BULLETIN 7 February 7 am
Good morning. I am……..
In this bulletin:
# Minister Angie Motshekga is saddened at the passing of 6 learners in the Free State
# President Cyril Ramaphosa extends SARS boss Edward Kieswetter’s tenure
# And, the European Commission emphasises the importance of continued support for Ukraine
# Basic Education minister Angie Motshekga has expressed sadness at the passing of six learners in the Free State. They died when the bus they were travelling in overturned on the R70 between Ventersburg and Senekal yesterday evening. The bus was transporting 58 learners from Hoërskool Riebeeckstad who had participated in an all-girls sports event in Moolmanshoek. Motshekga says this is not the kind of news that any parent can expect when their children have gone out on a school excursion. She adds that hopefully, an investigation will shed light on what happened.
# President Cyril Ramaphosa has extended the tenure of South African Revenue Service Commissioner Edward Kieswetter beyond the end of his five-year term, which comes to an end on the 30th of April this year. The presidency says the extension of the commissioner’s term is to enable an orderly transition in the organisation. Kieswetter appointed three deputy commissioners in June last year, intended to lay the basis for succession. According to reports, some government insiders had expressed the need for a longer transition period, given the complexity and demands of the position.
# Build One South Africa will today host a gathering of the unemployed outside City Hall in Cape Town, just ahead of tomorrow night’s State of the Nation address. Party leader Mmusi Maimane will be joined by deputy leader Nobuntu Hlazo-Webster to amplify the voices of the unemployed. BOSA spokesperson Roger Solomons urges president Cyril Ramaphosa to address the growing unemployment crisis and announce effective interventions to boost the economy:
# The DA says Gauteng’s vulnerable residents are facing starvation as the Department of Social Development spent only 17-percent of its 18-million-rand budget allocated to food banks. It says this leaves 306-thousand residents without essential food packs. They demand swift action from Social Development MEC Mbali Hlophe to restock food banks and address the critical food needs of the population unable to fend for themselves. The DA’s Refiloe Nt’sekhe pledges to seek clarity on the reasons behind the underspending.
# The European Commission says it will continue its momentum to support Ukraine including accelerating the delivery of ammunition. The European Union aims to begin the first tranche of payments of the around one-billion-rand Ukraine Facility fund next month. The funding will strengthen the country’s economic and financial stability. The commission’s president, Ursula von der Leyen, says they will have delivered over half-a-million rounds of artillery shells by next month, and more than one-million by the end of the year:
# Rugby: The president of SA Rugby, Mark Alexander, says the composition of the Springboks’ new coaching team is aimed at the ultimate objective of claiming a hat-trick of World Cup titles in a row at the next tournament in Australia. The union confirmed Rassie Erasmus’s return as head coach until 2027, relinquishing his position as director of rugby, which will not be filled again. Erasmus added big names, including former All Black flyhalf Tony Brown, former Ireland hooker Jerry Flannery, retired Bok eighthman Duane Vermeulen, and retired referee Jaco Peyper.
# And the financial indicators: The dollar trades at 18-rand-80-cents and the euro at 20-rand-24-cents. One British pound costs 23-rand-71-cents and Bitcoin trades at 43-thousand-53-dollars-26-cents. Gold sells at two-thousand-35-dollars-12-cents a fine ounce and Brent crude oil is quoted at 78-dollars-83-cents a barrel.
Stay tuned for more news………….