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Tue 18th Jan 2022
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NEWSFLASH NEWS AGENCY 18 January 1 pm

Good afternoon,

In this bulletin:

# The minister of Transport says government will appeal the AARTO ruling
# Umalusi is happy with the outcome of the 2021 National Senior Certificate examinations
# And Tennis: Andy Murray shows his fighting spirit in a five-set victory

# The Department of Transport is to appeal the ruling of the North Gauteng High Court declaring the AARTO Act unconstitutional and invalid. The minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula, announced this step at the briefing on the statistics for the festive season. He said statistics reveal that road fatalities increased in seven provinces. A total of one-thousand-685 fatalities were recorded over this past festive period which is a 14-percent increase from the previous period. Mbalula says statistics will now be used more often to monitor road safety:

Play sound: ENG FikileMbalulaONStats

# Qualifications regulator Umalusi has given the 2021 National Senior Certificate examination the thumbs up. The results will be published on Thursday. Umalusi’s CEO, Mafu Rakometsi, says the class of 2021 was subjected to the realities of the Covid-19 pandemic for two consecutive years, which included the hybrid mode of teaching and learning such as online and rotational classes:

Play sound: ENG Umalusi

# This year’s harvest of apples and pears in the Western Cape is in full swing and growers are looking forward to a good harvest. The spokesperson for Hortgro, Jacques du Preez, says much-needed rain and adequate chill units during last winter has ensured that growers have enough irrigation water. He says young orchards coming into production is one of the main factors contributing to the increase in the export crop estimate. Apple volumes are expected to increase by six-percent and pears by eight-percent.

# China’s postal service has ordered workers to disinfect international deliveries and urged the public to reduce orders from overseas after authorities claimed mail could be the source of recent coronavirus outbreaks. AFP reports the move illustrates China’s unrelenting focus on stamping out all coronavirus cases as it prepares to host the Winter Olympics next month, even as experts say the risk of such surface transmission is low. Multiple small outbreaks in recent weeks, including in Beijing, have tested China’s strict policy of targeting zero Covid cases.

# Tennis: Andy Murray battled to his first win at the Australian Open since 2017 with an epic five-set victory over 21st seed Nikoloz Basilashvili. AFP reports the three-time Grand Slam champion, playing with a metal hip following career-saving surgery in 2019, wrestled with the Georgian for almost four hours before claiming his place in the second round. Scotland’s Murray, ranked 113 and playing as a tournament wild card, showed his trademark fighting spirit to edge home in the gripping final set and clinch a 6-1, 3-6, 6-4, 6-7, 6-4 victory.

# Financial indicators: The dollar is trading at 15-rand-47-cents and the euro at 17-rand-63-cents. One British pound costs 21-rand-7-cents and Bitcoin trades at 41-thousand-921-dollars-8-cents. Gold is selling at one thousand-809-dollars-85-cents a fine ounce and Brent crude oil is quoted at 87-dollars-44-cents a barrel.

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