Johannesburg – Bungeni Sun, 02 Jan 2022 13:18:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Johannesburg – Bungeni 32 32 IND vs SA: South African referee’s 15-year wait to officiate in test will end in Johannesburg | Cricket news Sun, 02 Jan 2022 13:18:48 +0000

Johannesburg: A 15-year long journey will end on Monday when Allahudian Paleker enters the Imperial Wanderers field in Johannesburg to take charge of South Africa against India in the second test.

The Cape-born official turned 44 on Saturday and will mark his last birthday by becoming South Africa’s 57th test referee – and the 497th in the game’s history since 1877.

A former first-class cricketer, Paleker will line up against one of his mentors and inspirations, Marais Erasmus, at the Bullring where he will finally reach the top after years of sacrifice and hard work.

“It will certainly be a proud moment for me. You know that when you start officiating your dream and your goal is to reach the highest level and participate in a test match,” Allahudien Paleker said in a statement.

“I started officiating 15 years ago so it’s been a long time coming. It took a lot of hard work, a lot of patience and you also need the strong support of the family because of the time you sacrifice. while away from home.

“I haven’t been to a family reunion or a summer wedding in years because I’m just never available. So there are a lot of sacrifices to be made and my wife Shakira has had to endure a lot. I must also thank her for the support and patience she has shown throughout my journey, she has really been a pillar of strength for me, “he added.

“And now, with the pandemic, things have gotten even more difficult. It sure hasn’t gotten easy and it will be a time for all of us to savor,” he added.

According to Cricket South Africa (CSA), Paleker comes from a family of umpires. His father Jamalodien is a referee, who still officiates for Wynberg High School in Cape Town.

He is currently 70 years old and a referee in competitions such as the ACS Club Championships in the mid-1990s.

He also has an uncle who is still a referee, while two of his cousins ​​are also developing referees.

“My dad was a great inspiration for me to get to the top and make his dream come true, which he couldn’t achieve,” said Paleker.

“He always wanted to be a first class referee but never got there for various reasons, so I followed in his footsteps to almost carry the baton,” he added.

Besides his father, two other men had a significant impact on his career as a referee.

“I really admire Aleem Dar, who I spent a week with in 2012 in New Zealand. We’ve been in contact since then and he’s a great inspiration to me. And then, nationally, we have our own Marshland. “He’s an elite referee and what he’s accomplished in the last few years is incredible. You want to reach his levels,” Paleker said.

Prior to becoming a referee, Paleker also enjoyed a playing career that spanned seven years. A former drummer, he played for the Western Province and a Titans team that included Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers and Dale Steyn.

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Looking forward to Johannesburg: Kohli confident in series victory – News Fri, 31 Dec 2021 13:45:04 +0000

Indian Virat Kohli (left) congratulates Ravichandran Ashwin after the spinner dismissed South African Kagiso Rabada in the first test. (AFP)

India beat South Africa by 113 points in the first test at Centurion Park on Thursday


Posted: Fri 31 Dec 2021, 17:45

Indian skipper Virat Kohli is looking to win the three-test series against South Africa with another victory in the second test in Johannesburg (January 3-7).

India beat South Africa by 113 points in the first test at Centurion Park on Thursday.

“This series in South Africa is not easy and Centurion is obviously the most difficult of them all,” Kohli told BCCI TV after India’s outright victory in the first test, their first at Centurion Park.

“We ended up getting the result in four days, which is testament to the fact that we became the team we wanted and today the strength of the team was in the spotlight in this Test match, with the ball , with the bat., and the pitch. We were just looking for opportunities and that’s how we play our cricket. If we have the chance at any time, we’ll jump on it. “

Kohli said the team was overflowing with confidence heading into the second test.

“It’s a great position to be, at a zero away, putting the opposition under pressure again in the second test for us is a golden opportunity and that’s something I’m sure every player is looking forward to it and I can ‘don’t wait for Johannesburg,’ he said.

The skipper also said that India’s test performance over the past few years has been exceptional.

“The New Year is a very good marker to analyze how you played cricket. I think we have played exceptional cricket and not just this year, but over the last 2-3 years we have played some exceptional matches, especially away from home. We are a confident and better team with the cricket we play, ”Kohli said.

India is aiming for its very first Test Series victory on South African soil.

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The City lifts the suspension of the issuance of certificates of occupancy Wed, 29 Dec 2021 11:13:36 +0000

Johannesburg City Development Planning Committee member Cllr Belinda Echeozonjoku lifted the suspension of issuance of certificates of occupancy and temporary occupancy.

This will come into force from Monday, January 3, 2022, because it is satisfied with the corrective measures put in place by the service, which will prevent the issuance of fraudulent certificates.

These irregular certificates put the lives of residents and security officials at risk and damage the City’s reputation for upholding the rule of law.

On December 17, 2021, Cllr Echeozonjoku issued an internal moratorium to temporarily suspend the issuance of certificates until January 10, 2022 to address concerns expressed by advisers, industry organizations and members of the public.

These included certificates issued on behalf of officials who had previously left the department, those issued without proper supporting documentation, and others issued in 2021 but stamped with dates in 2022. Additional allegations are currently under investigation. investigation.

“It is my duty as MMC to serve the residents of Johannesburg and do everything in my power to ensure their safety. The temporary shutdown was the most responsible action to be taken under the circumstances, but I am now satisfied with the corrective measures put in place by the service, which included a thorough investigation of all certificates issued, recall of irregular certificates and a check. more stringent quality. measures in place, ”said Cllr Echeozonjoku.

The authority to grant approval for the occupation of buildings and structures, she added, is delegated to the city through the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act 103 of 1977, including the fire compliance and environmental health.

“We cannot forget the tragic events of September 5, 2018, where three firefighters, Sphiwe Maropane, Khathutshelo Muedi and Mduduzi Ndlovu, lost their lives in the line of duty while saving the lives of provincial government officials in the Bank of Lisbon building. in the city center. This building was found not to comply with fire and safety regulations, meaning it should not have had an occupancy certificate.

“A life lost through negligence is one life too many. Corruption costs lives and I urge everyone to report any allegations to the city through the anti-corruption hotline, ”she said.

Residents and stakeholders are encouraged to report any fraudulent or corrupt activity via the 24 hour whistleblower hotline 0800 002 587 or by email: or or visit GFIS offices located at 48 Ameshoff Street, Braamfontein.

Joburg City Development Planning Department Executive Director Amolemo Mothoagae pledged to resolve all allegations and further assured that measures would be put in place to prevent potential fraud and corruption.

Cllr Echeozonjoku will undertake unannounced on-site visits to some of the properties that received irregular certificates in January 2022, to investigate the allegations and ensure that the proper processes are followed.

“Thank you to the ED and his team for responding quickly to the reported allegations and for prioritizing the provision of quality services to the people of Johannesburg,” added Cllr Echeozonjoku.


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Thieves steal JMPD-branded car in Soweto, go for a ride, run over it Tue, 28 Dec 2021 07:30:39 +0000

JMPD vehicle. Photo file. (Felix Dlangamandla, Gallo Images, Netwerk24, dossier)

The Johannesburg Metro Police Department said it would open an internal investigation after one of their branded patrol vehicles was stolen by suspects in Senaoane, Soweto, on Sunday evening.

Spokesman Wayne Minnaar said the suspects left with the car after three police officers stopped to investigate a complaint about a tent that had been erected in the middle of a road.

When officers got out of the car to speak to residents, he said the suspects jumped inside the vehicle and drove away.

“We spent about two to three hours looking for him in Soweto and managed to get him using a tracking device.

“The right front and rear wheels were damaged as well as the front bumper. It looks like they smashed it somewhere, kept driving and only gave it up after realizing the tire was out. flat.

READ | JMPD investigates incident after officer insisted on testing motorist with used breathalyzer tube

“A file for vehicle theft and vandalism was opened at Moroka police station. Fingerprints, along with other information, were taken,” Minnaar said.

While the circumstances that led to the theft of the vehicle were still being collected, Minnaar explained that the engine could not be turned off when the vehicle’s blue light was on.

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Key dates in the life of anti-apartheid icon in South Africa Desmond Tutu | News Sun, 26 Dec 2021 09:01:33 +0000

Desmond Tutu, South African racial justice activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate and retired Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, died on Sunday at the age of 90.

An uncompromising enemy of apartheid, the brutally oppressive South African regime once again black majority, Tutu worked tirelessly, but without violence, for its downfall.

Here is a timeline of Tutu’s life:

1931: Tutu was born in Klerksdorp, a town about 170 km (105 miles) west of Johannesburg.

1943: Tutu’s Methodist family joined the Anglican Church.

1947: Tutu falls ill with tuberculosis while studying at a secondary school near Sophiatown, Johannesburg. He befriends a priest and serves in his church after recovering from an illness.

1948: The White National Party launches apartheid in the run-up to the 1948 national elections. It is gaining popular support among white voters who want to maintain their dominance over the black majority.

1955: Tutu married Nomalizo Leah Shenxane and began teaching at a high school in Johannesburg where his father was the principal.

1958: Tutu leaves school, refusing to be part of an education system that promotes inequality against black students. He joins the priesthood.

1962: Tutu moved to Great Britain to study theology at King’s College London.

1966: Tutu returned to South Africa and began teaching theology at a seminary in the Eastern Cape. He is also beginning to make his views against apartheid known.

1975: Tutu becomes Johannesburg’s first black Anglican dean.

1980: As general secretary of the South African Council of Churches, Tutu leads a delegation of religious leaders to meet with Prime Minister PW Botha, urging him to end apartheid. While nothing came out of the meeting, it is a historic moment when a black leader clashes with a senior white government official. The government confiscates Tutu’s passport.

1984: Tutu receives the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end the domination of the white minority.

1985: Tutu becomes Johannesburg’s first black bishop. He publicly supports an economic boycott of South Africa and civil disobedience as a means to dismantle apartheid.

1986: Tutu becomes the first black man to be appointed Bishop of Cape Town and head of the Anglican Church in the province of Southern Africa. Along with other religious leaders, he mediates conflicts between black protesters and government security forces.

1990 : President FW de Klerk lifts the ban on the African National Congress (ANC) and announces his intention to release Nelson Mandela from prison.

1991: Apartheid laws and racist restrictions are repealed and power-sharing talks begin between the state and 16 anti-apartheid groups.

1994: After Mandela came to power as ANC leader in the country’s first democratic elections, Tutu coined the term “Rainbow Nation” to describe the coming together of various races in post-apartheid South Africa.

1994: Mandela asks Tutu to chair the Truth and Reconciliation Commission which was set up to listen, record and, in some cases, grant amnesty to perpetrators of human rights violations under apartheid.

1996: Tutu withdraws from the church to focus solely on the commission. He continued his activism, advocating equality and reconciliation, and was later appointed Archbishop Emeritus.

1997 : Tutu is diagnosed with prostate cancer. He was hospitalized to treat recurrent infections.

2011: The Dalai Lama opens the annual Desmond Tutu International Peace Conference, but does so via a satellite link after the South African government denied the Tibetan spiritual leader a visa to attend.

2013: Tutu makes candid comments about the ANC. He says he will no longer vote for the party because he has done a poor job of tackling inequality, violence and corruption.

2013: Dubbed “the nation’s moral compass,” Tutu declares his support for gay rights, saying he would never worship “a homophobic god.”

October 7, 2021: A frail-looking Tutu is taken to his former parish of St George’s Cathedral in Cape Town, which was once a haven for anti-apartheid activists, for a special thanksgiving service marking his 90th birthday.

December 26, 2021: Tutu died in Cape Town at the age of 90.

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South African minister opposes sale of Mandela’s cell phone key – Fri, 24 Dec 2021 18:31:23 +0000

FILE – Nelson Mandela, left, and former US President Bill Clinton look out from the cell at Mandela Prison on Robben Island, Cape Town, South Africa, March 27, 1998. Friday, December 24, 1998 2021, a South African minister urged the cancellation of an upcoming U.S. auction of a key to the Robben Island prison cell where Nelson Mandela, the country’s first black president, was long jailed for his opposition to apartheid. (AP Photo / Scott Applewhite, Pool, File)

JOHANNESBURG (AP) – A South African minister on Friday demanded the cancellation of an upcoming U.S. auction of a key to the Robben Island cell where Nelson Mandela, the country’s first black president, was long jailed for its opposition to apartheid.

The key is part of Mandela’s memorabilia sold by the Guernsey auction house in New York City on January 28. Most of the items were provided by members of Mandela’s family to raise funds for a museum and a garden around his grave, while the key is being sold. by Mandela’s former jailer who became his friend.

“It is unfathomable for Guernsey, which is clearly aware of our country’s painful history and the symbolism of the key, to consider selling the key at auction without any consultation with the South African government, heritage authorities in South Africa and the Robben Island Museum, ”Sports, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa said in a statement.

“This key belongs to the South African people in the custody of the Robben Island Museum and the South African State. It is not the personal property of anyone, ”Mthethwa said.

In response, the auction house said the proceeds from the sale will be used to raise funds to build a 24-acre memorial garden and museum around Mandela’s burial site. Mandela’s eldest daughter Makaziwe Mandela-Amuah approached Guernsey’s to organize an auction of Mandela memorabilia to help build the garden, Arlan Ettinger, president of Guernsey’s, told The Associated Press.

“We are honored to sell many of the Mandela family items to help them create the garden,” Ettinger said. The 33 items up for auction include one of Mandela’s colorful shirts, gifts from former US Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, as well as signed items and illustrations.

The key to his old prison cell is one of three items offered for sale by Christo Brand, Mandela’s jailer on Robben Island.

A draft South Africa constitution that Mandela registered with Brand and an exercise bike used by Mandela were also provided for auction by Brand. The brand’s representative could not be reached for comment on Friday.

The key has been in Brand’s possession for many years and has been on display internationally, Ettinger said. Mandela’s daughter has approved its sale and part of the proceeds will go to the garden fund, he said.

“The key symbolizes the worst and the best of mankind,” Ettinger said. “The key locked up Mr. Mandela for his opposition to racial oppression and it was horrible. The key also freed him and he rose from prisoner to president of South Africa and became the inspiration for millions of people around the world. It seems fitting that the sale of the key can now help raise funds to create a memorial around Mr Mandela’s burial site.

Mthethwa, the Minister of Culture, said he would take action to stop the auction of the key.

“The key must be returned to its rightful owners with immediate effect and this auction must be halted,” said Mthethwa who added that he was discussing with the authorities “the appropriate steps that should be taken to stop the auction. and guarantee the return of the key to South Africa.

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Pipeline Machine Learning Engineer (Cape Town or Johannesburg) at Capitec Wed, 22 Dec 2021 18:41:48 +0000

Goal statement

  • Build, implement, enhance and support the AI ​​platform that will support the implementation of Capitec’s AI strategy.
  • Collaborate in the creation and implementation of the AI ​​strategy to ensure that Capitec is able to compete in a rapidly changing landscape. The effective use of AI technologies will be a key strategic differentiator going forward.


Proven experience in:

  • 2+ years of software development experience
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Expert in Python and SQL
  • Experience with modern software development best practices, for example
    • agile software development
    • code reviews
    • unit test
    • version control, e.g. git
    • CI / CD
  • Experience with microservices architectures
  • Experience working in an agile team
  • Experience with ML frameworks and tools (e.g. pandas, numpy, scikit-learn, TensorFlow, Pytorch, Spark MLlib)
  • Experience with modern ETL, compute and orchestration frameworks e.g. Apache Spark, Apache Flink, Apache Kafka, etc.
  • Development experience on Windows and Linux
  • Experience with container technologies e.g. Docker, Kubernetes


  • Experience in building machine learning or AI systems
  • Mastery of R language
  • Experience in deploying models in production
  • Experience in building distributed systems
  • Experience with NoSQL databases
  • Experience working with ML platforms e.g. MLflow, Kubeflow, etc.
  • Experience working with data science platforms e.g. Dataiku, Domino, etc.
  • Experience with cloud-based infrastructure eg Azure, AWS, GCP; ideally AWS

Diploma (minimum)

  • A relevant qualification in information technology – Computer science or engineering – Other

Qualifications (ideal or preferred)

  • Masters in Information Technology – Computer Science or Engineering – Other


Must have knowledge of:

  • Object-oriented and functional programming in Python
  • Modern software development practices
  • Querying Database Using SQL
  • Data lifecycle
  • Machine learning concepts
  • Machine learning model lifecycle
  • Microservices architectures

Knowledge of:

  • Data science lifecycle
  • Distributed system design
  • Big Data Storage and Processing Solutions
  • Machine learning model architectures


  • Analytical skills
  • Decision making skills
  • Planning, organizing and coordinating skills
  • Talents for problem solving
  • Skills search


  • Achieve personal work goals and objectives
  • Deliver results and meet customer expectations
  • Work with people

Conditions of employment

  • Clear criminal and credit record
  • A valid driver’s license and a personal vehicle are required
  • Contactable via their own mobile phone

Capitec is committed to diversity and, to the extent possible, all appointments will support the achievement of our employment equity goals.

Find out more / Apply for this position

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We’re looking for the five best coffee shops in Johannesburg – The Citizen Tue, 21 Dec 2021 09:01:17 +0000

The cultural phenomenon of people lining up in long queues outside coffee shops, especially Starbucks, to get their morning fix of coffee, is something that is mostly seen in Europe and the United States.

And while you probably won’t see this in South Africa, the popularity of coffee shops has exploded over the years, especially in Johannesburg, which has led the city to produce some really good coffee.

We took a trip last year to hunt down the best cafes around Johannesburg which have built a loyal following among coffee lovers.

Our research was to find the most affordable, the most luxurious, the most versatile (great coffee and food) and the best commercial coffee.

This is what we found.

Watch: Our hunt for the best coffee in Johannesburg:

Versatile Manaka Cafe

An ambitious and successful local café-café brand Manaka cafe has left its mark on the coffee scene in recent years and aims to open more stores, especially overseas.

One of the co-owners, Brad Symons, says their goals are ambitious.

“Our intention is to create the biggest coffee brand abroad, because why not? “

The company grew out of a 25-year friendship between Phumlani Sibeko, Neo Moleko and Symons, and currently has four locations in Midrand and Waterfall.

Manaka is the horn of an animal. Cattle in African culture are a sign of wealth, a sign of well-being and a sign of respect for ancestors.

Men come from different backgrounds, but when they are in Manaka, they have a perfect synergy. Brad and Neo have advertising experience, while Phumlani is a leading roaster, with 17 years of experience.

This results in complex, aromatic and full-bodied coffees. The coffee isn’t too bitter or too sweet, which makes their Manaka Scarlet Chai Latte and Mocha Cappuccino our top picks.

The business flourished during the Covid-19 pandemic as their business strategy was to pick the right locations, as people gathered in cafes due to alcohol bans.

Receiving our top honors as an all-rounder, Manaka’s food is not an afterthought. Yes, coffee is the star, but the food has also been given a lot of thought. The menu is impressive, making the cafe a good place for breakfast, lunch, and meetings.

For comfort food, the Magwinya (vetkoek), is stuffed with Cape Malay lamb, and my partner couldn’t help but gush as she devoured the entire meal.

I’ve had a fair share of poke bowls in my life and Manaka’s is fresh, filling and delicately balanced. On the sweet side, Manaka’s coffee-infused cheesecake is a must-have, as is their wild honey cake.

Their shop also sells the best African and South American coffee beans from Kenya, Tanzania and Colombia.

If money is not an object – Cortado

Tilt cafe

Located along Melville’s restaurant strip is a small cafe Inclination, which is highly recommended.

Double espresso isn’t for everyone, which is why the Cortado is a great drink option for people who aren’t really coffee lovers. The Cortado is much smaller in size and contains espresso and hot milk in a 1: 1 ratio (about half the espresso, half the steamed milk).

Tilt Café, cortado. Photo: Tracy Lee Stark

Milk reduces the acidity of espresso and among coffee fanatics it has become very popular due to its simplicity. Tilt’s Cortado follows a similar structure, but certainly has an espresso shot, it’s strong and bitter, but the microfoam in the milk really adds a much needed creamy texture.

The Cortado costs around R33.

If you’re looking for a quiet cafe that offers delicious treats and amazing staff, Tilt Coffee is a gem.

The best commercial coffee – Starbucks

Any conversation or debate over coffee always includes the iconic Starbucks.

They’ve managed to keep some of the buzz around the brand since it opened in South Africa in 2016. It’s still the hottest place for a coffee, especially Starbucks at Rosebank.

As the holiday season is in full swing, locals are enjoying the taste of an American favorite, Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL) and Frozen Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino.

Starbucks Holiday Drinks. Image: Supplied

PSL is an artisanal espresso with an infusion of pumpkin spice, creamy steamed milk and cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. It’s then finished with whipped cream and more pumpkin spice on top.

The spice latte is indulgent and decadent. Their holiday drinks also include Gingerbread Latte and Caramel Nut Latte, a new Caramel Waffle Latte and a Festive Reindeer Cookie, available until December 31.

A special mention to Flight in Rosebank Mall, in the SOKO district. Iced coffees can divide, but for an African summer they are a must. Their iced coffee is top notch.

The most affordable – Xpresso

Famous for being the R10 coffee, Xpresso in the Killarney shopping center in Johannesburg has gone viral a few times, with customers incredulous that all food items in the store are R10.

We visited on the last day before the price adjustment to R12 which is still unheard of for many cafes across the country.

Xpresso. Photo: Tracy Lee Stark

Take out coffee is a good place to have a nice cappuccino, we were pleasantly surprised. There’s also a delicious display of pastries, pies, and muffins, but these weren’t as good as they looked.

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]]> Eskom says theft and vandalism hamper operations Sun, 19 Dec 2021 16:49:03 +0000 The utility said that this year alone, Eskom in Gauteng lost billions of rand in revenue in its attempt to protect its infrastructure.

Eskom Megawatt Park’s head office in Sunninghill, Johannesburg. Photo: Xanderleigh Dookey Makhaza / Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG – Eskom called on customers who have been fined to pay so their electricity can be reconnected.

A list was circulated indicating that the utility is considering cutting power in parts of Soweto, but Eskom said this was wrong and incorrect.

The utility said that this year alone, Eskom in Gauteng lost billions of rand in revenue in its attempt to protect its infrastructure.

Eskom said the theft and vandalism hampered the company in fully implementing its mandate.

The parastatal said it was important to run its operations efficiently and limit financial losses due to illegal activities.

Gauteng Eskom spokeswoman Amanda Qithi said: “The increase and scale of crime such as theft of electricity, theft and vandalism of equipment, unpaid bills and the purchase of ‘electricity from ghost sellers is forcing Eskom to respond by disconnecting those who violate and handing them reconnection fines. “

Eskom said it will continue to educate its customers on the importance of paying and encourage them to apply for and use the free basic electricity mandate available to low-income households.

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South Africa to donate J&J vaccines to other African countries Fri, 17 Dec 2021 12:41:11 +0000

JOHANNESBURG – South Africa to donate just over 2 million doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine to other African countries to boost continent’s COVID-19 vaccine campaign, government says announced Friday.

The doses, worth around $ 18 million, will be produced at Aspen Pharmacare’s manufacturing facility in Gqeberha, formerly Port Elizabeth, and will be distributed to various African countries over the next year, according to a communicated.

“This donation embodies South Africa’s solidarity with our brothers and sisters on the continent with whom we stand united to fight an unprecedented threat to public health and economic prosperity,” President Cyril Ramaphosa said in the statement. .

“The only way to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 and protect the economies and societies on our continent is to successfully immunize a critical mass of the African population with safe and effective vaccines,” Ramaphosa said.

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Ramaphosa is ” well advanced in his convalescence of COVID-19 while continuing treatment for mild symptoms, ”his office said in a separate statement Friday. Ramaphosa, 69, tested positive for COVID-19 on December 12 and has been in isolation at the Cape Town official residence since then, with treatment by the South African Military Health Service.

Ramaphosa is “in a good mood and at ease in his recovery,” the statement said.

South Africa‘s donation will be in addition to the more than 100 million doses of vaccine that have been donated to the African Vaccination Acquisition Trust of the African Union. The African vaccination group has also purchased 500 million doses to distribute to countries on the continent.

Africa remains the least vaccinated continent in the world. The World Health Organization has said Africa may miss the goal of vaccinating 70% of its 1.3 billion people before the second half of 2024.

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Only 20 of Africa’s 54 countries have fully immunized at least 10% of their population against COVID-19. Ten African countries have less than 2% of their population fully immunized, according to the WHO.

South Africa is currently battling the resurgence of the coronavirus fueled by the omicron variant. South Africa recorded 24,785 new infections and 36 deaths in the last 24-hour reporting cycle. The seven-day moving average of the country’s daily new cases has risen sharply over the past two weeks, from 8.59 new cases per 100,000 people on December 2 to 39.11 new cases per 100,000 people on December 16.

More than 78% of new cases are from the omicron variant, Health Minister Joe Phaahla said at a briefing on Friday.

Hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 have increased somewhat, but not at rates comparable to the steep upward trend in new cases, health experts have said. In South Africa, omicron has so far resulted in more mild cases than the previous wave, driven by the delta variant, according to health experts. Exposure of the population to the coronavirus, as 72% blood tests show, could contribute to less severe symptoms of omicron, experts said on Friday.

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South African scientists say their analysis of the data suggests that the Pfizer vaccine offers less defense against omicron infection and reduced, but still good, protection against hospitalization.

Despite the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, the government has not announced an increase in restrictions.

Unlike many other African countries, South Africa now has sufficient supplies of vaccine doses estimated at 19 million, but the number of people vaccinated has slowed significantly. According to official figures, only 12,500 shots were administered on Thursday, compared to an average of around 120,000 per day in November.

Over 15 million South Africans are fully immunized, representing 38% of the adult population, according to official statistics.

“We are very concerned about the drastic drop in vaccination, especially over the past seven to ten days,” Health Minister Joe Phaahla said at a press conference on Friday.

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He urged South Africans to get vaccinated before the holidays. “Jab before jive!” Phaahla said.


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