POSTED FEBRUARY 14, 2018 NOMFUNDO XUZA
The Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), Mr Des van Rooyen in his capacity as the chairperson of the Inter-Ministerial Task Team (IMTT) on drought and water scarcity welcomed the reclassification of drought as a national disaster.
Following the announcement by the IMTT on 09 February 2018, the National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC), reclassified drought as a national disaster and a notice to this effect was published in Government Gazette No 414389, dated 13 February 2018.
KwaZulu-Natal Premier Willies Mchunu has declared the province a disaster area.
“We must also indicate that the executive council will submit an application to national government for classification and declaration of a disaster as a provincial disaster in terms of the section 41 of the Disaster Management Act, since it affects more than one district,” said Premier Mchunu.
The declaration of a disaster area paves the way for Provincial Treasury to reprioritise the provincial budget and redirect funds towards the rebuilding of the province.
Gauteng Premier David Makhura will declare parts of the province disaster areas following the severe storms and strong winds that hit the province on Monday.
This decision was taken at an ordinary meeting of the Executive Council Meeting on Wednesday, following a briefing on the extent of the damage by the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta).
The storms left a trail of destruction in parts of the City of Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni and the West Rand District Municipality.
The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) is coordinating relief efforts amid the worst storm that hit many parts of the province.
The storm, which hit the province on Tuesday morning, caused major damage to hospitals, factories, homes and other key infrastructure.
According to a Cogta report, the storm caused power outages in various areas, with two deaths reported. Many residential areas, including businesses, especially in eThekwini Metro, reported flash flooding.
South Africa has found a breakthrough pricing agreement that will speed up the availability of the first affordable, generic and single-pill HIV treatment programme.
Health Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, has collaborated with a number of international organisations and agencies to reach the breakthrough.
“The new fixed dose combination will be available to low and middle-income countries (LMICs) at a reduced price of US$75 per person, per year.
The Department of Water and Sanitation says Western Cape farmers can only hope for more rains during this rainy season to enable them to harvest more crops before the rains begin to wane at the end of October.
A weekly report published by the department this week stated that last week’s heavy rains in the Western Cape brought some relief to locals, as dam levels increased from 27.3% to 28.2%, raising water storage in the province to 475.5 cubic metres.
Pretoria – Friday will see Government launching the National Strategic Plan (NSP) for the next five years, on HIV, Tuberculosis (TB) and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).
Cabinet approved the five-year plan, which will guide South Africa’s response to the HIV epidemic, STIs and TB, at its fortnightly meeting on Wednesday.
The plan, to be launched in Mangaung, in the Free State, draws on the vision of the United Nations programme of zero new HIV infections, zero preventable deaths associated with HIV and zero discrimination associated with HIV.
By More Matshediso
Pretoria – The introduction of Delamanid, a Japanese manufactured drug, has ushered in new hope in the fight against multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) in South Africa.
Delamanid, manufactured by pharmaceutical company, Otsuka, will initially be made available to 400 patients in South Africa as part of a clinical access research project.
Pretoria – President Jacob Zuma will on Wednesday open the United Nations World Water Day Summit and Expo under the theme “Water and Sanitation is a Human Right”.
South Africa will host the three-day Summit and Expo through the Department of Water and Sanitation in partnership with the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government and United Nations Water at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre, in Durban.
Pretoria – As the Western Cape faces a serious drought due to poor rainfall during winter, the Department of Water and Sanitation has informed the agricultural sector of 10 percent additional water restrictions.
The demand for water in the province has steadily increased due to the growing population and economy. This, as well as poor rainfall, has added significant pressure on water supply.
Pretoria - The Department of Home Affairs has urged asylum seekers and refugees visiting the Desmond Tutu Refugee Reception Centre for various services to follow due process and desist from showing up without appointments and on days that are not designated for their blocs.
Following the entry of ex-cyclone Dineo into South Africa yesterday, reports show that a number of areas are already receiving high volumes of rain. As forecasted earlier, the three Provinces of Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo have indeed experienced Dineo.
Areas like Graskop, Blyde Canyon, Punda Maria and Makhado are some of those that have already received varying levels of rain. About 166mm in 24hours of rain has been the highest volume experienced thus far in Graskop.
South African Weather Service
16 February 2017: 11:00
Tropical cyclone Dineo made landfall near Inhambane, southern Mozambique between 8pm and midnight last night, Wednesday, 15 February. Strong winds, exceeding 100km/hr as well as torrential rainfall and very rough seas were most likely the main weather-related impacts.
Pretoria – South Africa is hard at work to meet its target of zero new HIV infections by the year 2030.
Currently, about seven million people are living with HIV and Aids in South Africa and 50% of them are receiving antiretroviral (ARV) treatment.
The target of no new infections by 2030 is set in the National Development Plan (NDP) and is one that the health sector, in partnership with various stakeholders and South Africans at large, is pushing to achieve before the set time.
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The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) today received a diagnostic report from the Agricultural Research Council, Plant Protection Research Institute (ARC PPRI) to confirm that the Fall Army Worm was positively identified from samples collected in the Limpopo Province. The samples were jointly collected by scientists from the ARC Grain Institute and the North West University. These were caterpillars that had to pupate and emerge as moths before a positive identification could be done.
Johannesburg – While there has been good rains, the country is still firmly in a drought situation - and has not recovered enough to relax the restrictions to water use, implemented in provinces.
This came up during a MinMEC (Minister and MEC's) meeting on Water and Sanitation held between Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane and MECs responsible for Cooperative Governance in the nine provinces
Johannesburg – The first national CD4/viral load monitoring dashboard has been launched in South Africa to help doctors and nurses keep a close eye on the health of HIV/Aids patients and reduce fatalities caused by illnesses linked to the epidemic.
The dashboard was launched in Johannesburg on Tuesday by Right to Care in collaboration with the Department of Health, National Health Laboratory Service, National Institute of Communicable Diseases and Boston University.
Pretoria - Cabinet has conveyed its condolences to the family and friends of those who lost their lives in the recent floods and wished the injured a speedy recovery.
“The nation’s thoughts and prayers are with those whose loved ones are still missing,” Minister in the Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Jeff Radebe said on Thursday.
Flash floods in Gauteng and Mpumalanga resulted in the loss of lives, displaced communities, especially in informal areas, and destroyed infrastructure such as roads, bridges and property.
Pretoria - Gauteng MEC for Health Qedani Mahlangu has dispatched an outbreak response team to the areas surrounding the Jukskei River following the recent flash flooding and the subsequent bursting of the river banks.
This is in a bid to mitigate any potential water borne disease outbreaks.
The Jukskei River is one of the longest rivers in Gauteng and flows through several industrialised and semi-rural areas hence it is always heavily contaminated.