Stay informed and up to date with all the latest South Africa news by reviewing the day’s top headlines on Tuesday August 18th.
South Africa has officially entered the Level 2 lockdown and, with many welcoming regulatory repays with open arms, President Cyril Ramaphosa has warned citizens not to celebrate too soon the danger of the ‘second wave’ of the pandemic. While trying to win the hearts and minds of South Africans – following a particularly grim spell at the helm – Ramaphosa faces increased criticism within his own African National Congress (ANC).
First day of level 2 lockdown in South Africa
South Africa’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has entered a long-awaited new phase; Level 2 lockdown. After nearly five months of economic activity and reduced personal freedoms – due to strict disaster management regulations, especially during the level 5 and 4 lockdown – South Africa has done so. a big step towards a semblance of normality.
With Health Minister Zweli Mkhize suggesting that South Africa has already passed the peak of the virus, urgent government attention has turned to rescuing an economy that is in a state of survival. Today, the hotel industry, a major source of jobs and added value to the GDP, will be able to capitalize on level 2 repayments with the hope of regaining lost ground.
Today, restaurants will be able to serve alcohol to seated customers and inter-provincial leisure travel will provide a much needed boost to the tourism industry.
Ramaphosa and Mkhize, however, have warned that if South Africans fail to practice social distancing and best hygienic practice protocols – resulting in a “second wave” of infection – the country could be forced to endure yet another hard lockdown.
Factionalism threatens to tear the ANC in two
As the president tries to repair his public image after months of lockdown-induced criticism, divisions within the ANC have Ramaphosa against the political ropes. Although ANC spokesman Pule Mabe recently announced that Ramaphosa enjoys the party’s unconditional support, local leaders in Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the North West Province have criticized the president, among others, for recently implemented lifestyle audits.
Following a wave of corruption linked to COVID-19 relief funds, which rocked the ANC, especially in Gauteng, in its very essence, Ramaphosa supported calls for in-depth lifestyle audits aimed at to eliminate reckless spending. In addition, the ANC is divided on the controversial issue of members and members’ families, doing business with the state.
In Mpumalanga, former ANC regional chairman Ehlanzeni, who still wields great influence in the region and is believed to be closely linked to Vice-President David Mabuza, said in a heated address to Ramaphosa and the National Executive Committee ( NEC) of the party:
“Why now the ANC people don’t have to do business, why?”
Eskom loses more units, warns of load shedding
South Africa’s struggling electricity supplier Eskom is fight to bring it together; lose more power generation units just days after the repair of the power grid after a short period of load shedding. Monday evening, Eskom warned that the risk of load shedding remained high in a “very constrained” electrical system.
Eskom added that while some urgent repairs had been successful, delays and further blackouts had drained over 11,000 MW from the grid. The crumbling infrastructure and dismal maintenance program of the public service, coupled with a history of mismanagement and corruption, remains one of the greatest risks to the South African economy. Eskom explained:
“Since the aging production infrastructure is unreliable and volatile, this strained electrical system is expected to persist for the rest of the week.”
The untimely death of serial killer uMthwalume leaves more questions
A suspect apprehended in the murder of at least four women in uMthwalume, KwaZulu-Natal, was discovered dead in his cell a few hours before his appearance in court. It is alleged that the suspect committed suicide after confessing to the murders.
For the past month, the community of umthwalume had lived in fear of a serial killer. Angry residents descended on the courthouse on Monday to protest justice denied by the suspect’s alleged suicide.
Democratic Alliance (AD) adviser Leonard Ngcobo called for an urgent investigation into the suspect’s mysterious death, saying:
“The public prosecutor believes that there is more to this incident than it appears. The killer could still roam the streets and until a full investigation has been carried out, women in the area will live in fear.
The DA welcomes the intervention of the Minister of Police, Minister Bheki Cele, through the creation of a national special team tasked with promptly investigating these murders.
This after the Ugu District Prosecutor tirelessly called on Cele to intervene. Our first call took place a month before the recent murders. While we welcome the intervention, we believe that if SAPS had acted sooner, we would not have had the latest killings. “
Speaking to enraged members of the community, Minister Cele announced that the Independent Police Investigations Directorate (Ipid) had been tasked with investigating the circumstances surrounding the suspect’s death.
Another suspect, accused of being an accomplice in the crimes, is still in custody.
Severe storm hits parts of South Africa
A fierce cold front is expected to hit parts of South Africa this week, starting with the Western Cape today and then bringing the freezing cold inside. The South African Weather Service has published several warnings for Cape Town and its surroundings, explaining that gale force winds and monstrous sea swells would be accompanied by localized flooding and snowfall in mountainous regions.
Western Cape Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning Anton Bredell said:
“We want to make the public aware of the latest weather warnings and in particular to highlight the risks of being outdoors in these weather conditions.
Avoid crossing swollen rivers and streams where the water is above your ankles. In buildings, move valuables to a safe location above the expected flood level. In rural areas, move animals to a safe location on higher ground. “
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