mathale is one of 21 294 employees of the South African Police Service who have been infected with the Corona virus.

The Western Cape has recorded the highest infections in the SAPS sector with 3 587, followed by Gauteng with 3 436, Eastern Cape 2 968, KwaZulu-Natal 2 632, Free State 1 285, Northern Cape 941, and 856 police staff in North West have been infected with COVID-19.

The Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces have recorded the lowest infections at 724 and 595 respectively.

In a statement, SAPS said that 336 members of the service have lost their lives to the coronavirus, while 337 are recovering in hospital.

Police Minister, Bheki Cele has wished Deputy Minister Mathale and all the members of the SAPS a speedy recovery.

“I’m also sending the deepest condolences to all the members in blue who have succumbed to this killer virus, I hope these infections and deaths don’t deter the remainder of the police service in forging ahead with the job at hand. However, I remain encouraged that 19 618 of us have recovered from COVID-19” Cele concluded.


Done By: Mitchum George

NHWs to patrol during curfew

Neighbourhood watches (NHW), accredited with the Western Cape’s Community Safety Department, may patrol under the new set of adjusted alert level 3 regulations.

Community Safety MEC, Albert Fritz calls on the chairpersons of accredited NHWs to enquire with the Department’s NHW unit to issue new permits to operate during curfew hours between 9pm and 6am.

MEC Fritz said, “After consultation with SAPS legal Services, SAPS in the Western Cape confirmed that under the Adjusted Alert Level 3 Regulations that NHWs can function, provided all relevant protocols are adhered to. To do so, NHWs must be issued with permits and on their person at all times whilst performing duties.”

Fritz said that his department has since received the permit template which will be used to issue permits to accredited NHWs.

“The previously issued permits are however no longer valid as the Regulation, as promulgated in Government Gazette no 11217 dated 29 December, has changed. The new Regulation in terms of Movement of persons is Regulation 33(1) (b) read with Regulation 82(1) (b).”

“NHWs can continue to utilize the permit as provided by the Department of Community Safety to patrol. It is essential that NHWs continue to patrol during the curfew hours as we know that these are the times in which crimes such as robberies and burglaries take place.” added Fritz.

Should you have any further questions on whether your NHW structure can operate or on obtaining permits for members of your accredited NHW structure, you may contact the Department of Community Safety’s NHW unit by emailing


Done By: Mitchum George

No load shedding for the long weekend, says Eskom

Eskom announced that there won’t be any load shedding this long weekend.

In a statement, the ailing power utility said that it will use the lower demand opportunity to replenish the emergency generation reserves in preparation for the higher demand expected during January as economic activity resumes.

It added that during this period, Eskom will also continue to pursue increased reliability maintenance as planned.

It admitted that while this will put pressure on the generation plant, maintenance is necessary in order to improve power stations.

Furthermore, Eskom has urged consumers to use electricity sparingly, as what it says, the system remains, vulnerable and unstable.


Done By: Mitchum George

SA records highest number of daily infections

South Africa entered day 280 of the nationwide lockdown on Wednesday, and the country recorded the highest daily infections in a single day.

17 710 new cases were recorded, bringing South Africa’s total confirmed cases of COVID-19 to 1 039 161, indicating a positivity rate of 33%.

“The positivity rate, being an indicator of the rapidity of spread, remains of major concern,” said Health Minister, Dr. Zweli Mkhize.

465 more people succumbed to the coronavirus. Of these deaths, the Western Cape recorded the most fatalities with 165, followed by KwaZulu-Natal 144, 88 were recorded in Eastern Cape, Gauteng 41, Limpopo 16, Northern Cape 7, Free State 4.

This brings the total COVID-19 death toll to 28 033 deaths.

“We convey our condolences to the loved ones of the departed and thank the health care workers who treated the deceased,” said the Minister.

A cumulative 6 553 761 tests have been conducted with 53 279 tests completed since the last report.

Recoveries currently stand at 867 597, which translates to a recovery rate of 83%.


Done By: Mitchum George

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Man arrested for rape and murder of 21-year-old Soweto woman

A man suspected to be responsible for the murder and rape of a 21-year-old woman in Protea Glen, Soweto earlier in December, is expected to make a court appearance on Wednesday.

The 35-year-old suspect was arrested on Monday, while on his way to Johannesburg from Tembisa, with an intent of crossing to Lesotho.

‘’After receiving a tip-off about the possible whereabouts of the suspect, police's task team followed him to Ivory Park taxi rank where the arrest was effected,’’ said Captain Mavela Masondo.

‘’The suspect has been on the run since the discovery of the naked body of a woman in an open field in Protea Glen Extension 31 in the early hours of 7 December 2020. He was the last person to be seen with the deceased.’’ added Masondo.

The suspect is expected to appear at Protea Magistrates Court on murder and rape charges.


PICTURED: SAPS - Police arrest a suspect for the murder of 21-year-old woman

Done By: Mitchum George

Man rescued after falling 40m from Howick Falls viewing platform

A 38-year-old man has been rescued after falling approximately 40 meters from the viewing platform at Howick Falls in KwaZulu-Natal early on Wednesday morning. The man alleged that he was being chased by unknown assailants at 2a.m, when he fell from the platform.

ER24’s Ross Campbell said that paramedics arrived just before 06:30, after being alerted by the South African Police Services who were already on the scene along with another private emergency service.

‘’The viewing platform sits to the side of the falls and the patient could be seen clinging to a branch on a small ledge, 40 meters down the 95-meter cliff face,’’ said Campbell.

‘’Our medic suited up in his harness while SAPS cordoned off the area to the 30 or so bystanders. The SAPS Search & Rescue team then arrived and set up a rope system. As our medic was already suited up, they decided to lower him down to the patient to save time. The patient was assessed and found to have only suffered minor injuries. He was then attached to the medic's harness via a sling and both were lifted back up to the platform just before 8 am,’’ added ER24 spokesperson, Ross Campbell.

The man was transported to Northdale hospital for further care.

The details surrounding this incident are unknown to ER24, but SAPS were on scene for further investigation.


PICTURE: SAPS Search & Rescue

Done By: Mitchum George

Monday, December 28, 2020


South Africa has passed a dreary milestone in the Covid-19 pandemic, recording more than 1 million affirmed, total infections since the crisis originally hit the nation in March 2020.

Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize announced that the country has recorded 1,004,413 cases, with 9,502 new cases reported on Sunday (27 December).

Deaths in the country have increased by a further 214, taking the total to 26,735.

South Africa's recovery rate has been encouraging, with by far most of those contaminated shedding the infection. There have been 844,874 recoveries to date. Nevertheless, the quantity of active cases has been expanding quickly during the nation's second wave of the infection, moving from around 40,000 several months ago to 132,804 starting on 27 December.

By Chwayita Hlangwana


Metrorail has suspended its operations in Cape Town on Monday, December 28, due to a COVID-19 case at its Regional Train Traffic Control and Management Centre.

The centre stopped procedure on Sunday – December 27 as a prudent step and will stay shut for sanitisation and cleaning, hence no trains will run on Monday – December 28.

“The suspension is necessary to permit the deep cleaning and sanitisation of the Regional Train Traffic Control and Management Centre following a confirmed COVID-19 infection at the facility,” Metrorail said in a statement on Sunday evening.

It is reported that trains are expected to continue operation on Tuesday.

By Chwayita Hlangwana

Saturday, December 26, 2020

85 babies born in the Western Cape on Christmas Day 2020

The Western Cape’s Health Department revealed that, so far (Saturday 2p.m), 85 babies were born in the Cape Metropole on Christmas Day.

The total number reported from midnight, comprises of 43 boys and 42 girls.

The first three Christmas babies were born in close succession. The first, a baby girl, was born at exactly midnight at Mowbray Maternity Hospital, weighing 2,6 kg and 48.5 cm in length to mother Jessie Mkanda-wiae.

The second baby was also a girl, born at 00:22 at Delft CHC (MOU) to mother Edwina Dolpha.

The third baby, a boy, was born at Tygerberg Hospital to mother Wendolene Swarts, at 00:31, weighing 3.19 kg.

Two sets of twins were reported at Mowbray Maternity Hospital. The first set of twins is a boy and a girl, who were born at 10:20 and 10:50,respectively to mother Patience Musonza.

Western Cape Health MEC, Dr. Nomafrench Mbombo, congratulated the new parents, and has emphasised the importance of the first 1000 days of a child’s life.

"Congratulations all new parents on the birth of their babies on this special day. I would like to wish them a lifetime of happiness. May your greatest times be spent together. I want to emphasise the importance of the first 1000 days of a child’s life. Provide your baby with a safe environment and good nutrition. Make sure their immunisations are up to date and that you play an active role in their development by talking to them, playing with them, and supporting them to reach their milestones. The Department of Health look forward to joining you on this journey."

PICTURED: Western Cape Government // Jessie Mkandawiae was the first parent to give birth on Christmas Day.

 Done By: Mitchum George

Expect delays in refuse collection, says City of Cape Town

The City of Cape Town is experiencing delays in the maintenance of Solid Waste vehicles.

As such, this is causing delays in both formal refuse collections as well as area cleansing services.

The municipality advised residents to take their bins in at 21:00, and take them out at 06:00 the following day.

‘’Every effort is being made to ensure that refuse is collected on the scheduled day, however, should this not be possible, residents should take their bins in at 21:00, and bring them out again the following morning at 06:00. If not collected on the scheduled day, it will generally be collected the following day. In exceptional cases where even this is not possible due to various issues, residents should please bring their bins out every day until it is collected (including Saturdays and Sundays),’’ the municipality said in a statement.

Residents are also implored not to resort to illegal dumping, should wheelie bins reach its capacity.

‘’Where possible, practice home composting and recycling.  This will allow further space in the bin during this period.’’


Done By: Mitchum George

NSRI appeals to public to be safe this festive season

Saturday is the Day of Goodwill, or as many know it as ‘Boxing Day’. This day is traditionally spent at the beach, and with the festive season overshadowed by a significant COVID-19 resurgence, it remains to be seen what the turnout at beaches and other public spaces will be this weekend.

The National Sea Rescue Institute are appealing to the public to be safe over this coming weekend and in the week leading up to the New Year.

In a statement, it asked bathers to only swim at beaches protected by lifeguards and swim in between the lifeguards safe swimming zone flags posted by the lifeguards on the beach.

‘’Lifeguards regularly move their flags when rip currents form and we are appealing to the public to obey the lifeguards instructions to only swim in between their flags.’’

‘’Families visiting the beach should approach the lifeguards if they are separated from family members or if they need assistance. Boaters, paddlers and sail boarders are urged to wear properly fitting and fastened life-jackets while your craft is underway,’’ it added.

The City of Cape Town’s Safety and Security Directorate will also be on high alert, with increased patrols on the roads and beaches, to guard against alcohol abuse and other anti-social behaviour.

‘’We ask that people who do arrive at the beach early, particularly on Boxing Day, desist from swimming until lifeguards come on duty, for their own safety. Our Recreation and Parks Department notes an increase in persons congregating at other areas along the city’s coastline that are not manned by lifeguards, swimming in unsafe areas and consuming alcohol – most likely to avoid detection,’’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services, Zahid Badroodien.

‘’We are also concerned about anti-social behaviour at some of our swimming pools, stemming from a lack of understanding and cooperation around the limitation on the number of occupants. I appeal to the public to please do their bit and abide by the regulations, which are in place for their own protection,’’ added Badroodien.


Done By: Mitchum George

7-month-old baby girl kidnapped by woman in a taxi

A 7-month-old baby girl was kidnapped by a woman in a taxi in Bellville.

Entle Geilitshane was wearing a grey tracksuit, white socks and wrapped in a pink blanket.

She was in a taxi with her mother. Her mother was getting out of the taxi and had many bags. A woman in the taxi offered to hold Entle while her mother got out. When she turned around the unknown woman had disappeared with Entle.

If you have information contact SAPS Bellville FCS Unit Io Cst Dada on 082 522 1095/Pink Ladies Org 072 214 7439/083 378 4882/08600 10111.

 Picture: Pink Ladies Organisation

Done By: Mitchum George

NUM general-secretary, David Sipunzi, passed away

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has expressed “deep sadness and shock” over the passing of its general-secretary David Sipunzi, who died on Friday morning.

In a statement, NUM Deputy General Secretary William Mabapa revealed that the cause of Sipunzi’s death is still unknown.

“The family of comrade David Kolekile Sipunzi confirmed that he passed on at 11 am this morning. More details will be communicated soon by the family,” said Mabapa.

Mabapa said Sipunzi would be remembered for his dedication to the rights of workers.

“He was a trade unionist who did not cease to fight for the rights of the NUM members. His global contribution as one of the Vice Presidents of the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) and his efforts in labour rights will not easily be forgotten.’’

“Comrade Sipunzi dedicated his entire life to the service of the mine, construction and energy workers in South Africa until his untimely death. He was a firm believer in the rights of the downtrodden and the voice of the voiceless,” he added.

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (NEHAWU), also paid tribute to Sipunzi, describing his death as a “shock (of) the untimely passing.’’

‘’He will forever be remembered for his selflessness and constant desire to champion workers struggles. His efforts to liberate mineworkers from exploitative mine bosses should inspire the unity of all mine workers to continue to the struggle against slave wages.’’

The COSATU-affiliated Southern African Clothing & Textile Workers' Union (SACTWU) also expressed their condolences.

‘’We have worked well with him and the union which he represented so firmly, to defend and advance worker rights across industries, not only just in the mining sector. Our hearts go out to the hundreds of thousands of mineworkers in South Africa, and millions globally, through our  joint affiliation of IndustriAll Global Union. We convey our condolences to NUM, and to his family,’’ said André Kriel, SACTWU General Secretary.

 ‘’We shall always remember him as a principled stalwart of our movement, a firm subscriber of democratic centralism, and a humble servant of workers in particular and our people in general,’’ Kriel added

Picture: Supplied

Done By: Mitchum George

Thursday, December 24, 2020

9 suspects arrested for robbing Brackenfell liquor store

Nine suspected liquor store robbers were arrested in Kraaifontein on Tuesday.

Police received information from Brackenfell SAPS that seven suspects robbed a liquor store in William Dabbs Road, Brackenfell at about 17:00 on Tuesday.

‘’According to information the suspects entered the store, pretending to be customers but one of the suspects then pointed the cashier with a firearm, demanding money, while the other suspects took cigarettes and liquor. They fled in a white Mazda Bantam LDV and a grey VW Golf in the direction of Kraaifontein,’’ says police spokesperson, FC van Wyk.

‘’Police spotted the two vehicles used in the armed robbery at an illegal shebeen in Bloekombos, later the evening, and the suspects was subsequently arrested,’’ van Wyk added.

The suspects, aged between 23 and 37 are due to appear in the Blue Downs Magistrates Court on charges of business robbery.


Done By: Mitchum George

Man suffered multiple gunshot wounds in a shooting incident outside Kimberley's Magistrates Court

A man has suffered multiple gunshot wounds to his arm, shoulder, back and chest in a shooting incident outside Kimberley's Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

ER24’s Ross Campbell said that paramedics arrived on the scene at 16:30 to find the area cordoned off by the South African Police Services and another private EMS in attendance.

‘’Our Advanced Life Support paramedic took over the treatment of the critically injured patient. Five gunshot wounds were counted, with two to the back and one each to the shoulder, arm and chest.’’

‘’The patient was stabilised on-scene using Advanced Life Support interventions before being transported to hospital for further care,’’ Campbell added.

The details surrounding the incident and who committed the crime are unknown at this stage.


Done By: Mitchum George


SA records highest COVID-19 daily increase

Thursday marked day 273 of the nationwide lockdown, and South Africa recorded a whopping 14 046 new COVID-19 cases over the last 24 hours, bringing the total confirmed cases to 954 258.

Health Minister, Dr. Zweli Mkhize said that all provinces, with the exception of the Eastern Cape, continue to report increases in their cases with KwaZulu Natal, Western Cape and Gauteng registering the largest increases and comprising 81% of the new cases (30%, 28% and 23% respectively).

Sadly, 411 more people succumbed to the coronavirus in the country. Of these, the Western Cape recorded the most fatalities with 171, followed by the Eastern Cape with 101, 90 in Kwa-Zulu Natal, Gauteng with 34 more deaths, the Mpumalanga & North West province each saw 6 more people dying of COVID-19, and the Free State with 3. This brings the total COVID-19 death toll in South Africa to 25 657.

On an encouraging note, 811 372 people recovered from the coronavirus in South Africa.

Mkhize warned citizens that his team intends to review the current restrictions and consider further measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

“We must warn South Africans that we will need to review the current restrictions and consider further measures to ensure that we curb this alarming rate of spread.”

"We can never stress enough the need for citizens to take every precaution necessary as we celebrate the festive season and look for reprieve from a tough year. Unfortunately, COVID-19 is unrelenting and we therefore cannot afford to be complacent at this stage," added Mkhize.


Done By: Mitchum George

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Three underworld criminals granted R100 000 bail

Police Minister, Bheki Cele has welcomed the arrest of three possibly high ranking figures of the criminal underworld allegedly linked to an ongoing "extortion racket" of businesses in Cape Town.

Mark Lifman, Jerome Booysen and William Stevens appeared in the Cape Town Magistrates court on Tuesday, following their arrest by the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation.

The trio was arrested in one of the phases of an ongoing investigation into extortion, dealing in drugs, fraud, corruption and money laundering activities of the Cape Town underworld organised crime.

The Police Minister believes these arrests are a huge victory in the fight against organised crime.

“This is only the beginning of our efforts as the police to tighten the grip on these crimes committed by the underworld and run extortion rackets that undermine the state and threaten the livelihoods of local economies.”

The suspects were granted bail of R100 000 each and are due back in court on the 9 February 2021. They were also ordered to hand in their passports, report and sign at their nearest police station once a week and should they need to leave the province duly inform the investigating officer before doing so.


Done By: Mitchum George

SARS closes offices as second COVID-19 wave hits South Africa

The South Revenue Service (SARS) has noted with ‘’deep concern’’ the alarming spread of COVID19 infections because of a second wave that has enveloped our country.

The tax-collecting agency has decided to put preventative restrictions in place, by closing their branches from Thursday, 24 December 2020 until Monday, 4 January 2021.

‘’This two-week period of the physical lockdown of offices is SARS’ contribution to curb any further possible spread of COVID-19 infections among taxpayers and our staff,’’ it said in a statement.

‘’However, in line with SARS’s mandate to service all members of the public, all offices will operate remotely via our digital channels. Branches will also engage with taxpayers via the use of virtual meetings using Microsoft Teams. No member of the public will unfortunately be allowed at any SARS branch from 24 December 2020 to 4 January 2021.’’ It added.

 As part of SARS’s commitment to all members of the public, please take note of the following:

   All existing branch appointments will be honoured

·        Branch appointments can only be made via the SARS website

·        All new bookings via the SARS site will be honoured via a virtual engagement (Microsoft Teams or a telephonic engagement)

·        The SARS Contact Centre will continue to service any queries from members of the public.

·        All South African borders manned by SARS customs officials will continue to operate during this lockdown period. Please note that strict social distance measures will apply and it will be compulsory for members of the public to wear masks when entering any SARS building or engaging with any customs officials. The sanitising of hands is also compulsory. No access will be allowed without complying with these protocols.


SARS appealed to South Africans to adhere to COVID-19 protocols.

‘’These measures are being untaken with the wellbeing of SARS employees and all South African citizens in mind and we appeal to each taxpayer to take this call to adherence very seriously. With the co-operation of each citizen, we will be able to overcome this pandemic.’’


Done By: Mitchum George

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

SA government deposits R283m to secure COVID-19 vaccine

South Africa has made a down payment to secure the COVID-19 vaccine for 10% of the country’s population.

“The National Department of Health and the Solidarity Fund are pleased to announce that a down payment of US $19.2 million USD (R283 million) has been made to GAVI (the Vaccine Alliance) to secure South Africa’s entry into the COVAX facility,” the department and fund said in a statement on Tuesday.

The payment was made in line with the fund’s previous allocation of funds and commitment to support government’s efforts to accelerate the roll out of vaccines in South Africa.

COVAX has confirmed South Africa’s entry into the facility. The down payment represents 15% of the total cost of securing access to vaccines for 10% (roughly six million) of the population.

The country’s membership in the COVAX facility ensures that South Africa receives its equitable share of the vaccine once it becomes available.

Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, has hailed this milestone as the ‘’epitome of excellence in health service delivery through multilaterism.’’

“It is a privilege to oversee a process that has brought together government, international partners and business for the sole purpose of delivering quality health care to the people of South Africa.

“This is what we have been advocating for when we speak of multi-sectoral collaboration, and it is gratifying to see this spirit being harnessed for the good of our people, Africans and the global village,” Mkhize said.


Done By: Mitchum George

690 people died on SA roads since the start of December

Transport Minister, Fikile Mbalula, says 690 people lost their lives on South African roads from 1 December to 20 December 2020, compared to 732 people who passed away over the same period last year.

“While this represents a 5.7% decline year-on-year, it is no reason to celebrate.  One life lost on our roads is one life too many. The total number of crashes has declined by 8% compared to the same period last year,” Mbalula said.

Releasing the preliminary festive season fatalities statistics on Tuesday at an event in Petroport, Panorama East, the Minister said six provinces have recorded a decline in fatalities.

“We are encouraged that these reductions make a positive contribution towards the realisation of our 20% target of reducing fatalities on our roads in 2020,” Mbalula said.

The Western Cape recorded a decline of 26.6%, with 69 fatalities compared to 94 in 2019.

Mbalula has called on all road users to exercise extreme caution as the country enters the second phase of the peak travel period.

“All our traffic law enforcement officers must remain vigilant and intensify efforts to stop the carnage on our roads.’’

"Our tactics will include visibility in residential areas and in the proximity of places where festivities occur in order to deter those who would otherwise be emboldened to drive under the influence of alcohol,” he added.


Done By: Mitchum George

Two arrested for drug possession in Camps Bay

Two suspects have been arrested in Camps Bay in Cape Town on charges of possession of drugs.

Police spokesperson FC van Wyk says they monitored premises at Brighton Court from where one of the suspects is allegedly dealing in narcotics.

‘’The suspect is linked to a farm in Stellenbosch where he apparently cultivates dagga. Information was that the suspect is at the above mentioned address and the members reacted on the information, gained entry and arrested two suspects aged 45 and 50. They found a large amount of drugs in the flat with an estimated street value of R250 000,’’ says van Wyk.

The suspects are expected to appear in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday on charges of possession of drugs.

In an unrelated matter, Mitchells Plain Proactive Team received information about a male with an illegal firearm at a house in 5th Avenue, Tafelsig on Sunday.

Van Wyk said that when they arrived at the address at 06:30, they found a male on the premises and noticed an object on his waist.

‘’The suspects then became aggressive and tried to fight with the members, but was subdued. Police seized a .38 Special revolver with a serial number and three .38 Special rounds in the chamber.,’’ says Captain FC van Wyk.

A 28-year-old male was arrested on charges relating to the possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition. He is expected to appear in court once charged.


Done By: Mitchum George

Monday, December 21, 2020

City Firefighters attacked whilst on duty on Saturday

City of Cape Town Firefighters were targeted on Saturday, while trying to extinguish a fire at the Bonny Town Informal Settlement in Wynberg.

Fire crews responded to a call of structures alight, just after 2a.m. According to Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith, the first responders quickly set to work to contain the fire, but some community members started interfering with the crews, dispossessing them of their equipment and verbally assaulting staff.

One officer was hit with an object from behind during a scuffle that followed.

‘We’ve been reminded in recent days of how devastating fires can be and the importance of rescue services in this regard. It therefore makes absolutely no sense that anyone would want to hinder a firefighter in the execution of their duties, while trying to save lives and property. This type of behaviour is becoming increasingly common, and can simply not be tolerated,’ said Smith.


Done By: Mitchum George

Western Cape Government temporarily changes service delivery at health facilities

With the increase in hospitalisations due to the second wave of coronavirus infections, the Western Cape Government has decided to temporarily change its service delivery at its facilities.

Ongoing visitor restrictions at hospitals

We know that you want to visit your loved ones in hospital, but to limit any potential risk of possible transmission of COVID-19, we must continue to restrict in-hospital visitations. This is in line with the principles of social distancing to limit interaction and in doing so slowing and stopping the spread of COVID-19.

Hospital visits:

No visitors to public health facilities: health facilities in the Western Cape are still subject to strict adherence to health protocols. If you have any questions about visitation restrictions, please call the hospital in question to enquire. We understand that it is difficult not being able to visit your loved ones but ask for your understanding and cooperation – together we can limit the spread of COVID-19.

No person will be allowed inside Western Cape Government Health facilities without wearing a cloth mask covering their nose and mouth.

When accessing any of our facilities, you can expect to be asked a number of questions before entry will be permitted. This is to ensure that no visitor matching the case definition of COVID-19 or displaying flu-like symptoms enters the facility for visitation. Please answer truthfully and help us to keep our staff and other patients safe.

Amended services at hospitals

With the increase in hospitalisations due to the second wave of COVID-19, Western Cape Government Hospitals must change how we provide healthcare services to ensure we have capacity to take care of patients who need immediate care. Changes in the current service delivery offering include:

        Visitation is restricted

        Non-urgent outpatient appointments will be postponed and patients given alternative dates

        Non-urgent elective surgery will be postponed and patients provided with a later date

        Patients who are in hospital but are stable will be discharged for further management at home or at a step-down facility

        Outreaches from District and Regional hospitals will be suspended

        Patients are urged to only access the Emergency Centre for emergencies. Non-emergencies to access healthcare services at nearest clinic.



Emergency services that will continue:

        Emergency surgery

        Obstetric surgery

        High risk obstetric clinic

        Fracture clinic

        Limited eyecare and eye surgery

        Allied health for emergency cases



Amended services at clinics

        Medication delivery to stable chronic patients will continue

        Medication will be given for longer periods where possible

        Outreaches will be postponed

        Non-urgent appointments will be postponed and given an alternative date

        Essential services will continue, such as TB and HIV screening and treatment, chronic care, family planning, immunisations, and antenatal and postnatal care

        Dental services limited to emergencies only

        Eyecare services limited to emergencies only

        MOU’s (midwife obstetric units) will continue to operate


Patients are encouraged to make an appointment before visiting a healthcare facility, by calling their local clinic. Patients in the Cape Metro can also access the Pocket Clinic telehealth service from their cellphone (WhatsApp) by sending “Hi” to  087 240 6122. Use Pocket Clinic to update your contact details, query your chronic medication delivery, and to confirm an existing appointment before going to the clinic.


Coronavirus spreads where people gather, including at public health facilities. Only visit the clinic or hospital emergency centre when you really have to. Always wear a clean cloth mask over your mouth and nose, and keep a distance of 1.5 m from other people.



Stay safe

        Always wear a cloth mask covering your nose and mouth when leaving your house

        Protect your air space by keeping a distance of 1.5 m from others

        Socialise outdoors, with a small number of people, for a limited time

        Avoid confined spaces with poor ventilation, crowds, and close contact with others

        Keep doors and windows open for good ventilation when indoors

        Stay home if you feel sick. Arrange a COVID-19 test if you have symptoms, such as headache, body ache, sore throat, cough, difficulty breathing, and weakness.

        Isolate while waiting for test results. If positive, isolate for ten days.

Done By: Mitchum George

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Water restored to most parts of Khayelitsha

The City of Cape Town’s Water and Sanitation Department has restored water supply to most parts of Khayelitsha. This after a pipe broke at the corner of Pama and Lwandle Streets on Friday, affecting the greater area.

‘’Please note that the water pressure is low whilst the repair to the pipe break is being conducted. Technical teams are still trying to fix a valve, but are considering capping the main as an alternative if it can offer a quicker resolution,’’ it said in a statement.

The municipality said that water tankers will be stationed in central areas for locations without water, until the disruption is resolved.

The City of Cape Town says tankers are located at the following locations:

        E section stationed at Lathitha Ilanga, Mkhonto street

        S, T and Y sections at Bangiso and Thandazo/Ntandazo streets

        A, B, C sections at Ngalo Street and E section at Ntlalo Street

        Bonga and Pama Roads


The City asked residents to observe social distancing, wear masks and exercise patience, whilst queueing for water.

‘’The City regrets the inconvenience caused by the disruption, but are using all available resources to resolve the issue.’’

 PHOTO: City of Cape Town - Residents queuing to get water 

Done By: Mitchum George

Mediclinic in the Western Cape suspends elective surgeries

Mediclinic in the Western Cape has decided to suspend elective surgeries in the province to ensure it has the capacity to keep up with the increase in COVID-19 hospitalisations.

The private hospital group has noted a dramatic increase in COVID-19 admissions, with the number of patients rising from less than 100 to more than 500.

The group urged the public to be cautious and adjust its behaviour accordingly to manage the risk of contracting COVID-19, as it has seen an increased number of patients flocking to its facilities during the second wave.

In a statement, MediClinic said that the number of patients seeking care from its hospitals in the province is clearly greater than it was during the first wave of the disease.

The group added that the demand for its intensive and high care units has reached its maximum capacity.

Meanwhile, the Western Cape Government said that as of Friday, there were 2 032 total Covid-19 patients in hospital, of which 287 were in ICU/high care. ‘’However, the additional capacity made available requires resources to directed away from other services, meaning less capability for a particular health service to be rendered.’’ It said in a statement.

‘’In addition, the 4 443 acute beds (excluding Maternity, Paediatric, Neonatal, Psychiatry beds, Red Cross, Mowbray and the TB hospitals) across the province are also taking strain with Metro hospitals operating at 78% and Rural hospitals at 89%.’’

The Health Department warned that the pressure on scarce health resources may result in possible delayed admission to hospital or the possibility that certain service packages cannot be rendered.

‘’To assist the teams the Department has initiated ethics committees to support the clinical decision making. Both clinical decision making and access to certain care packages will, by necessity, be different to those experienced in normal day-to-day services – for both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients.’’

‘’These are unprecedented times globally and require us to take unprecedented actions to support the most vulnerable patients. Senior management fully supports clinicians in this very difficult time as their decisions are guided by equity, fairness, dignity, and engagement. To further support our teams and the demand for services, an additional 829 dedicated COVID beds have been made available,’’ it added.


Done By: Mitchum George

IJR director, Stanley Henkeman, dies of COVID-19 complications

The Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR) director, Stanley Henkeman, died on Friday, following COVID-19 complications.

In a statement, the IJR said: ’’It is with profound sadness that the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation announces the passing of its executive director, Mr Stanley Henkeman yesterday (Friday) afternoon, the 18th of December 2020, following complications related to the Covid-19 virus.’’

Henkeman underwent a heart transplant in 2007 after being diagnosed with end-stage heart failure the year before, Health24 reported. After the transplant, he competed at the World Transplant Games and became chairperson of the SA Transplant Sports Association.

’’Stan made an enormous contribution to the institute, first as Programme Head of its Building an Inclusive Society Programme and later as its executive director,“ the IJR said.

’’During this period, he succeeded in solidifying the leading role that the IJR plays in justice and reconciliation processes in South Africa and elsewhere on the continent. He was particularly passionate about stressing the pursuit of social justice as a prerequisite for reconciliation in divided societies,’’ it added.

Head of Western Cape Education Department, Brian Schreuder, sent out his condolences to the family.

‘’Mr Henkeman has done incredible work regarding justice and reconciliation in our country, including in our schools. A former teacher, he has specifically been assisting the WCED with supporting vital conversations around embracing diversity in our schools. Our department and schools will feel his loss keenly. We offer our deepest condolences to his family, colleagues and friends.’’


Done By: Mitchum George

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