Promising signs for the Western Cape’s Covid-19 curve while SARS picks up the post-pandemic pieces

Promising signs for the Western Cape’s Covid-19 curve while SARS picks up the post-pandemic pieces

On Friday, things were looking up for the Western Cape’s coronavirus figures. At the same time, the South African Revenue Service tries to make up for taxes lost during lockdown. And the SA Book Fair goes online.




Scroll through the gallery below to view the latest Covid-19 numbers available on 4 September at the district level. All maps are sourced from provincial health departments. Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the Free State did not provide an update by the time of publishing:

The pandemic has not just cost the SA Revenue Service in tax, but also in terms of the public’s trust, as more and more Covid-19 corruption cases are exposed. R95-billion less tax was collected, compared with 2019, and overall tax collection targets have been lowered. In addition, hundreds of crucial posts in SARS are vacant and it has lost R100-billion in taxes to criminal activity.

Nonetheless, commissioner Edward Kieswetter says the agency is determined to right the ship and reverse the “trauma” of the way things were previously run. As Marianne Merten writes, Kieswetter maintains SARS has a crucial role to play in governance.

The Western Cape government has confirmed that Covid-19 cases are dropping. In addition, the pressure on hospitals has eased and healthcare workers in Cape Town can now help their colleagues in rural areas.

The provincial government urged residents to remember the importance of hand-washing, mask-wearing and physical distancing, despite the relative ease with which people can now move around. As Suné Payne writes, the head of the province’s health department, Dr Keith Cloete, said there should still be surveillance and containment for the next 18-24 months.

Meanwhile, the initial results from an antibody survey have shown a prevalence of people having been infected with Covid-19 in Cape Town. Adele Baleta unpacks the findings.

In Cape Town’s CBD, a shelter has been built for the homeless who were sent to the now infamous Strandfontein camp. Many of the city’s shelters have reached capacity and there are still people living on the streets. Sandisiwe Shoba spoke to some about their experiences during the pandemic.

Physical distancing measures have had a dire impact on the economies, and health systems of developing countries. While generally regarded as essential to limiting the spread of infection, distancing also poses major challenges. As Sandisiwe Shoba writes, experts are starting to analyse the impact this has had on African countries.

The South African Council of Churches is among a group of civil society organisations that are demanding action against those implicated in Covid-19 corruption. On Friday, SACC former vice president and founder of The Healing of Memories, Father Michael Lapsley, delivered a message to the congregation of the Claremont Main Road Mosque. He urged people to conjure up “the world of your dreams” and to play their role in making it a reality. Read, or watch, the speech in full here.

The South African Book Fair has moved online this year and will be held between 11 and 13 September. The Reading List has put together a list of highlights. DM/MC


"Information pertaining to Covid-19, vaccines, how to control the spread of the virus and potential treatments is ever-changing. Under the South African Disaster Management Act Regulation 11(5)(c) it is prohibited to publish information through any medium with the intention to deceive people on government measures to address COVID-19. We are therefore disabling the comment section on this article in order to protect both the commenting member and ourselves from potential liability. Should you have additional information that you think we should know, please email [email protected]"

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