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My fellow South Africans,
It is a week since we declared the coronavirus pandemic a national disaster and announced a package of extraordinary measures to combat this grave public health emergency.

The response of the South African people to this crisis has been remarkable. Millions of our people have understood the gravity of the situation. Most South Africans have accepted the restrictions that have been placed on their lives and have taken responsibility for changing their behaviour.

I am heartened that every sector of society has been mobilised and has accepted the role that it needs to play. From religious leaders to sporting associations, from political parties to business
people, from trade unions to traditional leaders, from NGOs to public servants, every part of our society has come forward to confront this challenge.

Many have had to make difficult choices and sacrifices, but all have been determined that these choices and sacrifices are absolutely necessary if our country is to emerge stronger from this disaster.

Over the past week, South Africans have demonstrated their determination, their sense of purpose, their sense of community and their sense of responsibility.

For this, we salute you and we thank you.

On behalf of the nation, I would also like to thank the health workers, our doctors, nurses and paramedics who are on the frontline of the pandemic, our teachers, border officials, police and traffic officers and all the other people who have been leading our response.
Since the national state of disaster was declared, we have put in place a range of regulations and directives.

These regulations have restricted international travel, prohibited gatherings of more than 100 people, closed schools and other educational institutions and restricted the sale of alcohol after 6pm.

We reiterate that the most effective way to prevent infection is through basic changes in individual behaviour and hygiene. We are therefore once more calling on everyone to:
– wash hands frequently with hand sanitisers or soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
– cover our nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with tissue or flexed elbow;
– avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.

Everyone must do everything within their means to avoid contact with other people. Staying at home, avoiding public places and cancelling all social activities is the preferred best defence against the virus.

Over the past week, as we have been implementing these measures, the global crisis has deepened.

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LATEST CONFIRMED CASES OF COVID-19


Fellow South Africans, as of today, South Africa now has 402 confirmed cases of COVID-19. This means there has been an increase of 128 from yesterday’s announcement.

It is notable that the Northern Cape has its first confirmed cases.As has been announced, His Excellency, President MC Ramaphosa will address the nation on measures to be undertaken to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.

We will thereafter engage the public to give further details and explanations on the results including the significant rise, the ongoing testing processes, each province’s progress on contact tracing efforts.

It will be noted in the provincial and age graphs below that there are areas that are listed as unknown. This is information that the NICD is still collating and verifying.Thereafter the garphs will be updated accordingly. Our priority is for Provinces to be alerted of the new confirmed cases so that immediate contact can be made with the these new patients and ensure that contact tracing starts.

Dr Zwelini Mkhize
Minister of Health

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Human Rights Day – 21 March


Theme for Year 2020: Unity, Socio Economic Renewal and Nation Building

21 March is acknowledged as a National Human Rights Day in South Africa. This day has contributed immensely to the history of human rights in South Africa’s. The historical impetus of this day is dedicated to the freedom fighter that sacrificed their lives against the apartheid regime and segregated system that divided people by race & color. Their bravery was demonstrated 60 years ago, on 21 March 1960 when police open fire and massacred 69 people and 150 injured for peaceful protests against “pass laws” which violated their human dignity. This law enforced severe restrictions of movement of African people, then referred to as the natives, required to carry passbooks- known as “dom pass” whenever found outside the homelands or apartheid designated areas. This became the first state of emergency to be declared in South Africa amid violence, arbitrary arrests, police shooting and tear gassing in black townships throughout the country. This massacre made international headlines as the ANC and former President Nelson Mandela were banned from speaking in public. It was only in 1994 when Constitutional democracy guaranteed the citizens freedom of association, assembly and expression. Human Rights Institute of South Africa – HURISA will join the rest of the country to remember the huge price paid by the Sharpeville freedom stalwart’s for our hard earned democracy. The Constitution also safeguard economic and social rights which unfortunately still remain a major struggle of the poor even in the new human rights dispensation.

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GAUTENG
ALBERTON – Alberton IPS, 68 Voortrekker, Rd, New Redruth, 1449
VEREENIGING – Netcare, Room 206 Mulbarton Medical Centre, 27 True N Rd, (Hospital), JHB, 2190
46 Rhodes Ave, 1939
LENASIA SOUTH – Lenmed in hospital,
DAXINA Medical Centre
KRUGERSDORP – Krugersdorp Lab, Outpatient Depot, 1 Boshoff Street, 1739
SOWETO Healthcare Hub
Birchleigh depot, 7 Leo Street
Kempton square shopping centre, shop 61
BEDFORDVIEW GERMISTON – Leicester depot, suite no 8 Leicester Medical Mews, 7 Leicester Road
JOHANNESBURG – Houghton Hotel Depot, 53 2nd Ave, Houghton Estate, 2198, South Africa
JOHANNESBURG – 62 Orchard Rd, Cheltondale, 2192, South Africa
ROSEBANK – Lancet Corner, Corner Stanley and Menton Rd, Richmond Auckland Park
ROSEBANK – Rosebank Lab, 3rd Floor, 8 Sturdee Avenue,
BEDFORDVIEW – 173 Rivonia Road, Morningside, Sandton, South Africa Rochester Place Office Block A
GERMISTON – 8 Parks Street

FREE STATE AND NORTHERN CAPE
BLOEMFONTEIN – Room G07, Mediclinic Bloemfontein, Kellner St, Westdene, 9301
KIMBERLEY – 112 Mac Dougall St, El Toro Park, 8301
WELKOM – RH Matjhabeng, Power Road, Reitzpark

WESTERN CAPE
CAPE TOWN – 2 Heide Street, Bloemhof, South Africa
CAPE TOWN – Brackenfell Medical Centre, Cnr Brackenfell & Old Paarl Road , South Africa
CAPE TOWN – Cnr Longmarket & Parliament Street, South Africa
CAPE TOWN – Smartsurv House, Century City, 7441
CAPE TOWN – 15 Paul Kruger Street, Durbanville, South Africa
Shop 9 De Kuilen Shopping Centre Carinus Street
CAPE TOWN – 7c Solway Street, Bellville West A, South Africa
CAPE TOWN – 91 Jan Smuts Dr, Pinelands, 7405, South Africa
CAPE TOWN – Rondebosch Medical Center, 95 Klipfontein Rd, Rondebosch, 7700, South Africa
1st Floor, Room 4 Harbour Bay Medical Centre
STELLENBOSCH – Trumali House, Trumali Street, Harringtons Place, South Africa
SIR LOWRY’S PASS – Arun Place Block 6 Unit F, Cherrywood Gardens, South Africa
STELLENBOSCH – Stellenbosch Oewerpark Suite 12A Rokewood Road, Die Boord, South Africa

KWAZULU-NATAL
LADYSMITH- Lenmed La Verna Private Hospital 1 Convent Rd, 3370
NEWCASTLE- Mediclinic Newcastle Private Hospital 78 Bird St, Newcastle Central, 2940
EMPANGENI- Life Empangeni Garden Clinic 50 Biyela St, Empangeni Central, 3880
UMHLANGA- Busamed Gateway private Hospital, 36-38 Aurora Dr, Umhlanga Rocks, 4319
BEREA- Berea 1st Floor, Mayet Medical Centre, 482 Randles Rd, Sydenham, 4091
DURBAN- Ahmed Al-Khadi Private Hospital 490 Jan Smuts Hwy, Mayville, 4058
CHATSWORTH- Life Chatsmed Private Hospital Suite 121- 201 West Wing Chatsmed Garden Hospital, 80 Woodhurst Dr, 4092
ISIPINGO- JMH Isipingo private hospital Suite 2 Grnd flr Medical Towers Isipingo Hospital, 162 Phila Ndwandwe Rd, Isipingo Rail, 4133
PORT SHEPSTONE- 28 Bazley St, 4240
HILTON- Suite 205 Midlands Medical Centre, 162-166 Masukwana St, Pietermaritzburg, 3201
HILTON Gardens, 3245
PHOENIX- Life Mt Edgecombe Private Hospital Ste 1 Phoenix Medical Ctr, Redberry Rd, Rockford, 4068
BEREA- Life Entabeni Private Hospital Suite 8 Level 3 West Wing Entabeni Hospital, 148 Mazisi Kunene Rd, 4001

LIMPOPO
POLOKWANE CENTRAL – 44A Grobler street
TZANEEN – 71 Wolksberg Road, Ivory Tusk Lodge
THOUYANDOU – Corner Mpehephu & Mvusuludzo near Cash build
PHALABORWA – Clinix Private Hospital, No 86 Grosvenor Street

NORTH WEST
RUSTENBURG – 1 Kok Street
POTCHEFSTROOM – Cachet Park Depot, Shop 24 Cnr Steve Biko & Meyer Street, 2531

PRETORIA LABS

Regions for SARS-CoV-2 Testing
PTA
PENCARDIA – 0124830100
EUGENE MARAIS – 0124048060

PTA EAST
WOODHILL – 0129980299
FAERIE GLEN – 0123489100

CENTURION
SAXBY DEPOT – 0123842151
MEDIPARK ROOIHUISKRAAL – 0126610905


Aviation

Aviation is one of the high-risk sector which enables high levels of mobility and by extension the spread of the coronavirus. As a sector, we have are putting in place measures to mitigate the risks.

Desktop exercises have been carried out across all our airports, in accordance with the World Health Organisation (WHO) advisory to ensure that screening measures to limit the risk of exportation or importation of the disease are implemented, without unnecessary restrictions to international traffic. ACSA has since procured and distributed masks for all frontline staff at all ACSA airports.

As an integral part in the airport operations value chain, the following are mandatory measures for the airlines and all handling agents:

All airline and/or ground handling staff carrying out assisted passenger services (specifically passengers with reduced mobility) are required to use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) (surgical mask and gloves) when facilitating arriving international passengers.

Passenger-facing personnel, particularly for all international arrivals, transfers terminal and the domestic recheck, are required to use PPE (surgical masks and gloves).

All handling agent staff that are at a high risk of contact (including, but not limited to passenger escorting, VIP services facilitation, ticket sales, baggage handling and loading, aircraft grooming, catering services, cargo handling agents, bus drivers and crew transport drivers) are required to wear PPE (surgical masks and gloves).

All passenger busses will require additional cleaning/sanitization measures to be implemented and ACSA will increase oversight in this aspect.

The President announced that we are imposing a travel ban on foreign nationals from high-risk countries such as Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom and China as from 18 March 2020. From a Transport point of view, this means:

No foreign nationals will be allowed from these countries through our ports of entry, which include airports, sea ports and railways.

Charter Operators will be re-routed to international airports that have the Ports Health capability to manage a suspected case. The following international airports have the necessary capacity and will be ready to handle charter flights:

o OR Tambo
o Lanseria
o King Shaka
o Upington
o Polokwane
o Bram Fisher
o Kruger Mpumalanga International
o Pilanesburg
o Port Elizabeth
o Cape Town

The Civil Aviation Authority has issued guidelines for infection control for all airlines in respect of passenger, cargo and baggage handling. These are guided by the general guidelines issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

In order to mitigate the risk, the Civil Aviation Authority will conduct ramp inspections on all identified high-risk airlines.

Public Transport

The Taxi industry transports more than 16 million people and represents a critical sector which must be at the forefront of robust interventions and awareness to manage the risks. We will implement an aggressive information drive to create awareness and promote preventative measures.

Taxi and bus operators must become ambassadors whose task is to disseminate information

The Department of Transport will engage the leadership of the taxi and bus industries to mount an aggressive information drive working closely with the Department of Health on preventative measures in the public transport environment.

Random testing measures be implemented in the public transport environment, with particular emphasis on commuter rail.

Maritime

SAMSA will immediately operationalize an operational plan for all ships calling at port, guided by the IMO (International Maritime Organisation) and WHO (World Health Organisation) HANDBOOK FOR MANAGEMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH EVENTS ON BOARD SHIPS and will at all times be guided by directives issued by the Department of Health.

Cross-Border Transport

The Cross Border Road Transport Agency (CBRTA) will work with Border and Health authorities to ensure screening of truck drivers at all inland borders that continue to allow cross-border traffic as announced by the President.

C-BRTA is currently working together with Department of Home Affairs to assist Cross-Border operators (Commercial operators which are freight, buses, tour and taxi operators), with information required and to inform them about measures that are in place at the land border posts regarding their travel.

Furthermore, C-BRTA is participating in daily co-ordination meetings for the COVID-19 pandemic at Lebombo and Beitbridge border posts and co-ordinating with stakeholders in other borders. C-BRTA is reviewing permit issuance with a view to discourage all non-essential cross border movement and will be in discussion with the Department of Transport, Provinces and SADC member states.

The necessary regulations to enable these measures have been developed and will be implemented on time for the measures to kick in on 18 March 2020.

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Human Rights Institute of South Africa wish to inform its partners and communities about the reality of the Coronavirus which originated from Wuhan, in China from November 2019. The virus is spreading around the world and has arrived in South Africa. The government is updated on developments of COVID-19 by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on preventative measures to implement for ending the spread of the virus. The number of people infected by the virus in South Africa has doubled, especially in Gauteng Province since 15 March 2020. The National Institute for Communicable Diseases has set up a COVID-19 HOTLINE 0800 029 999.

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The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Commission) wishes to inform the general public of the postponement of the 66th Ordinary Session, which was scheduled to be held from 22 April to 12 May 2020 in Banjul, The Gambia.

Following the press statement it issued on COVID19 and the advisory it adopted to give effect to African Union COVID-19 Pandemic Preparedness and Action Plan issued by the African Union Commission on 13 March 2020,the Commission has decided to postpone the 66th Ordinary Session as part of the measures it adopted to prevent the spread of the virus and protect participants and stafffrom the virus.

The Commission will regularly monitor the situation and subject to further confirmation based on the evolution of the situation and further guidelines from the AUC, the 66th OS is tentatively scheduled to take place during May/June 2020.

The Commission takes this opportunity to applaud States Parties to the African Charter that have adopted the required measures for containing the spread of the virus including through the declaration of a state of national disaster and reiterates its statement of 28 February 2020 that States Parties are legally bound under the African Charter to take all necessary human and peoples’ rights based measures for preventing the threat this pandemic poses to the life, safety and health of the public.

Honourable Commissioner Solomon Ayele Dersso

Chairperson of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights
Banjul, The Gambia, 17 March 2020

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LATEST CONFIRMED CASES OF COVID-19


18 March 2020
We wish to inform all South Africans that as of this morning, 18 March 2020, South Africa now has 116 confirmed cases of COVID-19. This means that there has been an increase of 31 new cases from yesterday’s announcement.

The details of the cases are as follows:

GAUTENG: 16
-A 25 year old male who travelled to the UK
-A 45 year old male who travelled to Austria
-A 52 year old male who travelled to Austria and Italy
-A 49 year old female who travelled to Austria and Italy
-A 35 year old male who travelled to the UK and Netherlands
-A 34 year old female who travelled to the UK
-A 30 year old female who travelled to Switzerland and Austria
– A 36 year old female who travelled to Switzerland and Austria
-A 30 year old female who travelled to Italy
-A 35 year old male who travelled to Italy
-A 34 year old male who travelled to Italy
-A 37 year old male who travelled to Finland and France
-A 20 year old male with no international travel history
-A 3 year old male with no international travel history
-A 21 year old female with no international travel history
-A 71 year old female with no international travel history

KWAZULU-NATAL:3
-A 59 year old male who travelled to Austria and Italy
-A 54 year old male who travelled to Italy
-A 55 year old male who travelled to Italy

MPUMALANGA:2
-A 64 year old male who travelled to Italy
-A 56 year old female with no international travel history

WESTERN CAPE:10
-A 2 year old male who travelled to New Zealand
-A 51 year old male who travelled to Egypt an Dubai
-A 35 year old female who travelled to Switzerland and Dubai
-A 27 year old female who travelled to Switzerland and Dubai
-A 60 year old male who travelled to Portugal and the UK
-A 51 year old male who travelled to the UK
-A 54 year old female who travelled to Portugal and the UK
-A 51 year old male who travelled to the UK
-A 26 year old female who travelled to the UK
-A 68 year old male with no international travel history.

Today we have a further increase of 6 local transmission cases. As part of tracking and tracing, we have collated background information on how these patients were infected. We will provide information to the public, so as to give a sense of how these local transmissions occur. We will however not disclose full details as this information is subject to patient confidentiality which we are bound by.

Dr Zwelini Mkhize
Minister of Health
Ends..

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Fellow South Africans,
I am addressing you this evening on a matter of great national importance.

The world is facing a medical emergency far graver than what we have experienced in over a century.

The World Health Organisation has declared the coronavirus outbreak as a global pandemic.

There are now more than 162 000 people who have tested positive for the coronavirus across the globe.

Given the scale and the speed at which the virus is spreading, it is now clear that no country is immune from the disease or will be spared its severe impact.

Never before in the history of our democracy has our country been confronted with such a severe situation.

From the start of the outbreak in China earlier this year, the South African gov-ernment has put in place measures to screen visitors entering the country, to contain its spread and to treat those infected.

As of now, South Africa has 61 confirmed cases of people infected with the virus, and this number is expected to rise in the coming days and weeks.

Initially, it was people who had travelled out of the country, especially from Italy, who had positively tested for the virus.

It is concerning that we are now dealing with internal transmission of the virus.

This situation calls for an extraordinary response; there can be no half measures.

Cabinet held a special meeting earlier today.

After which, due to the serious measures we are going to announce, I have consulted the premiers.

We have decided to take urgent and drastic measures to manage the disease, protect the people of our country and reduce the impact of the virus on our society and on our economy.

We have now declared a national state of disaster in terms of the Disaster Management Act.

This will enable us to have an integrated and coordinated disaster management mechanism that will focus on preventing and reducing the outbreak of this virus.

We will also be able to set up emergency, rapid and effective response systems to mitigate the severity of its impact.

Following an extensive analysis of the progression of the disease worldwide and in South Africa, Cabinet has decided on the following measures:

Firstly, to limit contact between persons who may be infected and South African citizens

We are imposing a travel ban on foreign nationals from high-risk countries such as Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom and China as from 18 March 2020.

We have cancelled visas to visitors from those countries from today and
previously granted visas are hereby revoked.

South African citizens are advised to refrain from all forms of travel to or through the European Union, United States, United Kingdom and other identified high-risk countries such as China, Iran and South Korea.

This is effective immediately.

Government will continue to regularly issue travel alerts referring to specific cities, countries or regions as the situation evolves based on the risk level.

Any foreign national who has visited high-risk countries in the past 20 days will be denied a visa.

South African citizens returning from high-risk countries will be subjected to testing and self-isolation or quarantine on return to South Africa.

Travellers from medium-risk countries – such as Portugal, Hong Kong and Singapore – will be required to undergo high intensity screening.

All travellers who have entered South Africa from high-risk countries since mid-February will be required to present themselves for testing.

We will strengthen surveillance, screening and testing measures at OR Tambo, Cape Town and King Shaka International Airports

South Africa has 72 ports of entry in the country which are land, sea and air ports.

Of the 53 land ports, 35 will be shut down with effect from Monday 16
March.

2 of the 8 sea ports will be closed for passengers and crew changes.

Effective immediately, all non-essential travel for all spheres of government outside of the Republic is prohibited

We further discourage all non-essential domestic travel, particularly by air, rail, taxis and bus.

Secondly, it is essential therefore that we minimize the risk of the spread of this virus by limiting contact amongst groups of people.

While we appreciate the economic, religious, and cultural significance of social and community gatherings, the coronavirus is spread through contact between persons.

As we have said before, the current circumstances require extraordinary measures to curb the spread of infections. Countries that have heeded the call to implement these radical measures, have fared much better than those than do not.

Therefore to encourage social distancing Cabinet has decided on these additional measures:

Gatherings of more than 100 people will be prohibited.

Mass celebrations of upcoming national days such as Human Rights Day and other large government events will be cancelled.

Where small gatherings are unavoidable, organisers will need to put in place stringent measures of prevention and control.

Schools will be closed from Wednesday, 18 March, and will remain closed until after the Easter Weekend.

To compensate, the mid-year school holidays will be shortened by a week.

Government is working closely with colleges, universities and other public facilities such as Parliament, prisons, police stations and military installations to intensify hygiene control.

Visits to all correctional centres are suspend for 30 days with immediate effect.

Government is aware of the confirmed case of a student who has tested positive for the corona virus at Wits University.

Those who have been in contact with the student will be quarantined.

The Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation is consulting with vice chancellors of universities and colleges across the country and will soon be announcing measures in this regard.

We call on all businesses including mining, retail, banking, farming to ensure that they take all necessary measures to intensify hygiene control.

We also call on the management of malls, entertainment centres and other places frequented by large numbers of people to bolster their hygiene control.

Thirdly, to further strengthen our health response:

Government is strengthening its surveillance and testing systems.

We are in process of identifying isolation and quarantine sites in each district and metro.

Capacity is being increased at designated hospitals in all provinces.

We are also increasing the capacity of existing contact tracing processes.

We are partnering with the private sector to set up a national tracking, tracing and monitoring system of all people infected with the corona virus and those they have been in contact with

We are undertaking a mass communication campaign on good hygiene and effective prevention behaviour.

Therefore, we are calling on everyone to:

• Wash their hands frequently with soap and water or hand sanitisers for atleast 20 seconds;

• over their nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with tissue or flexed elbow;

• Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.

In essence, we are calling for a change of behavior amongst all South Africans.

We must minimise physical contact with other people, and, encourage the elbow greeting rather than shaking hands.

Because of the severity of this virus and its rapid spreading, government will make funding available to capacitate the sectors dealing with the national response to the Coronavirus outbreak.

Since the outbreak of this pandemic, our government’s response has been led by an Inter-Ministerial Committee, chaired by the Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize.

We congratulate them on the outstanding work they have done – together with their able support teams – to steer our country through this challenging and un-certain period.

As part of the intensification of this effort, we have decided to establish a National Command Council chaired by the President.

This Command Council will include, amongst others, members of the InterMinisterial Committee and will meet three times a week, to coordinate all aspects of our extraordinary emergency response.

My fellow South Africans,

In addition to the impact that this pandemic will have on health and wellbeing of our people, and the impact it will have on the day-to-day life of oursociety, COVID-19 will also have a significant and potentially lasting impact on our economy.

In the last few weeks, we have seen a dramatic decline in economic activity in our major trading partners, a sudden drop in international tourism and severe instability across all global markets.

The anticipated effects of the decline in exports and tourist arrivals will be ex-acerbated by both an increase in infections and the measures we are required to take to contain the spread of the disease.

This will have a potentially severe impact on production, the viability of businesses, job retention and job creation.

Cabinet is therefore in the process of finalising a comprehensive package of interventions to mitigate the expected impact of COVID-19 on our economy.

This package, which will consist of various fiscal and other measures, will be concluded following consultation with business, labour and other relevant institutions.

It is clear that this disease will be extremely disruptive.

Our priority must be to safeguard the health and well-being of all South Africans, to minimise the number of infections and to ensure all those infected get proper treatment.

While we are battling a contagious virus, perhaps the greatest dangers to our country at this time are fear and ignorance.

We must appreciate the extent of the threat that this disease presents, we must accept the anxiety that it causes, but we cannot allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by fear and panic.

We should stop spreading fake and unverified news and create further apprehension and alarm.

While we are facing a medical emergency far graver than we have experienced in recent times, we are not helpless.

We have the knowledge, the means and the resources to fight this disease.

If we act swiftly, with purpose and collectively we can limit the effects of the coronavirus on our people and our country.

Although we may be limiting physical contact, this epidemic has the potential to bring us closer together.

We are responding as a united nation to a common threat.

This national emergency demands cooperation, collaboration and common action.

More than that, it requires solidarity, understanding and compassion.

Those who have resources, those who are healthy, need to assist those who are in need and who are vulnerable.

All the institutions of the state will be mobilised to lead this effort, but, if we are to succeed, every company, trade union, NGO, university, college, school, religious group and taxi association will need to play its part.

We thank those people who suspected they may have been exposed to the virus for coming forward to be tested and for taking measures – such as self-isolation – to prevent further transmission.

We thank the medical teams around the country who are leading our response and are putting the well-being of others ahead of the risks they face themselves.

On Saturday we welcomed 104 of our compatriots who were in Wuhan City, China.

We thank the repatriation team for the task they performed with pride and efficiency to return them to the country and ultimately to their families.

The repatriation has been successful and those who have returned have settled in the quarantine area.

We thank the military health officials, pilots, cabin crew and all those who participated in this exercise.

We thank the leadership and the people of Polokwane and Limpopo for warmly welcoming our fellow South Africans.

We also extend our gratitude to the staff and management of the Ranch Hotel who have accommodated our compatriots and also subjected themselves to quarantine.

We extend our appreciation too to the companies, organisations and individuals who have taken it upon themselves to disseminate information about this virus and to raise awareness.

We thank those businesses that have taken steps to protect their employees, and those unions that have taken steps to protect their members.

Ministers who are at the frontline of coordinating our response to this crisis will be briefing the nation tomorrow, where they will unpack details in relation to the measures we announced tonight.

Fellow South Africans, this is the most definitive Thuma Mina moment for our country.

I have great trust that our people will respond positively to this call to common action.

Fellow South Africans,

This epidemic will pass.

But it is up to us to determine how long it will last, how damaging it will be, and how long it will take our economy and our country to recover.

It is true that we are facing a grave emergency.

But if we act together, if we act now, and if we act decisively, we will overcome it.

I thank you.

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THE TRAGIC DEATH OF ENOCK MPIANZI


Flowers laid outside Parktown Boys’ High School

Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

23 January 2020

Media Statement

The Human Rights Institute of South Africa (HURISA) stands in solidarity with the family of Enock Mpianzi the 13-year-old grade 8 pupil of Parktown Boys High School who died during a school orientation camp after a makeshift raft he had built with 11 other boys overturned in the Crocodile River swollen by recent rains.

About 200 pupils took part in the camp which took place at the Nyati Bush and Riverbreak lodge in the North West last week. Enock is the fourth child to drown at the lodge. The 13-year-old’s disappearance went unnoticed for 17 hours and his body was found 3km downstream a day after he was reported missing.

                  Enoch Mpianz                                                                                                   Nyati Bush and River Break Lodge                                                                                                                                                  Picture: Ahmed Kajee/EWN

HURISA is in support of the investigation carried out by the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC). We call for justice for Mpianzi and remind the public and suspects to respect the constitutional mandate of SAHRC to conduct the investigation independently without fear, favour or prejudice.

HURISA is calling on parents in South Africa to work together in ensuring protection of children and holding the school accountable for the gross negligence that led to the untimely death of Mpianzi. The constitution protects everyone not to be subjected to torture, inhumane and degrading treatment. It also safeguards the best interest of the children and defines children as anyone under the age of 18 years.

Mpianzi’s family is from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). He lived in Yeoville in Johannesburg and is a relative to one of HURISA’s staff member Cathy Elsando. May the precious soul of Enock Mpianzi rest in peace and may the Mpianzi family be comforted at their tragic loss.

For more information contact
Lindiwe Khoza
HURISA Communication and Advocacy Officer
Email: lindiwe@hurisa.org.za
Mobile 063 319 8346

HURISA STATEMENT ON THE TRAGIC DEATH OF ENOCK MPIANZI