Home affairs suspend applications of smart ID

Home Affairs Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi has announced the suspension of several services rendered by the Department of Home Affairs under level 3 of the lockdown. This as the number of death certificates issued by the department has been on the increase. Motsoaledi revealed that since December the department, has been issuing a high number of death certificates. The figures, he cautioned, are set to spiral further by the end of January. To remedy the situation, Home Affairs offices have extended their operating hours until 7pm. “We will be extending…

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Land borders shut as SA struggles to contain Covid-19 infections

President Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced closure of the country’s 20 land ports to the public — with people only allowed to cross in “limited circumstances”. This is after the government realised that many people were being infected at the borders while waiting to be processed. This is one of the two new regulations that have been added to the country’s level 3 lockdown regulations, which have been extended to February 15. The second is the amendment of the curfew by an hour as it moves to 9pm-5am, from 9pm-6am. On…

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Almost half of SA’s oil refining seen shut until 2022

Glencore Plc Plant

Would force heavy reliance on fuel imports. By Paul Burkhardt, Bloomberg   South African plants owned by Glencore Plc and Petroliam Nasional Bhd that make up 43% of the nation’s oil-refining capacity are expected to stay shut until at least 2022, according to energy consultant Citac. Astron Energy, a unit of Glencore, has yet to restart the 100 000 barrel-a-day Cape Town refinery after a deadly explosion and fire in July. Petronas unit Engen’s Durban plant also stopped production in December after a fire. The closures will force South Africa…

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COVID-19 vaccine “not only weapon to end pandemi

Leading experts in South Africa’s vaccine procurement strategy say while securing a COVID-19 vaccine is top of the country’s agenda, it is not a magic bullet that will end the pandemic. “There is a general misunderstanding and we need to clarify that once the vaccines arrive on our doorstep, that is not the end of the epidemic. “The first branches will go to protect healthcare workers and will have no effect on the population as such. “Then there will be immunisation of the population and that is going to take…

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Command council details move to lockdown level 3

The National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) provided detail on South Africa’s move to level 3 of the COVID-19 lockdown. Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, said the country finds itself in a grave situation, as COVID-19 infections continue to rise. The Minister’s comments following an address by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday night, wherein he announced that South Africa has reverted to level 3 of lockdown, up from level 1. The briefing was on developments in relation to the country’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic. “Last night,…

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Do not pay for a place in front of queues

The South African Post Office (Sapo) has advised its customers not to pay self-appointed queue marshals a fee for a place in front of the queue when visiting their branches. Customers are advised not to pay the fee demanded by these queue marshals, and to report such incidents to the South African Police and to the Post Office branch in question These remarks come after Sapo become aware of instances where self-appointed queue marshals ask customers who visit their branches a fee for a place in the front of the…

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Tighter level 1 restrictions this festive season

Government has announced tighter level 1 lockdown restrictions nationwide, with effect from midnight tonight. This as the country enters the festive season amid a second wave of rising COVID-19 infections. President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the restrictions on Monday evening, as the country’s cumulative number of cases stands at 866,127, edging closer to the 900 000 mark. “If we do not do things differently this festive season, we will greet the new year not with joy, but with sorrow. Many of our friends, relatives and co-workers will be infected, some will…

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Murder accused remanded in custody

Mafika Ronnie Nkosi (42) was remanded in custody by the Nelspruit Magistrate Court after he was arrested by members of the Hawks Serious Organised Crime Investigation Nelspruit with the assistant of the Elukwatini Detectives on the 12 November 2020 for Murder. HAWKS spokesperson Captain Dineo Lucy Sekgotodi said probe followed the incident which took place in January 2007 whereby the late  businessman  Etienne  van Wyk (29) was murdered in his house in Nelspruit.  “It is alleged that on the night in question, the suspect entered the premises through the backyard…

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Initiation rites remain suspended

Government is calling on the traditional leaders and initiation schools to hold hands with them as the traditional initiation practices remain officially suspended in a bid to mitigate exposure against COVID-19. Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) Deputy Minister Obed Bapela has acknowledged that many traditional communities across the country observe the sacred cultural practices of initiation. “The traditional initiation practice is a rite of passage marking a transition into adulthood. In South Africa this important cultural journey is normally observed in June and December respectively winter and summer initiation…

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Bringing the power of artificial intelligence to graduates

The Central University of Technology, Free State (CUT) introduced Microsoft’s Artificial Intelligence programme (AI) in July this year, to address the demand  in South Africa in general. The programme has been running for four months and students have expressed that it has been a fulfilling experience and change of perspective. “This University programme provides organisations the opportunity to bring on board a groomed AI Engineer with the certified skills and hands-on project experience needed to assimilate into the workplace of the future, quickly and seamlessly,” says Professor Alfred Ngowi, Deputy…

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