Weekly News Brief

Weekly News Brief
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HEADLINE NEWS THIS WEEK

From KZN, the news in says that over R70M grants was awarded to 55 KZN youth entrepreneurs. The grant by the provincial government is in a bid to boost local youth economic participation and forms part of the first projects of the Provincial Youth Business Development Fund, which was launched earlier this year. This happened in the same week when the government was engaged in talks with coal miners to cut prices for cash-strapped Eskom, in a bid to lower energy costs and boost the mining sector, the SABC was set to receive R3.2bn bailout from National Treasury according to  Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams. The minister said R2.1 billion would be transferred to the SABC on Monday while the broadcaster would the R1.1 billion once all the conditions were met. At the same time, Denel has reported R1.9bn operating loss.  The struggling state-owned defence company Denel, which had to be bailed out by the government last August, suffered an operating loss of R1.9 billion for the year to 31 March, it said on Friday.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said South Africa and Nigeria agreed to elevate their co-operation to presidential level to revive relations that were battered by recent xenophobic violence. Ramaphosa addressed business from the two countries on the side-lines of President Muhammadu Buhari’s state visit on Thursday. He said business should get ready for the African market that was set to be bigger than India and China in 30 years. President Cyril Ramaphosa and his Nigerian counterpart Muhammadu Buhari reached 32 bilateral agreements after concluding talks on Thursday. The presidents of the continent’s two biggest economies are addressing the media at the Union Buildings. The gathering follows xenophobic violence in South Africa and retaliatory attacks in Nigeria with demonstrators converged outside the Union Buildings as meetings went on inside.

Old Mutual on Wednesday said it would defend a damages claim of R250 million brought by axed CEO Peter Moyo. Moyo’s legal counsel confirmed that the company was served with papers, which stated that he should be reinstated or Old Mutual would face a damages claim. The High Court in Johannesburg heard the matter after Moyo was fired about four months ago. Despite the court ordering Moyo’s temporary reinstatement, he was prevented from returning to work. The insurer argued that this was because it was appealing the matter. Old Mutual was given another ultimatum.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Wednesday said it would not let former Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini off the hook just because the Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane found her not guilty of violating the executive code of ethics regarding the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) debacle. Mkhwebane found Dlamini couldn’t have known that the department would fail to distribute grants when she told Parliament in 2016 that it would. The failure to meet a deadline to secure a new service provider to distribute social grants caused widespread concern that recipients would not receive their money.

OTHER THINGS WE LIKED

The number of young people in South Africa receiving treatment for HIV has increased 10-fold within a decade, a major new study has found. South Africa has the largest number of HIV-positive people in the world, with around 7.2 million carrying the virus, which causes Aids. Researchers studied more than 700,000 young people receiving treatment for the infection and found 10 times the number of adolescents aged between 15-19 being treated compared with 2010.

The Railway Safety Regulator (RSR) has committed to doing more to raise the standard of the trains following a safety report painting a grim picture of the service. On Tuesday, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula released the annual State of Railway Safety report, which revealed nearly 300 people were killed after being struck by trains on railway tracks in the 2018/19 financial year.

Deputy Justice Minister John Jeffery has said state lawyers who have deliberately lost cases so government would pay millions in medical claims to fraudsters, would not be spared as the Health Anti-Corruption Forum gets to work. Jeffery was at the launch of the new collaboration to prevent, detect and prosecute fraud and corruption in the health sector on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) have vowed to deal with officials working in public and private healthcare who had been looting the sector. The two units form part of the health sector anti-corruption forum launched by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday. Cases already under investigation and in the courts include looting through the process to procure X-ray and oncology machines, as well as the building of hospitals. At least R22 billion is believed to have been misappropriated.

At least 47 structures were destroyed in a fire after midnight in Nomzamo, in Strand. Seven firefighting appliances and 31 staff members battled over four hours to extinguish the blaze, which was contained just before 5am on Monday morning. At least 88 people have been displaced. The city’s Charlotte Powell said: “The blaze destroyed 47 structures. Informal settlement management is on the scene and will provide residents with starter kits to rebuild their dwellings, once the solid waste department has removed the debris.”

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