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Sassa R350 SRD application rejected?

Sassa R350 SRD application rejected? You may now lodge an appeal.

If your application for the R350 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant has been rejected, you may now lodge an appeal with the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) to have the submission reviewed.

This is how you can appeal a rejection.

Applicants can call 0800 60 10 11 or email srd@sassa.gov.za with their complaints.

Still, many South Africans who claim to fit the SRD criteria argue that their applications have been denied or ignored. For these citizens, Letsatsi noted that an appeal system was being finalised in conjunction with the Department of Social Development. Letsatsi said:

“We have gone to the Department of Social Development to say we need to work on the directions because, in any case, we did not have the appeal mechanisms. We need to open up [the appeal process] so that people who are aggrieved are able to communicate with us and we can see how we can resolve the matter as quickly as possible.”

Regarding delays in the process, Letsatsi pleaded with South Africans to ensure that submissions forms contained correct personal details — specifically phone numbers and ID numbers — when applying for the R350 SRD grant. Letsatsi added that all details would be verified with the Department of Home Affairs in an attempt to mitigate any element of fraud.

The criteria for the R350 SRD grant

  • Above the age of 18
  • Unemployed
  • Not receiving any income
  • Not receiving any social grant
  • Not receiving any unemployment insurance benefit and does not qualify to receive unemployment insurance benefits
  • Not receiving a stipend from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme
  • Not a resident in a government funded or subsidised institution

How to apply

  • WhatsApp: 082 0468 553
  • USSD or SMS line: *134*7737#
  • Emails: srd@sassa.gov.za
  • Call centre IVR: 0800 60 10 11
  • Website: https://srd.sassa.gov.za

Source: thesouthafrican / Luke Daniel

Ekurhuleni Mayor, Mzwandile Masina in hot water over his tweet!

MASINA ANNOUNCES MEASURES TO ADDRESS POWER OUTAGES IN EKURHULENI

The Executive Mayor of the City of Ekurhuleni, Cllr Mzwandile Masina has announced a list of  measures intended to intervene in the recent spate sporadic power outages in the Tokoza, Phola Park and Germiston areas.

The outages have been caused by illegal connections and direct connections to distribution pillars and street lights that eventually overwhelm the grid.

Starting today, the following interventions will be implemented under the project name, “Power to the People”

ENERGY CHAMPIONS

Members of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) have been appointed to act as Energy Champions across the City.

The MMCs will be working closely with area engineers on a daily basis and will be tasked to submit two reports to the Office of the Executive Mayor, one in the morning to identify potential hotspots and risks elements in the various areas and a second report that will be submitted at 20:00 in the evening, to outline mitigation measures.

The following MMCs have been deployed to the respective Regions:

  • Ekurhuleni North – MMC Nkosindiphile Xhakaza • Ekurhuleni South – MMC Khosi Mabaso
  • Ekurhuleni East – MMC Masele Madihlaba

 

GERMISTON SUBSTATION AND CABLE INSTALLATIONS

Construction on the new Substation in Germiston North is currently 90% complete.

Two new cables, a 132kV and 133 kV, have been installed in Wayville and are set to stabilise the energy supply in the area.

A newly built mini-substation intended to supply power to the Primrose and Lambton areas was broken into and vandalised just two days after being commissioned.

Repairs are currently underway on the substation and an investigations into the cable theft are underway.

R46 MILLION INTERVENTION PACKAGE

The Mayoral Committee has resolved to present a R46 million intervention package to the Ekurhuleni Council for approval.

The package is intended to stabilise the grid in the Tokoza Area by installing another transformer to the local sub-station to increase power generation capacity.

The funds will also be used to install additional protective boxes, undertake cable reconfiguration and install split prepaid metres to contain the load.

 

ILLEGAL CONNECTION CLEAN OUT

The Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department (EMPD) will conduct a series of raids in areas with incidents of illegal connections.

The EMPD will be accompanied by the City’s Energy Department officials to disconnect the illegal connections and secure all metre boxes that have been tampered with.

“We cannot afford to be having prolonged power outages during these cold winter nights, it is unacceptable. We fully understand the community’s frustrations and anger at the present moment, that is why we are focusing all our energies for the next few weeks to stabilise the grid, in these various areas. We call upon Eskom engineers to cooperate and work with Eskom supplied communities, in order to find sustainable solutions to the energy issues in the area. We can no longer theorise on the this issue, we are going to the ground to fix this situation.” Said Mayor Masina.

A timeline of three weeks has been set for a speedy resolution to the unplanned and sporadic energy outages in the City of Ekurhuleni.

The City continues to call upon communities to call the Anti-Fraud and Corruption hotline on 0800 102 201 to report illegal connectio

CELE SENDS STERN WARNING TO MOTORISTS

Police Minister Bheki Cele said on Thursday his department had scheduled intense law enforcement operations for this weekend.

He said an increasing number of illegal gatherings were taking place since the ban on the sale of alcohol was lifted last week.

Cele said this had resulted in a general increase in criminal activities and had reiterated that the consumption of alcohol remained strictly restricted to people’s homes.

“No parties, no clubbing, no coming together, no transporting of alcohol on weekends.”

Cele said there is sufficient evidence to warrant the banning of alcohol sales once more.

Cele made the comment during a visit to the families of two Durban Metro police officers who were ambushed and shot dead on Tuesday.

“I have said it all the time that if I were given the opportunity to run and decide alone on this matter, then my first prize would be to ban the alcohol because I believe there is a lot of evidence that it is not doing good,” he said.

 Source: enca, ewn

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Motshekga pleads for no unnecessary visits

Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga praised the efforts by all education partners from 1 -7 June to prepare the schools, and urged schools to now be protected from the coronavirus.

Schools around the country are gearing up to welcome back Grade 7 and Grade 12 pupils under new health protocols, and with the increased foot flow, Motshekga has requested unnecessary visits be kept to a minimum.

Motshekga said she appreciated all the people who had visited schools in the past to offer support services and resources. Now that such valuable contributions had been made,Motshekga asked “with humility” for everyone to stay away, except pupils and staff.

“We highly discourage any other person to come to schools – other than learners, teachers and staff,” she said.

“We don’t know who is infected, some refuse to wear masks. As of now the rule will be: You don’t just walk into a school.”

Motshekga said they wanted “at all costs” to make schools green areas – free of the virus.

Of the 23 675 schools around the country, 23 100 have been deemed ready to receive pupils.

These included:

  • Eastern Cape;

4 660 out of 5 064

  • Free State;

1 123 out of 1123

  • Gauteng;

1 917 out of 2 017

  • KwaZulu- Natal;

5 975 out of 6000

  • Limpopo;

3 711 out of 3 711

  • Mpumalanga;

1 772 out of 1 815

  • Northern Cape;

556 out of 556

  • North West;

1 570 out of 1 570

  • Western Cape;

1 816 out of 1 819

Of the 575 schools not granted permission to open, 406 are in the Eastern Cape, 100 in Gauteng, 25 in KwaZulu-Natal, 43 in Mpumalanga, 3 in the Western Cape.

“The teaching and learning programmes provided  online will continue, and parents who are uneasy to send their children back to school must follow the law to ensure that their children’s right to basic education is unhindered,” said Motshekga

Source: News24

Is government finally listening to the calls from the Beauty Industry?

On Monday the government sent a letter to the Employers organisation for Hairdressing, Cosmetology and Beauty (EOHCB) to advise them, they were finalising guidelines for the opening of the industry.

The EOHCB made a statement on Facebook, saying that because of the sensitivity and confidentiality of the matter, the letter they received could not be published in full.

“On the 1st of June 2020, a written response was dispatched by the Ministry to the EOHCB’s legal representatives, amongst others, stating that:

  • the relevant Department is in the process of drafting the necessary protocols and/or guidelines for the opening of business activities including hairdressing, beauty treatments, makeup, nail salons, piercing and tattoo parlours for the resuming of these business operations;
  • these protocols and/or guidelines are critical as they are intended to assist in the prevention of the spread of the virus as well as to protect the lives of both workers and their clients; and
  • the Department is expected to finalise the protocols and guidelines by the end of this week.

However, it is evident that the protocols and/or guidelines are enjoying Government’s urgent attention and will, once made available, allow personal care services to resume under alert level 3, subject to the implementation and execution of these protocols and/or guidelines.”

Cobus Grobler, EOHCB National Manager, confirmed to TimesLIVE that the government had responded to the demand to introduce personal care services by saying it was working on guidelines.

There had been no indication whether those guidelines are for operating during Level 3.

“I am seeking clarity on which level in the lockdown, but we do know government is finalising the guidelines.”

The EOHCB said on Facebook it had engaged with the appropriate minister to reintroduce personal care services under Level 3.

Source: TimesLive, EOHCB

Photo Credit: Unsplash

 

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The “Alice in Wonderland” clothing gazette

This is how you should wear your clothes according to the new clothing Gazette.

 

Trade, Industry and Competition Minister, Ebrahim Patel, signed the new regulations on what clothing can be purchased during the national lockdown.

 

The gazette released on 12 May listed items that can be sold , with immediate effect.

According to TimesLive, the new regulations have been likened by the DA to a list from “Alice in Wonderland.”

 

DA MP Dean Macpherson said in a statement, “These new clothing regulations are frankly mad and seem more at place during the 1980’s under the Soviet Union than they do in a democracy like SA.”

“There is simply no justification for the minister to be determining what clothes people can buy and worse, how they should wear them.”

 

The party said that according to the regulations;

  • Shoppers can buy shirts so long as they are promoted “to be worn under jacket coats and/or knitwear” which was “insulting to South Africans intelligence.”
  • Shoppers may only buy crop bottom pants so long as they are worn with boots and leggings,
  • And finally, one could only buy “closed toe” shoes.

According to TimesLive, Macpherson said the clothing list was “reminiscent of how people were forced to live during the existence of East Germany.”

 

The following categories of clothing and footwear are allowed to be sold by retailers published in the Government Gazette.

Baby and Toddler Clothing and Footwear.

  • All children’s wear including, outerwear, underwear, sleepwear, school wear and school socks, footwear, socks and related accessories.
  • All maternity wear
  • All adult sleepwear and gowns
  • All adult underwear

Adult footwear categories

  • Boots, slippers,
  • closed-toe heels
  • closed-toe shoes
  • casual closed-toe shoes

Adult outerwear categories

  • Active wear;
  • Gym, running and other exercise apparel
  • Knitwear, jackets and coats
  • Dresses
  • Long sleeved T-shirts
  • Denim Jeans and Denim Jackets
  • Pants, skirts, short sleeved knit tops (to be promoted and displayed as worn under cardigans and knitwear)
  • Short sleeve T-shirts (to be promoted and displayed as under garments for warmth)
  • Leggings
  • Crop Bottoms ( worn with boots and leggings)
  • Long or short sleeve shirts (to be promoted and displayed to be worn under jackets, coats and/or knitwear)
  • Golf Shirts
  • One pieces such as bodysuits

Adult Accessories:

  • Shawls and scarves
  • Beanies, headwear
  • Gloves, socks and belts
  • Gym and exercise apparel accessories
  • Hair accessories.

Sources: TimesLive, IOL

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Government’s Covid-19 science mask is slipping

Government’s Covid-19 science mask is slipping

Written by Steven Friedman

 

It is comforting to know that, in a time of great danger, the government is working with top scientists to do what is best for us. But the comfort is often false, for science can be used to make things seem more certain than they really are. And it can give an excuse to authorities that don’t want to listen to the governed.

 

The government’s approach to Covid-19 is a contradiction. On one hand, it is an example of what the scholar James Scott calls “high modernism” – the belief that clever people in government can use science to make the world do whatever they want. On the other, it signals that the government believes it can make the world do very little. This mix of overconfidence and insecurity makes it want to control, not listen.

 

President Cyril Ramaphosa says the government is adopting a “properly calibrated” approach to lifting the lockdown that will balance the needs of the economy with controlling the virus. Its vehicle is the five-level programme, which will balance these two needs not only nationally, but in each region. It is backed by a strong scientific team and research into businesses’ ability to reopen while protecting public health.

 

This is a marked change from the government’s response to Aids, which was hostile to science. The contrast is more poignant because the public face of the scientific team is Salim Abdool Karim, a renowned epidemiologist whose work on Aids was rejected by the then government. Then, Karim was relegated to the margins. Now he is a celebrity. So, like governments elsewhere, South Africa is now “following the science”.

 

But science helps us only if it does not become a fetish – a means to control people and not to protect them. It is doubtful whether anyone anywhere knows how to ease a lockdown to “perfectly” balance freedom and health. Even if the planners miraculously get that right, people don’t ever behave as the plans say they will: there is a huge gap between what the government wants to happen in townships and shack settlements and what really does.  “Carefully calibrated” planning that ignores people whose lives and livelihoods are at stake will always be resisted in ways which undo the plans.

 

A tone-deaf ear

Deep down, the government knows this. It asked for comment on the plans, which it would not need if they were pure science. But because it either thinks too much or too little of itself, it did not want to give people a real say, so it settled for a “consultation” that heard only organised lobbies, while some in the government used the process as an excuse to do what they wanted to do all along. This does not square with its claim, which has been sold to the World Health Organization, that it is hearing the people.

 

The result was an attempt to both control people and pander to organised lobbies, which was anything but “carefully calibrated”. People can’t walk in the streets after 9am, but they can shop for clothes. They can’t leave their homes, but they can cross provincial borders. Nor can the government enforce the grand plans: hungry people queue for food in large numbers, smokers use illicit products and a mining union must go to court to ensure that the mines have a plan to keep their workers safe.

 

Its brand of science also reflects this mix. The Aids science was much clearer than that for Covid-19. There was medicine that could prevent people dying and it was much easier to control the spread. Covid-19 has no cure and scientists acknowledge that there is much they don’t know about it.

 

And yet the science is presented as fact. Karim’s obvious expertise and the difference between his rational view and those of Donald Trump or Jair Bolsonaro ensure that he is never challenged. But not everything he says is beyond question. He insists repeatedly that this country cannot avoid a “severe” outbreak. He bases this on the claim that every other country has experienced one and that we are not unique. To underline this, he urges us to be ready for widespread bereavement.

 

This largely breaks the link between what we do to protect ourselves and whether we can stop the disease. The restrictions that have thrust millions into poverty are not meant to stop people getting sick, but to make sure they do it when the health system is ready. We are told to fight the virus – and that we are doomed to lose. This must terrify people who know they may die of the disease however ready the health system is.

 

Hiding behind obfuscation

This view, too, is based on a claim that everything and nothing can be controlled, and it can tread on dangerous ground. Asked about the opening of schools, Karim told an interviewer that the virus was not going away soon, which implied that it did not matter much when schools opened.

 

But a “severe epidemic” is not every country’s experience. South Korea, Vietnam and New Zealand have all sharply curbed cases and deaths. In all three, new infections have dwindled to just about none. They may experience new waves, but so far they have avoided what we are told is inevitable.

 

Karim obviously knows this, so can it be that he really means – but cannot say – that some countries can prevent a severe epidemic and that he believes we are not one of them because our government is in control of too little to do that?

 

A comment by Minister of Trade and Industry Ebrahim Patel shows where the bizarre official mixture of fatalism, which assumes that disaster is inevitable, and a belief that the government has supernatural powers can lead. Official projections first said the epidemic would peak in June or July. This has been changed to September. Patel told a briefing that, because mid-year was the flu season, the government had decided to postpone the peak to September. So, the virus is so powerful that we cannot stop it, but it can also be made to delay its peak on the orders of the revealingly named National Coronavirus Command Council.

 

The health minister, Zweli Mkhize, offered a more plausible version of the delay. Medical scientists’ models, he said, had the virus peaking in July, but with the lockdown it was hoped to delay it for five weeks so that it would not come in the flu season. This seemingly slight change managed to avoid both false claims of certainty and the view that nothing can be done.

 

The government may claim the certainty of science, but many lockdown measures are harsh precisely because it knows it has weak roots in the townships and so fears it can only get them to behave if it uses a crude sledgehammer. It peddles the high modernist conceit that it is acting on certain knowledge because it hopes that this will silence citizens who might show up its insecurities.

 

We need a sense of common purpose to face Covid-19. The virus is a killer, and we need the social distancing and testing and tracing which are mandated by what scientists do know. But that does not mean accepting anything we hear from a government whose claim to control everything betrays a fear that it can control very little.

 

This article was first published on New Frame

Source: Mail&Guardian

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Could the Government impose a curfew?

Curfew

The Governments draft proposal regulating business and society could see the country be subjected to an unprecedented curfew from

20h00 till 5h00, under the new risk levels, to be confirmed this week.

 

These draft proposals are now open for the public to comment, with the final regulations to be announced on Thursday.

 

The legality of this impending curfew has been questioned by two experts of our constitutional law, while John Steenhuisen,

the DA’s interim leader and leader of the opposition in the National assembly has rejected it.

 

According to Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo, police spokesperson, they were sufficiently resourced to police the new curfew.

“We will rearrange ourselves if needs be and look at patterns, identify area where there is greater non-compliance where we will increase capacity,

“ Naidoo added, saying this did not mean areas where compliance was good would be left unattended.

 

Even though the hardlock down ( Level 5) will end on Friday, Dlamini Zuma has warned that South Africa could quickly return to Level 5 if the public did not adhere with the strict regulations. “We will be looking at data on a weekly basis.” Dlamini Zuma said.

 

These following rules are unlikely to change,

  • Movement is restricted unless it is absolutely necessary.
  • Physical Distancing
  • Sanitation and Hygiene
  • Use of protective equipment
  • 1 May 2020 wearing a cloth face mask is mandatory.

 

Which sectors will re-open on 1 May?

Patel said, Level 4 regulations will see 1.5 million more workers in the country to join those who have been working in essentials services since lockdown, but adding, “ We want people to stay at home.”

The proposals include:

  • Restaurants will be allowed to open but only for food deliveries, from 9h00-20h00, no sit down or pick up services allowed.
  • Tobacco products can be sold
  • Exercise will be allowed under strict conditions, but no organised sporting events or going to the gym
  • Alcohol sales are still banned, and will not be allowed in Level 3 for on-premise consumption.

 

This is bad news for sport, as the country’s biggest sporting codes were also dealt with a heavy blow. The rugby and football’s hopes of resuming the Super Rugby competitions and Absa Premiership, to be held behind closed doors – but televised, being rejected.  South African sports rely on advertising and broadcasting deals to stay afloat.

 

Source: news 24

Photo Credit: news 24

Government plans a new website where farmers can donate land

By: James de Villiers

The South African government is planning to build a website where farm owners will be able to make property available or donate property for land reform purposes, according to a new draft policy.

The draft national policy for beneficiary selection and land allocation, released by the rural development and land reform department on Friday, proposes the use of a website, which government believes will help to avoid corruption.

The online portal will also serve as the only way applicants can apply for property through the state’s land reform programme.

If an applicant is unable to apply, the department will provide support at its regional offices, the policy proposes.

“This system marks an end to an era of an unmonitored long database that caused a lot of dismay among targeted farmers and to ensure a synced and properly seamless system that endeavours to eradicate any form of fraud and nepotism,” the draft policy reads.

The policy furthermore proposes the establishment of an independent selection panel for property allocation after applications have been received.

The panel shall be comprised of multi-disciplinary and diverse representatives from all relevant stakeholders in the land and agriculture reform sector, and shall be appointed by the department.

A national panel shall deal with the allocation of property above the value of R50 million, while provincial panels shall look at the allocation of property below the value of R50 million, the draft policy said.

All applicants will have to be interviewed, and the intended farms inspected before the panel can make a final conclusion.

The policy proposes that property for land reform purposes be acquired through using state-owned properties, land donations, auction sales, bank repossessed properties and open market sales.

Interestingly, land expropriation without compensation is not mentioned as a method to acquire property.

Youth and unemployed agricultural graduates, women, people living with disabilities, producers on communal land and military veterans will be prioritised for land reform under the draft policy.

State-owned employees, employees of state-owned enterprises and politicians will be disqualified from the reform process unless they take part in a “cooling period” of at least one year.

Current beneficiaries of the land reform programme, where the person has been allocated a property and has abandoned it, vandalised it, mismanaged state assets or misused funds provided by the state, will also be disqualified.

South Africans can comment on the draft policy until the end of February by sending an email to Bsla@drdlr.gov.za

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