Police refute social media claims

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

The South African Police Service (SAPS) has refuted claims that there is a building in Pretoria being used for human trafficking.

This is after a series of social media posts depicting a building allegedly being used as a centre for human trafficking.

According to the Police, the building, which is located in Johannes Ramokhoase Street, Pretoria CBD, is in fact a residential building accommodating policemen and women.

In a statement on Tuesday, the police said the social media posts, which suggest that the building is being used for criminal activities, is misleading and untrue.

“People are urged not to post these messages any further; as such messages tend to create panic and uncertainty among citizens. Anybody caught spreading fake news is likely to face charges of defeating or obstructing the course of justice. In instances where resources are being used to respond to such fake news, every effort will be made to recover the costs of such response/s,” said the police.

The police said human trafficking affects many people around the world and the necessary sensitivity should be afforded to those affected by it.

“Human trafficking is indeed a reality and people are affected by this phenomenon globally. The spreading of fake messages on a matter of such a serious nature is not only a crime but also shows a lack of sensitivity to those affected by this crime.

“We continue to appeal to anyone who has any information on the person responsible for the creation and spreading of this message or of any other crime to please contact the SAPS our Crime Stop number 086 00 10111.”

Information may also be communicated via our MySAPSApp, an application which can be downloaded on any iPhone or Android via PlayStore.

All information will be treated with strictest confidence and callers may remain anonymous. – SAnews.gov.za

Police urged to ensure rule of law

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Police Minister Bheki Cele has called on police officers to continue to ensure the safety of customers, staff members and property of Clicks stores.

This follows what the Ministry describes as organised acts of vandalism at Clicks stores in some provinces.

The Minister’s comments come after public outrage following the Clicks advertisement, where black hair is portrayed as “dry and damaged”.

In a statement on Wednesday, Cele denounced acts of vandalism and malicious damage to property at various businesses, including a Clicks store that was petrol bombed in Emalahleni, Mpumalanga on Monday.

“Ten people, including an Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Member of Parliament (MP), have been arrested for charges relating to the destruction of property. The MP has been charged with assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest,” the Ministry said.

The Minister said the advert that has sparked public outrage must be condemned from all quarters.

“The genesis of this advert is glaring racism that is shown by this business and we must collectively condemn it at all costs. The demonstration of such blatant disregard and humiliation of African people can’t go unabated.”

However, Cele cautioned against the damaging of property as an act of protest against the advert.

The Police Minister has also noted the investigation of a case of the pointing of a firearm in Port Elizabeth. It is alleged that a 52-year-old woman pointed a firearm at EFF members staging a picket inside a mall in Welmer Park.

“Police should ensure that the rule of law is maintained. They must deal decisively with those who choose to break the law. I’m encouraged that officers are making arrests and urge them to continue to ensure the protection and safety of customers, staff members in the affected areas,” Cele said. - SAnews.gov.za lb!U��K

Technical task team to facilitate SA-US market access

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza and United States Ambassador to South Africa, Lana Marks, have agreed to establish a technical task team that will work on facilitating market access of agricultural products.

Minister Didiza and Ambassador Marks made the agreement during a virtual meeting held on Tuesday. The meeting discussed agricultural trade relations of mutual interest to both countries.

At the meeting, Didiza noted and expressed appreciation of the increase in exports of citrus from South Africa to the US market.

Such an increase is encouraging she said while also expressing the hope that this will translate to other agricultural products getting into the US market.

“Increasing agricultural production is important for food security as well as contributing to the economy through trade,” Didiza said.

The Minister said she believes that the transformation of the sector, as envisaged through the Agriculture and Agro-processing Master Plan will ensure that “as a country we can increase our volumes for trade, which will bring great benefits for the country’s economy.”

She also noted that the 15% contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by the agricultural sector to the economy, and attributes part of the growth to continued growth in the exports from South Africa. – SAnews.gov.za S�U�1�P

National effort needed to rebuild the economy

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

President Cyril Ramaphosa says the plunge in South Africa’s gross domestic product during the second quarter of 2020 reflects the severe impact of the global Coronavirus pandemic on the economy and should spur all South Africans to do all they can to help rebuild the economy.

While the 16.4% contraction in the second quarter or 51% on an annualised basis represents an anomaly due to the lockdown imposed at the end of March, the President said these figures nevertheless reinforce the importance of enabling a strong rebound in subsequent quarters.

“Now is the time to act quickly and boldly to place South Africa on a rapid growth trajectory. We cannot continue with business as usual. We will use this moment of crisis to build a new economy, and unleash South Africa’s true potential,” said President Ramaphosa.

Countries across the world are facing significant economic disruption as a result of the pandemic, leading to the worst global downturn in decades. South Africa has not been spared these realities.

The Coronavirus represents a once-in-a-century social and economic crisis, with disruptions to production, a synchronised decline in export markets and a prolonged decrease in demand for many service industries. The economic circumstances created by the pandemic have caused hardship for many South Africans, and threaten the survival of businesses in sectors that are worst affected.

Having acted swiftly and decisively to save lives and bring the epidemic under control, government’s focus now is on economic recovery.

The R500 billion emergency relief package announced by the President in April has prevented the worst effects of the pandemic.

Over R40 billion has been paid to more than 4 million workers through the Unemployment Insurance Fund to prevent retrenchments, and more than 5 million beneficiaries have received the Special COVID-19 grant for social relief of distress. 

A total of R25 billion has been paid through top-ups to existing social grants, as well as an additional caregivers allowance for recipients of the child support grant. 

Moreover, tax relief worth over R70 billion has been extended to businesses in distress. These and other measures have provided necessary relief to vulnerable individuals and businesses across the country.

As the epidemic continues to stabilise, the President said a strong recovery is possible through targeted actions to restore economic growth and protect people’s livelihoods. 

To support economic recovery, the Presidency highlighted that three processes are underway.

First, social partners will soon present a Social Compact on Economic Recovery to the President following discussions at the National Economic Development and Labour Council. This social compact identifies areas of convergence, and provides a basis for joint action by all partners.

Government will thereafter finalise its Economic Recovery Strategy, which will draw on this social compact and outline a clear, action-oriented plan to stimulate economic growth and enable a rapid rebound.

“This strategy will include fast-tracking urgent structural reforms, expanding employment programmes, facilitating large-scale investment in infrastructure projects, and implementing measures to promote localisation and enhance regional and continental trade. 

“Finally, the Presidential Employment Stimulus will commence implementation within the next month, and will expand opportunities through public and social employment to counteract job losses,” said the Presidency.

The President will make further announcements in this regard in due course and the President calls on all sectors of society to act with unity and purpose to rebuild the economy for the benefit of all South Africans. – SAnews.gov.za �i�U�cDŖ

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