South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has on Monday lifted the ban on alcohol sale and distribution following the lowest daily COVID-19 case to be recorded in the country.
The president addressed the country on the latest developments in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, which was one of his shortest “family” meetings to date in just 30 minutes.
Following a surge in recorded coronavirus cases, South Africa was last month placed on an adjusted level 3 lockdown. As part of the new restrictions imposed, the president announced the ban on alcohol sales from retail outlets, on-site consumption and consumption of alcohol in public spaces, including beaches and parks.
Upon easing the restrictions on Monday night, President Cyril Ramaphosa said while the country will remain under level 3 lockdown, a number of the restrictions — including the ban on the sale of alcohol, the restrictions on worship and accessing of beaches — have been lifted. The new measures will take immediate effect.
From Mondays to Thursdays from 10am to 6pm, off-site consumption alcohol sales will be allowed the president said. On-site consumption will only be permitted at licensed outlets from 10am to 10pm.
Also adjusted are the curfew hours which have now been changed to 11pm to 4am.
Religious gatherings will now be allowed but but only to a maximum of 50 people for indoor events and 100 for outdoors events;
The president also announced the reopening of Public places like beaches, dams, rivers, parks and public swimming pools.
“These changes have been made possible by the significant reduction in Covid-19 hospital admissions across all provinces, reducing the pressure on beds and hospital personnel,” said Ramaphosa.
Last week, the Beer Association of SA announced that according to its Craft Brewers Association of SA, the ban on alcohol sale has had a devastating impact on small business. According to a survey which was conducted, over 50% of craft brewers had to permanently shut down while a large majority had to destroy stock which had eventually expired.
SA Breweries also went to court to challenged the ban.
The country’s medical fraternity however welcomed the ban on alcohol, stating that it was partly responsible for the reduced pressure on an already heavily-burdened hospital system.
A photograph of an empty trauma unit at Gauteng’s Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital on January 1, bore testimony to how the alcohol ban significantly impacted on trauma cases.
Based on latest information from the country’s Department of Health, South Africa has over 1.4 million Covid-19 cases. The death toll stands at just over 44 000 with a recovery rate of almost 90%.
Review: Selling Assets to Fund the National Budget is Irresponsible – Tunji Andrews
These assets are crucial to Nigeria but it’s not compulsory that they are owned by FG. Therefore, we could concession them to private hands, not sell them!
The Nigerian government is proposing to sell or concession about 36 properties to raise funds to finance the 2021 budget. These properties cut across the energy, industry, communication and infrastructure sectors and are expected to be sold between January 2021 and November 2022.
Tunji Andrews, founder, Awabah Nigeria, thinks these assets are crucial to Nigeria but it’s not compulsory that they are owned by the Federal Government. Therefore, we could concession them to private hands.
But I don’t think we should sell assets to fund budgets. If we sell assets to fund the 2021 budget, what will we sell to fund the 2022 budget? The general problem is the government is DETERMINED not to cut down expenses.
“It’s very clear that if you have shrinking revenue, you should trim down expenses. But the government wants to spend within a reduced revenue. The fact is that we are not making enough money but borrowing or selling off assets is typical of an irresponsible father who has acquired a lot of properties over the years and now that he’s old, he wants to sell them off so he can continue to party and live largely”, Tunji added.
Our legacy and history as a people are as important as funding a budget, it’s worrisome that the government doesn’t see it that way.Tunji concluded on the issue of government selling crucial national propoerties to fund the 2021 budget.
Nigerian Military Aircraft Crashes In Abuja
A Nigerian military aircraft has crashed in Abuja, Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika revealed on Sunday.
Sirika in a tweet said the aircraft, a King Air 350 crashed at the Abuja runway, enroute Minna, after an engine failure.
He said the crash appears fatal with lives possibly lost in it but called for calm as the military investigates the number of casualties from the incident.
It is yet another military air crash with a few cases of such accidents recorded in the last three years.
“Nigeria Wouldn’t Have Gone Into Recession If Okonjo-Iweala Was Still Finance Minister” – Tunji Andrews
Dr. Ngozi would likely push for a lot of trade that would spur job creation and development in some of the most vulnerable parts of the world as well as create some sort of liberation for some of the poorest countries.
The first woman and first African to become the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation has a track record of taking on seemingly intractable problems. Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has said that she can be a ‘clear set of eyes’ for the global trade body.
Asides from reforming trade rules and counter protectionism heightened by COVID-19, her new responsibility would have her broker international trade talks in the face of persistent U.S.-China conflict. Financial expert and founder of Awabah, Tunji Andrews joined us on Breakfast Central to discuss Dr. Ngozi’s work experience in relation to her new position.
Andrews pointed out that jobs that have to do with linking communities or societies are more about the pedigree of the person holding the office. “She comes from a very long pedigree line and has a vast reach, therefore the position cannot be too difficult since she has experts under her. Her main job is bringing these superpowers together.”
“When she was the Co-ordinating Minister of the economy, she did so well that her exit left a vacuum. If she was there, it is unlikely that Nigeria would have fallen into a recession”, he added.
The financial expert also thinks Dr. Ngozi, being a big mackerel person, would push for a lot of trade that would spur job creation and development in some of the most vulnerable parts of the world as well as create some sort of liberation for some of the poorest countries. In his words, “it is one thing to say that Nigeria is suffering and another thing to know exactly what Nigeria needs to get out of hardship. It is important to have someone who has a unique understanding of the pinpoints of the people.”
In establishing the approach to her job delivery, Tunji Andrews suggested that the first point of call would be trying to help the EU and UK smoothen their trade conversations with BREXIT. Also, her job is to try to smoothen the relationship between China and the US. Around Africa, she has a hard nut to crack as regards free trade.
In conclusion, Andrews indicated trust in Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s ability to do the job of WTO DG excellently. “Relationship is most important when it comes to world conversations and I believe this is what she’s bringing to the table, it’s just unfortunate that Nigeria did not observe it about her in good time.”
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