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Covid-19

SAA to suspend all domestic flights from Friday as SA goes into lockdown

By: African News Agency      25th March 2020 National carrier South African Airways said it would suspend all its domestic flights from Friday until April 16 in compliance with a 21-day government lockdown announced by President   to curb the spread of Covid-19. It said it would provide support to passengers intending to change their travel... 

South Africa starts preliminary work on a coronavirus vaccine

By: News24Wire      24th March 2020 South Africa has started work on the development of a vaccine for the Covid-19 virus, Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande has said. The University of Cape Town, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research as well as the Biological and Vaccines Institute of Southern Africa are working... 

Wits researchers launch comprehensive Covid-19 dashboard for South Africa 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      24th March 2020 The University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) has launched a website that presents the latest statistics on the effect of the Coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) on the population of South Africa. The site serves as a tool to monitor the daily development of the Coronavirus in South Africa. The... 

Department enacting labour support measures for Covid-19 lockdown  

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     24th March 2020 Following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement that South Africa would enter a 21-day lockdown to help curb the spread of Covid-19, the Department of Employment and Labour is enacting several support measures for affected employers and employees. In a briefing on March 24, Minister Thulas... 

Department enacting labour support measures for Covid-19 lockdown
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Thulas Nxesi

Ministers announce Covid-19 business support measures  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     24th March 2020 Amid government’s strategy to “flatten the curve” of Coronavirus infections, government departments have shared more details on the measures that would be implemented to support businesses during the national declared lockdown time and afterwards. Health Minister Zweli Mkhize delivered an... 

Ministers announce Covid-19 business support measures
Photo by Creamer Media
Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel

Clothing industry reaches agreement to safeguard industry, workers

By: Donna Slater     24th March 2020 South Africa's first Covid-19 lockdown national collective agreement for the clothing and textiles industry was expedited and ratified by the end of March 23. The agreement was formulated by the National Bargaining Council for the Clothing Manufacturing Industry in South Africa.  

Mpact postpones dividend payment amid Covid-19 national lockdown uncertainties

By: Donna Slater     24th March 2020 Plastics, paper and packaging manufacturer Mpact is postponing its payment of its cash dividends for the 2019 financial year by five months, in light of uncertainties brought about by the national 21-day lockdown. This is expected to help preserve the company’s financial liquidity.  

Govt sets aside R500m to import medical essentials for coronavirus

By: News24Wire      24th March 2020 A special package of R500-million has been set aside for trade finance to import essential medical products to fight the coronavirus outbreak, Minister of Trade and Industry Ebrahim Patel announced on Tuesday. The amount forms part of a package of more than R3-billion put together by the... 

 Govt sets aside R500m to import medical essentials for coronavirus
Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel

Treasury mum on upcoming Moody's decision – but says SA is still within budget  

By: News24Wire      24th March 2020 While National Treasury cannot yet comment on Moody's rating decision, expected this week, Director General Dondo Mogajane says that for now, Treasury is still acting within its means in addressing the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak. Mogajane was on Tuesday speaking at a briefing in Pretoria,... 

Treasury mum on upcoming Moody's decision – but says SA is still within budget
Photo by Creamer Media
Treasury DG Dondo Mogajane

DMRE, petroleum and mining industries developing framework to execute lockdown

By: Simone Liedtke     24th March 2020 Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe met with the South African Petroleum Industry Association (Sapia) and the Minerals Council South Africa on March 24 to consolidate plans to deal with the impact of Covid-19. The meeting follows President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement on the... 

DMRE, petroleum and mining industries developing framework to execute lockdown
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe

Local building sector confidence reaches 20-year low

By: Simone Liedtke     24th March 2020 South Africa’s building sector is expected to contract further in the second quarter. The First National Bank (FNB) and Bureau for Economic Research (BER) Building Confidence Index, had already reached a two-decade low of 13 points in the first quarter of this year, down from 25 points in the... 

Opinion: War declared during peacetime

By: Donna Slater     24th March 2020 The outbreak of coronavirus in every continent (except Antarctica) has resulted in a war-time mobilisation of national assets and resources, as well as a shift in production by some companies from their core products to the manufacture of products that can support the fight against the... 

Opinion: War declared during peacetime
Photo by Reuters
Members of the South African National Defence Force gather at the premises of the Rand Light Infantry in Craighall Park on March 23 in preparedness for mobilisation to help enforce the presidents national lockdown.

Boeing announces work suspension at major plants owing to Covid-19

By: Rebecca Campbell     24th March 2020 US aerospace giant Boeing announced on March 23 that it was temporarily suspending production at its facilities in the Puget Sound area of the US state of Washington. The suspension would start on March 25 and would run for 14 days. The decision was taken following the proclamation, that same... 

Boeing announces work suspension at major plants owing to Covid-19

Ramaphosa spells relief for companies in Covid-19 distress

By: African News Agency      24th March 2020 As South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a national lockdown to curtail the runaway spread of the Coronavirus in South Africa, he also revealed assistance packages for businesses in distress due to the crisis. “Using the tax system, we will provide a tax subsidy of up to R500 per... 

 Ramaphosa spells relief for companies in Covid-19 distress
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Ramaphosa announces 21-day lockdown for South Africa 

By: African News Agency      23rd March 2020 President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced a national lockdown in South Africa as the government announced measures to curtail the spread of novel coronavirus (Covid-19).  "The National Coronavirus Command Council has decided to enforce a nation-wide lockdown for 21 days with effect from midnight on... 

 Ramaphosa announces 21-day lockdown for South Africa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Chemicals, oil projects under threat following coronavirus outbreak

By: Simone Liedtke     23rd March 2020 In the wake of the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak and collapse in crude oil prices, midstream chemicals, oil and gas companies must cut capital expenditure (capex) for growth projects to preserve cash, Independent Commodity Intelligence Services (Icis) said in a statement on Monday. The US and... 

Airline body thanks regulators for showing flexibility

By: Rebecca Campbell     23rd March 2020 The global airline industry’s representative organisation, the International Air Transport Association (Iata), has expressed gratitude to aviation regulators around the world for showing flexibility regarding non-safety-critical regulations, in order to support air transport around the world.... 

Business bodies set up specialist task teams to help govt tackle coronavirus 

By: News24Wire      23rd March 2020 South African business bodies and lobby groups have set up specialised task teams to help government respond to the coronavirus. These include a health task team - focusing on healthcare interventions - as well as an economic task team and a labour task team, all of which will in turn be assisted... 

 Business bodies set up specialist task teams to help govt tackle coronavirus

Airbus, Boeing take steps to improve liquidity amid Covid-19 spread

By: Simone Liedtke     23rd March 2020 Aviation company Airbus is continuing to assess the ongoing situation and the impact of the coronavirus, which causes the Covid-19 disease, on its business, customers, suppliers and the industry. It has, in the interim, announced measures to bolster its liquidity and balance sheet in response to... 

Covid-19 ‘disastrous’ for component sector; part makers gear up for ventilator manufacture 

By: Irma Venter     23rd March 2020 The temporary closure of the BMW and Ford vehicle assembly plants in South Africa, with a third vehicle manufacturer advising that it is expecting significant volume cuts in the future, has had an “immediate and disastrous impact” on the component supplier base, National Association of Automotive... 

Covid-19 ‘disastrous’ for component sector; part makers gear up for ventilator manufacture

Africa needs $100bn stimulus to combat virus

By: Bloomberg     23rd March 2020 Africa needs an immediate emergency economic stimulus of $100-billion to combat the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and almost half of that could come from waiving interest payments for countries on the continent, according to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. The waiver of... 

Ford suspends production in South Africa as Covid-19 takes its toll 

By: Irma Venter     23rd March 2020 Ford Motor Company (FMC) is temporarily suspending vehicle and engine production at its international markets group (IMG) manufacturing sites, including South Africa, in response to the growing impact of Covid-19. IMG production suspensions began Saturday, March 21, and will continue for several... 

Ford suspends production in South Africa as Covid-19 takes its toll

South Africa's confirmed coronavirus cases jump by 128 to 402 

By: Reuters     23rd March 2020 South Africa's Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said on Monday that the number of confirmed coronavirus cases had risen to 402, a jump of 128 since Sunday's announcement that could worry public health experts concerned about the country's readiness to deal with the epidemic. President Cyril Ramaphosa... 

South Africa's confirmed coronavirus cases jump by 128 to 402
Photo by Creamer Media
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize

Businesses collaborate with govt to mitigate Covid-19 impact

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     23rd March 2020 Business Unity South Africa (Busa) says it has had fruitful discussions with President Cyril Ramaphosa as part of a multi-stakeholder engagement about Coivd-19 at the weekend. “Business has rapidly mobilised to combine its resources in the service of South Africa and its people, to limit the... 

IEA urges governments to integrate clean-energy transition into Covid-19 stimulus packages 

By: Terence Creamer     23rd March 2020 The stimulus plans being developed by governments to counter the economic damage of the Covid-19 pandemic “offer an excellent opportunity to ensure that the essential task of building a secure and sustainable energy future doesn’t get lost amid the flurry of immediate priorities”, International... 

IEA urges governments to integrate clean-energy transition into Covid-19 stimulus packages

Contractors obliged to provide protection against Covid-19, armed gangs

By: Irma Venter     23rd March 2020 Contractors who fail to implement effective health and safety regulations on their construction sites are placing their workers at serious risk, especially in light of the global Covid-19 pandemic and ongoing invasions by armed gangs who threaten violence unless their employment demands are met,... 

 Contractors obliged to provide protection against Covid-19, armed gangs

SAA has also suspended its African regional flights

By: Rebecca Campbell     23rd March 2020 On Friday and Saturday, South African Airways (SAA) suspended all its regional flights – that is, flights to other African countries – until May 31. This followed the airline’s suspension of all its international flights earlier on Friday. This decision was taken “to support the Government... 

SAA has also suspended its African regional flights
Photo by SAA
An Airbus A320 of SAA

JSE-listed Reits delay dividend payments

By: Marleny Arnoldi     23rd March 2020 JSE-listed real estate investment trusts (Reits) Redefine Properties, Hyprop Investments and EPP have announced postponements to the payment of dividends in response to the Covid-19 outbreak. The uncertain and prolonged nature of lockdown-type measures is having negative repercussions all over... 

Coronavirus in SA: Ramaphosa to address the nation amid growing calls for a lockdown

By: News24Wire      23rd March 2020 President Cyril Ramaphosa will address the nation on Monday night amid increased speculation that South Africa will go into lockdown. Ramaphosa was supposed to address citizens on Sunday night to give them an update on the government's efforts to prevent the further spread of the novel coronavirus. 

Coronavirus in SA: Ramaphosa to address the nation amid growing calls for a lockdown
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Research group assures South Africans that the country has ample food supplies

By: Rebecca Campbell     23rd March 2020 South Africans should not be concerned about the availability of food during the current Covid-19 pandemic. This assurance has been given by the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Production (BFAP), a Pretoria/Tshwane-based nonprofit organisation (created in 2004 to carry out scientifically... 

Research group assures South Africans that the country has ample food supplies
Photo by Bloomberg
South Africa is expected to have a bumper maize crop this year

We are fighting to protect people, fortify economies during Covid-19 – Ramaphosa 

By: Thabi Madiba     23rd March 2020 As the nation waits for President Cyril Ramaphosa to address the country this evening, amid the coronavirus pandemic, the President released his weekly column, highlighting the task governments across the globe had to contain the virus and to protect people and economies. The number of confirmed... 

We are fighting to protect people, fortify economies during Covid-19 – Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Huawei, China Economic Association donate R3m to South Africa’s Covid-19 battle

By: Natasha Odendaal     23rd March 2020 Information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and smart device provider Huawei has donated R1-million toward South Africa’s efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus, which causes the Covid-19 disease. The South Africa-China Economic and Trade Association, at the Chinese... 

Tsogo Sun to close 36 hotels as demand collapses

By: Reuters     22nd March 2020  South African hotel operator Tsogo Sun will close up to 36 hotels over the next few weeks after travel bans imposed by various countries to contain the coronavirus caused a "total collapse of demand", it said on Friday. Tsogo said in a statement it was looking to reduce costs and capital... 

Fears over handwashing in Africa to stem coronavirus seen as trigger for change

By: Reuters     22nd March 2020 People globally are being told to wash their hands to fight the spread of coronavirus but in Africa many can't, experts said, urging states to use the pandemic as a reason to finally push for improvements to water supplies. Aid workers and advisors said countries should seize the moment ahead of... 

South Africa economy silence contrasts with drastic virus steps

By: Bloomberg     22nd March 2020 South Africa’s government won praise for taking swift action to contain the coronavirus outbreak. It’s said little on how it plans to protect the economy. With just 61 infections on March 15, President Cyril Ramaphosa imposed travel bans, instructed schools to close and outlawed large gatherings.... 

Ramaphosa meets business leaders as virus spreads 

By: Bloomberg     22nd March 2020 South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will meet with business leaders today as the government mulls relief measures to mitigate the impact of the novel coronavirus outbreak on the economy. The country has escalated measures to curb the spread of the virus, including banning travel to and from... 

ACSA has started implementing air travel restrictions at its airports 

By: Rebecca Campbell     20th March 2020 The Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) announced on Friday that it had, in conjunction with the other appropriate authorities, implemented the air travel restrictions decreed by the government, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. These restrictions apply to air travellers from designated high... 

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