NEWSFLASH NEWS AGENCY 4 January 4 pm
In this bulletin:
# The NCOP chamber and offices, parliament’s library, museum, artworks, and the ground floor of the Old Assembly have been saved
# The DA says the latest setback must not distract Parliament to do its work
# And, tennis: Novak Djokovic says he will play in the Australian Open after being granted medical exemption
# There is some good news after the devastating fire at Parliament. National Council of Provinces chairperson Amos Masondo told the Joint Standing Committee on the Financial Management of Parliament the NCOP chamber and offices, parliament’s library, museum, artworks, and the ground floor of the Old Assembly have been saved.
Meanwhile, the DA leader says if the fire in Parliament was indeed an attack on democracy, now is not the time to let the baton fall but to rather pick it up and strengthen democracy. John Steenhuisen spoke at the devastated buildings. He said the institution is more than bricks and mortar and has an unrelenting oversight function. Steenhuisen feels this is so more than ever considering Parliament will soon have to deal with the Zondo Commission’s report:
Play sound: ENG John SteenhuisenBackToWork
# The South African Medical Association is calling on government to allow general practitioners to administer Covid-19 vaccines in South Africa. Chairperson of the Association, Angelique Coetzee told eNCA that this would make the country’s rollout significantly more convenient and help accelerate the uptake. Under the current system, South Africans can only receive a vaccine from a designated public or private vaccination site. Coetzee says it is now necessary to allow doctors to vaccinate patients who have continued to hold out. She added that this system is used by other countries.
# The Apple supplier Foxconn is unlikely to reopen its shuttered iPhone manufacturing facility in southern India until 7 January, a senior government official told Reuters. The Foxconn plant, located in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, was closed in December, following protests over 250 of its workers being treated for food poisoning. Apple has since placed the factory on probation after discovering that some dormitories and dining rooms did not meet the required standards.
# Tennis: World number one Novak Djokovic says he is heading to the Australian Open to defend his title after being granted a medical exemption to play. All participants at the Open, which starts on 17 January, need to be vaccinated against Covid-19 or have a medical exemption, assessed by an independent panel of experts. AFP reports the Serb has repeatedly refused to confirm if he has been inoculated, with his participation at the opening Grand Slam of the year at Melbourne Park the subject of intense speculation for months.
# And financial indicators: The dollar is trading at 16-rand-04-cents and the euro at 18-rand-10-cents. One British pound costs 21-rand-64-cents and Bitcoin trades at 46-thousand-618-dollar-30-cents. Gold is selling at one thousand-801-dollars-28-cents a fine ounce and Brent crude oil is quoted at 79-dollars-36-cents a barrel.
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