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NEWSFLASH NEWS AGENCY 18 January 4 pm

Good afternoon,

In this bulletin:

# The minister of Transport will monitor road fatalities monthly
# The Western Cape is still working to place all learners before schools reopen tomorrow
# And hockey: South Africa thrashes Namibia in Ghana

# The minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula, announced he will publish monthly statistics on road fatalities as from March this year. He was speaking at the briefing on the statistics for the festive season. 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

# The Western Cape Education Department says it is working hard to place all learners when schools reopen tomorrow. MEC Debbie Schäfer will visit various schools in Grassy Park tomorrow as part of the department’s assessment for schools’ readiness. Schäfer says it is unfortunate that most learners will continue to attend school on a rotational basis and they will continue to engage with the national government regarding a return to daily attendance for all learners as soon as possible:

Play sound: ENG MEC Debbie Schäfer

Meanwhile, the Eastern Cape Department of Education says thousands of learners might not attend school as the 2022 academic year starts tomorrow due to multiple schools being damaged by the recent harsh weather conditions in the province. Spokesperson Malibongwe Mtima says the department has thus far assessed damages to 57 schools which will cost the department an estimated 900-million-rand to repair.

# Russian troops arrived in Belarus today for snap military drills. AFP reports more than a week of negotiations between Russia and the West has done little to ease worries raised by the massing of tens of thousands of Russian troops on Ukraine’s borders. Adding to the tensions, Russia and Ukraine’s neighbour, Belarus, launched a wave of military exercises, with a video published by the Belarusian defence ministry showing columns of military vehicles, including tanks, being unloaded from trains blanketed in snow.

# Hockey: South Africa’s men’s hockey team thrashed Namibia 13-0 in their match at the 2022 African Cup of Nations underway in Accra, Ghana. South Africa, who were the dominant side in all the four quarters of the match, scored two goals in each of the opening three quarters, with four coming from penalty corners, while the other two goals were scored from open play. The winner of the Outdoor Africa Cup of Nations will represent the continent at the World Cup slated for India from 13 to 29 January next year.

# Financial indicators: The dollar is trading at 15-rand-42-cents and the euro at 17-rand-55-cents. One British pound costs 20-rand-95-cents and Bitcoin trades at 41-thousand-777-dollars-9-cents. Gold is selling at one thousand-814-dollars-15-cents a fine ounce and Brent crude oil is quoted at 87-dollars-34-cents a barrel.

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