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Sat 5th Feb 2022
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Sat 5th Feb 2022
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NEWSFLASH NEWS AGENCY 5 February 10 am

Good morning,

In this bulletin:

# The alleged Parliament arsonist’s bail refusal to be challenged
# Johannesburg acts to collect billions owed to utilities
# And, the four South African United Rugby Championship teams battle it out today

# The legal team of the man accused of starting the devastating fire at Parliament, Zandile Mafe, plans to launch an appeal against the decision not to grant him bail. The Cape Town Regional Court made the ruling yesterday. The National Prosecuting Authority will oppose the appeal. NPA spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila regards the ruling as the first step in ensuring justice is served:

Play sound: ENG-EricNtabazalila

# City Power says eight Gauteng government departments collectively owe it more than 841-million-rand after consistent non-payment. Mayor Mpho Phalatse is quoted as saying they will aggressively collect monies owed by government at all levels, as well as residents and businesses. Phalatse says the Gauteng Department of Health currently owes the most money to the city. During the briefing, Environment Infrastructure Service Department member of the mayoral committee Michael Sun said residents and businesses owe 14-billion-rand to Johannesburg Water and 7.3-billion-rand to City Power.

# The Department of Water and Sanitation plans to review water boards and its dissolution of Sedibeng Water in North West, but there have been mounting calls for the establishment of an independent water regulatory body. This comes after Sedibeng water was bailed out to the tune of 270-million-rand. Minister Senzo Mchunu says Magalies Water has been appointed to take over from Sedibeng Water. The department says the company’s Northern Cape and Free State operations will be taken over by Bloem Water.

# The World Health Organisation Africa says only eleven-percent of the continent’s population is fully vaccinated against Covid-19. A troubling 85-percent have not received a single dose. Africa’s limited access to Covid-19 vaccines last year negatively impacted the rollout. WHO regional director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, says in 2022, the continent must address other hurdles too, including the short shelf life of vaccines and operational bottlenecks:

Play sound: ENGMatshidisoMoeti

# And, rugby: The four South African teams will look to make up valuable ground on the United Rugby Championship log today as they take the field with a number of games in hand against most of the overseas franchises. In a repeat of last week’s matches at alternate venues, the Bulls will host the Lions in Pretoria and the Stormers meet the Sharks in Cape Town. The Bulls have celebrated only their second victory in the competition so far. They are currently in 13th position on the standings.

 

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