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Mon 14th Feb 2022
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Mon 14th Feb 2022
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NEWSFLASH NEWS AGENCY 14 February 6 am

Good morning,

In this bulletin:

# An independent specialist engineering team has been appointed to assess the fire damage to Parliament
# AfriForum strongly opposes the Basic Education Amendment Bill
# And, nine Gauteng senior officials have been suspended following a report by the Special Investigating Unit

# The Department of Public Works and Infrastructure has appointed an independent specialist engineering team to assess the damage caused by a fire to the Parliamentary buildings last month. Zandile Mafe stands accused of allegedly setting fire to Parliament. Minister Patricia de Lille says the team will conduct further detailed assessments and testing of material strengths, following a preliminary visual review which found severe structural damage to the new National Assembly building. She says she is eager to see the team provide detailed assessments of the damage, rehabilitation, and restoration costs.

# AfriForum says it is concerning that the Basic Education Amendment Bill, which has been on the cards for more than five years, is now on the table once more. The bill proposes a number of changes to the regulations in schools, including pupil attendance and conditions under which alcohol may be sold on school premises. It was submitted to Parliament’s portfolio committee on Basic Education last week. AfriForum’s Alana Bailey says the bill had been overwhelmingly opposed in the past:

Play sound: ENG BaileyOnBill

# The Gauteng provincial government has placed nine senior officials implicated in the Special Investigating Unit report on precautionary suspension. The officials are three senior managers in the Department of Health and six senior managers in the Department of Infrastructure Development. The SIU report uncovered serious irregularities in the awarding of contractors for the refurbishment of the Anglo Gold Ashanti Hospital in the West Rand. Provincial government spokesperson Vuyo Mhaga says disciplinary proceedings would commence as soon as charges are finalised:

Play sound: ENG MhagaOnOfficials

# Gauteng Education MEC, Panyaza Lesufi, is set to visit Hoërskool Jan Viljoen in Randfontein today, following a violent incident that took place between learners at the school. It is alleged that a violent altercation broke out between black and white learners at the school last week, with some believing it was racially motivated. The MEC will be on a fact-finding mission where he will meet with the leadership of the school and learners, to determine the cause of the violence. Lesufi says the perpetrators will face the necessary disciplinary action.

# French forces have killed dozens of fighters in Burkina Faso. The strike is linked to deadly attacks in neighbouring Benin last week, whose victims included a French citizen. A French army general put the death toll in Burkina Faso at 40. The French citizen was among nine people killed in two attacks on park rangers in the W National Park, a wildlife reserve in Benin’s remote north. Al Jazeera reports two roadside bombs also killed five park rangers, one park official, and a soldier.

# Rugby: The Blitzboks’ impressive coach Neil Powell is heading to Durban. The Sharks have persuaded him to be their new director of rugby. His appointment is from September, following the completion of the Sevens World Cup. Sharks CEO Ed Coetzee says Powell’s strong work ethic and insistence on accountability and respect will help them ensure optimum performance in both the United Rugby Championship and the Currie Cup. Sean Everitt remains the head coach of the Sharks’ senior team.

# And the financial indicators: The dollar is trading at 15-rand-22-cents and the euro at 17-rand-30-cents. One British pound costs 20-rand-65-cents and Bitcoin trades at 42-thousand-98-dollar-7-cents. Gold is selling at one thousand-858-dollars-38-cents a fine ounce and Brent crude oil is quoted at 95-dollars-70-cents a barrel.

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