Arrive alive!

With increased traffic on the roads during the festive season, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has called on motorists to be vigilant and obey the rules of the road at all times.

This plea comes after 14 people lost their lives, while three sustained serious injuries and one sustained minor injuries on Saturday.

The accident occurred between Reitz and Petrus Steyn in the Free State when a Quantum kombi was overtaking another vehicle, resulting in a head-on collision with a Crafter kombi.

The Minister has expressed sadness at the tragic crash and conveyed condolences to the families of those who lost loved ones.

“Loss of life on our roads is a tragedy that we must all work towards curtailing. It is only through collective effort that includes responsible behaviour by motorists, effective law enforcement and innovative engineering solutions in road design by government that will arrest the carnage on our roads and reverse the tide.

“We must all be vigilant and obey the rules of the road at all times,” Mbalula said.

Law enforcement authorities will maximise visibility on the roads and will deal with those who violate the law severely, the Minister said. – SAnews.gov.za

President Ramaphosa ends COVID-19 self-isolation

President Cyril Ramaphosa has returned to duty after ending a week of self-isolation following his positive test for COVID-19 on 12 December 2021.

According to Minister in the Presidency, Mondli Gungubele, the President will chair the final Cabinet meeting for 2021 on Wednesday.

The President has extended his gratitude to all South Africans, leaders and friends internationally, who conveyed their good wishes during this period.

“In turn, the President wishes all persons infected with COVID-19 a safe and speedy recovery.

“President Ramaphosa repeats his call for everyone in the country to stay safe by being vaccinated, wearing face masks, washing or sanitising hands frequently, maintaining social distance and avoiding gatherings,” Gungubele said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Gwede Mantashe, tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday after experiencing mild symptoms. 
 
According to Gungubele, Mantashe is in good spirits and currently in self-isolation. 

“Government urges all South Africans to vaccinate and remain disciplined in observing all COVID-19 safety protocols to ensure a safe and joyful festive season with family and friends,” the Minister said in a statement. – SAnews.gov.za

SA detects over 15 400 new COVID-19 cases

outh Africa conducted 50 377 COVID-19 tests on Sunday, with 15 465 new cases detected.

According to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), the majority of new cases in the past 24 hours were from KwaZulu-Natal (4 135), followed by Gauteng (3 582), Western Cape (2 849), Eastern Cape (1 303) and Free State (1 104), while the rest of the provinces recorded less than a thousand new infections.

The latest figures represent a positivity rate of 30.7%, pushing the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 3 308 074.

In addition, a further three people succumbed to complications related to the respiratory disease, bringing the death toll to 90 348 since the outbreak.

Meanwhile, 7 951 people are currently receiving treatment in hospital, 87 of which were admitted since the last reporting cycle.

According to the Department of Health, there are 5 317 administered vaccines,  1 235 of which were given to children.

This brings the total number of distributed vaccines to 27 521 386, while 15 349 159 or 38.57% adults are now fully jabbed.

The department’s data show that 832 571 doses have been given to children between the ages of 12 and 17.

The number of immunocompromised people who have received an additional dose now stands at 7 696.

Globally, as of 17 December 2021, there have been 271 963 258 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 5 331 019 deaths, reported to the World Health Organisation. – SAnews.gov.za

Collaboration key to saving water

Partnership between the private, public and civil society organisations is key towards bringing local and international investors to invest in water infrastructure development, says Water and Sanitation Deputy Minister Dikeledi Magadzi.

The deputy minister was giving the keynote address today at the 7th Annual Water Stewardship event, under the theme; “Water Stewardship in Action: A journey to economic recovery”.

She says this year’s theme came at the appropriate time as the entire world is still reeling from the ripple effects of COVID-19.

Magadzi says the pandemic has exposed the fact that access to running water is still a pipe dream to most communities, especially the far-flung rural and highly densified ones.

“This pandemic has taught all of us the importance of access to safe and reliable water, and the responsibility we have as private, public and civil society organizations, to learn from our experience over the past nineteen months to innovate and build stronger systems to ensure access to water for all our people”, the Deputy Minister said.

She added that collaborations will bring investments into the country which will in turn ensure water security and importantly support small, medium and micro enterprises, enabling economic growth.

The deputy minister however acknowledged that investments alone will not solve all the water and sanitation challenges in South Africa.

“We require strong water governance that could stand the test of time. We require strong systems and institutions to drive effective water resources management and expand access to water and sanitation services. We require good water governance that would allow sustainable good quality water supply that, in turn, would give us an upper hand in case of any future pandemic,” she said.

The deputy minister further called on farmers to exercise responsible water use as the sector is the largest user of surface and underground water.

Magadzi has called upon all corporates that are still not members of the Strategic Water Partners Network to sign up and play their part on the sustainable and responsible use of our precious resource. 

“To those that are members of the platform, let us do more for the SWPN by pledging more financial, human and technical support to keep the fire burning. 

“I also appeal to civil society organizations, different communities and other stakeholders to play their part in understanding the economic and social value of water, including linkages with sustainability and economic security,” she said. – SAnews.gov.za

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