NEWSFLASH NEWS AGENCY 31 December 5 pm
In this bulletin:
# President Cyril Ramaphosa brings a message of hope for 2022
# The Freedom Front Plus says government has finally come to its senses about the curfew
# And, don’t let a shortage of champagne dampen your spirit
# President Cyril Ramaphosa used his New Year’s message to tell South Africans that better times are on the horizon. He says we have many things to be thankful for:
Play sound: ENG RamaphosaMessage
# The president has commended citizens for their ability to unite in times of a crisis. He adds the festive season is a special time for all South Africans, where they get to spend quality time with their loved ones:
Play sound: ENG QualityTime
# He furthermore used the opportunity to thank the science and medical sectors for their commitment to the fight against Covid-19. He also commended learners and matriculants for their resilience and persistence this year:
Play sound: ENG FrontlineWorkers
# The Freedom Front Plus has welcomed government’s announcement that the curfew is lifted with immediate effect. The leader of the party, Pieter Groenewald, says haphazard decisions around the curfew has undermined confidence in the government to keep a cool head when drafting regulations during the pandemic:
Play sound: ENG PieterGroenewaldONCurfew
# Financial indicators: The dollar is trading at 15-rand-94-cents and the euro at 18-rand-11-cents. One British pound costs 21-rand-55-cents and Bitcoin trades at 47-thousand-946-dollar-20-cents. Gold is selling at one thousand-824-dollars-57-cents a fine ounce and Brent crude oil is quoted at 78-dollars-56-cents a barrel.
# And finally, while South Africans are mostly delighted with the lifting of the curfew, there is another problem – at least for those with connoisseur taste. The COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown restrictions took a toll on the wine market in 2020 and the shipment of French Champagne had decreased by 18-percent. Liquor stores in Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town have confirmed that they are facing a champagne shortage. Therefore, if you were planning to celebrate New Year with a bottle of proper French champagne, you might have to settle for something less flamboyant but equally sparkly for tonight. Happy New Year!
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