Issue 430 | 4 June 2020
    It's Your Voice   UBUNTU Magazine   UBUNTU Radio  
If this newsletter doesn’t load or images don’t display, please click here
Stay Save – Protect South Africa
Corona Virus – 24-Hour Hotline for South African citizens
Youth Month – June 2020
President Cyril Ramaphosa has, in a virtual meeting on Sunday, 31 May 2020, engaged with members of the South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) on the country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The meeting took place at a time when the country and the rest of the world are immersed in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the meeting, the President engaged editors on South Africa’s ongoing measures to manage the spread of COVID-19 through the risk-adjusted strategy.

The President commended the media in South Africa for its contribution to the national effort to confront the crisis, which has helped to inform and empower South Africans, stimulate public debate and promote accountability.

“The media has had to fulfil this role under the difficult conditions of lockdown, which has required new ways of working and reaching readers, listeners and viewers. This, at a time when most media organisations are no doubt facing financial challenges.

“Like so many others in society, journalists have certainly played their part in this momentous struggle to overcome the Coronavirus pandemic, and continue to do so,” said President Ramaphosa.

With the country in alert level 3 of lockdown from 1 June, President Ramaphosa said the country should expect an exponential rise in cases.

“We need to deploy all the means at our disposal to continue to flatten the curve. We have strengthened our public health interventions,” he said.

Since government began community screening, over 13 million individuals have been screened, and 188 000 of these have been referred for testing.

As people return to work, school and study under level 3, President Ramaphosa said government was looking to significantly expand the screening effort to all places where people congregate.

However, with such a high proportion of asymptomatic cases, the President emphasised that screening must be complemented with a range of other preventative measures.

President Ramaphosa acknowledged that contact tracing remained an area of weakness in the country’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“We are currently identifying on average two contacts for each confirmed case, whereas countries like South Korea have been identifying around 20 contacts per case,” he said.

Preparing for the peak

However, strides are being made to prepare for the COVID-19 peak in the country.

To date, over 27 000 beds in the public sector have been allocated to COVID-19 patients. The field hospitals that are currently being constructed will have around 13 000 beds.

With the assistance of various governments, companies and foundations, government has been able to mobilise significant quantities of personal protection equipment, other medical supplies and ventilators.

“Our attention has not been limited only to South Africa, but we have been working with other leaders to ensure that Africa has the resources it needs.

“I have been in discussion with President Xi Jinping of China to secure diagnostic supplies, including 30 million testing kits, 10 000 ventilators and 80 million masks per month for our continent,” said the President.

This week, government is set to receive a supply of one million masks from Huawei.

Local production ramped up

As the country gradually reopens the economy, with level 3 being the most significant reopening, government is also looking to ramp up local production to boost the country’s economy.

“We are working to grow local production through our work with different industries in the country and through the support we are providing through the Industrial Development Corporation, National Empowerment Fund and others.

“Companies across the country have repurposed some of the production capacity to supply the country with alcohol for hand sanitisers, face shields and masks, ventilators and other essential medical supplies,” said the President.

In an effort to rebuild the economy, government is also looking to accelerate structural reforms, promote localisation and industrialisation, repurpose state-owned enterprises and strengthen the informal sector.

– Source:
President Cyril Ramaphosa has offered his warm congratulations to South African citizen and global technology pioneer Elon Musk for his company SpaceX’s historic first commercial flight into space.
Powered by SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket, the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft carried National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley into space on Saturday, 30 May 2020, en route to docking with the International Space Station 19 hours later.

This was the first time in history that a private-sector entity launched astronauts for NASA, which is an entity of the United States Government.

Elon Musk holds South African, Canadian and United States citizenship.

President Ramaphosa said: “In the midst of our struggle against COVID-19, Elon Musk has made us proud as a country and continent.

“The Dragon’s successful flight to the International Space Station speaks of the ability of a resilient, industrious, fearless and visionary individual to harness talent and material resources to open new frontiers of hope, adventure and opportunity for generations into the future.

“It is most appropriate that we have been given this hope and excitement at a time when insecurity and uncertainty define the human condition in many parts of the world.”
The Government of the Republic of South Africa has observed the protests in the United States of America (USA), following the tragic death of Mr George Floyd.
On behalf of President Cyril Ramaphosa and the people of South Africa, the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, has expressed condolences to the family and friends of Mr George Floyd.

Minister Pandor said: "The violence that has characterised some of the protests seriously detracts from drawing international awareness to the legitimate concerns about violence against defenceless black people and other minorities in America.”

South Africa calls on all in America, especially the security forces to exercise maximum restraint in responding to the anger and frustration felt by many of its citizens' friends and international partners.

The regrettable death of Mr Floyd presents the USA with an opportunity to address fundamental issues of human rights such as freedom dignity and equality.

Minister Pandor said: “Just as the people of America supported South Africa in its legitimate struggle against apartheid, South Africa too supports the clarion calls for practical action to address the inadequacies highlighted by protesters, civil society and human rights organisations.

“Recalling the steps post-apartheid South Africa bravely undertook as part of its new constitutional dispensation, we are convinced that America – a beacon of freedom for many worldwide – has the ability to directly focus on healing and peace and achieve an outcome that prioritises respect for and promotion of fundamental freedoms for all Americans”, Minister Pandor added.
South Africa calls on all leaders to work together to end violence and to develop a set of measures that would serve to end the insecurity and harm experienced by many members of the African American community.
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, attended the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Council of Ministers Video-Conference Meeting in Pretoria on 29 May 2020.
The SADC Council of Ministers Meeting was held virtually on 29 May 2020 and was chaired by Prof. Palamagamba John Kabudi, Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation of the United Republic of Tanzania and Chairperson of the SADC Council of Ministers.

In his opening remarks, Hon. Prof. Kabudi, highlighted that the complexity and severity of the COVID-19 called for strengthened solidarity and unity to address the socio-economic impact of the pandemic in the SADC region. The Chairperson of the SADC Council of Ministers further called on the SADC region to turn the COVID-19 crisis into an opportunity by expanding the medical and pharmaceutical industry and in turn create jobs and boost the economy.

In her remarks, the SADC Executive Secretary, Dr Stergomena Tax, highlighted that the COVID-19 pandemic had brought multiple challenges and responsibilities that required extraordinary and innovative approaches to doing business. To this effect, Dr Tax appealed to member states to remain vigilant and learn how to live it, and as such, defeat the social and economic impact of COVID-19 as a united region.

To facilitate the regional COVID-19 response, the council urged SADC member states to source medical equipment and supplies from the region and to engage the private sector to re-direct some of the manufacturing towards the production of personal protective equipment. To this effect, the SADC Secretariat will disseminate a list of essential medical equipment manufacturers and establish an online platform to facilitate easy access to information on manufacturers and suppliers of medical equipment needed to address the COVID-19.

Read more:
As countries across the globe scramble to source much-needed ventilators to treat COVID-19 patients, government is ramping up the production of the critical equipment.
With more industries beginning operations when the country moved to level 3 on Monday, 1 June 2020, Economic Development Minister, Ebrahim Patel, said that put a spotlight on what government could do to contain the spread of the virus.

However, Minister Patel found comfort in “exceptional” groups of South Africans who had rolled up their sleeves to help the country to deal with the peak of infections by manufacturing local products such as masks, sanitisers and ventilators.

“What happens if the virus in spite of hand sanitisation and masks or perhaps instances where these aren’t fully adhered to; when the virus enters the body,” he asked.

“It means that people will need to get some attention and many South Africans, as Dr Zweli Mkhize said would have mild symptoms, but there are those who will have challenges and will need to be rushed to hospital.”

Therefore, it was for this reason they were speeding up production of ventilators, he said.

“Ventilators are a way of getting oxygen to the lungs at a time someone is infected by the Coronavirus and have difficulty breathing,” he explained.

In April, government launched a National Ventilator Project aimed at building more local machines since there is a shortage of ventilators from the rest of the world.

“But everybody was chasing the same product, so wherever the factories were making these products elsewhere, the others were immediately snapped up and we couldn’t get enough ventilators into South Africa.”

The country last produced ventilators almost two decades ago, he said.

“When the pandemic hit us, we had no local manufacturing capability.”

After making the public call for innovators to come up with ideas, the project came to life. The country has now produced prototype ventilators.

“We’re now working on getting three prototypes finalised and after that, production will start in June and the first units we hope will come off the production line during June.”

Government is hoping to produce a targeted 20 000 ventilators by August.

“This will be critical additional stock … while we’re also trying to find ventilators from the rest of the world.”

SA needs more masks as people return to work

As eight million were expected to go back to work from Monday, 1 June 2020, Minister Patel said South Africa would need more masks.

“Face masks are critical for healthcare workers over the period as the economy opens and the level of infection rises and more people will need attention in hospitals,” he said, adding that this puts more pressure on the staff.

Required masks range from surgical N95, FFP2 and FFP3 masks.

“I think the important story today is how we’ve been able to use local manufacturing to make these advanced masks.”

Since the start of the pandemic, there has been a scarcity, but over recent weeks, entrepreneurs, government agencies and others have been working tirelessly to produce these.

“In the month of May, we were able to produce about 25 million of these surgical and medical masks.”

By the end of June, they are projecting to produce about 31 million masks.

“This means a million masks every single day, Mondays to Sundays that are running off the production line,” he said.

Some companies produce face shields, medical scrubs, disposable overalls, isolation gowns and industrial alcohol for hand sanitisers.

COVID-19 Black Business Fund

In addition, the National Empowerment Fund has put aside R80 million for the COVID-19 Black Business Fund.

“They’ve been overwhelmed by applications, more than 300 have been received, well more than the money that is set aside.”

They have also granted repayment holidays to about half of the businesses they support.

The department is continuing with its efforts to challenge price hikes.

“Some prices may be unavoidable because we import the products and as the rand value drops, the cost of these products increase,” he explained.

“Our laws don’t allow excessive prices by dominant players and unjustified exploitation of the market.”

– Source:
South Africans, who have been confined to their homes, will now be allowed to venture out for hikes from 1 June when the country moves to level 3 of the lockdown.
As of June, hiking is permitted, provided it is done in compliance with existing guidelines and not in groups.

Tourism Minister, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, made the announcement when she outlined plans for the gradual return of the sector in a briefing on Saturday, 30 May 2020.

In addition to hiking, the public is allowed to engage in hunting and gaming activities. Visits to public and private game farms for self-drive excursions are also allowed under level 3. These activities will resume, provided COVID-19 health, safety and social distancing measures on are in place.

The tourism sector, which is largely interactive in nature, has been one of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Tourism Department, projections showed that almost 600 000 jobs were at risk if the sector does not come into operation by September 2020.

“This reality led to both government and the private sector working together innovatively and putting protocol guidelines in place to get the sector back into operation,” said the Minister.

With the easing of restrictions and the reopening of the economy, tourist guides, tour operators, travel agents and tourism information officers have been given the greenlight to resume operations.

Other professional services, including the training of nature guides and other related services that are able to ensure a safe distance between patrons, are also allowed to return to work.

Under level 3 of lockdown, accommodation activities will resume in a limited capacity and will only cater to those on business or work trips.

“Accommodation activities are allowed, except for leisure, and establishments will no longer require a letter from the Minister of Tourism to operate.

"They are required to ensure that they accommodate those in the permitted services and keep records for inspections by the department,” said the Minister.

Tourism-related services

Due to the interlinked nature of the tourism industry, Minister Kubayi-Ngubane said her department was encouraged by the resumption of car-rental operations, which were a critical enabler of tourism and movement of people.

Relief funding for tour guides

On the tour guide subsector, which is dominated by freelancers and independent contractors, the Tourism Department has unveiled a separate safety net for the sector.

“The tour-guiding subsector is dominated by freelancers and independent contractors with no job security and for this reason, government relief schemes, including the Tourism Relief Fund, did not cover them.

"In response, the department has come up with an additional financial relief mechanism for tour guides. We have set aside a total of R30 million, which will provide financial relief over a period of two to three months,” said Minister Kubayi-Ngubane.

Beneficiaries of this scheme will include tour guides, who are registered with the registrar in terms of the Tourism Act; tour guides, who are not employed by any company; and those who have not formed their own companies.

Tour guides will also be provided with personal protective equipment.

With plans for the recovery of the sector underway, Minister Kubayi-Ngubane said the first phase of the recovery for the sector would be driven by domestic tourism, followed by regional tourism and international tourism next year.

“Although we will be gradually opening up the sector in the coming months, depending on how the virus is spreading, we expect that the sector will only fully recover towards the end of this year,” said the Minister.

– Source:
Acclaimed HIV researcher, Professor Quarraisha Abdool Karim, who found that a topical gel could stop many women from catching the virus, has been awarded one of France's top science prizes.
Abdool Karim won the €500 000 (about R9 577 995) Christophe Merieux Prize for her work for the Durban-based Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (Caprisa), which she heads.

Caprisa is run by the University of KwaZulu-Natal's medical school.

The Institut de France, which runs the prize, praised her work tracing "the cycle of transmission" of the virus, with "young women generally getting it from men 10 years their senior".

They also hailed her work on vaccines for the virus and of how to treat people who have tuberculosis and are also HIV-positive.

Abdool Karim is best known for a study that found that a gel of the anti-retroviral drug Tenofovir was effective in reducing the risk of women catching HIV and genital herpes during sex.

Abdool Karim, 60, has previously won her homeland's highest honour, the Order of Mapungubwe, as well as a prestigious L'Oral-Unesco for Women in Science Award.

Her husband, fellow epidemiologist Salim Abdool Karim, is the Government's main scientific adviser on COVID-19. She also sits on the board of experts tackling the pandemic.

The award was due to be presented in Paris, but the ceremony was cancelled because of the Coronavirus.

– Source:
The South African National Space Agency (SANSA) has entered into a partnership with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to host a Deep Space Ground Station.
The station, which will be based in Matjiesfontein in the Western Cape, will support human spaceflight missions to the Moon, Mars and beyond.

It will be integrated into an existing network of three sites in the United States of America, Spain and Australia.

As the fourth site, the station will complement the other three sites and provide improved coverage and redundancy for critical mission support. SANSA will operate, maintain and manage the station.

Cabinet has approved the partnership, noting that the station will benefit South Africa in, among others, the development of scarce skills and the growth of the science, engineering, technology and innovation sector.

“It will also provide opportunities to feed the knowledge economy, and increase the national research output in space science and technology,” Cabinet said in a statement.

– Source:
Even though tourism has come to a standstill, Cape Town is still making waves internationally, this time for winning a film festival award.
The City of Cape Town, together with their official destination marketing agency, Cape Town Tourism, recently announced that Love Cape Town, The Movie was awarded the first prize in the “Tourism Destination – City” Category at the International Tourism Film Festival, Africa Awards (ITTF Africa). Cape Town Tourism’s Welcome to Khayelitsha was awarded second prize.

Love Cape Town, The Movie was made to highlight the many exciting authentic experiences and natural beauty offered by our city to entice those who are considering visiting us”, says Alderman James Vos, Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Tourism.

“I am proud of the efforts that Cape Town Tourism has taken to produce such an incredible 10-minute film to showcase our fantastic city. We work hard to increase the visibility of Cape Town on a local and global stage and ensure we remain an attractive destination to all potential visitors”

The ITFFA showcases South Africa and Africa through tourism films. It exists to contribute to the development of domestic and international tourism, encourage the growth of the local film industry and promote South Africa and Africa as tourist destinations.

“Destinations that have become popular as a film location have seen an increase in film tourism over the last few years. In Cape Town, we have certainly seen this as the city has become increasingly popular with international production companies. Scooping such awards at these prestigious film festivals means that the Mother City continues to be on the map with international film crews, which will help us to provide future tourism development opportunities within various communities around the city,” says Vos.

“It has become increasingly popular and effective for cities and destinations around the world to use video as a storytelling tool. To have a highly regarded festival such as ITTF Africa give recognition to our video, is a huge honour. And winning first prize proves Cape Town has the skills, talent and facilities to encourage international filmmakers to film their commercials and films in Cape Town.” says Enver Duminy, CEO, Cape Town Tourism.

“Tourism is an economic lifeline for many small to medium-sized businesses in Cape Town and accounts for thousands of jobs in the city. The city, in partnership with Cape Town Tourism, will continue investing in programmes and campaigns to drive demand and keep the city top of mind. The recently launched ‘We are Worth Waiting For’ Campaign as part of Cape Town Tourism recovery campaign also encapsulates everything our beautiful, diverse and exciting City has to offer and we are working tirelessly to ensure our tourism recovery plans are aligned and Cape Town is top of mind when domestic and international travel commences,” says Alderman Vos.

– Source:
Local chef and food stylist, Zola Nene, made a surprise guest appearance on United States chat show “The Kelly Clarkson Show” this weekend. Durban-born Nene was joined by British celebrity chef, Gordon Ramsay.
Taking to Instagram, she shared the exciting news with her fans, saying: "Yep ... this really happened! I got interviewed with Gordon Ramsay by Kelly Clarkson on her show.

"Corona Lockdown meant that I couldn’t go to LA and be in studio as planned, but the virtual interview was pretty hilarious and fun too!"

The interview formed part of the publicity surrounding season two of Ramsay's National Geographic show Uncharted, which Nene guests stars in on his South African leg. In the episode, the two visit KwaZulu-Natal where they get to experience some of the local culture, including Ramsay cooking a feast for a local Zulu chief.

Uncharted follows Ramsay as he travels the globe to learn about different food cultures and culinary traditions.

– Source:
The Johannesburg Youth Orchestra was joined by vocalists, Zita Pretorius, and Monde Msutwana, to perform “The Prayer” remotely in their homes.
Following in the footsteps of Andrea Boccelli and Celine Dion, Zita Pretorius and Monde Msutwana, along with the Johannesburg Youth Orchestra Company (JYOC), gave a chill-inducing performance of The Prayer, from the comfort of their homes.

The JYOC has not let the lockdown stop them from performing “together”. Each musician filmed their contribution to the melody and one talented editor wove all the performances together to make one harmonious performance for the public.

The JYOC was established in 1998 and is a non-profit organisation. They intend to be recognised as a premier youth music organisation in South Africa.

“Historically, learners and educators, especially in township schools, have been denied the educational, developmental, creative and spiritual benefits of the arts. Most state schools lack the capacity to teach instrumental music, yet want to offer music training as part of the arts and culture learning area.

“The value of music training is undeniable. Children who learn music have an advantage over their peers in terms of emotional, intellectual, cognitive skills and abilities. Many studies have proven that music can improve someone’s performance, focus and concentration.”

The orchestra has had to put their training on hold, but prior to and beyond this pandemic, they work one-on-one with hopeful musicians in Soweto and Auckland Park, teaching them how to play a selected instrument. They then get the opportunity to take part in the orchestra.

“Beginning with group recorder and violin lessons, children from the age of five are able to discover and begin developing their musical talent with the final aim for the student to be included in the JYOC ensembles.”

This isn’t the only performance the orchestra has put on recently. Take a look at their Facebook page for more stellar performances and learn how to support a child through their musical journey.

– Source:
Port Elizabeth singing sensation, Belinda Davids’ performance on “Britain’s Got Talent” will leave you feeling proudly South African.
Belinda Davids channelled her inner Whitney Houston for the Britain’s Got Talent auditions. Singing the classic One Moment In Time, Davids effortlessly flew through the song. As the South African native concluded to a standing ovation, judge Simon Cowell praised the performance as “the moment we’ve been waiting for”.

Davids is through to the next round of Britain’s Got Talent 2020, although it is still unclear when the live shows will be, but we are sure we will be hearing more Whitney Houston as she has been a super fan of the global star her whole life.

“I think calling me a fan is an understatement. I idolised Whitney to the point that when I was a little girl, I would cut my hair like hers, cut my clothes … I was so desperate to be just like her. So when this came, I didn’t realise how much I’d have to step into her shoes, I didn’t realise how much I had to become her on stage. It’s more than just being a fan; I still idolise her. I still watch her videos, I still look at the footage. I still miss her.”

Belinda Davids was born in Port Elizabeth and began performing professionally at the age of 14. She has never had vocal training and is blessed with a four-octave vocal range, which allows her to sing any genre. Belinda’s inspirations as a child were Aretha Franklin, Anita Baker, Chaka Khan, Donny Hathaway, Michael Jackson and the one artist she honours in every show is Whitney Houston.

As a young girl, one of the very first LPs Davids owned was a song called Hold Me by Teddy Pendergrass and Whitney Houston. The quality and style Whitney portrayed in this song struck a cord, and Davids’ fascination with the icon grew. She sang Whitney’s music at every chance: at family gatherings, talent competitions and to friends while playing on the street. Like many young girls at that time, her bedroom walls were plastered with posters and magazine cut-outs of Houston.

“I think it started when I was six years old. I remember my grandmother dressing me in white ribbons, a white dress. She dolled me up, and she said, ‘now you are going to sing for us’. I went into the church, and I remember there being a lot of people and I sang. The response made something click for me, that this was what I wanted to do. I didn’t quite understand it, but when I developed from age eight, I knew that this was what I wanted to do. I don’t think I realised how good I was until my friends started calling me Whitney.

“The response from people when I started performing in clubs was incredible. For me it all comes back to this; I miss the feeling that I had when I was on stage. The feeling that I had was so bright for me, so light. It was just me in that moment. And it is still like that for me.

“When I get on stage, there is nothing in the world that matters; there’s no pain, no sore ankles, no numb toes … there is nothing. It is just me in that moment which makes me fall in love with being on stage.”

– Source:
South African foodies will be delighted to hear that the dinner party series will be returning to their screens this month.
Come Dine with Me South Africa premiered on 27 May at 8pm on the British Lifestyle Channel, 174 on DStv. Repeats of the Wednesday evening show will be played on Sunday evenings at 5pm. In case you miss the shows, they will be available on both of the DStv Now and DStv Catch Up platforms.

There will be 12 episodes this season, filled with local dishes and showcasing some of South Africa’s biggest and boldest personalities. Something exciting about the new season is that South African viewers from around the world and even those who don’t have access to DStv can join in on the fun too.

The show will be launching its first virtual watch party and viewers can watch the dinner party experience on the BBC Lifestyle Facebook page as well as the BBC South Africa YouTube channel.

The format of the show remains the same – four total strangers will each have a night to host the three other guests and show off their culinary skills, entertain and wine and dine. The show is narrated by the offbeat and comedic relief of voice actor, David Lamb.

On the way home, the contestants each score the host of the evening out of a possible 10 points. The winner is then revealed on the last evening of the dinner party, where the best cook and host is awarded R10 000.

– Source:
Former World Heavyweight Boxing Champion, Gerrie Coetzee, will go down in history as one of the greatest fighters South Africa has ever produced … and Liam Hemsworth is set to play him in a new movie.
Gerrie, a film dedicated to the famous achievements of Africa’s first World Heavyweight Boxing Champion, Gerrie Coetzee, is set to be released in 2020 and Liam Hemsworth is set to play the icon.

Many will remember the night of 23 September 1983, at the Richfield Coliseum in Ohio.

The third minute of the 10th round. A silent, stunned crowd. America’s favourite, Michael Dokes, is on the canvas. Gerrie Coetzee shocked world boxing. He becomes the WBA Heavyweight Champion with a killer left.

With a deafening roar, the spectators erupt.

On the other side of the Atlantic, a united South Africa goes wild with what has just happened. With this glorious victory, Gerrie can unite his divided nation through a mutual love of boxing. It’s a dream he had always strived for and he is everyone’s champion.

Gerrie tells the story of an average young boy from Boksburg on the East Rand of Johannesburg, who dreamt of becoming a boxing hero. The film journeys through his life, telling a story of many highlights and some monumental hurdles.

– Source:
Stay Connected with us
facebook   youtube

For back issues of NewsFlash, visit:


video button video button fina winners