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Covid-19

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... 

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... 

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize
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... 

An Airbus A320 of SAA
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. 

President Cyril Ramaphosa
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... 

South Africa is expected to have a bumper maize crop this year
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... 

President Cyril 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... 

DTI effects regulations for healthcare sector, retailers in light of Covid-19

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     20th March 2020 Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel, after consultation with the Competition Commission, and in terms of the Competition Act, has published regulations for Covid-19 exemption for the healthcare sector. The regulations will come into effect on the date of publication in the Government Gazette. 

Opinion: Working together to keep public transport Covid-19 free

20th March 2020 In less than a week South Africans have begun adapting to the declaration of a global pandemic, a national state of disaster and the immediate and widespread disruption to our daily lives. The World Health Organisation’s declaration on 13 March 2020 that the global Covid-19 outbreak constituted a... 

Opinion: Working together to keep public transport Covid-19 free

Stats SA announces immediate suspension of fieldwork

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     20th March 2020 In light of the spread of Covid-19 in South Africa, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) has suspended all fieldwork activities until March 31. The committee will continue to look at the prevailing environment to inform its decisions. 

SA labour department uses UIF to help companies hit by Covid-19 

By: African News Agency      20th March 2020 The department of labour will soon formally publish special regulations offering Unemployment Insurance Fund relief to companies that find themselves in distress due to the Covid-19 outbreak in South Africa, a senior official has said. In cases where a company is forced to shut down for a limited... 

Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi
Photo by Creamer Media
Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi

ITU launches new emergency communications guidelines

By: Natasha Odendaal     20th March 2020 The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has launched new guidelines for the development and implementation of National Emergency Telecommunication Plans to effectively enable countries’ disaster response activities to the global Covid-19 pandemic. The guidelines will assist national... 

ITU launches new emergency communications guidelines

SAA suspends all international flights until end of May

By: News24Wire      20th March 2020 Troubled state-owned airline South African Airways has announced that it is immediately suspending all international operations until 31 May 2020 in light of a government travel ban aimed at stopping transmission of the novel coronavirus.  In a statement issued by SAA spokesperson Tlali Tlali,... 

SAA suspends all international flights until end of May

Murray & Roberts’ earnings unaffected by Covid-19-related halts for now

By: Marleny Arnoldi     20th March 2020 Specialist engineering and construction group Murray & Roberts (M&R) in a statement on Friday said it was still too early to provide an estimate of what the effect of Covid-19 would be on the company’s earnings for the current financial year. As it stands, the impact on its active projects in... 

Agri SA assures South Africans of food security

By: Marleny Arnoldi     20th March 2020 Agriculture industry association, Agri South Africa (SA), says South Africa’s food supply is unlikely to fall short, because of a resilient and diligent farming community. The association released a statement on Friday, unpacking the tough times that are ahead for the South African economy.  

SARB announces new liquidity measures to support banks 

By: Reuters     20th March 2020 The South African Reserve Bank announced of raft of emergency liquidity measures on Friday, including a lower rate for commercial banks to borrow money from the SARB, in a bid to ease the stress on banks caused by the coronavirus outbreak. "The Standing Facilities lending rate – the rate at which... 

SARB announces new liquidity measures to support banks

Ten-minute coronavirus test for $1 could be game changer

By: Bloomberg     20th March 2020 Already exhausted from testing for monkeypox and Lassa fever, Nigerian molecular bio-engineer Nnaemeka Ndodo had to work well past midnight earlier this month to find out if six Chinese construction workers were infected with the coronavirus. Ndodo had to collect samples from a hospital an hour... 

South Africa to ramp up test capacity heading into virus storm

By: Bloomberg     20th March 2020 South Africa plans to ramp up its capacity to test for cases of coronavirus, which is expected to infect as many as 70% of the nation’s inhabitants over time, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said. President Cyril Ramaphosa declared the virus a national disaster on Sunday, closing some borders and... 

'My worry is the people we transport' – Johannesburg taxi driver

By: News24Wire      20th March 2020 Johannesburg taxi drivers say they need to be equipped with more knowledge about the symptoms and prevention of the new coronavirus (Covid-19). On Thursday, some drivers told News24 that they were in the dark about coronavirus and were not prepared to deal with the outbreak. 

Renault suspends production in Casablanca and Tangier

By: African News Agency      20th March 2020 French car manufacturer Renault on Thursday temporarily suspended its manufacturing operations in Casablanca and Tangier amid global concern over the Covid-19 outbreak. The plants employ over 11 000 people, according to online publication Morocco World News.  

Gin makers bottle hand sanitiser for vulnerable as coronavirus spreads

By: Reuters     20th March 2020 Small gin distilleries across Britain have started producing hand sanitiser to help vulnerable people protect themselves from coronavirus amid a national shortage in a trend mirrored across the globe from Australia to the United States. Australian cricketer Shane Warne announced on Thursday that... 

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