SA in 5 minutes: 197 people left without homes in Langa fire. State of disaster challenged in court. KZN Premier reshuffles his cabinet. Five national days of mourning. Black Friday the superspreaders

20th November 2020

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197 people left without homes in Langa informal settlement

The fire that broke out in the early mornings of Friday in Langa informal settlement has burned down 70 shacks leaving 197 people without homes.

According to Jermaine Carelse of the City’s Fire and Rescue Services, 11 firefighters and 42 staff members on the scene managed to contain them and extinguish the fire at 4:23 am with no injuries reported.

According to locals, there were two fires in the informal settlement last year, but none of them was as bad as this one.

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Extended state of disaster to December 15 challenged in court

The Civil rights NGO DearSA filed a complaint against the extension of the national lockdown until December 15 calling it unconstitutional.

The founder Rob Hutchinson argued that in terms of section 37 of the Constitution a state of disaster can only be maintained for 90 days before its extension must be approved by Parliament.

“No such approval has been obtained for the latest extension,” he said.

Hutchinson said that while it may have been rational to declare a state of disaster in March, it was no longer rational to have the declaration in place and it should not have been extended.

“This has occurred, and continues to occur, which undermines our constitutional democracy, premised on a genuine separation of powers.”

Dlamini Zuma filed a notice of intention to oppose the application on Tuesday afternoon.

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KZN Premier reshuffles his cabinet by swapping two members

Nomusa Dube-Ncube who was in charge of the powerful Economic Development and Tourism and Environmental Affairs portfolio was moved to Finance portfolio in a straight swap with Ravi Pillay, who will take up her former position.

While Zikalala said the move was to “accelerate transformation”, the official opposition in the provincial government, the DA said they were concerned that the reshuffle could be part of the factionalism in the ANC.

The two MEC’s were sworn in by Judge President of KwaZulu-Natal, Achmat Japie

In a statement on Tuesday, Zikalala said he two MEC’s were seasoned leaders with a wealth of experience in government.

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Five national days of mourning

The cabinet on Thursday urged the public to participate in Five national days of mourning to remember those who lost their lives to Covid-19, gender-based violence and femicide.

The five days of mourning will run from 25 to 29 November.

“All national flags will fly at half-mast during the five days of mourning in a united move to honour all those who have succumbed to COVID-19, gender-based violence and femicide,” said Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola.

“All citizens are encouraged to wear attire and ornaments which symbolise mourning based on their culture, tradition and religious beliefs.”

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Businesses urged not to turn Black Friday to superspreaders

MEC for Finance and Economic Opportunities, David Maynier, said businesses need to take responsibilities to ensure that their Black Friday specials don't turn into a super spreader event.

The Black Friday is known for low cuts on commodities and attracting huge crowds and commotion in obtaining goods.

MEC Maynier says businesses need to implement risk management strategies in order to avoid Covid-19 compliance during this busy shopping period.

The strategies should include ways of reducing congestion at shops and malls, managing store entry points, managing congestion at pay points, and curbing infection among staff.

While Black Friday is an opportunity for businesses to recover revenue lost during the Covid-19 restrictions, he's cautioned that there are consequences for non-compliance with the Covid-19 safety measures.

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