South Africa: Today’s latest news and headlines, Thursday 14 May
South Africans attempt to dissect the president's 'vague' address.
Never miss a beat when it comes to the latest news in South Africa; be sure to review our wrap of all major headlines on Thursday 14 May.
Following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s late-night address, South Africans have a vague glimpse into the future of Level 3 lockdown which is wholly dependent on the rate of infection in each area and the capacity of its health facilities After exhaustive consultations with the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC), Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga is expected to reveal the final school programme.
TODAY’S LATEST NEWS IN SOUTH AFRICA, Thursday 14 MAY
The move towards Level 3 lockdown… for some
During his Wednesday night address, President Ramaphosa revealed that some regions could move to Level 3 lockdown at “the end of May”… while others, with booming caseloads and insufficient healthcare responses, would likely remain at Level 4.
This doesn’t bode well for the Western Cape, which has recorded more infections than all other provinces combined.
Ramaphosa added that the NCCC would finalise measures for a move to Level 3 while keeping a close watch over regional caseloads.
Motshekga makes her final move
Education Minister Angie Motshekga is set to reveal government’s final proposal for the reopening of schools and the 2020 curriculum. The department’ original plan, which issued tentative dates for the return of Grade 7 and 12 learners on 1 June, was undone by a spell of miscommunication and unpreparedness.
Earlier this week, School Management Teams, who were due to report for duty, stayed home on instructions from unions and local government. This, in turn, impacted Motshekga’s original timetable and sent the department scrambling for a contingency plan.
In preparation for the department’s final proposal, Motshekga met with various stakeholders in the education sector. The minister’s final meeting with the NCCC on Tuesday is expected to have ratified the phased-in schooling approach.
Ramaphosa cancels Mother City visit, heads to the Eastern Cape
President Ramaphosa, who was due to visit the Western Cape today, has had to swiftly change course following concerning news from the provincial premier’s office. Western Cape Premier Alan Winde has been forced to undergo self-isolation, for the second time since the outbreak began on South African soil, after coming into contact with eNCA cameraman Lungile Tom, who sadly died of COVID-19 on Wednesday.
As a result, Ramaphosa’s itinerary, which was intensely focused on engagements with Winde, has been cancelled.
The president will, instead, visit the Eastern Cape. The Eastern Cape visit follows oversight visits by the President to Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal to evaluate the fight against COVID-19. According to the Presidency, the visit will start at the Livingstone Hospital and then move onto the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium which has been earmarked as a facility for quarantine or isolation of COVID-19 patients.
Latest COVID-19 statistics
President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Wednesday 13 May that COVID-19 cases in South Africa have risen to 12 074, an increase of 724 since Tuesday.
Deaths have increased by 13, with a total of 219.
There have been over 370 000 tests completed to date. A total of 4475 people have recovered from the virus.
Eskom embarks on free basic electricity programme campaign
In an effort to alleviate the impact of the COVID-19 national lockdown on indigent households, Eskom has launched a campaign aimed at raising awareness of the Free Basic Electricity (FBE) programme.
The programme is targeted at giving limited free electricity to indigent households.
Qualifying households, in terms of the government’s policy of providing support to the unemployed, low-earning, the destitute and the elderly, are encouraged to approach their municipalities to register as indigents in order to collect their allocated free basic electricity every month.
“Customers on municipalities’ indigent household registers have the right to collect a minimum 50 kiloWatt hours (kWh) of electricity for free every month, which can also be higher, depending on the municipality.
“Unfortunately a large number of indigent households don’t exercise their right, either because they are unaware of the free basic electricity, or because they have not registered with the municipality,” said the utility’s Group Executive for Distribution Monde Bala on Tuesday.
Once registered with the municipality, the customer’s details are loaded on the Eskom system where they get credited with free electricity tokens. (SAnews)
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