Maverick Citizen


Eastern Cape government employees do more business with the state during pandemic while Nehawu renews commitment to strike

Eastern Cape government employees do more business with the state during pandemic while Nehawu renews commitment to strike
Compilation image by Sahra Heuwel.

On Tuesday, it came to light that there has been a massive jump in the number of government employees in the Eastern Cape doing business with the state during the Covid-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, Nehawu has reiterated its plan to strike if its demands are not met. In Zimbabwe, a jailed investigative journalist shows symptoms of Covid-19.

Scroll through the gallery below to view the latest Covid-19 numbers available on 1 September at the district level. All maps are sourced from provincial health departments. Mpumalanga, the Eastern Cape, the Free State and Limpopo did not provide an update by the time of publishing:

There has been a 20-fold increase in the number of government employees in the Eastern Cape doing business with the state during the Covid-19 pandemic when compared with the previous financial year. The number shot up from 29 in the 2019/2020 financial year to 565 during the pandemic. 

Premier Oscar Mabuyane has promised action against “potentially conflicted officials” and said the business transactions went from R4.4-million in the fourth quarter of 2019/2020 financial year to R46.9-million in the first quarter of the current financial year. As Estelle Ellis writes, the province has said it is up to heads of department to identify and take “disciplinary action” against the officials.

Pandemic sees 20-fold increase in number of Eastern Cape civil servants doing business with state

Nehawu has reiterated its intention to withdraw all of its 200,000 members from all sectors of public work from 10 September 2020 if its demands are not met. The unions’ programme of action begins on Thursday by holding prayer services for workers who have died from Covid-19 and on Wednesday motorcades will visit health institutions and honk their hooters. 

If their demands are not met within a week the full-blown strike will begin. The country’s largest public-sector union has called for better protection of workers from Covid-19 and better pay. Greg Nicolson unpacks the demands. 

Nehawu doubles down during Covid-19: Protect us and pay us or we’ll strike

In Zimbabwe, jailed investigative journalist Hopewell Chin’ono has shown Covid-19 symptoms according to his lawyers. Chin’ono has spent the past six weeks in jail and awaits trial for charges relating to “incitement to participate in a gathering with intent to promote public violence”. The state alleges he wanted to create a revolt against President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration. As Fazila Maohomed writes, his own doctor was able to visit him and take swabs for Covid-19 testing.

Jailed journalist Hopewell Chin’ono has Covid-19 symptoms, says lawyer

It’s been 159 days since the start of lockdown and although the restrictions are easing, there’s no real way of knowing how and when it and the pandemic will come to an end. Maverick Life asked clinical psychologist and Maverick Life contributor Stefan Blom for guidance on how to deal with common struggles in relationships, especially during the pandemic. Read more here. DM/MC


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