Covid-19 update: Ramaphosa talks tobacco, SASSA botches payments

Covid-19 update: Ramaphosa talks tobacco, SASSA botches payments

President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the cigarette uproar and SASSA created chaos with a delay in payments. explores the top stories on the coronavirus crisis.

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has addressed speculation over whether or not Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma over-ruled him on the tobacco ban during lockdown. explores some of the latest updates as the nation reaches 40 days under restrictions.

1. SASSA left apologising after payment glitch delays grant funds

SASSA has come under fire after a payment glitch left them unable to pay hundreds of citizens on Monday

SASSA director of communications and marketing, Sandy Godlwana, clarified that the agency had been able to fix the issue.

"Funds will now be released to beneficiaries’ accounts this afternoon after 3pm and can even be accessed from tomorrow (Tuesday) going forward. Those with South African Post Office/Sassa cards can go to their nearest Post Office to get their grant as manual payments can be done at these outlets."

2. Coronavirus: Ramaphosa defends u-turn on cigarettes, Dlamini-Zuma

President Cyril Ramaphosa has addressed the speculation that Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma strong-armed him into making a u-turn on the cigarette ban during lockdown.

In his weekly letter to South Africa, Ramaphosa noted the uproar over the decision, commenting that:

"There has been much public comment on government’s decision to extend the prohibition on the sale of tobacco products into level 4. A decision like this is bound to be controversial, but it is wrong to suggest that there are Ministers or a President doing and saying whatever they want on this matter."

3. Madagascar sends Covid-19 "herbal medicine" to 15 African countries

Madagascar has sent its locally made COVID-19 "herbal medicine" to 15 African countries in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). President Andry Rajoelina launched the herbal tea, named COVID-Organics (CVO), on Monday, April 20, claiming the concoction cured COVID-19 patients.

Madagascar President Andry Rajoelina drinking the herbal tea. Photo: Andry Rajoelina. Source: Facebook On his Instagram page on Friday, May 1, Rajoelina said the "herbal medicine" would be availed to all coronavirus patients in all friendly countries across the African continent and the around the world.

"Madagascar and its African brothers are united in the response to the coronavirus. It is with honor that we send these CVO herbal teas to the 15 member countries of ECOWAS through Guinea Bissau."

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