South Africa: Today’s latest news and headlines, Wednesday 29 April

Government is in a race against time to finalise lockdown level 4 regulations.

South Africa: Today’s latest news and headlines, Wednesday 29 April

Never miss a beat when it comes to the latest news in South Africa – check out all major headlines on Wednesday 29 April.

As South Africans prepare to enter level 4 of lockdown, economic support schemes for embattled business owners and hungry citizens encounter administrative hiccups. Meanwhile, law enforcement agencies tighten surveillance in volatile areas which have seen unrest as a result of the lockdown’s fierce financial pressures.

Today’s latest news in South Africa, Wednesday 29 April

Lockdown funding schemes ‘overwhelmed’

The demand for financial assistance during lockdown, from businesses and citizens who have lost their jobs as a result of the economic downturn, has overwhelmed the state’s capacity to deliver. While President Cyril Ramaphosa recently announced a R500 billion Economic Relief Package, intended to mitigate the country’s financial ruin, certain schemes, particularly those serving informal, small, medium and micro enterprises (SMME), are experiencing teething problems.

The tourism industry, which has been hardest hit by the global pandemic, has been thrown into further disarray by a series of legal challenges emanating from the support fund’s BEE position.

In light of recent job cuts, government’s Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) has been kept especially busy, paying out more than R3.3 billion. Unfortunately, the magnitude of the administrative task has left over 10 000 workers in the lurch.

The department revealed that UIF employees were working around the clock to deal with “extraordinary volumes of requests for assistance”.

Government rushing to finalise level 4 regulations

During a National Command Council (NCC) briefing on Tuesday, ministers revealed that government was busy finalising regulations to accompany level 4 lockdown.

Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane admitted that the NCC was in a race against time, noting that the public submissions received on Monday were still being assessed and that definitive answers in line with amendments to the Disaster Management Act would be revealed by the council ‘soon’.

Each minister is expected to deliver directives pertaining to their respective departments before 1 May.

Social grant payment dates confirmed

The elderly and persons with disabilities, who receive their monthly social grants from the South African Post Office (SAPO), will from May receive their monies from the fourth day of the month.    

All other grants will be paid from the sixth of every month, SAPO said in a statement on Tuesday.

“The Post Office also advises beneficiaries not to make a balance enquiry on the first day of the month, as their grant will only become available on the dates mentioned above and the balance enquiry may incur unnecessary bank charges,” said SAPO.

Beneficiaries are allowed one free balance enquiry during each pay cycle. (Source: SAnews)

Western Cape Provincial Parliament talks police brutality

The Western Cape Provincial Parliament’s Ad Hoc Committee on COVID-19 will today assemble, digitally, to discuss issues concerning policing, security and police brutality. The meeting will include input from the provincial Police Commissioner, provincial Minister for Community Safety, the Department of Community Safety, the provincial head of the Independent Police Investigating Directorate and the Western Cape Police Ombudsman.

Recently, South Africa had the dubious dishonour of ranking high on the United Nations’ list of countries with ‘toxic lockdown structures’. Georgette Gagnon, director of field operations for the UN, said:

“In South Africa, the UN has received reports of police using rubber bullets, tear gas, water bombs and whips, to enforce social distancing, especially in poor neighbourhoods.”

Latest weather forecast, Wednesday 29 April

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Source : The South African More   

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Apoptosis and the science behind fasting

People indulge in fasting a lot these days. Even though the intention is mostly to lose weight, there is an underlying advantage that is way more important than they realise.

Apoptosis and the science behind fasting

Apoptosis is what happens when you fast. Intermittent fasting, once a week, three times a week or even every day, people are getting into fasting to some degree and recent studies show that it is not bad. One important factor that takes place during fasting is the death of the old cells that are prone to external diseases — a state called apoptosis.

What is fasting?

Fasting in simple terms is rapid oxidation of energy as people do not consume calories for a considerably long amount of time. This is different from people who follow a calorie-deficit diet as there is supply of calories to the body, yet in fewer proportions. An important advantage of fasting over calorie restriction is that it does not affect muscle mass, whereas in calorie deficit diet there is a loss in fat and lean body mass.

Cells need to regenerate once in a while, and when people age, the ability to regenerate decreases. Hence some take antioxidants as a part of their diet as pills or syrups. Antioxidants are good in limited proportions, but over dosage can lead to problems. Antioxidants are a barrier for apoptosis as they do not let the old cells die and be created again.

Fasting improves burning of fat in the body especially the visceral fat (commonly called belly fat), reduces the risk of diabetes and also catalyses the regeneration of stem cells in the small intestine. But the most important function is its ability to promote apoptosis. People feel powerless and weak whenever they fast for the first time and this is because of the reduced ATP generation. But this becomes normal over practice for a regular time. The feeling of being weak is because of the death of the old cells in the body.

Fasting and exercise

If you are a person who indulges in heavy physical activity, then it has been shown that fasting enhances the endurance of muscles for people who follow intermittent fasting and this is because of the increased insulin sensitivity which is in correlation with apoptosis. Other beneficial results of fasting are improved cognitive ability, reduced blood pressure, increased ketone levels and reduced inflammation and glucose levels. The key driver to all of these is the regeneration of new cells in the body and the death of disease-prone cells.

People still follow their regular three-meal-a-day plan for optimal performance, but fasting within a particular time frame will show dramatic improvements in the overall body.

This content has been created as part of our freelancer relief programme. We are supporting journalists and freelance writers impacted by the economic slowdown caused by #lockdownlife.

If you are a freelancer looking to contribute to The South African, read more here.

Source : The South African More   

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