Education Minister Angie Motshekga has clarified the confusion over when schools will open, with the extended ban on cigarette sales has received fierce criticism. Briefly.co.za explores the top updates as SA continues its fight against Covid-19.
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South African schools will not be opening for students next week as earlier suggested by the Department of Education.
Meanwhile, the extended ban on the sale of tobacco products has earned the government more severe backlash as the nation heads into Level 4 lockdown.
Briefly.co.za explores the latest updates on the situation.
1. Steenhuisen throws major shade at Dlamini-Zuma over ciggies ban
People are not happy with Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma's decision to backtrack on the sale of cigarettes in lockdown.
On Wednesday night, Dlamini-Zuma announced that the ban on ciggies will remain in place as the country goes into lockdown Level 4.
South Africans have expressed their disapproval of her decision on social media and one of the people who won't be backing the ban on cigarette sales is John Steenhuisen.
The DA leader threw some shade at Dlamini-Zuma on Twitter, suggesting her decision might stem from a controversial relationship with Adriano Mazzotti.
Steenhuisen said he knows of "somebody" - referring to Mazzotti - who will be "smiling all the way to the bank after his favourite minister shut down the legal tobacco sales.
2. Cigarette ban: Lawsuits loading as over 335 000 citizens sign petition
The Fair-Trade Independent Tobacco Association has confirmed its intentions to take the state on over the 're-banning' of cigarette sales during Level 4 lockdown.
Announcing the decision to gradually lift lockdown conditions in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, President Cyril Ramaphosa himself had announced citizens would be able to purchase tobacco products as of Friday.
However, detailing the new lockdown regulations, Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma shocked South Africans by announcing this would no longer be the case.
3. Covid-19: Motshekga announces June 1 return date for Grade 7 and 12
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has answered the burning question in South Africa- When are schools reopening? Motshekga confirmed that the tentative reopening date for Grade 12 and 7 pupils will be on June 1.
Speaking alongside Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande, Motshekga stressed the fact that this is a 'proposed dates'.
The first two grades to return, according to the minister, would 'have the whole school to themselves' and safety would be the first priority.
"[Our] first priority was ensuring that, as a sector, we contribute towards the lowering of infections. We also ensure the safety of learners and educators, but also balance that around protecting the academic year of 2020 as much as possible."
4. Covid-19: Mkhize confirms 5 350 cases, 103 deaths as infections spike
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has confirmed South Africa has surpassed 5 000 Covid-19 cases with the highest number of new cases in a single day recorded on Wednesday.
In a statement issued by the Health Ministry, Mkhize commented on the developing situation as follows.
"As at today, the total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in South Africa is 5 350, an increase of 354 cases from yesterday. This is the highest number of cases in a 24-hour cycle recorded to date and represents a 73% increase relative to the day before. While this is well noted, the interpretation of the rate of spread are more reasonably assessed by studying trends over time."
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