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NEWSFLASH NEWS AGENCY 8 February 11am

Good morning

In this bulletin:

# Business Leadership SA says government delaying loosening of workplace restrictions is unacceptable
# The DA wants urgent intervention at Glenvista High School amid claims of violence and bullying
# And in cricket, New Zealand’s captain Kane Williamson has been ruled out of the Test series against the Proteas

# Business Leadership South Africa says the country’s unemployment crisis and desperate need for economic growth make it unacceptable to delay loosening workplace Covid-19 restrictions any longer than necessary. Businesses are still required to minimise the number of people at work through rotation and staggered hours. Those with over 50 employees must provide reports to the Department of Health about vulnerable employees and those identified as high risk at catching Covid-19. BLSA CEO Busi Mavuso says the failure of the government to relax workplace restrictions reflects that the economy simply isn’t paid due attention.

# The DA in Gauteng is calling on the Gauteng MEC for Education, Panyaza Lesufi, to urgently resolve a number of issues that are causing a continuous disruption of learning and teaching at Glenvista High School in Johannesburg. The party’s Khume Ramulifho says since the start of this year, the school has been facing serious challenges of ill-discipline, fighting, and bullying. He says bullying and violence have no place at schools:

Play sound: ENGKhumeRamulifho

# The South African Canegrowers Association says the recent disbursement of 225-million-rand to black and small-scale cane growers is a much-needed relief. The association says cane growers have had to survive not only the widespread cane arson that took place during the July unrest last year but also costs incurred to combat Covid-19, and the exponential increase in input costs like fertiliser, all over the last two years. It adds that the funds will ensure the survival and success of small-scale growers.

# Prime minister Justin Trudeau says Canadians have the right to protest and disagree with their government, but they don’t have the right to blockade the economy, democracy, and the daily lives of fellow citizens. Hundreds of trucks and cars have blockaded the capital of Ottawa’s downtown areas for almost two weeks against the country’s Covid-19 restrictions and vaccine mandate. On Sunday mayor Jim Watson declared a state of emergency. Trudeau says this protest must stop:

Play sound: ENG TrudeauOnOttawa

# Cricket: New Zealand captain Kane Williamson has been ruled out of the two-match Test series against South Africa due to a persistent elbow injury. Tom Latham will lead the side. Fast bowler Trent Boult will miss the first Test as he awaits the birth of his third child. Uncapped pair Cam Fletcher and Blair Tickner have received a call-up and will be hoping to make their Test debuts. New Zealand coach Gary Stead says he has enough talent at his disposal for this series to cover the absence of Williamson.

# Financial indicators: The dollar is trading at 15-rand-56-cents and the euro at 17-rand-74-cents. One British pound costs 21-rand-4-cents and Bitcoin trades at 44-thousand-924-dollar-9-cents. Gold is selling at one thousand-817-dollars-19-cents a fine ounce and Brent crude oil is quoted at 92-dollars-8-cents a barrel.

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