CORONAVIRUS DAILY DIGEST #72

Lottery sidesteps naming Covid-19 fund beneficiaries, Sanlam starts its own fund and Western Cape peak set for June

By Christi Nortier 11 June 2020

EARLIER STORM: A woman walks along a flooded road during a storm in the Masiphumelele informal settlement, Cape Town, on 11 June 2020. (Photo: EPA-EFE / Nic Bothma)

On Thursday, it came to light that a number of schools in the Eastern Cape and Western Cape have had to close after people tested positive for Covid-19. The National Lotteries Commission is trying to sidestep giving a breakdown of which organisations have benefited from its Covid-19 Fund. Meanwhile, Sanlam Investments has started its own Covid-19 funds. The remodelled projected peak for the Western Cape is now the end of June.

Christi Nortier

Swipe through the gallery below to view the latest Covid-19 numbers available on 11 June at the district level. All maps are sourced from provincial health departments. KwaZulu-Natal did not provide an update by the time of publishing:

It’s been nearly a week since Cape Town City Ballet welcomed its dancers back to company classes – with visors and masks. Leila Dougan spoke to two dancers and the company’s CEO about “dancing to a new tune” in this uncertain time for artists. They’re optimistic – “In a time like this, artists are called on to bring hope and inspiration,” says ballet dancer Mia Labuschagne. “There is still a future to work towards.”

While business confidence in South Africa has fallen to a record-breaking low, Sanlam Investments has created three Covid-19 support funds. The funds will focus on SMEs, mid-market and large corporations to ensure viable companies do not fail because of a cash-flow problem. As Sasha Planting writes, government’s economic stimulus measures fall short of what is needed and the long-term savings industry is realising its responsibility to step up.

Meanwhile, the National Lotteries Commission has tried to side-step a request to name the beneficiaries of its R150-million Covid-19 fund. The fund is meant to assist non-profit organisations struggling to survive during the Covid-19 pandemic and which have been funded by the Lottery in recent years. As Ray Joseph reports, this means projects shrouded in alleged corruption qualify for the fund.

As the first school week draws to a close, a number of them have had to shut again after people tested positive for the virus. Almost 30 schools in the Eastern Cape have closed and another 16 in the Western Cape. The schools need to be sanitised before they can reopen.

The amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism is continuing its fight for media access to virtual courtrooms under lockdown. Since the start of the lockdown, the media has had a hard time accessing detailed court rolls, written submissions, court records and court hearings remotely and online. They have managed to make progress with the Gauteng High Court and are now setting their sights on making this the norm across the country.

Last week, the Western Cape announced stricter criteria for Covid-19 testing. The legislature’s ad hoc Covid-19 oversight committee expressed its concern to the provincial health department that this new strategy misrepresents the epidemic in the province. The department responded that efforts are being made to ramp up testing capacity and said the remodelled projected peak in the province is the end of June, not August as was previously estimated. As Suné Payne reports, the backlog of tests has gone from 27,000 to 2,300 by Wednesday 10 June 2020. DM

Gallery

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