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NEWSFLASH NEWS AGENCY 11 February 4 pm

Good afternoon,

In this bulletin:

# The mayor of Tshwane explains the motive behind the disconnection drive
# The Auditor-General’s report indicates that the SABC has cash flow issues
# And Rugby: Three changes to the Stormers backline against the Lions

# The City of Tshwane has this past week embarked on an electricity disconnection drive at government offices, private companies and residential properties. Speaking to eNCA, Tshwane mayor Randal Williams said municipalities have to collect all outstanding debts as per municipal legislation:

Play sound: ENG Tshwane disconnections

Williams says despite numerous billing complaints from its residents, the billing issue is not a disaster:

Play sound: ENG Tshwane disconnections 2

# The Auditor-General’s office has cautioned that the SABC may experience negative operating cash flows and may not have enough funds to cover its operational expenses. According to a report presented to the National Assembly’s standing committee on public accounts, Auditor-General Tsakani Maluleke’s office says the public broadcaster incurred a net cash outflow loss from operations from 1.2-billion rand in 2019/20 to 690-million rand in 2020/21. It is forecast to continue over the next three years. The Auditor-General has recommended effective implementation of the SABC’s turn-around plan, with specific focus on revenue generation initiatives.

# President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for the streamlining of the policy and regulatory framework for industrial hemp and cannabis, in a bid to increase the potential for investment and job creation in the sector. Speaking during his State of the Nation Address yesterday, Ramaphosa said the sector has the potential to create more than 130-thousand new jobs. This forms part of measures Ramaphosa announced to revitalise the country’s economy through structural reforms.The Eastern Cape Province has allocated 4.5-million rand for the 2021/2022 financial year to support the cannabis industry in the province.

# Rugby: There are three changes to the Stormers backline for their United Rugby Championship encounter with the Lions in Johannesburg tomorrow. A spokesperson, Michael de Vries, says the Stormers will be looking to stretch their unbeaten start to 2022 to four games. The forward pack that did duty in the 20-10 victory against the Sharks will start again, with lock David Meihuizen coming onto the bench. Sergeal Petersen starts on the right wing while Damian Willemse is at inside centre.

# Financial indicators: The dollar is trading at 15-rand-15-cents and the euro at 17-rand-28-cents. One British pound costs 20-rand-57-cents and Bitcoin trades at 43-thousand-556-dollars-7-cents. Gold is selling at one thousand-831-dollars-29-cents a fine ounce and Brent crude oil is quoted at 92-dollars-62-cents a barrel.

# And finally: A year after her successful heart transplant, 14-year-old Parusia Muhigirwa was full of smiles when she celebrated her new heart’s first anniversary as part of Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week. Parusia says she had dilated cardiomyopathy which causes the heart muscle to become weak. She received her transplant during the second wave of Covid-19 thanks to a collaborative effort by the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital and Groote Schuur Hospital team in Cape Town. Parusia says being vaccinated puts her mind at ease as she knows she is vulnerable after her transplant.

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