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South Africa: What’s Happening In South African News – June 20, 2022

Cape Town — Handover of Final State Capture Report Sees Delay

The release of the final state capture reports has suffered another delay, the Presidency confirmed. This comes after Presidential spokesperson Vincent Magwenya confirmed via a tweet that President Cyril Ramaphosa and Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, chair of the state capture commission, met earlier during the day and chose to delay the release of the document. In April a court-mandated deadline of 15 June was selected, however failure to comply was due to “certain challenges”, the commission claimed. The final reports is expected to focus on several notable events including the landing of a private aircraft owned by the Gupta family at Waterkloof Air Base along with the Estina Dairy Farm scandal.

South Africa Continues Planned Aid to Cuba

International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor has confirmed that South Africa will continue its planned humanitarian aid and health items to the people of Cuba. Cuba's request for humanitarian support following food shortages and a need for basic foodstuffs like canned meat and fish, rice and powdered milk was answered by President Cyril Ramaphosa in April who confirmed the nation would offer assistance. Pandor added that the African Renaissance Fund advisory committee recommended U.S.$3.1 million for urgent humanitarian assistance to the Latin American nation.

Soweto Roads Blocked with Debris, Burning Tyres as Residents Protest

Major routes into Soweto have been blocked by demonstrating residents, disrupting traffic and leaving bus commuters stranded. This comes as demands for service delivery have put demands for change, particularly intervention by Johannesburg Mayor Mpho Phalatse, into sharp relief. Residents have also warned that the protests will lead to a greater shut-down within 24 hours. A protest organiser denied the action was part of Operation Dudula – an anti-migrant movement targeting black foreigners in alleged xenophobic attacks – but rather a communitiy initiative to ensure their petition of demands is received by Phalatse.

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Nelson Mandela Bay Inches Closer to Drought Disaster

The Churchill Dam is set to run dry by Friday this week, becoming the latest of several water sources to the beleaguered Nelson Mandela Bay metro (NMBM) to be lost. Dam levels currently sit at 11.94% with the municipality urgently calling on residents to reduce water usage. Ten private plumbing companies have been hired to fix leaking pipes which NMBM claims accounts for 30% of water losses.

Union Slams Salary Increases for Govt Officials

Increased salaries for public office bearers have been slammed by the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) who labeled the pay hikes as unfair compared to earnings of public service workers. The 3% salary rise comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa approved recommendations by the Independent Commission for the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers. Cosatu Deputy President, Michael Shingange, said in response: "The Labour Appeal Court and the Constitutional Court felt that as public servants, we're ungrateful for wanting to receive a salary increase in 2020 in the midst of the pandemic. Today they're giving themselves a 3% hike; we hope that they're going to carry this going forward when the public servants themselves demand what they think they deserve in the upcoming wage negotiations."

Amazon Eyeing South Africa in e-Commerce Marketplace Expansion?

Retail giant Amazon has allegedly included South Africa on its list of countries where it plans to expand its online shopping services, according to leaked documents. Along with fellow African nation Nigeria, Amazon may enter the markets of Belgium, Chile and Colombia by early 2023. South Africans will also gain access to Amazon's Prime membership programme, a premium delivery service with additional online benefits. The move comes as the megacorporation faces a legal battle over its planned head office in Cape Town where local communities oppose its development.

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