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South Africa: Today’s latest news and headlines, Thursday 2 December 2021

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Are you keeping up with the latest news stories and headlines in South Africa? We’ve got the news you really need to know on Thursday 2 December 2021.

When Omicron was confirmed by South African scientists last week, the world shut its doors to the country. One country after the other imposed a travel ban from South Africa. 

The World Health Organisation critised these efforts to impose travel bans on southern African nations, stating that they place “a heavy burden on lives and livelihoods.” 

And now it looks like our ‘virus without borders’ was actually circulating the globe long before some countries decided to impose travel bans on South Africa. Omicron has now been detected in at least 27 countries worldwide, and the numbers are steadily growing.

On Wednesday South Africa recorded more than 8500 new COVID-19 cases, according to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD). 

In some better news, the preliminary findings reached on the Omicron variant, so far, given us all some ‘room for optimism’. 

Several leading scientists have already moved to quell fears about the new strain of COVID-19 – and even representatives from the World Health Organisation (WHO) are buoyed by these early findings.

TODAY’S LATEST NEWS IN SOUTH AFRICA, Thursday 2 December

COVID-19: SA records more than 8500 cases, positivity rate increases to 16%

South Africa recorded more than 8500 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, 1 December, according to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD). The 51 977 tests conducted over the past 24 hours represent a positivity rate of 16,5 percent up from yesterday’s 10,2 percent. Gauteng remains the most affected province.

The 8561 new COVID-19 cases detected in South Africa on Wednesday brings the total number of active cases in the country to 36 600. Unfortunately, 28 more people died of COVID-19-related complications, according to the NICD, bringing the death toll to 89 871.

Omicron now detected in 27 countries worldwide

When Omicron was declared by South African scientists last week, the world shut its doors to the country. 

The WHO has critised efforts to impose travel bans on southern African nations, stating that they place “a heavy burden on lives and livelihoods.”

It now looks like our ‘virus without borders’ was actually circulating the globe long before some countries decided to impose travel bans on South Africa. The new COVID-19 variant Omicron has now been detected in at least 27 countries worldwide.

The mild variant? WHO official encouraged by new Omicron data…

The preliminary findings reached on the Omicron variant have, so far, given us all some ‘room for optimism’. Several leading scientists have already moved to quell fears about the new strain of COVID-19 – and even representatives from the World Health Organisation (WHO) are buoyed by these early findings.

In the cases of Omicron infections studied so far, an overwhelming majority of cases have been ‘mild’. That was the message shared by one WHO official on Wednesday, who also stated that vaccines would neutralise the mutation.

The SA Medical Association, several British scientists, and health officials in Israel have all gone on record to report that mild infections are prevalent in Omicron-positive cases. The first few indicators we have are reassuring, but it’s still too early to tell just how dangerous B.1.1.529 really is.

Ballito Rage 2021 CANCELLED after 36 test positive for Covid-19

The remainder of the Balito Rage 2021 has been CANCELLED.

Ballito Rage organisers have cancelled the remainder of the event after 32 guests and four staff members tested positive for covid-19.

“We take the safety of all our customers, staff and suppliers extremely seriously. It is for this reason that the event organisers have taken the decision to cancel the remainder of Ballito Rage,” organisers said in a statement on Wednesday.

The festival opened on Tuesday with unprecedented Covid-19 protocols in place, including mandatory vaccinations for all staff and guests and pre-arrival Covid-19 tests for all guests.

A testing facility was located near the event site and staff testing began on Monday, and of the first 122 staff tested, zero presented positively.

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Watch: SA trucker’s illegal attempt to overtake at 100km/h ends terribly

Oh dear. What could be worse than crashing your lorry after making a fairly ridiculous attempt to overtake one of your fellow truckers? Well, we suppose having the whole incident captured on film and uploaded to the internet is up there.

Footage emerged online earlier today, showing the moment a cocky truck driver chanced his arm against another HGV. The decision to overtake – while going at over 100km/h and crossing over a solid white line – paid no dividends for this impatient road user.

Three angles of the incident tell us everything we need to know about this sorry tale. After clocking a dangerously high speed, the trucker swerves into the opposite lane, gambling his safety in the process. The passenger sitting in the cab remains unimpressed throughout.

Shell Wild Coast BLASTING: Natural Justice, Green Peace head to court

Environmental and human rights organisations supported by environmental law firm, Cullinan & Associates have filed an application for an urgent interim interdict against Shell in the Grahamstown High Court to prevent the fossil fuel firm from conducting seismic testing along South Africa’s ecologically sensitive Wild Coast marine environment.

Shell’s seismic testing was due to start off the Wild Coast on 1 December 2021. However, the matter is currently now before the court.

Cullinan & Associates delivered a certificate of urgency to the Registrar at approximately 12h45 on 29 November 2021 according to the organisation, Natural Justice, which is one the applicants along with Border Deep Sea Angling Association, Kei Mouth Ski Boat Club and Greenpeace Africa.

December petrol hike: A mistake was made with fuel price calculations

On Wednesday, after the December fuel price adjustment had already come into force at retailers across South Africa, the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) announced it had made a mistake with its fuel price calculations.

Minister Gwede Mantashe, the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) announced on Wednesday that instead of the 81c/l increase to petrol, it had erred in incorporating six cents into the price, which is already included in the September fuel price adjustment.

However, the adjustment should have been an increase of 75 cents a litre for all grades of petrol.

“The 6 cents difference is due to the fact that the adjustment of wages for service station workers had already been implemented in September 2021,” the department explained.

“Although it is for the very first time that such an error has occurred in the history of basic fuel price determination in South Africa, the DMRE profusely apologises for the inconvenience caused,” it said in the statement.

ANC cuts ties with convicted rapist mayor, pulls out of Kannaland coalition

The ANC officially pulled out of its coalition agreement with the Independent Civic Organisation (ICOSA) in Kannaland, Western Cape, where the mayor, Jeffrey Donson, is a convicted rapist. Donson was re-elected as mayor of the municipality after a coalition between the two parties secured enough seats to form a government.

Donson was convicted of statutory rape and indecent assault after raping a 15-year-old girl while he was mayor in 2008.

He has been under fire since it was announced that he would return to the mayoral position in Kannaland. The pressure extended to the ANC with NGOs and activists calling on the party to distance itself from the mayor.

Following the outcry, the provincial ANC said it would review the coalition agreement with ICOSA, 10 days ago, as coalition agreements should be based on the party’s principles and strict adherence to the rule of law, according to TimesLive.

LATEST NEWS: WEATHER FORECAST, Thursday 2 December

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HOROSCOPE TODAY

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