Tag: Lockdown

Lockdown: Shocking video of students drinking hand sanitiser.

Shocking footage of South African school students drinking hand sanitiser in their classroom has gone viral, after it was initially uploaded to Tik Tok this week, The South African reported.

Concerned social media users are now asking the Department of Basic Education (DBE) to probe the incident.

According to The South African, the Grade 12 students have been blasted for ‘displaying behaviour you wouldn’t see from Grade R pupils’ – a damning indictment for this bunch of learners.

WATCH GRADE 12 PUPILS DRINKING HAND SANITISER HERE

Yusuf Abramjee, an anti-crime advocate, posted the footage to his own page on Thursday evening:

https://twitter.com/Abramjee/status/1283825856134209536?s=20

 

 

 

 

Lockdown: Restaurants will be blocking streets next week.

On Wednesday 22 July, restaurants will be blocking the roads outside their premises by dragging all tables and chairs into the street. The protest is expected to last two hours, from 12:00 to 14:00.

Business Insider has seen a letter sent by the Restaurant Association of South Africa (Rasa) to the South African Police Service informing them of the protest.

“Due to the continual disregard for the restaurant industry, Rasa and various other restaurants, take away shops and coffee shops will be embarking on a nationwide peaceful demonstration,” the letter reads.

“Each restaurant owner will move tables and chairs from their empty restaurants into the street in front of their establishment in protest of the current regulations and to highlight the plight of the industry.”

Rasa is calling it the “Million Seats on the Streets” protest and is also planning to form a human chain from parliament in Cape Town on 24 July.

You can view the Million Seats on the Streets Facebook page here for more information.

https://facebook.com/events/s/rasas-million-seats-on-the-str/296196024767616/?ti=icl

 

 

Lockdown: These heartbreaking photos reveal the jobs massacre at SA’s top restaurants

South Africa’s restaurant sector is on its knees as the coronavirus crisis and stringent lockdown measures threaten the livelihoods of the 800,000 people employed in the industry, Business Insider reported.

While sit-down meals are now allowed in restaurants after a months-long ban, alcohol sales with meals are still out of bounds, starving many restaurants of much-needed income.

The industry was dealt another blow with this week’s reintroduction of a curfew between 21:00 – 04:00.

According to industry representatives, restaurants do the majority of their business after 17:00. If restaurant staff need to be in their homes by 21:00, that means they need time to travel, and to clean and close the restaurant. This effectively cuts restaurants to only two hours of trade, between 17:00 and 19:00.

Restaurants also say they have been let down by insurers like Santam and Guardrisk, who are refusing to pay out business interruption claims.

Many prominent restaurants and bars have now closed their doors permanently, including The Kitchen in Cape Town, where former US first lady Michelle Obama famously had lunch in 2013, popular Melville restaurant Pablo Eggs Go Bar, The Myoga restaurant at The Vineyard hotel in Cape Town,  as well as the Kalk Bay Theatre & Restaurant.

Restaurants are mobilising to focus attention on their plight. The Restaurant Association of South Africa (Rasa) says it may sue government on behalf of its members for damages suffered by lockdown regulations, including a rebate on liquor licences.

According to Business Insider, the industry is also organising a “Million Seats on the Streets” protest, planned for Wednesday 22 July, and it is expected that streets may have to be shut down as restaurant workers plan to demonstrate. A human chain is planned from parliament on July 24th.

A social media campaign – #jobssavelives – has also been launched, and some of South Africa’s top restaurants are posting photos of how many jobs have been lost, or are at risk, due to the lockdown:

Source: Business Insider

Photo Credit: Business Insider

 

Lockdown: Random Stop Searches- Bheki Cele

Police minister Bheki Cele says that the South African Police Service (SAPS) will ensure that South Africa’s move to stricter lockdown regulations are enforced.

In a media briefing on Wednesday (15 July), Cele said that this will include increased police visibility, roadblocks and patrols ‘where applicable’ in streets, malls and other areas where people ignore social distancing protocols, Business Tech reported.

Members of the South African Police Service, South African National Defence Force and Traffic Departments will be enforcing the 21:00 to 04:00 daily curfew

“There will also be random stop and search operations to ensure that the prohibition on the transportation of alcohol and tobacco is not being subverted,” he said.

“Throughout all of this, law enforcement officials will be dependent on the cooperation of community members to ensure these operations are handled in the best possible spirit and with the least disruption.”

Cele said that the country’s intelligence services have also been working throughout the pandemic to help track and trace people with the coronavirus.

These services also provide valuable information on trends, patterns & manifestation of Covid-19, both at home and abroad, which has helped inform government’s response, he said.

The announcement on stricter police enforcement comes after president Cyril Ramaphosa announced a host of new lockdown restrictions on Sunday evening (12 July).

“Law enforcement officials have been instructed to act resolutely to enforce compliance with the regulations arresting those that breach them and ensuring that they are successfully prosecuted,” Cele said.

Convictions will result in either fines or jail time depending on the discretion of the court.”

In addition to potential fines for purchasing alcohol and tobacco, Cele warned that those who are caught breaching curfew without a valid permit will be prosecuted.

Cele says those who work at night or early in the morning will have to produce a permit of movement when they are requested to do so. Breaking curfew without a permit or a valid reason will be a breach of the regulations and be prosecuted as such.

Cele says the cluster has also noticed an increase in social gatherings before and after funerals. The night vigil before the burial and the so-called “After Tears” remain prohibited gatherings. No alcohol may be consumed at the actual funeral either.

 

Lockdown: Alcohol ban and taxi capacity

Two medical experts have expressed concern following government’s renewed ban on alcohol sales and regulations on taxi capacity, News24 reported.

The experts, who also serve on the Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC), said government need to come up with a more comprehensive plan on how to manage the increase in Covid-19 infections.

Alcohol

Speaking to News24, Dr Angelique Coetzee, the president of the South African Medical Association (SAMA) and member of the MAC, said the ban on alcohol would impact workers’ livelihoods and a better plan needed to be created.

She added it seemed South Africans had a major issue with alcohol abuse, which had contributed to an increase in causality cases in hospitals.

While the ban might be needed, Coetzee said the government could look at measures that were “less harsh”.

You are willing to risk 100% loading of a taxi, but you’re not willing to risk and come up with a better solution than just shutting down all the alcohol outlets.”

She suggested other measures to curb alcohol consumption, including limiting outlet times, but more importantly, looking at the cause of why people abused alcohol.

Coetzee said that needed to be addressed because “the moment they lift the ban, it’s going to happen again”.

For Professor Francois Venter, the head of the Ezintsha Health Unit at the University of the Witwatersrand and member of the MAC, there were more creative ways to relieve some pressure on the healthcare system other than an alcohol ban.

He said while an argument could be made to ban alcohol in hard-hit provinces like Gauteng, “there is no reason” the ban should apply in areas which did not have high Covid-19 infections as healthcare systems in these areas were under less stress.

Venter added he believed the measures announced were a distraction from the measures “we should be talking about, like physical distancing, hand-washing and mask-wearing”.

He said the government needed to be consistent in its regulations to build trust and buy-in from the public to fight Covid-19.

“The government has shot itself in the foot repeatedly with irrational advice and what happens then is that it’s very easy for society to opt out and to say, ‘this is nonsense, I’m not going to participate’.”

“I think what I was really disappointed with, was not enough attention to public transport, to the taxi industry.

“They should have been talking about what they were doing about that and reinforcing the physical distancing, etc, which he did but instead it did feel a bit like a moral admonishment, like your father talking to you, when government really have not held up its end of the social contract – irrational guidelines, inconsistent laws – and for that reason I think people will just shrug their shoulders and say ‘whatever’.”

Venter added while Ramaphosa spoke about mask-wearing, the focus should have been on emphasising a social contract.

“It should be more about us policing communities and say it’s not OK to have our masks off in public, and for your youngest to go to a party is not OK, you need to start thinking about the consequences of that.

“I’m quite disappointed, I must say.”

Curfew

While Coetzee said the SAMA had been calling for a curfew for a while now, she believed the one announced by Ramaphosa on Sunday started too late and ended too early to be effective.

“As long as the curfew can keep people at home, then it can help,” she added, saying it would not have an effect because of the times.

For those going to parties, Coetzee said it would especially not have an impact, as young people could simply stay at the party until the curfew ended.

Taxi capacity

Ramaphosa said taxis driving long distances would only be able to fill up to 70% capacity, while short-distance taxis could fill 100%, provided they opened windows for ventilation.

Coetzee said importance should be placed on ventilation inside taxis as mounting research had suggested Covid-19 was airborne.

Along with social distancing, sanitising and mask-wearing, ventilation was an important measure that needed to be put in place, she added.

“What is not clear, is what is long distancing and what are normal distances.

For short distance, it is very clear that when you are 100% loaded in your taxi, all the literature is showing that contact time should not be longer than 20 minutes in very close contact.”

Coetzee raised concerns over this, saying it could create a contradiction in terms of the regulations if the government allowed people to be in close contact with each other for more than 20 minutes.

“Then why don’t you just open up all the restaurants or churches? There should not be two different versions of what is ‘close contact’,” she said.

Venter believed the biggest failure from the government was in its handling of issues in the taxi industry.

“Why not work with them and say these are the things we think are going to keep your drivers safe and a way we can keep the industry going?

Lockdown: Rules for Nursery Schools and Childcare facilities.

The Department of Social Development has published a new directive which details the phased reopening of Early Childhood Development (ECD) programmes and partial care facilities in South Africa, Business Tech reported.

The directive only applies to centres which were already operating prior to the implementation of the state of disaster, and children who were attending these facilities.

The department said that these facilities may reopen immediately provided they adhere to existing health and safety guidelines as well the additional requirements provided for in the directive.

These additional requirements include:

  • A self-assessment form (which can be completed manually or online);
  • A declaration form declaring that the facility meets with the minimum health and safety standards;
  • A workplace plan in line with current lockdown regulations.
  • All ECDs will be required to conduct screening in terms of the existing health guidelines, and that every person who enters the facility must be screened.

Any person with coronavirus symptoms must report them to a designated official immediately. This person must also be barred from entering the premises.

The existing rules around sanitisers and masks must also be followed. However, children younger than 24 months will not be required to wear a mask.

Children between two and five are ‘encouraged’ to wear masks, taking into account their age and developmental abilities.

Conditions for return

The directive also outlines a number of ‘conditions of return’ that a parent or guardian must follow to ensure that screening and tracking protocols are followed.

Some of the main conditions include:

  • A child must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian, or, if not practically possible, by a person designated by a parent or legal guardian, every day when the child attends an early childhood development programme or a partial care facility and must be screened;
  • In the case of a child who is twelve years or younger and accompanied by a designated person, the parents or legal guardian must provide the child with the required information for the purpose of the symptom screening;
  • A parent, legal guardian or a person designated by a parent or legal guardian has a right to enquire from the early childhood development programme or partial care facility about the details of the measures that have been put in place;
  • A child with a known underlying health condition that may place the child at a higher than normal risk category as defined by the Department of Health, may not return unless s a medical practitioner gives written authorisation that it is safe.

The directive states that the following activities are expressly prohibited for the duration of the national state of disaster:

  1. Outings and excursions;
  2. Extramural facilities;
  3. Activities implemented by an external party that are not part of the staff of the establishment;
  4. Open days;
  5. Programme-specifc conditions

 

The directive also outlines a number of ‘programme-specific conditions which must be followed by the various facilities.

Read the full directive:

http://www.gpwonline.co.za/Gazettes/Gazettes/43520_10-07_SocialDevelopment.pdf

Sports: Don’t hold your breath to see Springboks this year

South African rugby bosses and rugby starved fans should forget about the Springboks playing any Test rugby this year, IOL reported.

That is, unless the leadership of rugby in this country are able to get some kind of domestic competition up and running and soon. But that doesn’t seem likely according to IOL.

The reality is that with no rugby having been played in South Africa since mid-March and not likely to be played for some time still, the world champion Springboks will be in no shape later this year to compete equally with New Zealand or Australia – or any other Test team, for that matter – in any form of series or championship.

As sad as it is, this country’s rugby leadership almost have no choice now – four months after the suspension of all rugby due to the spread and threat of the coronavirus – but to write off the Test year.

With Covid-19 cases on the increase in this country, including at some of the rugby unions (just yesterday Rapport said four employees of the Lions, including one player and one management member had tested positive recently) a return-to-play, or even to train in groups, seems some way off. SA

Rugby bosses are awaiting news from the government about when the franchises can return to action but in the current climate getting the much-needed green-light any time soon appears unlikely.

It was hoped that the six local franchises – the Bulls, Lions, Sharks, Stormers, Kings and Cheetahs – would be able to compete in a new-look Currie Cup competition from the end of August to, in part, help prepare the national players for possibly playing in the Rugby Championship later this year.

But if that competition doesn’t get up and running and there is no rugby played locally, then the Boks might as well not play in any Tests because they will simply not be ready.

New Zealand’s five Super Rugby teams have been in action in their own domestic competition since June 13 (and what quality rugby they have produced, with several players in superb form), while Australia’s local competition kicked off recently too.

Come October, November or December – the time of a proposed Rugby Championship taking place in a safe “bio-bubble” – and those countries’ players would be in top shape and form, with match-intensity fitness ingrained in their bodies.

The Boks would have played no rugby, they’d be rusty, they’d be unconditioned, they’d be in a foreign environment and their reputation as World Cup winners would be on the line.

It’s not worth it. Either the World Cup winners must be match-ready, hardened and in shape, or they mustn’t play at all.

And there are other issues at stake as well, like whether the Boks’ new coach Jacques Nienaber will be allowed to pick players who’re contracted to overseas clubs and play domestically in France England and Japan.

 Right now, it looks like the closest fans are going to get to seeing some of their World Cup heroes in action this year will be in a home-based competition, but that is likely to happen only much later in the year, if at all.

Source: IOL

Photo Credit: Ultimate Rugby

 

 

Lockdown: Permit for travelling under the new curfew.

Government has reintroduced an evening curfew in South Africa as part of a number of new restrictions aimed at curbing the surge of coronavirus cases in the country, Business Tech reported.

In a national address on Sunday evening (12 July), President Cyril Ramaphosa said that the curfew will be implemented between 21h00 and 04h00 daily.

The curfew comes into effect from 21h00 on Monday evening (13 July) and does not have a set end date.

According Business Tech, an accompanying directive published by minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, South Africans will require a permit should they need to travel during these prohibited times.

These permits are required for people who perform essential or other permitted services and require both the employee’s information and the information of the company.

The below form shows what the permit looks like.

You can find the full annexure and directive here.

http://www.cogta.gov.za/cgta_2016/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/43521_12-07_Cogta.pdf

Photo Credit: Unsplash

 

Covid-19: These SA businesses have not survived the lockdown.

The coronavirus pandemic has caused misery in thousands of businesses in South Africa. Already, many have had to close their doors amid the turmoil, Business Insider reported.

Edcon

According to a new deal, Retailability, which owns the Legit chain of stores, will buy the most profitable Edgars stores – the rest will be closed. An announcement of a similar agreement for Jet is expected within a week.

Comair

The owner of kulula.com (and local operator of British Airways in SA) also filed for bankruptcy protection during lockdown. Across the world, other airlines found themselves in the same position, including Flybe (UK), Trans States Airlines and Compass Airlines (US), Virgin Australia as well as Avianca in Colombia. SAA has been in business rescue since December.

Comair’s business rescue practitioners warned that the airline requires a “substantial” cash injection and that it can only survive if it sells half its planes. Under the most enthusiastic scenario, it won’t take to the skies before November.

Media24 publications

Media24 has closed a number of print publications, and restructured others as the pandemic wreaked havoc on advertising income.

Associated Media

Associated Media Publishing, which published Cosmopolitan, House & Leisure, Good Housekeeping and Women on Wheels, shut down last month, blaming the “devastating” impact of Covid-19. The company was launched in 1982 by magazine doyenne Jane Raphaely.

Caxton magazines

More magazine casualties could include titles like Bona, Country Life, Essentials, Food & Home, Garden & Home, People, Rooi Rose, Vrouekeur, Woman & Home and Your Family after their publisher Caxton and CTP Publishers & Printers announced that it is “withdrawing” from magazine publishing. Buyers for these titles are sought – failing which, they will be closed.

Phumelela Gaming & Leisure

Founded in 1997 and based at the Turffontein racecourse in Johannesburg, the company is SA’s biggest horse racing business. It operates four racecourses, more than 200 tote outlets and online sites, as well as a telephone-betting centre. It also owns Betting World, which has nearly 70 retail outlets and an online platform.

It filed for business rescue during lockdown, but thanks to R100 million in emergency funding from the Oppenheimer family, it may still be stabilised.

Pretoria Society of Advocates

Commonly known as the Pretoria Bar, the lockdown has worsened its financial situation. It is owed millions by its members, and may apply for liquidation.

Prada in South Africa

The Italian luxury group Prada shut its only store in South Africa during lockdown. The Sandton City store – covering an area of 800 square meters and designed by architect Roberto Baciocchi – opened its doors five years ago.

Time Freight

The courier company – which is part of The Laser Group – is no longer operational after the lockdown brought its business to a halt.

Restaurants and bars

Wendy Alberts, CEO of the Restaurant Association of South Africa (RASA), told Business Insider that “dozens of restaurants” are going out of business every day.

The Kitchen in Cape Town

Where former US first lady Michelle Obama famously had lunch in 2013. Launched in 2009 by chef Karen Dudley, it announced last week that it would close its doors.

Pablo Eggs Go Bar

Popular Melville restaurant Pablo Eggs Go Bar has also announced that it has closed down. “It’s been a wonderful four years on that magical corner but in these uncertain times we have decided to consolidate our financial exposure and we simply lack the financial needs to reopen,” its owners said in an Instagram post.

The Myoga restaurant,

The Myoga Restaurant launched in 2007 in the grounds of The Vineyard hotel in Cape Town, has also closed. “Having weathered two recessions, a water crisis and now Covid-19, it is time to close Myoga’s doors and look to the future,” says owner Mike Bassett.  “The way we live, including the experience of eating beautiful food, together, is forever changed. We need to make sure that where we can affect it, that change is for the better.”

Joburg Bar in Long Street

The legendary Joburg bar in Long Street, Cape Town has also called it quits after more than two decades, and the Kalk Bay Theatre & Restaurant did not survive lockdown.

Domino’s Pizza:

South Africa’s once high-flying pizza industry has been dealt a blow with the announcement that the Domino’s Pizza business is being liquidated. A total of 55 stores and about 770 employees will be impacted by the closure, which is with immediate effect.

Flight Centre’s Cruiseabout

Flight Centre, South Africa’s largest travel company, will close 40% of its stores and shut its cruising holiday Cruiseabout brand, with its customers and bookings to be transferred to the rest of the business.

Hout Bay’s Mariner’s Wharf

The harbourfront centre, which opened in 1984 and houses several shops and restaurants, “has taken the extremely difficult decision to cease trading until the economy recovers”. Employees have been retrenched.

Bishop Bavin school

The prestigious private Bedfordview school has shut its doors, allegedly due to a financial crisis, News24 reported. According to a Gauteng Department of Education spokesperson, many independent schools are experiencing financial difficulties as some parents are not paying fees as expected amid the lockdown, and widespread loss of jobs.

The Gadget Shop

The company, which sold a wide range of “gifts, gadgets, gizmos or items of wonder” online and from 11 stores, closed down last month.

Rebel Tech

The online tech hardware retailer has also closed its doors. The Johannesburg-based company was founded in 2008. “Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 situation and its subsequent challenges, the cards that were dealt were too much for Rebel Tech to overcome,” the company said.

Source: Business Insider

Photo Credit: Karen Dudley in The Kitchen.

 

 

 

 

Lockdown: Rules South Africans break most often

Police minister Bheki Cele has published new data showing how many people have paid admission of guilt fines for breaching the country’s lockdown regulations, BusinessTech reported.

The South African Police Service can give a person arrested on suspicion of a less serious crime, an option to pay an admission of guilt fine.

The fine is an admission of guilt for a less serious offence without having to appear in court, preventing an overload of the court system.

However, an admission of guilt also comes with a criminal record.

Cele said in a recent written parliamentary Q&A, that from when the National State of Disaster was first declared, to 19 June, 22,815 people had paid an admission of guilt fine.

A further 199,677 are scheduled to appear in court, or pay an admission of guilt fine.

He further broke down the statistics across the country’s provinces as follows:

Cele said that the following offences were most prevalent across all provinces:

Level 5:

Failure by a person to be confined to residence during lockdown except to perform/obtain essential services/goods, collect a social grant etc;

Level 5 and 4:

Failure by business/entity to cease operations during lockdown other than a business/entity involved in manufacturing supply or provisioning;

Level 4:

Failure by a person to be confined to his/her residence, read with Regulation 31 (2) (gatherings of people);

Level 4:

Convening 0f a gathering, assembly, concourse/procession on a public road or building, place or premises except at a workplace or normal residence;

Level 3:

Selling of tobacco products, e-cigarettes or related other than for export.

Admission of Guilt

The Department of Justice and Correctional Services said in May that it is working on new legislation which will stop an admission of guilt fine from including a criminal record.

Deputy minister John Jefferies said: “This is something we have been wanting to address and it is something that will be (included) in an upcoming Judicial Matters Bill,” he said.

“The idea will be that most admission of guilt fines will not attract a criminal record.

“Sometimes the due process is not properly followed and sometimes people feel pressured to pay the fine and don’t realise they are going to get a record and will affect their rights.

“So this is something that we are going to be addressing.”

 

Source: BusinessTech

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