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South Africa: What’s Happening In South African News – June 23, 2022

Cape Town — First Case of Monkeypox Confirmed in South Africa

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) has confirmed the first case of monkeypox in the country, identified in a 30-year-old man from Gauteng. The patient is said to have not been travelling. The NICD said in a statement: "Contact tracing has commenced, identifying any additional linked cases of monkeypox in South Africa … This is the first multi-country outbreak of monkeypox and is already the largest outbreak of monkeypox recorded."

Final Zondo Commission Report Sheds Light on Murders, Capture of Vrede Dairy Farm Project

The final report of the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture has found that the multimillion-rand Vrede dairy farm project was the focal point of multiple assaults, death threats, murder and armed robberies. Chief justice Raymond Zondo called for an independent team of officers to be appointed to probe the many charges; and questioned the motives behind the controversial project. Originally developed as an initiative to benefit 100 black emerging farmers, the project was overseen by the Gupta-linked company Estina which allegedly funneled funds to offshore businesses.

Youth Urged to 'Cancel Coal' in Stand Against Govt Energy Plans

A campaign led by the African Climate Alliance (ACA), Vukani Environmental Movement, groundWork, and the Centre for Environmental Rights (CER) aims to halt the development of new coal mining operations in the country. The 'Cancel Coal' effort has also called on the youth to stand against government's plans, which include the development of 1,500MW coal-fired power stations. A team consisting of ACA Cancel Coal task force, Petra de Beer, Basetsana Pitso, Mukhethwa Kwinda and Sibusiso Mazomba noted that coal is the greatest contributor to climate change and that with worsening air and water pollution, action had to be taken immediately. "The window of opportunity is closing, so government must act now – together with young people and the private energy sector – to end new coal investments in order to achieve the Integrated Resource Plan's 2030 targets," the team said.

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Looming Canning Factory Closure Leaves Farmers on Edge

Tiger Brands' decision to shutter its fruit-canning factory in the Western Cape town of Ashton has left local farmers fearful as it would leave more than 300 producers with no alternative market for their fruit to be sold. The food company is currently has been seeking a buyer for the facility for two year but will end the search within two months. The factory has been in operation for more than 70 years with fruit canned under the Koo brand. Agri SA says closure would be "catastrophic" for the local community as well as agroproducers and Western Cape producers. The factory currently employs 250 employees with 4,300 workers on duty during the three-week apricot-processing season.

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