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Covid-19

Medical schemes to fund Covid-19 vaccinations for both insured and uninsured South Africans 

By: News24Wire      7th January 2021 As South Africa's battle against increasing Covid-19 cases continues, medical schemes are collaborating to help fund vaccinations for some people without medical aid, but the battle against the pandemic might be lost without universal access to the vaccine. The country has seen a dramatic climb... 

Gold mine ups return-to-work protocols as Covid infection numbers spike  

By: Martin Creamer     6th January 2021 Return-to-work protocols at South Deep gold mine have been significantly enhanced to manage the sharp rise in the number of employees testing positive for the coronavirus on return to work after the festive season. Seven hundred and fifty tests have been carried out over three-and-a-half days,... 

Gold mine ups return-to-work protocols as Covid infection numbers spike
Creamer Media speaks to Gold Fields executive VP Martin Preece on coronavirus at South Deep gold mine. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Business confidence falls as fears over stricter lockdown regulations rise 

By: Donna Slater     6th January 2021 Business confidence took a beating in December as companies became increasingly concerned that an increase in Covid-19 cases could result in more strict lockdown regulations being implemented, says information and insight provider IHS Markit economist David Owen. Commenting on the company's... 

Business confidence falls as fears over stricter lockdown regulations rise

South African variant unlikely to fully negate Covid vaccines, scientist says

By: Reuters     6th January 2021 A variant of the coronavirus first detected in South Africa is unlikely to completely negate the immunising effects of vaccines, a researcher studying it told Reuters. British scientists expressed concern on Monday that Covid-19 vaccines may not be able to protect against the variant identified... 

South African variant unlikely to fully negate Covid vaccines, scientist says

World Bank warns of extreme poverty setback as South Africa is buffeted by Covid

By: Terence Creamer     5th January 2021 The World Bank expects the South African economy to recover by 3.3% in 2021 and return to a “near potential pace” of 1.7% in 2022 after contracting by an estimated 7.8% during Covid-afflicted 2020. However, it warns in its flagship Global Economic Prospects report, published on Tuesday, that the... 

World Bank warns of extreme poverty setback as South Africa is buffeted by Covid

World risks 'moral catastrophe' if Covid shots delayed in Africa, its CDC chief says

By: Reuters     5th January 2021 The world risks a "moral catastrophe" if Covid-19 vaccinations are delayed in Africa while wealthier regions inoculate their entire populations, the head of the continent's disease control body said on Thursday. The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) hopes significant... 

World risks 'moral catastrophe' if Covid shots delayed in Africa, its CDC chief says

Ramaphosa calls urgent meeting of National Coronavirus Command Council as death toll rises 

By: News24Wire      5th January 2021 The government's National Coronavirus Command Council is expected to meet on Wednesday morning, setting the stage for yet another announcement on the Covid-19 lockdown from President Cyril Ramaphosa by the end of the week. The council's scheduled meeting was only set to happen next week, but... 

Ramaphosa calls urgent meeting of National Coronavirus Command Council as death toll rises
President Cyril Ramaphosa

South African medical insurers may help fund vaccines for broader population

By: News24Wire      5th January 2021 South African medical-insurance companies, business organiSations and the government are developing a programME in which the private sector will help fund Covid-19 vaccines for people not covered by insurance. Legislation has been amended to allow the companies to fund shots for people who don’t... 

Pfizer and BioNTech have offered SA discounted Covid-19 vaccines 

By: News24Wire      5th January 2021 Pfizer and BioNTech offered to supply South Africa with their Covid-19 vaccine at a discounted $10 a dose, according to a person familiar with the talks, yet the president’s office still described the cost as prohibitive. The price was worked out according to South Africa’s status as a... 

Salba urges enforcement of alcohol-related noncompliance during sales prohibition

By: Donna Slater     4th January 2021 Liquor manufacturers and distributors association the South African Liquor Brandowners Association (Salba) reports that, while there has been widespread compliance by the general public in relation to new alcohol regulations, law enforcement agencies need to be rigorous in dealing with illegal... 

Covid-19 vaccine to target two-thirds of the population as govt aims for herd immunity

By: News24Wire      4th January 2021 At least 67% of South Africans will need to be vaccinated against Covid-19 to ensure herd immunity, health minister Zweli Mkhize has announced during a public briefing. On Sunday, Mkhize unveiled the government's strategy to secure vaccines and roll them out to two-thirds of South Africa's... 

Covid-19 vaccine to target two-thirds of the population as govt aims for herd immunity
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize

Alcohol ban reinstated as SA moves to level 3 lockdown

By: News24Wire      28th December 2020 The ban on the sale, distribution and transportation of alcohol has been reinstated, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Monday night, as SA moves to level 3 of the Covid-19 lockdown.  "One of the more difficult areas of regulation relates to the sale of alcohol. The liquor industry is a major... 

Alcohol ban reinstated as SA moves to level 3 lockdown
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Opposition DA files complaint over missed Covax payment  

By: Bloomberg     18th December 2020 South Africa’s main opposition party will file a complaint against Finance Minister Tito Mboweni for allegedly misleading the legislature about the country’s payment to sign up to the global Covax program, which is to procure and distribute Covid-19 vaccines. The Democratic Alliance will submit... 

Drugmakers should cut Covid-19 vaccine prices for Africa - Africa CDC 

By: Reuters     17th December 2020 Pharmaceutical companies should sell Covid-19 vaccines to African countries at discounted rates and allow them to be produced locally to potentially cut costs, the head of the continent's disease control body said on Thursday. Africa is aiming to vaccinate up to 60% of its 1.3 billion people in... 

South Africa misses Covax deadline to secure vaccines  

By: News24Wire      17th December 2020 South Africa, the country hardest hit in Africa by the coronavirus, missed a December 15 deadline to make a deposit to secure vaccines to fight the pathogen, and hasn’t arranged a guarantee to make the full payment. The payment to the Covax program will be made in coming days, according to Tandi... 

South Africa misses Covax deadline to secure vaccines

Vaccinating billions means finding ways around a patent impasse

By: Bloomberg     17th December 2020 Covid-19 vaccines look set to protect millions of citizens of the world’s richest countries in the coming months. But inoculating the rest of the planet’s population may mean finding a way around an impasse over intellectual property. Representatives from all 164 member states of the World Trade... 

Vaccinating billions means finding ways around a patent impasse

Consortium launches dashboard to give public insight into Covid-19 spread  

By: Chanel de Bruyn     15th December 2020 The South African Covid-19 Modelling Consortium (SACMC) has unveiled its new SACMC Epidemic Explorer dashboard to enable the public to explore the Covid-19 epidemic data in South Africa. The open-source platform, which will be updated regularly, analyses the resurgence risk, presents metrics to... 

Consortium launches dashboard to give public insight into Covid-19 spread

Ramaphosa limits alcohol sales, reinstates longer curfew for festive season 

By: News24Wire      14th December 2020 South Africans will have to change the way they celebrate over the festive period, as government has reinstated longer curfews to limit alcohol consumption in a bid to slow the spread of Covid-19. President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation on Monday, where he unpacked a "differentiated"... 

Ramaphosa limits alcohol sales, reinstates longer curfew for festive season
President Cyril Ramaphosa

J&J has applied to South Africa for registering COVID-19 vaccine - regulator

By: Reuters     14th December 2020 South Africa's pharmaceutical regulator SAHPRA said on Monday it has received its first application to register a Covid-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson. "As of today we have received one application, this was received on Thursday evening from J&J, and we started the review process," said... 

J&J has applied to South Africa for registering COVID-19 vaccine - regulator

UJ develops tech to estimate probability of Covid-19 infection

By: Creamer Media Reporter      14th December 2020 Amid the rise in Covid-19 infections in South Africa, a joint team from the University of Johannesburg (UJ) Faculty of Engineering and the Perinatal HIV Research Unit (PHRU) at the University of the Witwatersrand has developed an interdisciplinary  research project that seeks to estimate the time... 

Military Ombud assessing whether to investigate SANDF's R200m Covid-19 drug deal 

By: News24Wire      14th December 2020 A panel is set to determine whether the Military Ombud should investigate the defence department's R200-million deal to import an unregistered Covid-19 drug, Heberon Interferon-Alpha-2B, from Cuba. News24 has seen a letter confirming the Ombud's consideration to investigate the case after it... 

Fitch Solutions forecasts strong recovery in 2021

By: Simone Liedtke     11th December 2020 Financial risk management, solutions and insights company Fitch Solutions Country Risk and Industry Research (Fitch Solutions) forecasts a strong recovery in 2021, as economic activity is expected to pick up in a "broader and deeper fashion" than this year, both geographically and across... 

Covid-19 vaccine essential to end economic devastation – Solidarity Fund CEO

By: Thabi Madiba     10th December 2020 Solidarity Fund CEO Tandi Nzimande said the speedy roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine was vital to end the devastation that the virus has caused, adding that the Solidarity Fund would ensure that the country receives its equitable share of the vaccine when it becomes available. On Thursday, the... 

Covid-19 vaccine essential to end economic devastation – Solidarity Fund CEO

Second wave, cuts to Covid relief are ‘main threats’ to economic recovery  

By: Simone Liedtke     10th December 2020 South Africa’s economic recovery, which outperformed forecasts by the International Monetary Fund, is in danger of regressing as a second wave of the Covid-19 virus − fueled by Christmas socialising and travel − and the planned termination of two large relief programmes hit the country. The... 

Second wave, cuts to Covid relief are ‘main threats’ to economic recovery

SA to introduce Web-based Covid-19 screening system  

By: Sane Dhlamini     10th December 2020 The Department of Health on Thursday announced the launch of a pilot programme for a new Web-based travel health questionnaire to increase efforts to strengthen active screening and surveillance at ports of entry into South Africa. The department says with the full resumption of international... 

SA to introduce Web-based Covid-19 screening system

Renergen develops simple logistics solutions to transport Covid-19 vaccine   

By: Simone Liedtke     10th December 2020 Emerging domestic natural gas and helium producer Renergen has developed a new device, the Renergen Cryo-Vacc, which is said to simplify the logistics of moving vaccines at temperatures of between -70 °C and -150 °C for periods of up to 30 days, regardless of ambient conditions, without the need... 

Renergen develops simple logistics solutions to transport Covid-19 vaccine
Renergen MD and CEO Stefano Marani gives Engineering News the update on the company's new development, the Renergen Cryo-Vacc. Video: Recorded on Zoom. Editing: Creamer Media's Nicholas Boyd.

2020s a ‘once-in-generation opportunity’ to scale job-rich, zero-carbon industries

By: Terence Creamer     10th December 2020 The 2020s represent a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” for countries, companies and investors to scale zero-carbon industries that will stimulate growth, support more resilient economies and create millions of jobs, a newly released global report argues. Titled ‘The Paris Effect: How the... 

2020s a ‘once-in-generation opportunity’ to scale job-rich, zero-carbon industries

China converting battery electric vehicles into platinum-linked hydrogen fuel cell vehicles  

By: Martin Creamer     8th December 2020 Battery electric vehicles such as municipal buses and trucks are being converted into hydrogen fuel cell vehicles by China. “China already has a very well-established infrastructure to charge batteries and run battery electric trucks. But in the north, it’s very cold and we know battery electric... 

China converting battery electric vehicles into platinum-linked hydrogen fuel cell vehicles
World Platinum Investment Council Director of Research Trevor Raymond interviewed by Mining Weekly's Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Social partners ink compact on reducing Eskom’s debt and facilitating ‘just transition’ to renewables  

By: Terence Creamer     8th December 2020 Organised business, labour, community and government have officially signed a social compact in support of debt-laden Eskom that also endorses the need for a “just transition” for coal workers and communities as the electricity system begins to transition to higher levels of renewable energy and... 

Social partners ink compact on reducing Eskom’s debt and facilitating ‘just transition’ to renewables

WEF yearly summit to be held in Singapore in May

By: Donna Slater     8th December 2020 The World Economic Forum (WEF) will convene its 2021 Special Annual Meeting in Singapore from May 13 to 16; and return to Davos-Klosters, in Switzerland, for the 2022 edition. The change in location reflects the forum’s priority of safeguarding the health and safety of participants and the host... 

EIUG urges members to apply for relief under negotiated pricing agreement framework 

By: Terence Creamer     8th December 2020 The Energy Intensive Users Group of Southern Africa (EIUG) has welcomed the ‘Short-Term and Interim Long-Term Negotiated Pricing Agreement (NPA) frameworks’ approved by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) and is encouraging its members to apply for these opportunities where... 

EIUG urges members to apply for relief under negotiated pricing agreement framework

Seifsa calls for moratorium on power hikes as Eskom makes case for cost-reflectivity 

By: Terence Creamer     7th December 2020 Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) used the platform created by ongoing National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) hearings to call for a moratorium on additional electricity tariff hikes, arguing that further increases would undermine the country’s... 

Seifsa calls for moratorium on power hikes as Eskom makes case for cost-reflectivity

Ramaphosa strikes balance with regional Covid-19 measures – Mavuso 

By: Donna Slater     7th December 2020 Although Business Leadership South Africa CEO Busi Mavuso says government has “not always” gotten the appropriate management of the Covid-19 pandemic right, she says President Cyril Ramaphosa’s nuanced approach with imposing more stringent local measures in early December showed the “right... 

Ramaphosa strikes balance with regional Covid-19 measures – Mavuso
Photo by Donna Slater
Business Leadership South Africa CEO Busi Mavuso

Draft one-stop border-post policy to be released for public comment in early 2021 

By: Terence Creamer     4th December 2020 Government will release its draft one-stop border post policy for public comment during the first quarter of 2021, after Cabinet approved the draft policy during its meeting this week. In a statement, Cabinet said that the OSBP policy would give effect to the framework adopted in 2018. The policy... 

Draft one-stop border-post policy to be released for public comment in early 2021

B4SA supports localised Covid interventions

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     4th December 2020 Business for South Africa (B4SA) has welcomed the measures announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa to counter the resurgence of Covid-19 infections, focusing on localised restrictions in Covid-19 hotspots. B4SA steering committee chairperson Martin Kingston said on Friday that the organisation was... 

Tighter Covid-19 rules in Eastern Cape, Ramaphosa says 'in the fight of our lives'

By: Reuters     4th December 2020 South Africa on Thursday tightened Covid-19 rules in the Eastern Cape province where infections are rising the most, curbing movement and gatherings, but decided against reinstating a nationwide lockdown. President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a televised address that the curfew in the eastern Nelson... 

Solidarity Fund to chip R327m into Covid-19 vaccine efforts, Ramaphosa says 

By: News24Wire      3rd December 2020 President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Thursday evening that the Solidarity Fund has committed to pay a R327-million toward Covax, a global Covid-19 vaccine access initiative. The president was briefing the country on the latest developments in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic ahead of the... 

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