Maverick Citizen


Black market cigarettes sales rise, Parliament passes February Budget, and education department hauled to court over school nutrition

Black market cigarettes sales rise, Parliament passes February Budget, and education department hauled to court over school nutrition
Millions of children in South Africa depend on eating their only meal of the day at school. (Photo: /Wikipedia)

On Friday 12 June, Cogta Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma said that at least 800,000 people in SA had given up smoking because of the tobacco ban – yet, the illicit cigarette trade seems to be booming. Parliament finally passed the February Budget, paving the way for the finance minister to table the Covid-19 adjusted Budget. Two organisations are litigating against the DBE to fully reinstate the National School Nutrition Programme and feed millions of hungry learners.

Swipe through the gallery below to view the latest Covid-19 numbers available on 14 June at the district level. All maps are sourced from provincial health departments; however, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape did not provide an update by the time of publishing:

Last week in a court application, Co-operative Governance Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma said, “… an estimated 800,000 to one million people have given up smoking due to lockdown”. However, as Ferial Haffajee writes, the cigarette black market is flourishing under the lockdown ban.

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s path has been cleared for his anticipated Covid-19 adjusted Budget to be tabled in Parliament on 24 June. The February Budget was passed on Friday 12 June after an eight-hour parliamentary session, as explained by Marianne Merten.

Zukiswa Pikoli reports on the urgent litigation launched by the Equal Education Law Centre and SECTION27, to force the Department of Basic Education to roll out the National School Nutrition Programme. Since the closure of schools during lockdown, millions of children have been going without what is often their only meal of the day. Maverick Citizen has also published a series of stirring testimonies from parents, teachers, SGB members and learners on their experiences with hunger during lockdown.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura says that July will be a critical month in the province’s fight against Covid-19 as the number of cases has doubled during Level 3. Greg Nicolson reports on how the premier is particularly concerned about the Johannesburg and Tshwane CBDs as well as the 56 reported cases in Gauteng schools. DM


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