Tag: President Cyril Ramaphosa

NATIONAL NEWS: From the Desk of the President

Dear Fellow South African,

The number of deaths from coronavirus recently passed the 2,000 mark. Among those who have lost their lives are health care workers, consummate professionals who cared for the ill, and were a support and comfort to those in hospital isolated from their families.

That the men and women carrying out this most noble and sacred of duties are themselves falling ill and dying is a devastating blow.

They are on the frontline of fighting this pandemic. They are working under great pressure and must carry the psychological strain of knowing they are at risk of contracting the virus. They are the true heroes and heroines of our battle against coronavirus.

We salute these brave South Africans who leave their homes, families and loved ones to report without fail for duty every day in clinics, hospitals and other health facilities. There they provide medical care, administrative support and other services like cleaning and catering.

Just as they perform what is their professional duty, we too have a duty to them and to their families. Their health and their safety must be paramount.

We honour them and uphold them as the men and women who have demonstrated they are prepared to risk their lives so that we may live.

For them to do their Herculean work they need our support as well as protection through the provision of personal protective equipment (PPE).

With the support of the Solidarity Fund and donations from many individual South Africans, businesses, foundations and other governments, we have been able to procure personal protective equipment for these brave frontline workers. Where there have been shortages of PPE our hospitals are urgently attending to ensuring that they are available.

We know that access to PPE is not the only challenge our health care workers face. Across the country clinics and hospitals are facing staff shortages. This problem is being attended to.

To support the work that our frontline workers are performing around the country we are deploying Ministers and Deputy Ministers to each of the districts in the country to get a line of sight of specific challenges in these districts and to work with provincial health authorities.

We need to work together to safeguard the health of not just our frontline workers but the entire workforce.

There has already been sterling work done by unions in educating members around infection control and prevention and hygiene. They are also supporting the work of the Department of Employment and Labour in conducting workplace inspections to ensure health and safety protocols are in place for returning workers. Many of our trade unions are also providing coronavirus information to their members and employers are running awareness campaigns.

One of the challenges that has emerged in our country is the stigmatisation of people who have proven positive with coronavirus. As a society, we have a collective responsibility to stamp out the stigmatisation of people infected with the coronavirus. There have been disturbing reports of individuals being ostracised from their communities and of communities protesting against coronavirus patients being admitted to local hospitals and clinics. This must stop.

Just as we came together to promote acceptance of people living with HIV and stood firm against victimisation, we must show understanding, tolerance, kindness, empathy and compassion for those who are infected with this virus and for their families.

It is said that this stigmatisation is driven by fear of contracting the disease and lack of understanding. The best way to overcome our instinctive fear of illness and contagion is to observe the hygiene protocols that are in place. The fear of infection is well-founded and real. At the same time, we know what we have to do to protect ourselves and others.

We know what causes the virus and what we can do to protect ourselves from becoming infected. We know we have to maintain social distancing, to self-isolate if we have come into contact with those infected and to present to a hospital if we have symptoms.

We must continue to be guided by facts and not rumours.

The time when anyone could say they do not know anyone who is infected or affected by coronavirus has long passed. Now, more than ever, our friends, families, colleagues and neighbours need our empathy and support.

In the days, weeks and months that lie ahead, we will at times find ourselves despondent and fearful as we see the numbers of people infected and dying continue to rise. It may be that things have gotten worse, but we are certain that they will get better. Our scientists and medical advisers told us that the rate of infections will go up as we move towards our peak. But it will certainly come down.

We pay tribute to the health care workers who lost their lives caring for the sick. In their memory, let us keep ourselves and our fellow citizens safe by playing our part.

We shall overcome this virus and rebuild our society. We have seen darker times and we have prevailed.

Let us spare neither strength nor courage as we work together to save lives.

With best wishes,

Cyril Ramaphosa

Ramaphosa

Bad News for South Africans

Bad News for South Africans: President Ramaphosa feels very sorry for the country, here is what is going to happen

President Cyril Ramaphosa warned on Monday of a job loss tsunami in the aftermath of the Covid-19 lockdown.

Ramaphosa, in his weekly newsletter, focused on the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

It was inevitable for people’s livelihoods to be destroyed as businesses folded. He said employers, big and small, would have to retrench to mitigate the economic impact brought about by the lockdown.

The reality, said Ramaphosa, was that it would take a long time for the economy to recover to what it was before the pandemic.

Even worse, the economy was ailing before the coronavirus and unemployment was already high with youth unemployment at 55%.

It has been predicted that the country’s general unemployment rate, which stood at 30% pre-coronavirus, may climb to 50% by next year.

This while youth unemployment is expected to rocket to at least 70% post-Covid-19.

Ramaphosa said the jobs bloodbath was affecting every country that opted for a lockdown to contain the virus.

“As a country, we have all been keenly aware of the consequences of shutting down economic activity during the lockdown that was absolutely critical to save the lives of our people,” wrote Ramaphosa.

“South Africa is not alone. In Italy, the UK, the US, Germany, India, China and nearly every country that had imposed some form of lockdown, jobs have been lost or hours of workers reduced. It is being spoken of as a job loss tsunami.

“In April the International Labour Organisation forecast there would be about 305-million job losses worldwide. The situation of workers in the informal economy is even worse, with an estimated 1.6-billion workers in danger of losing their livelihoods,” he added.

“For a country such as ours, which was already facing an unemployment crisis and weak economic growth, difficult decisions and difficult days lie ahead.

“We would urge that the difficult decisions are taken with care and with due regard to balancing the sustainability of companies and the livelihoods of workers. It is important that whatever is done is underpinned by ensuring a just transition to all concerned.”

The president said the economic relief measures the government had introduced to shield businesses from ruin would never be enough.

On Monday the taxi industry in Gauteng embarked on a shutdown strike to protest against inadequate economic relief offered to the industry by the government.

Taxi owners are demanding R20,000 per vehicle from the government, while between R3,500 and R5,000 has been offered.

The industry has predicted that no less than 40% of taxi drivers will lose their jobs should they not get the relief they are demanding.

Comic Con Africa 2020 will be Online!

The 2020 Edition of Comic Con Africa is Cancelled– But the Con MUST Go On..LINE!

Following the recent announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa that the indefinite ban on large gatherings is still prohibited, the 2020 live edition of Comic Con Africa will not happen.

“As people, we have heavy hearts – but as organisers, we know that this is the only responsible way to ensure the safety of Comic Con fans, exhibitors, suppliers, and staff.”

“During a pandemic which is expected to peak in September, we simply cannot go ahead with hosting the many tens of thousands of fans who attend Comic Con Africa annually” said Carol Weaving, Managing Director of organisers Reed Exhibitions Africa.

“Despite months of planning, diligent consideration of the state of the pandemic dictates that cancelling the 2020 edition of Comic Con Africa is the only way forward”.

However, this doesn’t mean that fans of Comic Con Africa will not be able to meet up and immerse themselves in all things pop culture. Comic Con Africa’s passionate organising team are going virtual. This means that Comic Con Africa will be bringing fans and communities an abundance of online content to enjoy, connect with, learn from, share, and be entertained by.

But there’s something else even more exciting.

On the originally planned dates of 24 – 27 September 2020 the Con MUST Go ON…line!

Comic Con Africa aims to break the internet, bringing a virtual Con to fans in their own homes. Comic Con will be sharing a wealth of exclusive interactive content over the weekend including many of fans’ favourite elements of a real-life Con.

Live chats, Q&As, panel discussions, and the opportunity to virtually meet celebs, fan meet ups, live draws, talks, gaming tournaments and streams,  artist panels, Q&As, special exclusive exhibitor deals and more.

Everything the Con would usually offer will still take place in exciting and unexpected ways.

“We work hard all year to bring our fans the best in pop culture entertainment and content. By taking the Con Online we know that we will never be able to offer quite the same experience as connecting and engaging at the actual show, but we also don’t want to stop bringing our fans the fun and entertainment in 2020. COVID-19 won’t stop the dedicated fandoms and communities that Comic Con Africa engages with, so by offering an Online Con experience we can still not only keep our communities together, but connect more fans and grow to ensure that our 2021 show is the biggest yet!” said Carla Massmann, the Portfolio Director for Comic Con.

Comic Con Online will be new, it will be exciting, it will be innovative, and it will still be the ultimate pop culture (virtual) festival in Africa.

According to IOL, for pop culture fans who have already bought tickets for Comic Con Africa 2020, organisers have prepared a plan to roll over the existing tickets to 2021 with a price freeze. They may also refund any ticket holders who request it.

All ticket holders will receive a direct communication from their ticketing partner Howler over the next few days outlining how that will happen.

Please note that 2020 ticket sales have closed.

Keep an eye on all the social media platforms for exciting announcements over the coming weeks.

Source:Comic Con Africa, IOL

From the desk of the President

From the desk of the President

Today is the International Day for Protection of Children, which is commemorated around the world to draw attention to children’s rights and welfare. Fittingly, it is also the UN Global Day of Parents, honouring the commitment of parents and caregivers to the wellbeing of children.

 

On this day I want to thank the millions of parents, grandparents and caregivers around South Africa who continue to play an important role in the formative years in the lives of our youngest citizens. The encouragement, support and protection children receive from their parents and caregivers is essential for their future happiness and success.

 

After 65 days of a nation-wide lockdown, the country is today starting a new phase in its fight against the coronavirus. Many economic and social activities are restarting, including a phased resumption of schooling.

 

We have said that we are taking a gradual approach, guided by the advice of our scientists and led by the realities on the ground and consultations with stakeholders.

 

In the last few weeks, as we have prepared to return to school, we have had extensive and detailed discussions with all role-players in the education sphere. These have guided our approach to this complex and challenging task.

 

Now, in the last few days, several of these stakeholders – including teachers and parents – have expressed concern about the state of readiness in many schools. We have heard them, we welcome their contributions and are taking steps to address their concerns as well as proposals.

 

It is understandable that many parents and caregivers have mixed emotions at this time about the reopening of schools. There is relief that children will be able to resume their education after a prolonged absence from classrooms and lecture halls. Young people are eager to be in school again and to see friends and teachers.

 

But there is also apprehension on the part of parents, educators and learners themselves.

 

Parents want reassurance that the necessary precautions should be in place to adequately protect learners. The safety of our youngest citizens from a health and physical perspective is not negotiable. It is our foremost priority.

 

As we prepare for the gradual re-opening of our schools and places of higher learning, education authorities have been hard at work putting the necessary health and safety measures in place. That documentation regarding standard operating procedures have been provided to all schools. These standard operating procedures cover issues like training and orientation of screeners, timetable realignment and configuring classrooms to meet social distancing requirements.

 

We are continuing with the process of delivering personal protective equipment and ensuring the availability of water and sanitation services. Learning, once it commences, will take place under strict conditions with a correctly limited number of learners and students.

 

As parents, teachers, governing bodies and government, we are in agreement that no school should re-open until all the necessary precautions are in place. There needs to be transparency about the level of preparedness of each of the schools. Everyone who is a key role player, be they a parent, a school governing body member, a teacher or a government official should be able to have the correct information about the state of preparedness of each school. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that the learning environment is safe.

 

I want to salute parents and caregivers, in particular, for the role they have played over the last two months. With schools closed, they have had to take greater daily responsibility for the education and development of their children. Many parents and caregivers have had to assist learners with their schoolwork at home, no doubt gaining a keen appreciation of the hard work being done by our teachers every day.

 

Once the lockdown is lifted and more learners return to school, we parents should continue to play a more active role in the education of our children, whether it is through joining school governing bodies, volunteering our services at schools or other forms of assistance. Parents can join in volunteering to clean schools, establishing vegetable gardens or being part of neighbourhood school safety committees. This can turn the schools into real, meaningful “community schools”.

 

Though we may feel anxious and fearful as our sons and daughters leave our care, we must draw courage from the fact that every effort is being made to protect them.

 

As parents, you have entrusted us with the welfare and safety of your children. It is a responsibility we do not take lightly. In the days and weeks to come, we will be closely monitoring the return to school.

 

If we follow the protocols and maintain all precautions – as parents, educators, communities and learners – we will effectively minimise the risk posed by the coronavirus.

 

Ultimately it is both our personal actions and our collective efforts that will keep our children safe. Whatever we do next, we need to do together.

 

With best wishes,

 

Cyril Ramaphosa

 

http://www.thepresidency.gov.za/from-the-desk-of-the-president/desk-president%2C-monday%2C-1-june-2020

Mmusi Maimane gives the president 48 hours

Mmusi Maimane gives the president 48 hours

Mmusi Maimane gives the president a 48 hour ultimatum over reopening of schools

Mmusi Maimane, leader of the One SA Movement, launched an online petition last week, which has now reached over 156,000 signatures from parents opposed to the reopening of schools.

 

This petition was launched on Tuesday 19 May after Angie Motshekga, Basic Education Minister announced the reopening of schools on 1 June.

 

“We cannot risk allowing our country’s places of learning to become petri dishes for increase in infections which may undo the value of the national lockdown. We maintain that opening schools at this stage poses a risk and danger on all students, teachers and support staff, as all credible indicators suggest that infections have not yet peaked.”

 

According to Timeslive, Maimane will give President Cyril Ramaphosa and the national command council (NCC) 48 hours to outline why they have decided to reopen schools on June 1.

 

He said that should there be no response from the government within the stipulated time, he will consider legal action.

 

“I will request the president who is the chair of the NCC, to give us the rational reasons why they are taking this administrative action. I’ll be giving them 48 hours and should we hear no response, we’re willing to take legal action against this government.”

 

According to Timeslive, The One SA Movement said in statement released earlier this month and reposted on Sunday, that schools should remain closed for another three months as stringent safety precautions needed to be implemented that will not compromise the safety of pupils, teachers and staff members.

 

The safety precautions included,

  • mandatory testing
  • provisions of adequate PPE,
  • weekly disinfection of classrooms
  • Ventilated transport for pupils.

“Schools cannot simply return to the way they were, with the simple addition of being Covid-19 safe.

We have entered a “new normal” and this requires the DBE to respond by fixing our broken and unequal education systems,”read the statement.

 

https://www.change.org/p/minister-of-basic-education-let-s-not-gamble-with-our-children-s-lives?utm_content=cl_sharecopy_22271409_en-GB%3Av1&recruiter=1085702582&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink&utm_campaign=share_petition&utm_term=share_petition

 

Source: Timeslive

Photo Credit: talkofthetown

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