Issue 427 | 14 May 2020
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Government is considering a proposal to move the country to level 3 of the national COVID-19 lockdown by the end of May, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Wednesday, 15 May 2020.
Addressing the nation on Wednesday night, President Cyril Ramaphosa said government was preparing for a further easing of the lockdown and a gradual opening of the economy, from the current level 4 lockdown.

“We will immediately begin a process of consultation with relevant stakeholders on a proposal that by the end of May, most of the country be placed on alert level 3, but that those parts of the country with the highest rates of infection remain on level 4.”

“We will make further announcements after the completion of the consultations,” said the President.

This comes after the Government implements a risk-adjusted strategy aimed at easing the current lockdown restrictions.

However, hotspot areas with high infection rates will remain under level 4.

“I will repeat what I have said before, if we lift the lockdown too abruptly and too quickly, we risk a rapid and unmanageable surge in infections.”

President Ramaphosa said areas of the country might be designated at different alert levels depending on the rate of infections, and further announcements would be made.

“This would be done according to the rate of infection in an area and the state of readiness and the capacity of its health facilities to cope with treating infected people.”

President Ramaphosa said the infections were mostly concentrated in a few metropolitan municipalities and districts in the country.

He said the government’s approach had been about saving lives and preserving livelihoods.

“Our key objective has always been to slow down the infection rate through a number of interventions in our Coronavirus prevention toolbox,” he explained.

In addition, by staying at home, he believes that citizens have helped in saving lives.

“The best current estimate is that, without the lockdown and the other measures we have taken, at least 80 000 South Africans could have been infected by now.”

According to data, the death toll could have been at least eight times more than it is, with 219 people who have lost their lives due to COVID-19 related illnesses to date.

President Ramaphosa said the level of confirmed infections in South Africa is about 181 people per million of the population.

By Wednesday, of South Africa’s 12 074 confirmed cases, the country had recorded 4 745 recoveries.

“By contrast, countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy and Singapore have between 2 400 and 4 600 Coronavirus cases per million people.”

He also stated that at a similar stage in the progression of the disease, the United States had recorded over 22 000 deaths while the United Kingdom had over 19 000 deaths.

Every life counts, President Ramaphosa told citizens.

“These 219 people who passed away had families; they had dependents, friends and colleagues. Their lives were cut short by a virus that has caused human and economic devastation across the world.

Opening up economic activity

In addition, the President said some of the regulations would be eased, as the Government got ready to gradually open economic activity.

Outlining the lockdown easing measures, President Ramaphosa said some regulations surrounding retail, e-commerce and exercise would be relaxed.

He also acknowledged that the Coronavirus was taking a toll not only on the health of our people, but also people’s ability to put food on the table, to learn and to develop, and to enjoy many of the basic freedoms that often people take for granted.

Citizen’s response

However, he said he been satisfied in how South Africans had responded and dealt with this virus.

“We should never forget that the purpose of the lockdown was to delay the spread of the virus and prevent a huge surge of infections.”

While the country moves towards level 3 and restrictions are eased, President Ramaphosa urged people to continue to adhere to prevention measures in order to curb transmissions.

These measures include social distancing, hand hygiene practices by washing hands regularly with water and soap or sanitiser, coughing into your elbow or a tissue, and wearing cloth masks when in public.

He has also urged health workers to use personal protective equipment, frequent cleaning of the work environment and other public spaces, screening, testing, isolation, quarantine and contact tracing.

“On more than one occasion, I have stood before you and asked you to accept stringent restrictions on your daily lives, knowing that these will bring great hardship,” he said.

“You have heeded these calls, firmly convinced that these measures are necessary for the health and the well-being – indeed the survival – of our young nation,” he said.

Read more:

– Source:
President Cyril Ramaphosa convened a virtual consultative meeting with heads of state and government from neighbouring countries on Friday, 8 May 2020, to discuss responses to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The meeting aimed to afford countries the chance to share views on coordinated responses to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Issues on the agenda included consular and immigration matters, the economic impact of COVID-19 on countries, as well as financial support and international pledges.

The meeting also afforded South Africa an opportunity to apprise the heads of state and government on national measures taken by the country to curb the spread of the virus.

President Ramaphosa was supported by International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Dr Naledi Pandor; Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize; and Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.

The countries that participated in the virtual consultative meeting included Angola, Lesotho, eSwatini, Namibia, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

– Source:
The foreign ministers of Kenya and South Africa recently co-chaired a virtual meeting of Africa’s female foreign ministers on enhancing women’s leadership in COVID-19 responses.
In addition to the co-chairs, 12 other  female foreign ministers, namely from Botswana, Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, eSwatini, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, Namibia,  São Tomé et Principe, Sierra Leone, South Sudan and Sudan were invited to participate in the virtual meeting.

High-level guests from the African Union (AU), United Nations (UN) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) were also invited to participate in the virtual meeting.

The guest speakers discussed the coordinated response of the AU and the UN to COVID-19, as well as mitigation strategies and support to be provided to Africa.

The guest speakers discussed the coordinated response of the AU and the UN to COVID-19, as well as mitigation strategies and support to be provided to Africa.

The ministers engaged in four thematic discussions:

  • leveraging on lessons from the past: a post-COVID-19 world that ensures the social, political and economic empowerment of African women
  • engendering the AU COVID-19 Strategy to lessen the socio-economic and financial impact of COVID-19 on women and girls
  • the peace, security and humanitarian impact
  • defining the leadership role and mechanisms for inclusion and collaboration.
A joint communiqué was adopted as an outcome of the virtual meeting.

The meeting came at a time when the world is faced with an unprecedented crisis, impacting health systems, economies and the lives, livelihood and well-being of all, particularly women and girls.

Given the impact of COVID-19 on all societies around the world, there is a strong case for solidarity and enhanced multilateral responses, including partnerships with women leaders and women-led organisations around the continent of Africa.

The AU underscored the need for Africa to have a comprehensive and coordinated continental approach to COVID-19.

This year is a significant year for women as we mark the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action; the fifthanniversary of the Sustainable Development Goals; and the 20th anniversary of Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.
The AU Commission’s Women, Gender and Development Directorate has developed, through a series of consultations, the AU Guidelines on Gender-Responsive Responses to COVID-19.

The AU declared 2020 to 2030 the Decade of African Women’s Financial and Economic Inclusion.
The President was joined by fellow struggle stalwarts in remembering the great activist, who gave his life to ensuring equality for all.
President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered a moving eulogy for late struggle stalwart Denis Goldberg, saying that his principles of duty were as relevant today as they were when he fought for the liberation of oppressed South Africans.

A virtual memorial for Goldberg, who died aged 87, was held on Friday, 8 May 2020, with distinguished friends fellows and comrades zooming in from all over the world.

President Ramaphosa, who declared three days of mourning from 1 May to 4 May 2020, recalled Goldberg’s lifelong sense of doing “what must be done”. He said that he had always fought for the rights of those less fortunate than him, and in doing so had made tremendous sacrifices all his life.

"Despite his stature as a fighter in the liberation, he was unassuming, humble and kind,” said President Ramaphosa. He loved South Africa and its people.

“When we speak of him, let us not relegate him to a long lost past. He is present with us. Speak of him as a member of a long line of principled leaders.”

“I thank him for his extraordinary service to his people and his country. The Denis Goldman story will continue to be told.”

He also thanked the extended Goldberg family for their sacrifices and suffering they had to endure while Goldberg was incarcerated following the Rivonia trial.

“We want to thank the family for their sacrifice that they made. They suffered immensely as well and we pay tribute to them and thank them for surrendering Denis Goldberg to the passion of his life, the struggle for freedom in South Africa.”

– Source:
South Africa has once again come joint first with New Zealand in the 2019 Open Budget Index (OBI), conducted by the International Budget Partnership (IBP) through an Open Budget Survey.
“The win is in recognition of the country’s commitment to a transparent budget process. This is a repeat of the result from the 2017 OBI,” said National Treasury.

National Treasury said achieving first place could not be a victory for the Finance Ministry alone but all the institutions that demonstrated commitment to transparency, as entrenched in the Constitution.

“South Africa remains committed to constantly improving the budget process in order to maintain its international reputation as a global leader in budget transparency, even during the global pandemic of COVID-19,” National Treasury said.

Over the years, South Africa has consistently entrenched its reputation as a global leader in budget transparency.

“This is evidenced in the expansive budget information that is published for public analysis and scrutiny. Past survey results have been used to identify gaps in budget transparency and informed measures and mechanisms adopted to address those gaps,” National Treasury said.

The reforms implemented between 2017 and 2019 include:
  • launch of the online budget portal
  • introduction of a Central Supplier Database and other procurement reforms undertaken by the Office of the Chief Procurement Officer to enhance transparency in bidding for government contracts
  • annual budget outreach at institutions of higher learning
  • enhanced commitment of the South African Government to engage with civil-society organisations to ensure increased participation in the budget process.
South Africa ranked first out of 117 countries. The global results reflect a modest improvement in budget transparency, reversing the decline seen in 2017's results and restoring the upward trend shown since the inception of the survey.

The global average transparency score is 45 out of 100 and South Africa scored 87 out of 100.

“The global average public participation score is 14 out of 100. While South Africa scored 24 out of 100 in this category, it is needless to say that this is a score that requires innovation to improve.

“In an effort to improve on this score, South Africa, in partnership with the IBP and Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency, is embarking on a three-year pilot project to work on mechanisms to include public participation in the budget process, with the assistance of civil society,” National Treasury said.

The final category is oversight. Out of the 117 countries surveyed, only 34 had adequate oversight from legislature, while 71 had adequate oversight from audit institutions.

South Africa scored 75 out of 100 on legislative oversight and 100 on audit institution.

“The OBI survey provides a comprehensive review of South Africa’s budget process. Citizens are encouraged to use information published in budget documents for effective analysis and research,” National Treasury said.

– Source:
In celebration of Africa Day, Mall of Africa is inviting you to join Toya Delazy, Zolani Mahola and Lira for its free online concert.
Concert venues across the country are on lockdown, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy exclusive entertainment, by top South African artists, from the comfort of your couch.

In celebration of Africa Day, the Mall of Africa is inviting you to tune into its “Sessions for Africa Day” online concert on 25 May 2020. Starting from 7 pm, Toya Delazy, Zolani Mahola and Lira will be performing their best hits, live from their homes.

The concert is free of charge, however, viewers are encouraged to show their appreciation and donate by scanning the QR code. Their contributions will go to towards supporting local artists and the Attacq Foundation, during the current COVID-19 crisis, for the Mfudumalo Foundation.

“As we all adjust to the current situation that the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions have demanded of us, Mall of Africa has innovated to find new ways to continue delivering unique experiences for our shoppers – and our wider community. We are thrilled that some of South Africa’s top talent is joining us in this initiative; a first of its kind for the Mall,” says Michael Clampett, Head of Asset and Property Management-Retail of Attacq Limited.

To tune into the concert, visit Mall of Africa’s Facebook and YouTube pages.

Artist line-up:
  • Brent Lindeque: Emcee
  • Toya Delazy: 7:00pm – 7:40pm
  • Zolani Mahola: 7:40pm – 8:20pm
  • Lira: 8:20pm – 9:00pm.
– Sources: Mall of Africa /
Durban filmmakers have just won the Best Short Film Award at Enfoque International Film Festival. This is a first for South Africa. “Alone” has a powerful message that resonates with everyone experiencing the isolation of lockdown.
Founders of The Edit Room, Tami and Dylan Marriott, heard recently that their film had competed against 475 entries from around the world to win an award that is a first for South Africa.

Hosted in Puerto Rico since 2008, the Enfoque International Film Festival was established to show inspiring films that can change people’s lives through the power of cinematography. The organisers select and exhibit films that “inspire, educate, transform and inform or have the ability to shift audiences’ perspectives on the world”.

Entries for this category had to be made this year (2020) and be under 30 minutes.

According to writer and director of Alone, Tami Marriott, the award-winning film was something of a surprise even for the filmmakers.

“It was never intended to be what it became. We filmed the bulk of it over a year ago as a passion project to bulk up our individual portfolios. The original script was written about a girl who was trapped indoors and could not go outside because of a zombie apocalypse that had destroyed humanity. As busy lives go, after filming it – we never got around to editing or recording the voice over. So, it sat on a hard drive, gathering dust and guilt because it had not been completed. Then, COVID-19 hit us, and we started conceptualising a story to support those who are alone and taking emotional strain. It was only when I started writing this script that it clicked! Everything about our zombie film worked into our current message, and with a few adaptions, we could make it a powerful story.”

The logistics of rewriting and recording the new voice-over while adhering to stringent social distancing regulations proved a challenge, Marriott admits.

“It was a group effort through and through. When it was filmed, the lockdown wasn’t a problem. When it came to editing, it was. One of our editors is in Pretoria, our voice-over artist in Cape Town, our sound designer is on the South Coast, and our graphics artist is on the North Coast! We used We-Transfer to send each other edits and files and had Skype calls for direction. Through the Internet, we managed to pool our resources to pull it off,” she explains.

Feedback was astounding after The Edit Room launched Alone across all Social Media platforms on 28 April 2020. As a result, the filmmakers decided to post the film on Film Freeway, which is a tool for film-makers to get their work submitted into festivals.

“I noticed there was a call for COVID-19 related films and saw the opportunity to spread our message further than just Durban. International film festivals allow you to reach a global audience which is so important, especially in times like these where it can feel like countries are so isolated from each other,” Marriott adds.

The Edit Room, which Marriott describes as a junior filmmaker in South Africa, was set up in 2018 by the passionate husband and wife team. The couple had been working as freelancers in the film industry and decided to pool their clients and create a brand.

The Marriotts believe this award will open the door to a global market, albeit one that will be impacted by COVID-19.

“It is an interesting time for the film industry. It will need to keep down costs and work with small teams. Luckily for The Edit Room, this has always been us, and we are very well practised at making beautiful work with micro crews.”

During Lockdown, The Edit Room intends continuing filming and spreading the message that is central to Alone – “Hang in there. Look after yourselves and reach out to others so that they know that they are not alone. Practise kindness and communication, and we WILL get through this.“

– Source:
South African rapper Sho Madjozi and social media sensation Prev Reddy bagged the 2020 Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards for Favourite African Star and Favourite African Social Media Star respectively.
Sho Madjozi was nominated alongside Shekhinah, Teni and Patricia Kihoro in the Favourite African Star category. Prev Reddy was nominated in the Favourite African Social Media Star category with Anne Kansiime, DJ Cuppy and Chané Grobler.

– Source:
A local film – My Father the Mover – has won a coveted award at the 19th annual Tribeca Film Festival. The event, which showcases a diverse selection of independent films each year, managed to push the boundaries of storytelling and connecting with audiences despite the COVID-19 pandemic, by presenting the awards online this year.
My Father the Mover, by South African writer/director/producer, Julia Jansch, was announced as the Best Documentary Short Film, with the jury commenting that it is “a ‘movement’ film, which frees people from the pain, had the biggest impression on us and lasted through the tragedies we’re going through now”.

The short film tells the story of Stoan (aka. Stoan “MOVE” Galela), a dancer who uses African electronic Gqom beats to motivate kids in the township of Khayelitsha, South Africa, to jive through their hardship and find their superpowers.

According to Jansch, the award-winning short film came about by chance.

“I met Stoan through my co-producer, Mandilakhe Yengo. It was a random encounter as he was working behind the scenes as a choreographer on a series. We started chatting, and I asked him how long he has been a dancer for. He answered by saying ‘I’m not a dancer, I’m a mover’. I was immediately intrigued”.

Stoan (Mthuthuzeli Stoan Galela) is a self-taught dancer from Gugulethu outside Cape Town. He started dancing at an early age, and his passion is his free dance group, the United Township Dancers.

“I was so drawn to Stoan because here was this behind-the-scenes choreographer who was doing this magical work that no-one knows about. I wanted to get his story out into the world in the hope of providing a platform for him to raise awareness about his work. There are so many grassroots movers and shakers, just like Stoan, making small miracles happen”.

On a personal level, says the director, she was moved by Stoan’s spirit.

“When we first spoke, Stoan told me ‘Everyone can have freedom. It just depends on whether you want to be free or not’. He was showing me a tattoo of a puppet on his arm, whose strings were being severed. The puppet reminds him that he doesn’t have to be bound or chained by anything. It struck a real chord. We all have our chains, whether mental, physical or environmental. Stoan inspires us to find a way to transcend.”

Jansch wanted to make the film in a way that felt as real and immersive as being with Stoan in the flesh.

“This was the only way to tell his story. Of course, no-one could play a better Stoan than Stoan himself. The same goes for Alatha, his daughter, and the dancers. I wanted to bring as much integrity to the project as possible while shining a light and raising awareness for Stoan and the incredibly talented kids he teaches.”

– Source:
The International Cricket Council (ICC) asked its near 10 million Twitter followers who their favourite all-rounder of all time was and former Proteas legend Jacques Kallis was the resounding winner.
The ICC's post received an overwhelming response with over 12 000 likes and 2 500 responses.

According to the ICC, Kallis was a popular choice, with most fans calling him "one of the greatest all-rounders in the history of cricket".

Proteas all-rounder Chris Morris and South African-born former England wicketkeeper batsman Matt Prior agreed and stated that “King” Kallis was their pick.

Other popular picks were former Australian all-rounder Shane Watson, West Indies legend Gary Sobers and Pakistan great Imran Khan.

However, Kallis was the obvious favourite as he is still the only player to have passed the 10 000-run mark in Tests and ODIs.

Kallis, who retired from international cricket in 2014, played 166 Tests, 328 ODIs and 25 T20Is for South Africa between 1995 and 2014.

– Source:
“Mr President,

“We thank the Special Representative and Head of UNAMI, Ms Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, for her insightful briefing.

“South Africa supports the mandate renewal of UNAMI, in its current form, as it partners with the Government of Iraq in its post-conflict reconstruction and development efforts and provides much-needed humanitarian assistance throughout the country.”

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“Mr President,

“We would like to thank the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dr Valentin Inzko, for the latest report of his Office on the political, security and humanitarian situation in the country. The work of your Office remains invaluable for the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region.

“At the outset, South Africa lauds the efforts by all sides to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and hopes that this will be seen as an opportunity to realise unity in purpose even beyond its containment. In respect of measures taken to address the pandemic, South Africa concurs with the assessment of the Office of the High Representative that all efforts must be well devised, properly targeted and closely coordinated in order to improve their success.”

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