Author: Lize Geldenhuis

President Ramaphosa in Self-Quarantine

President Ramaphosa is in self-quarantine after a guest at a dinner party he attended tested positive for Covid-19.  The presidency released a statement on Wednesday saying that the president is showing no symptoms and will be tested should any symptoms become clear.

Ramaphosa on Saturday attended a fundraising dinner of the Adopt-a-School Foundation which is a partner entity of the Ramaphosa Foundation.  The event entertained 35 guests at a Johannesburg Hotel.  “The event adhered stringently to COVID-19 protocols and directives on screening, social distancing and the wearing of masks. As was the case with all guests, the President himself removed his mask only when dining and addressing the guests,” the statement read.  “The President is screened regularly by the South African Military Health Service and subjects himself to screening at venues where he participates in engagements.”

Ramaphosa send well wishes to the infected guest, who is receiving medical attention, a safe and speedy recovery, and wishes to other guests for good health.  The President will perform his duties remotely and will observe all guidelines for self-quarantine.

Hard lockdown just a rumour

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday said rumours of moving back to Alert Level 3 are not true.

During the question-and-answer session between the president and the National Council of Provinces, Ramaphosa responded to rumours that the country will be placed under another hard lockdown.

“I don’t want people to be alarmed. That is simply not true. If it gets there, I will advise the nation.”

Ramaphosa said he has received a report on Tuesday on the infection situation but is still to study the report

He said there are signs of concern, including recent superspreader events. 

Ramaphosa said rumours of moving back to Alert Level 3 are false news and should the situation change, he will communicate it.

Ramaphosa said there are concerns that as the country moves towards the festive season, people will let their guard down and infections could spike  

He encouraged South Africans to abide by preventative measures like mask-wearing, social distancing and hand washing at all times.

“We Are Ready for Matric Exams”

The Department of Basic Education on Tuesday said that it was on track with its matric examination preparations as more than 1 million learners sit for exams in a week’s time.  “We are ready to pull of a successful examination.” said Dr R Poliar.  Poliar is part of the delegation that briefed the basic education portfolio committee on readiness for the examinations.

Deputy Minister for Basic Eduction Reginah Mhaule said learners lost a lot of time during the academic year.  “With attitude pupils and teachers will make the 2020 National Senior Certificate examination successful,” Mhaule said.  Poliar said the department has done everything possible to ensure matrics were prepared to write the examinations.  “Despite the disadvantages and anxiety, they will write under most conducive conditions … It is unfortunate for this class to look forward and write under difficult conditions.’’

A total of 1 058 999 learners have been registered to write the exams in 2020.  The total number of full-time candidates is 616 021; November part-time candidates 113 846; June senior certificates candidates 167 733; June full-time 155 935 and June part-time, 5 164.  “All exam centres and storage points and nodal points have been audited. Invigilator training has been completed,” the department stated.

The department confirmed that a total of 45 809 markers have been trained and will be working at 180 centres throughout South Africa.  “Provincial education departments are currently managing the marking of subjects where shortages of markers have been identified.”

“Provincial education departments will extend the number of days needed for marking to accommodate the marker shortages or use a staggered marking approach. Training of invigilators is conducted based on national manuals and training is conducted by competent provincial and district teams. Invigilator training across provincial education departments was conducted mostly virtually and in some cases face to face.”

The department said it identified eight possible risks, but were managing them and put measures in place.  “We covered all the identified risks. We are dependent on Umalusi to alert what we need to do,” said Poliar.

The department will be assisted by Umalasi.  Mary-Louise Madalane of Umalusi said: “Acceptable levels of readiness and related measures which are in place to ensure conduct of credible exams by departments of basic education and provincial education departments were noted and this is appreciated. Based on our observation and reports of SOR, Umalusi is satisfied that the Department of Basic Education, through the nine provincial education departments, is ready to conduct next June-November examinations.”

Breaking – Two Police Brigadiers Arrested

Two Police Brigadiers were arrested on Tuesday and will face charges of fraud and corruption.  The National Police Spokesperson Brigadier Vish Naidoo, confirmed that two senior officers were arrested by the Western Cape Anti-Gang Unit, who were assisted by the National Anti-Corruption Unit.

“The brigadiers have been arrested for their alleged involvement in fraud, defeating the administration of justice and contravention of the Firearms Control Act in multiple case dockets in the areas of Edenvale, Kempton Park and Norwood in the province of Gauteng.”

The arrest of the two brigadiers brings to 28, the total number of people arrested in connection with these cases after 26 people were arrested earlier this year.  Of the 28 suspects, 17 are police officers, of which two are retired, and 11 are civilians.  These investigations started three years ago when it emerged that, during November 2017, security companies were involved in crimes of extortion in the Western Cape province relating to firearm applications in Gauteng,” Naidoo said.

The two officers are expected to appear in the Kempton Park Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

Retiring? Do you Rent of Buy?

If you’re nearing retirement you have probably been thinking of selling your home and spend more time travelling or on your hobbies, or simply relaxing.  The question: What then?  People nearing retirement age don’t always know the best way forward.  Do you rent?  Or do you buy something smaller?

Renting is always a great option, or is it? MD of the RealNet Estate Agency Group, Gerhard Kotzé, has advice for newbies to the retirement world. You will have better security, less responsibility when it comes to maintenance and none of the costs associated with buying a property.  “Renting for a while is probably also a good idea if you are still undecided about where you want to settle in retirement – which could be your own familiar area, or closer to your children, or in a favourite holiday destination.”  There are however disadvantages to renting, most significantly the uncertainty about how rent may rise in future.  Most retirees are also on a fixed income that will be steadily eroded by inflation.  Rising costs of rent may cause your retirement to be very uncomfortable.  “If you have children, you may also worry that renting is just eating up their inheritance.”

Kotzé’s best advice is to buy a sectional title unit in a secure complex, especially if you can use the proceeds of your home sale and buy the property outright.  “In such complexes, there is of course a monthly levy to pay, but  gives you much the same freedom from maintenance chores as renting would – and you have an appreciating asset to show for your trouble.”  You must also consider your future health-care needs.  There are many beautiful retirement villages with assisted-living and frail care facilities where you can buy an apartment or a cottage.  “Here you will also be paying a monthly levy, but the trade-off will not only be lower home and garden maintenance but peace of mind about what will happen to you if you become ill or too frail to manage your own home.Many retirement complexes also have a levy stabilisation fund to help keep a lid on future increases – and when you make this choice you will again have an asset to leave to your heirs.”

Strawberry Spinach Salad

INGREDIENTS

 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard

1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

5 c. packed baby spinach (5 oz.)

2 rotisserie chicken breasts, cut into 1/2″ pieces

2 c. thinly sliced strawberries

3/4 c.chopped toasted pecans

1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced

5 oz. feta, crumbled

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large bowl, whisk the lemon juice with the mustard. While whisking, slowly pour in the oil until the dressing is combined. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Add spinach, chicken, strawberries, ½ cup pecans, and onion to the bowl with the dressing and toss to combine.
  3. Pile salad onto plates and top with the remaining pecans and a generous crumbling of feta

5 of the healthiest fruits in the world

When it comes to healthy food, people only think of vegetables but ignore fruits. There are fruits which are considered to be a lot healthier than your average vegetables. You can even call them superfruits. Some of the nutrients present in these fruits cannot be obtained from any other food item. Even though sugar content in fruits is high, they are also known for their healthy antioxidants and phytonutrients.

 

1. GRAPES

Do you want a healthy heart? Then you need to be consuming a lot of grapes. Resveratrol, an antioxidant, present in grapes is responsible for keeping your heart healthy. Grapes contain a compound called malic acid which is helpful in protecting your teeth against discoloration. Once you add grapes to your regular diet, you never have to go for teeth whitening. Grapes which are red in color are capable enough to protect you against microbial infections. They are particularly known to be effective against polio virus. Purple grapes are known to help in the prevention of breast cancer in women. The antioxidant resveratrol is also effective against alzheimer’s disease.

2. APPLES

Apple is the richest source of flavonoids, fiber and antioxidants. An antioxidant present in apple is known to promote the health of our nervous system. People suffering from Alzheimer’s disease should definitely consume apple juice daily as it increases the secretion of a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine which can improve the memory of the people suffering from this disease. Apple’s skin is particularly very rich in dietary fiber. That’s why one should never peel the skin off an apple before consumption. Apple is good for other common health conditions such as diabetes and hypertension too.

3. BANANA

People suffering from diabetes should definitely add bananas to their diet. Nutrients such as pectin present in bananas help in moderating the levels of blood sugar. Even though they are rich in carbohydrates and taste sweet, one need not fear about bananas increasing the blood sugar levels. On the contrary, they keep them in control. This potassium-rich fruit also helps in controlling hypertension since potassium is an essential nutrient for reducing blood pressure. Fibers present in bananas also help in smooth digestion. People suffering from constipation problems need to eat at least 2 bananas before going to bed at night.

4. GRAPEFRUIT

This fruit is one of the best sources of vitamins such as A and C. Vitamin C strengthens your immune system while vitamin A plays a crucial role in the growth and development of body cells. This would help slow down your ageing process. Its low glycemic index level means that diabetic people can safely consume this fruit and obtain its health benefits. Regular consumption of grapefruit would also reduce the risk of stroke.

5. BLUEBERRIES

People looking to lose weight quickly should definitely be eating this nutrient-rich berry. As per scientific studies, blueberries are known to reduce the damage caused to DNA due to ageing and lifestyle habits. Oxidative stress is the main reason for DNA damage. But, the powerful antioxidants in blueberries can easily combat oxidative stress. In addition to protecting our DNA, these berries also prevent our blood cholesterol from getting damaged. Since they have an impact on our cholesterol levels, they also help in the reduction of blood pressure.

 

 

 

OR Tambo statue unveiled

President Cyril Ramaphosa has officially unveiled a statue in honour of the late struggle stalwart and global icon Oliver Reginald Tambo at OR Tambo International Airport – but not everyone is best pleased with the design.

OR TAMBO TRIBUTE SPARKS CONTROVERSY

Revealed on Tuesday, the nine-metre tall bronze statue of OR Tambo comes at exactly 103 years since the birth of the globally respected leader. Oliver Reginald Kaizana Tambo (27 October 1917 – 24 April 1993), also known as O. R. Tambo, was a South African anti-apartheid politician and revolutionary who served as President of the African National Congress (ANC) from 1967 to 1991.  The statue is situated outside the airport and pays tribute to the man revered for mobilising international support for the anti-apartheid struggle. President Ramaphosa was chuffed with the final product:

“This statue forms part of Ekurhuleni’s bold vision to see our country’s liberation history prominently displayed in the province’s tourism hubs. Like the statue of President Mandela at the Union Buildings in Tshwane, I have no doubt that this one too will become a tourist attraction.”

“We hope it will become an essential stop for visitors to the OR Tambo Cultural Precinct, which is doing so much to preserve the legacy of this great man, As they take their first steps on South African soil, visitors to our country will see this magnificent bronze gleaming in the sunlight. This statue is a colossus, as was the man it commemorates.”

Cyril Ramaphosa

WHY IS THIS STATUE ‘PROBLEMATIC’?

Many feel that the ANC has used public funds to promote the interests of their own party – a major political sin:

SOCIAL MEDIA REACTS TO THE NEW OR TAMBO STATUE

Although the debate around separating party from the state has been healthy online, the complaints about the ANC branding on a national hero have continued throughout the day. Of course, OR Tambo was the longest-serving leader in the ruling party’s history – but this partisan addition has left a sour taste in the mouths of many:

For how long will the ZAR perform this well?

Because of the continued rise in risk appetite and the demand for higher yield assets, the ZAR continued an upward trend and gained significan ground against most major currencies this week.

The ZAR closed at GBP/ZAR 21.26 last week Tuesday on the back of continued rise in risk sentiment. This was because on a stronger stock market and better economic data from China (a leading driver of emerging market demand). This drove commodity prices higher during the early parts of last week and bode well for the Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s (JSE) resources sector.

Government reactions to the economic impact of the Coronavirus continues to be a key factor in the global economic environment. Until now, Governments from the developed world have been forced to significantly lower interest rates and drive down their asset yields. This, in turn, has created an interesting opportunity for emerging markets (with relatively high interest rates) whose asset yields have continued to outperform their developed country counterparts. South Africa, in this regard, is no exception. The demand for higher yields has contributed significantly to a stronger ZAR over the past week.

The rand maintained its strong performance from the previous week by closing at GBP/ZAR 21.26 on Tuesday last week. This trend continued for most of last week as the ZAR closed at 21.09 to the pound on Friday. The coming week may see some volatility as important data is released. Later today the release of unemployment and inflation data in South Africa. The Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement on Wednesday will also be a significant driver of volatility. Economists expect a large budget deficit (the largest in 14 years) due to the effects of Coronavirus and the subsequent lockdown on the local economy.

MARKET EVENT CALENDAR

TUESDAY 27 OCTOBER

  • SA: Unemployment data

WEDNESDAY 28 OCTOBER

  • SA: Inflation data
  • SA: Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement

THURSDAY 29 OCTOBER

  • SA: M3 Money Supply and Private Sector Credit Data
  • US: GDP data

FRIDAY 30 OCTOBER

  • EU: GDP and inflation data
  • SA: Balance of Trade

MONDAY 2 NOVEMBER

  • SA: Manufacturing data

Simoné Pretorius deel goeie nuus

Akrise Simoné Pretorius en haar man, Andries, het gister aangekondig dat sy swanger is met hulle eersteling.

Simoné het die nuus gister op sosiale media gedeel met ‘n klomp sonar fotos.  Daar was ook ‘n video op Instagram waar Andries ‘n speelpakkie vashou.

“Woorde is nie genoeg om ons euforie te beskryf nie.  Dit is die grootste droom wat vir ons bewaarheid is” het Simoné by die fotos geskryf.

“Elke beweging wat ek maak, word met ‘n akute bewustheid van jou teenwoordigheid.  Elke kykie na jou gesig bring my op my knieë.  Die lewe begin in die baarmoeder en God is gewer van lewe.  Ons is oorweldig deur die perfeksie van Sy tydsberekening en hoe onverdiend ons is van hierdie genade”

Die baba sal in Mei volgende jaar sy of haar opwagting maak.  Die geslag van die baba is nog nie bekend gemaak nie.

Simoné is bekend vir haar rol as Nadia in die SABC-2 sepie 7de Laan.  Sy was ook te siene as die huwelik-sku Irma Humpel in die rolprent Vir die voëls.  Op KykNET se sepie Binnelanders was sy gesien as suster René Spies.

Simoné en Andries is Februarie verlede jaar getroud.

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