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JUNE 2020

YOUTH MONTH

20 20

Youth need to rise to COVID-19 challenges

Level 3

Saving lives and livelihoods

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Contents:

30

June 2020

REGULARS 10 From the Union Buildings As COVID-19 cases rise

56

across the country, President

In other news

12

News you need to know when you are on the go

Cyril Ramaphosa calls on South Africans to remain calm and be prepared

60

of the COVID-19 battle, conducting thousands of tests

Focus on women

Victims of abuse and violence

for the virus every day

need professional help to 22 Trailblazer

Western Cape teacher

heal and become empowered survivors

18

COVID-19 response

Charles James has no issues with his pupils acting out 26 International relations

The African Continental Free Trade Area has tremendous potential to boost intra-Africa trade

How statistical modelling is predicting the trajectory of

FEATURES 12 Navigating youth issues in

COVID-19 in SA 24

the COVID-19 era

SA’s youth have a crucial role

province high praise

12

Encouraging Africa’s youth to reach for the sky

30

50 Provincial focus

KwaZulu-Natal’s fight against

Opinion

to play during and post the COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19 has earned the

Statistics help shape

Working hard to ensure workers’ safety

Government directs

16 National Health Laboratory

employers on health and

Service up to the test

Public labs are at the forefront

safety measures to minimise the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace 34

SA moves to Alert Level 3

Level 3 marks the re-opening of more sectors of the economy and fewer restrictions on the movement of people

38

Rebuilding SA’s economy Government in a delicate

balancing act to save lives and the livelihoods of South Africans

2

Public Sector Manager • June 2020


CHANNEL AFRICA THE AFRICAN PERSPECTIVE

Channel Africa is South Africa’s international public broadcast radio station whose primary audience is the entire African continent. Our secondary audience is the rest of the world, where we harvest our news and information. As an International Public Broadcaster, our core values subscribe to the highest journalistic ethics which find expression in fairness, accuracy, and impartiality. Channel Africa is a platform through which Africa is engaged in debate with itself, and recognises South Africa as a role player in continental and international affairs.

Vision: “The African Perspective” Mission: “to promote the regeneration, revival, and rejuvenation of Africa, through the production and broadcast of dynamic, stimulating, and interesting programmes”. Contact Information: Tel: 011 714 2997 Fax: 011 714 2072 Email: info@channelafrica.co.za Web: www.channelafrica.co.za Twitter: channelafrica1 Instagram: channelafricaradio DSTV:802


Public Sector Manager THE MAGAZINE FOR PUBLIC SECTOR DECISION-MAKERS

42

Students return to campus

A third of students are back on campuses amid strict health and

52

safety protocols 46

Learners’ safety in the spotlight Parents have the option of home

schooling their children but must get the required approval 52

Publishers: Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) Enquiries: +27 012 473 0010 Switchboard: +27 012 473 0000 Tshedimosetso House: 1035 Francis Baard Street (corner Festival Street), Hatfield, Pretoria Private Bag X745, Pretoria, South Africa, 0001 www.gcis.gov.za

64

Director-General Phumla Williams Acting Deputy Director-General: Corporate Services Keitu Semakane

Safety behind the mask

What you need to know about wearing and caring for your

Partnership provides protection Government and academia are COVID-19 in the Eastern Cape

66

Head of Editorial and Production Tyrone Seale tyrone@gcis.gov.za

Opinion

Minister Sisulu’s anti-corruption efforts at the Department of

54

Water and Sanitation should be

Tourism adapts amid COVID-19

commended

challenges

looking at new ways to sustain itself

70

News Editor Irene Naidoo

GCIS Photographic Unit Elmond Jiyane Ntswe Mokoena Siyabulela Duda Kopano Tlape Busisiwe Malungwane

LIFESTYLE 68

Managing Editor Ongezwa Mogotsi ongezwa@gcis.gov.za

Contributors More Matshediso Silusapho Nyanda Jauhara Khan

The tourism industry has been hard hit by COVID-19 and is

Acting Deputy Director-General: Content Processing & Dissemination Khusela Diko

cloth face mask

to rural communities

uniting to curb the spread of

Acting Deputy Director-General: Intergovernmental Coordination & Stakeholder Management Michael Currin

Senior Designer Tendai Gonese

Health and wellbeing

All the facts you need to know

Junior Designer Tsholofelo Sepeng

about smoking, alcohol and COVID-19 70

Food and wine

74

Grooming and style

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Nice-to-haves

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Public Sector Manager • June 2020


MESSAGE FROM THE MINISTER

Youth have the grit to thrive post-coronavirus

T

he youth of today will

Right now, the majority of South

forever remember the

Africa’s youth are in a vulnerable

fact that they lived

place, with life as they know it

through one of the most

transformed, the economy in reces-

catastrophic pandemics

sion and their future uncertain.

in the history of humanity.

However, with the right support,

They will remember the

we have little doubt that it is this

novel coronavirus as a

generation that will light the way

watershed moment in

forward.

their lives – a time when major transitions happened both in the world around them and within their own personal spaces. Young people are among the

other stakeholders to give serious consideration to how they can help position young people for the inevitable time when they must

most affected by the pandemic’s

step up and move the country

socio-economic impact. Yet, gener-

forward.

ally speaking, they are also the

Given the massive impact the

best positioned to roll with the

pandemic is having on young

punches, to innovate and adapt.

people, who have little to cushion

As South Africa celebrates

6

Youth Month calls on businesses, educators, government and all

them from the blows, it becomes

Youth Month, let us remember

imperative that both the private

the youth whose bravery and

and public sector put interventions

determination during the 1976

in place to support our youth.

Soweto uprising profoundly

Government has introduced a

changed the socio-political

number of interventions aimed at

landscape in our country.

assisting businesses in general,

Young people are change-mak-

and youth-owned enterprises in

ers, powered by idealism, passion

particular. These interventions

and courage.

include the Debt Relief Fund and

Public Sector Manager • June 2020


Students Financial Aid Scheme (NFSAS). Despite most of government’s

down is being gradually eased and why South Africans need to

energy being spent on respond-

observe the many regulations still

ing to the immediate crisis, we

in place, no matter the inconven-

remain forward thinking. In an-

ience.

nouncing the state’s economic

Social distancing, the wearing of

response to the pandemic, Presi-

masks when in public places and

dent Cyril Ramaphosa said R100

proper hygiene are still the best

billion will be set aside for the

ways to prevent the spread of the

protection of jobs and the crea-

virus.

tion of new jobs. In a similar vein, the Council for

Minister in t he Presidency, Jac kson Mt hembu.

It is for this reason that the lock-

This Youth Month, it is incumbent upon leadership in the public

Scientific and Industrial Research

service to empower young people

has partnered with the Youth

internally and to make sure that

Employment Service to prepare

we implement with diligence, in-

young people for employment

tegrity and speed the many relief

by providing them with technical

measures government has put in

skills and relevant work opportuni-

place to guide the nation through

ties.

this difficult time.

With much attention being

The public service must further-

the SMME Support Intervention by

given to the financial impacts

more take hands with our partners

the Department of Small Business

of the pandemic and resultant

in civil society to secure the suc-

Development.

lockdown, we must not forget that

cess of the rollout of these meas-

the coronavirus is still in the early

ures. Government is not an island

stages in South Africa.

and we must work with partners

In addition, the National Youth Development Agency’s Youth Micro Enterprise Relief Fund has been

While the initial Level 5 lockdown

who have their own networks,

established to assist youth enter-

slowed down the spread of the

solutions and insights that can

prises that may not qualify for other

virus and bought government

enrich the national effort.

funds. This once-off relief fund cov-

time to strengthen its healthcare

ers operations and other expenses.

response, it does not mean the

of our nation, most of what we

worst is over.

do to counter COVID-19 should

Vulnerable youth may also apply for the COVID-19 Social Relief

In fact, it is predicted that South

Given the demographic profile

be youth-focused, if we are to

of Distress grant of R350 a month

Africa’s infection rate will peak

protect the productive corps of our

for unemployed individuals who

around September. The President

economy and if we are to ensure

do not receive any other form of

has said that all the scientific

that learners at the primary and

government assistance in the form

models show that the infection

secondary level emerge from this

of a social grant, Unemployment

rate will continue to rise at a much

crisis as educated, confident, hope-

Insurance Fund (UIF) or National

faster rate in the next few months.

ful and innovative young citizens.

Public Sector Manager • June 2020

7


MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR-GENERAL FEATURE

COVID-19 magnifies the consequences of everyone’s actions

if we do not act sensibly and with the greater good of the country in mind, we will either go back to a full lockdown or not progress to a lower level. We will also suffer the heartache of having people we care about falling sick and possibly dying.

A

The Department of Employment s South Africa eases back to work, a rise in coronavirus (COVID-19) infections

is inevitable. Government has the unenviable task of preventing as many deaths

of each and every person. The move from Level 5 lockdown

and Labour has issued formal directives and regulations to

to Level 4 enabled around 1.5

minimise the potential of workers

million employees to return to

contracting COVID-19. As is

work.

the case with all other labour

Although we have advised that

regulations, non-compliance can

as possible while ensuring the

people continue to work from

best possible economic outcome

home where possible, a huge

for South Africa. We have chosen

number of the nation’s workforce

react to suspected infections will

to do this through a risk-adjusted

will leave the safety of their homes

have a huge impact on South

approach that will see economic

to rejoin the world of work.

Africa’s COVID-19 story. People

activity gradually being unlocked in some sectors. How successful this will be depends largely on the behavior

This freedom comes with of both employers and employees.

that they immediately inform their

Employers need to create an

employers of their symptoms so

environment in which workers are

that the appropriate steps can be

protected and the risk of infections

taken to isolate them. These measures will help prevent

take responsibility for their safety

a situation in which an entire

by following all hygiene protocols.

workplace is forced to close. During this pandemic,

returning to work, government

extraordinary actions are needed

departments must lead by

from ordinary people.

example and ensure all COVID-19

Public servants, now more than

regulations are met. Offices

ever, must go above and beyond

must be sanitised, temperature

for their fellow South Africans.

screenings done, social distancing

8

with symptoms must stay home. If already at work, it is essential

With scores of public servants

GCIS Director-General.

How employers and employees

immense responsibility on the part

is limited, while employees must

Phumla Williams,

lead to a fine or even arrest.

We are living through historic

maintained, masks issued and

times and each one of us has a

worn, hand sanitiser supplied and

role to play to ensure we can look

visits from non-employees limited.

back as a nation and be proud

Getting South Africa back to work is a collective effort because

of the way we faced this immense adversity.

Public Sector Manager • June 2020


FROM THE UNION BUILDINGS FEATURE

A message from President Cyril Ramaphosa

COVID-19: Don’t be alarmed, be prepared

M

ost people will have

gave us time to prepare our health

schools and other institutions have

noticed that the number

facilities and interventions for the

used this time to get themselves

of confirmed cases of

expected spike in infections.

ready for a gradual return to more-

coronavirus in South Africa has been rising fast.

The lockdown was not only necessary but it has also given us all

or-less normal activity. They have been putting stringent

time to adjust to living with the vi-

health protocols in place, thor-

week [8-12 June], we can expect

rus. Various surveys show that South

oughly cleaning and sanitising

that the total number of cases

Africans have come to know a lot

their premises and are ensuring

will pass the 50 000 mark. Sadly,

about the virus and are taking the

that people are regularly screened

we are also likely to record the 1

necessary precautions to prevent

for COVID-19 symptoms. This is all

000th death from this devastating

its spread.

necessary to ensure that we save

During the course of this coming

disease. Like many South Africans, I too

I have been pleased to realise

lives and protect livelihoods.

that a high percentage of South

have been worried as I watch

Africans wash their hands regularly,

The epicentre

these figures keep rising. While

avoid contact with other people

Recently, I spent the day in Cape

these numbers are broadly in line

and wear face masks whenever

Town to get a better sense of the

with what the various models had

they go out in public. I should

work that is being done to man-

projected, there is a big difference

however say that social distanc-

age the disease there. The Western

between looking at a graph on a

ing in public places is still a major

Cape is the epicentre of coronavi-

piece of paper and seeing real

challenge for us.

rus infections in South Africa, with

people becoming infected, some getting ill and some dying. We can draw some comfort from

We need to focus our attention on ensuring that we adhere to social distancing practices because

around two-thirds of all confirmed cases. I was impressed by the prepara-

the knowledge that the nation-

it is through close contact between

tions the Western Cape is making

wide lockdown has achieved

people that the virus will be spread.

to contain infections and to ensure

the objective we had of delaying

It is pleasing to realise that busi-

that there are enough beds, staff

the spread of the virus and that it

nesses, government departments,

and medical supplies to accom-

10

Public Sector Manager • June 2020


modate the rapidly increasing

cific circumstances and with the

screening, testing, contact tracing

number of people needing hospi-

necessary permits.

and, where necessary, isolation.

talisation. They are increasing the

Although we have made pro-

hospitals, including at the Cape

Limiting the impact of COVID-19

Town International Convention

As we watch the number of infec-

Centre.

tions rise further – probably far

number of beds by setting up field

Yet, even with the preparations

gress, we still need to do much more in the coming weeks to meet the expected demand. You can also do much to pre-

faster than most of us imagined

pare as individuals and families.

they have made, they will need

– we should be concerned, but

Already many have made the ef-

more bed capacity as the dis-

not alarmed. That is because we

fort to learn as much as they can

ease reaches its peak. They need

have the ability, as individuals,

about the disease, how to identify

help from outside the province,

communities and as a country, to

the symptoms and how to avoid

including additional funding and

limit the impact of the disease on

getting infected or infecting oth-

health personnel.

our people.

ers. Many people have thought

This provides the clearest evi-

As we have shown, we can slow

about how they can go to school

dence yet that we are correct to

the spread of the disease, and

or work safely, and how they can

treat coronavirus as a national

we should continue to take all

change their shopping behaviour

disaster. We must mobilise and

measures possible to continue

or how they worship to minimise

deploy all the necessary re-

to flatten the infection curve.

the risk of infection.

sources we have in the country.

Most importantly, we must be

We need an integrated strategy

prepared to reduce the number

at how they can protect elderly

that brings together the national,

of deaths by implementing the

people and those with underly-

provincial and local spheres of

necessary health measures.

ing conditions, such as diabetes,

government. After the Western Cape, the

Working with our social partners,

Each household should look

hypertension, cancer, TB or HIV. Do

we in government are working

plan for the possibility that some-

Eastern Cape is the province with

hard to prepare for the increase

one in the family may become

the fastest-growing proportion of

of infections. We have been buy-

infected and whether you will be

people infected. And we know

ing personal protection equip-

able to isolate them from family

that some of the infections in the

ment from across the world and

members until they are better. If

province were the result of people

supporting local companies to

not, find out where the closest

travelling from the Western Cape.

produce them here.

government quarantine site is.

What this tells us is that no part

We have been improving the in-

You should also plan ahead for

of the country is an island and

frastructure in hospitals and set-

what to do if someone gets sick.

that all South Africans, no matter

ting up temporary hospitals and

Over the coming weeks, as we

where they live, need to remain

finding more beds for COVID-19

watch the coronavirus infections

vigilant and prepared. It is for

patients. We have deployed

continue to rise, we must remem-

this reason also that people are

tens of thousands of community

ber that we are not helpless.

not permitted to travel between

health workers to detect cases in

And we should remember one

provinces while the country is at

areas where people live. We are

simple, but fundamental, message:

Alert level 3, except under spe-

intensifying the programme of

Don’t be alarmed. Be prepared.

Public Sector Manager • June 2020

11


YOUTH MONTH 2020

Writer: Dale Hes

Navigating youth issues in the COVID-19 era

T

his year, Youth Month is being celebrated in unprecedented times for the country.

While the youth of 1976 waged

a courageous battle against the oppressive apartheid system, the youth of 2020 have a crucial role to play in fighting a very different, invisible enemy - the coronavirus (COVID-19). The COVID-19 pandemic has had far-reaching impact on South Africa’s economy and social fabric. The triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality are more evident now than ever before, and the youth are particularly burdened by these challenges. Government is therefore celebrating Youth Month under the theme 'Youth Power: Growing South Africa together in the period of COVID-19'. Leading the commemoration is the Department of Women, Youth

12

Public Sector Manager • June 2020


and Persons with Disabilities, the

and Youth Month programme

stories of young people who are

National Youth Development

allow us to empower youth across

making a difference in soci-

Agency (NYDA) and the Depart-

all sectors of society by encourag-

ety. Relief measures include the

ment of Sport, Arts and Culture.

ing them to take charge of their

COVID-19 Relief Fund targeted at

Throughout the month, these role

lives.

youth-owned micro-enterprises.

players, along with other govern-

“We are acutely aware of COV-

ment departments and partners,

ID-19’s negative impact on youth.

'1000 businesses in 100 days'

are hosting a number of initia-

We urge the youth to look at in-

project, which aims to support

tives focused on empowering the

novative ways that will allow them

businesses operated by young

youth.

to lead and succeed despite this

people in the township and rural

pandemic.”

economies.

The NYDA is also kicking off its

A better world post COVID-19

Youth Month activities have been

follow it will be critically important

The virtual launch of Youth Month

replaced by virtual initiatives and

to help young people in getting

saw government and NYDA of-

the use of radio and television

enterprises off the ground. We

ficials highlighting the various

broadcasts.

have programmes with the Depart-

initiatives taking place this month,

The Minister said that normal

“We are all aware of the new nor-

“In the weeks and months that

ment of Employment and Labour

and the important role that youth

mal caused by COVID-19. Hence

to help those young people who

have to play during the COVID-19

2020 Youth Day and Youth Month

have fallen out of work or those

pandemic.

will be held on virtual platforms

who are unemployed.”

Arts and Culture Minister Nathi

and live streaming. We will work

Carrim added that these initia-

Mthethwa called on the youth to

with many partners to drive a

tives alone will not be enough to

put all their energy into creating a

message of encouragement and

change the face of the South

better world post COVID-19.

positivity through these platforms.

African economy. He called on

“The youth of 2020 have been

“The stark reality is that many

public servants to work on new

called upon to fight a much more

young people will not be able to

programmes to uplift deserving

silent war against COVID-19 and

participate due to internet access.

youth.

help to rebuild a new society post

So we will broadcast on radio and

COVID-19. You need to use your

television.”

“Beyond existing initiatives we need to think about things like a basic income grant for unem-

energy as the youth of today to of us to survive and thrive despite

Focus on empowerment

this pandemic.”

Waseem Carrim, the CEO of

rich and a minimum employment

the NYDA, said the agency has

guarantee. If a young person has

the youth to look at innovative

launched a number of unique

passion, energy and wants to work,

ways to succeed in spite of the

programmes and relief measures

we as the state should be obliged

pandemic.

aimed at the youth this month.

to provide that young person with

create a world that will allow all

Minister Mthethwa encouraged

“Despite all the challenges facing young people, our Youth Day

Public Sector Manager • June 2020

These include the Trailblazers campaign, which highlights the

ployed work seekers, universalbased income, higher taxes on the

work.” The NYDA will also be

13


YOUTH MONTH 2020

hosting various webinars related

and development of young peo-

in numbers to go out there and

to education, employment and

ple, so that they can reach their

assist the communities, especially

entrepreneurship, in order to

full potential.”

in rural areas, to ensure that they

provide the youth with the vital

The department is striving to

comply with all the regulations

information they need to better

ensure universal access to oppor-

that have been put forward by the

their lives.

tunities for youth, particularly the

President.”

disabled.

She said that it is important to

Promoting inclusion and equality

“We need to continue to main-

learn from the struggles of the

stream universal access to realise

youth of the past, and to look

The Minister in the Presidency for

the ultimate goals of the disability

towards a better future.

Women, Youth and Persons with

movement. Providing opportunities

Disabilities, Maite Nkoana-Masha-

for these youth will allow them to

enter this decade by clearly learn-

bane, said her department will

contribute fully to the country’s de-

ing from the resilience of the past,

continue to work at mainstream-

velopment and economic growth.”

but also to position themselves for

ing the youth, women and people

The Deputy Minister in the

“It is important for the youth to

measurable outcomes. “Remember you follow in the

with disabilities into the economy.

Presidency for Women, Youth and

“We have made significant pro-

Persons with Disabilities, Hlengiwe

footsteps of world leaders such as

gress in putting in place measures

Mkhize, encouraged the youth

our first President Nelson Mandela,

to achieve this. We will intensify

to be at the forefront of social

who taught us it always seems

government interventions to fur-

responsibility regarding COVID-19.

impossible until it is done,” said the

ther accelerate the empowerment

“We expect our young people

Deputy Minister.

The year 2020 marks 44 years since the 16 June uprising, which saw a shift in the country’s youth activism and power. In 1975, protests started in African schools after a directive from the then Bantu Education Department that Afrikaans had to be used on an equal basis with English as a language of instruction in secondary schools. The issue, however, was not so much the Afrikaans, as the whole system of Bantu education was characterised by separate schools and universities, poor facilities, overcrowded classrooms and inadequately trained teachers. On 16 June 1976, more than 20 000 pupils from Soweto began a protest march. In the wake of clashes with the police, and the violence that ensued during the next few weeks, approximately 700 people, many of them youth, were killed.

14

Public Sector Manager • June 2020


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FEATURE

Writer: Silusapho Nyanda

Lab tests vital in the fight against COVID-19

T

or amplification of the template copies. If the virus template is present in a specimen it will be amplified or reproduced repeatedly to be detected at the end of the PCR process, which then means that the person is positive for the SARSCoV2 or 2019-nCoV, which causes COVID-19. Dr Treurnicht explains that a nasopharyngeal or nasal specimen is required because the nasal pas-

esting people who exhibit

cal scientists test the specimens

sage is connected to the respira-

symptoms of the coronavirus

for the presence of the virus.

tory system.

(COVID-19) is essential to

Dr Florette Treurnicht, the head

“The same goes for your mouth. It

gauge the spread of the disease

of Medical Virology at the NHLS,

all links to your lungs. Any respira-

across South Africa.

says the test involves an enzymatic

tory illness normally presents first as

process that repeatedly replicates

an upper respiratory tract illness.

This respiratory virus is spread

“In this case, a nasopharyn-

through physical contact and

small conserved segments of the

respiratory droplets, which are

virus genome in the specimens,

geal swab, nasal turbinate swab

formed when we cough, spit or

also called a polymerase chain

or oropharyngeal swabs all are

sneeze. The novel coronavirus can

reaction (PCR). The polymerase

acceptable specimens to test for

be fully diagnosed only through a

is an enzyme that can withstand

the novel coronavirus. Another

laboratory test. These tests can be

temperatures almost at boiling

specimen that is acceptable is if

done at any of the 18 capacitated

point.

someone coughs and produces

National Health Laboratory Service

“These small conserved viral

(NHLS) laboratories and at private

genome segments targeted by the

pathology laboratories.

PCR are called templates.

The tests are done on respiratory

“Smaller known segments on

sputum,” says Dr Treurnicht. If a patient is on respiratory support in ICU, a tracheal or bronchial aspirate sample can be acquired for testing.

specimens collected through a

either side of the template are

nasopharyngeal or nasal turbi-

added to the test mixture and

nate swabs and/or throat swabs

serves as starters or initiators of the

Three markers

from people exhibiting respiratory

PCR process,” she explains.

At the lab, the scientists testing

disease symptoms. Once the res-

The process involves repeated cy-

for the virus usually look for three

piratory specimens are collected,

cles of heating and cooling. Usu-

markers or target gene areas in

it is taken to one of the NHLS labs

ally the same cycling conditions

the genome (RNA) of the virus.

where trained medical technolo-

are repeated 35 to 40 times and

The first is the spike or surface (S)

gists, medical technicians or medi-

result in an exponential increase

proteins which protrude through

16

Public Sector Manager • June 2020


the viral membrane that surrounds

Mukhari Hospital and Tambo

same testing equipment to ensure

the ball-like structure or core of the

Memorial Hospital labs.

that testing continues.

virus. The second target is the virus

• KwaZulu-Natal – Inkosi Albert Lu-

The time from when a sample

core formed by the nuclear pro-

thuli Central Academic Hospital

is taken at a health facility to

teins (N) that are in close contact

and Addington Hospital.

the point a patient receives their

with the virus genome. The third marker is the virus polymerase, which is the machinery that allows the virus to reproduce or replicate. “Most of the current tests target either two or three regions of the virus genome. Others target just the nuclear protein but two or three

• Limpopo – Mankweng Provincial Hospital and the Polokwane

a couple of hours to two weeks at

Provincial Hospital.

present. Priority is given to speci-

• Mpumalanga – Rob Ferreira Hospital. • North West – Tshepong and Rustenburg hospitals. • Western Cape – Greenpoint

distinct regions within the nuclear

Complex, Groote Schuur Aca-

protein gene,” says Dr Treurnicht.

demic Hospital and Tygerberg

The process of conducting a test on a single sample can take any-

results can be anything between

Academic Hospital. These labs often have eight to 16

mens from hospitals and clinics. Dr Treurnicht says the delay is due to the huge test demand and regular shortages of reagents or consumables required to test for the virus. “The shortage of reagents and other consumables used in testing slows down the process. Compa-

thing between 45 minutes and five

people conducting tests and most

nies manufacturing these rea-

hours depending on the specific

labs operate 24 hours. Each lab is

gents and consumables generally

test used.

able to complete between 300 to

prioritise their countries and then

2 000 tests for COVID-19 per day

others. If we had all the compo-

depending on the test platforms

nents required to conduct testing

available in each laboratory as

then patients could have their

The tests are conducted at labs

well as the availability of test rea-

results in a matter of 24-48 hours.”

that have specialised PCR test

gents and consumables. However,

kits. Of the 268 NHLS labs across

this capacity is increased through

receives from public healthcare

the country, only 18 labs located

good working relationships

facilities, when requested, assists

in eight of the provinces have this

between the NHLS and privately-

private labs. Samples are collect-

capacity. These are:

owned labs.

ed by qualified healthcare workers

Capacitated NHLS labs

• Eastern Cape – the Port Eliza-

Dr Treurnicht says that when

The NHLS tests samples it

if a person exhibits symptoms

beth Provincial Hospital and

the NHLS reaches its capacity for

such as a dry cough, fever and

Nelson Mandela Academic/

testing, samples are sent to private

tiredness, which are the more

Walter Sisulu University lab.

labs. When tests are referred to

common symptoms.

• Free State – Universitas Aca-

private labs the results are sent

Samples are also collected from

demic Hospital and Pelonomi

back to the NHLS where the results

those with severe symptoms such

Hospital labs.

are recorded and authorised by

as difficulty breathing, chest pains

pathologists.

as well as the loss of speech or

• Gauteng – Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospi-

When necessary, the NHLS and

tal, Tshwane Academic Division,

private labs may lend each other

ture of 38°C or higher are also

University of Pretoria, Dr George

consumables if they both use the

tested for the virus.

Public Sector Manager • June 2020

movement. Those with a tempera-

17


FEATURE

Writer: Silusapho Nyanda

Statistics help shape COVID-19 response S

tatistical modelling is being

in South Africa. This will help the

ling and Analysis at the University

used worldwide to help

country plan and scale up the

of Stellenbosch; and the Health

governments formulate their

response to the pandemic.

Economics and Epidemiology

coronavirus (COVID-19) responses

According to the consortium,

by estimating the rate of the virus

COVID-19 is estimated to infect

transmission.

one million South Africans and re-

The models produced by the South African COVID-19 Model-

sult in the death of 40 000 people. The consortium includes experts

Research Office at the University of the Witwatersrand.

Statistical modelling Dr Yogan Pillay, the former Deputy

ling Consortium, made up of a

from the National Institute for

Director-General for Communi-

group of experts from government

Communicable Diseases; the

cable and Non-communicable

institutions and several university-

Modelling and Simulation Hub

Disease, Prevention, Treatment

based institutions, are primarily

Africa from the University of Cape

and Rehabilitation at the National

being used by government to

Town; the DSI-NRF Centre of Excel-

Department of Health (NDoH),

estimate the trajectory of the virus

lence in Epidemiological Model-

says statistical models are used

Long-term projections: National

18

Public Sector Manager • June 2020


to estimate or predict what can

to Dr Pillay. This is because the

COVID-19. Of this, between R10 bil-

happen in the future. They are

models depend on the assump-

lion and R15 billion could be used

not accurate but, using available

tions made by the people testing

by the NDoH alone, while the rest

data, they are predictions.

them. “One model suggests that

will be used by provincial health

we are likely to reach one million

departments.

He explains that there are three types of models that are useful in

infections – others estimate a

The consortium says it has pro-

planning the country’s response

much lower number,” he says.

jected the required budget for the first six months of the COVID-19

to COVID-19. These are predictive, intervention and spatial models. Mathematical equations are

Consortium predictions

response under both pessimistic and optimistic scenarios, covering

used in conjunction with avail-

The South African COVID-19 Mod-

the incremental cost of personal

able data with a number of

elling Consortium uses two main

protective equipment (PPE), addi-

assumptions to create predic-

models in making its calculated

tional ICU and hospital beds and

tive models, which estimate how

forecasts.

staff, additional primary health-

many people are likely to become

The National COVID-19 Epi

care staff, ventilators, oxygen,

infected and when the epidemic

Model estimates the total and

drugs at all levels of care, isolation

will peak.

reported incidence of COVID-19 in

facilities, testing and surveillance

the nine provinces. According to

and Port Health budgets.

Intervention models estimate the

Excluded are the costs of setting

impact of various interventions

the consortium, the outputs of the

on the rate of transmission that is

model may be used to inform re-

up and running field hospitals,

being modelled.

source requirements and predict

oxygen delivery equipment, ad-

Spatial models use geospatial

where gaps could arise, based on

ditional testing platforms beyond

maps to show where the objects

the available resources within the

the currently planned ones

under review, in our case COV-

South African health system.

and additional National Health

ID-19, are found, such as hotspots, he says. The data used in statistical mod-

The National COVID-19 Cost

Laboratory Service staff. Stipends

Model has been developed using

for additional community health

inputs from a range of health

workers to carry out screening

elling must relate to the problem

economists in South Africa, with

activities are excluded as these

that is being modelled. The data

contributing data from existing

are funded by a donor’s budget;

used for COVID-19 modelling

sources that were adapted to

their PPE and other equipment

includes the number of current

represent the type, number and

are, however, covered.

infections, the age structure of the

prices of ingredients required in

population, the estimated attack

the country’s COVID-19 response.

rate and other factors.

The consortium estimates

Most of the models estimate that the peak period of the infection rate will be between July and Au-

that government could spend

gust. However, they also estimate

made public, therefore, have dif-

anything between R26 billion and

that different provinces are likely

ferent estimates of the number of

R32 billion in six months (April to

to peak at different times, says Dr

infections at the peak, according

September) in the fight against

Pillay.

Different models that have been

Public Sector Manager • June 2020

19


FEATURE

The provincial outlook

Northern Cape, Free State and

have peaked at 1.2 million infected

The models expect that at best,

North West are expected to have

people by May this year.

the worst affected province will

less than 50 000 infections at the

be Gauteng, peaking at more

peak.

than 150 000 infections in August.

Dr Pillay says that the lockdown

While the consortium predicts one million infections in South Africa, a more hopeful outlook is

KwaZulu-Natal is expected to fol-

played a very crucial role in

that because of the strict lock-

low, with more than 100 000 cases

slowing down the virus. Had the

down, South Africa’s infection rate

while Western Cape, Eastern Cape

lockdown not been implemented,

may peak at an estimated 800 000

and Limpopo are each expected

estimates are that the infection

infections.

have more 50 000 infections. North

rate would have hit its peak earlier

West, Northern Cape, Mpumalan-

than is currently being projected

factors to be taken into account to

ga and Free State are all projected

with many move people being

bring the pandemic under control.

to have less than 40 000 infections

infected.

The lockdown is only one interven-

per province.

“One model estimates that the

Dr Pillay says: “There are many

tion.

The more pessimistic models ex-

lockdown decreased the num-

Government has developed a

pect that Gauteng will surpass the

ber of infections at the peak of

prevention toolbox with many inter-

200 000 infections mark, followed

epidemic curve and moved the

ventions, with the lockdown being

by KwaZulu-Natal with more than

peak outward by about six weeks,”

one of them. The others include so-

150 000 infections and Western

he says.

cial distancing; hand hygiene; use

Further projections from the con-

of face masks; sanitising surfaces;

Eastern Cape, Limpopo and Mpu-

sortium show that had South Africa

screening and testing; and isolat-

malanga could see more than

not gone into a strict lockdown,

ing people with symptoms, among

50 000 infections in each province.

the country’s infection rate would

others.

Cape with less than 100 000.

Provincial projections

20

Public Sector Manager • June 2020


TRAILBLAZER

Writer: Silusapho Nyanda

Pupils are acting out

Mixing it up He uses a combination of drama therapy and conventional teaching methods to teach isiXhosa and creative arts to his 47 pupils. James says the use of drama helps improve their attention span. He adds that if he stuck to conventional lessons only, some pupils

Charles James’ innovative teac hing met hods are producing results.

would not be able to keep up with the rest of the class because they battle to stay focused. James' combination of traditional oratory and writing teaching methods with drama therapy targets both those pupils who find comfort in learning through traditional means and those who react better to more colourful teaching methods. “When I came up with the idea, I noticed that most pupils enjoy creative arts more because they get a chance to play. However,

*Image taken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

H

I also noticed that some pupils were less engaged and found the

olding the interest of all the

Charles James, has chalked up

lesson less fun because they pre-

pupils in their class – de-

considerable success in this regard

fer to learn through reading books

spite the children’s diverse

by coming up with a fun way of

and other traditional methods.

personalities – is one the challenges

teaching that engages all of his

faced by teachers.

Grade 7 pupils.

Pupils’ attentiveness during a

James put on his thinking cap

“When it came to isiXhosa, the students who like books were happy but those who are easily

lesson is largely influenced by how

after realising that some pupils in

distracted grew bored as a result

much interest they have in the

his class were not realising their

of the theoretical nature of the

subject matter being taught. Skilled

potential because they were easily

lesson.”

teachers will find ways to ensure

distracted and lost concentration.

His approach to teaching now involves finding a balance between

that as many pupils as possible are

The 26-year-old has been a

engaged in the lesson by develop-

teacher at PJB Cona Primary

the style of teaching he used in

ing innovative teaching methods.

School in Zweletemba, Worcester,

his creative arts lessons and the

since 2018.

traditional methods he used to

A Western Cape teacher,

22

Public Sector Manager • June 2020


teach isiXhosa. The key to success is to not focus on one teaching method only, he

scenes from the books they are

ing around checking what we were

studying.

doing in classes and he walked in

“What we usually do after per-

on us doing drama. The principal

says. His decision to combine both

forming, is sit down and discuss

was impressed with what he found

teaching methods in one lesson

what happened. The pupils then

and supports what I have been

has resulted in an improvement in

express how they feel about a

doing.”

his pupils’ results.

particular scene or act. When they

“I have seen positive outcomes,

In the hopes of expanding the

write tests, it helps jog their memo-

interests of his pupils in theatre,

even in the assessments that we

ries as they recall what their class-

James is planning to take them

conduct in class. The students

mates did when they were acting

to watch theatre productions at

have taken a huge interest in

out the scene.”

the Baxter Theatre Centre in Cape

my methods and if a substitute teacher is ever needed, they come and ask me to fill in.” His new approach is lively. For

Town. He believes such trips will

Raising the curtain on a world of opportunity James, who has a Bachelor of

help expose the pupils to possible careers they can pursue in the arts field.

instance, when he teaches poetry

Education degree from the Cape

as part of the isiXhosa curriculum,

Peninsula University of Technology,

to be energetic and inventive

he gets those pupils who are good

was introduced to theatre when he

if they want to keep their pupils

at singing to hum a song in the

was in Grade 10 and found that it

engaged and this is a profession of

background as one of the pupils

was a great form of escapism.

motivators whose job it is to pave

does a monologue recitation of

Today, his pupils have also dis-

James says young teachers need

the way for future leaders.

covered that theatre allows them

“Education as a profession is not

to either momentarily forget their

for everyone. It’s a calling driven by

stand the poems better if we learnt

problems or to work them out. “Pu-

passion and dedication. When you

them in a theatrical way. What I

pils are transformed into different

are a teacher, you have to give it

do is ask some students to stand

characters when they are perform-

your all. You must be everything to

at the one end of the class. I then

ing and that helps them channel

the leaders of tomorrow by setting

have them humming along as

their own problems,” he says.

an example. Teach with passion

the poem. “I felt the pupils would under-

another student delivers the poem

James also participates in the

as if they were performing in a

theatre that takes place in his

theatre.”

classes. The performances by the

and be dedicated to reaching your aims,” he says. As the country commemorates

pupils and teacher have been

Youth Month, James' advice to

into his lessons. For instance, he

made into videos and posted on

young people is to seize the oppor-

had them research the various

James’ Facebook account. These

tunities they are presented with.

dances that originated in South

have received rave reviews from

“Time wasted will never return.

Africa and then put on a perfor-

social media users. The methods

Every opportunity one gets in life

mance in class to demonstrate

employed by James have also re-

you have to grab it with both hands

umxhentso, the traditional dancing

ceived the support of his principal.

and make use of it. Life is too short

“I did not tell the principal what I

to gamble with opportunities,” he

James also incorporates dance

of the Xhosa people. Pupils also act out different

Public Sector Manager • June 2020

was planning. One day, he was go-

says.

23


OPINION

*Writer: Percy Morokane

Encouraging Africa’s youth to reach for the sky A

frica has made great

Of course, we cannot adopt a

types, in order for more Africans to

strides in recent decades,

blanket approach in dealing with

embrace careers in those sectors

but it seems to be a long

and addressing Africa’s many

that have always been deemed,

way off from the African Union’s

challenges. It is imperative that

at the very least, ‘unconventional’.

(AU) goal of achieving the ‘Africa

we interrogate ourselves as the

We Want’. To reach what is one of

African Diaspora so that we can

Careers in aviation

the key goals of the AU’s Agenda

determine what the ‘Africa we

One of the most notable myths of

2063 – raise the competitiveness of

want’ should and will look like;

this kind is that aviation is a career

Africa’s economies – the continent

what challenges we are faced

for the affluent and elite; this is pa-

will need to grow innovation and

with; and what can be done to

tently not true. Air Traffic and Navi-

continue to enhance the skills of

address these.

gation Services (ATNS) is focused

its people. Aviation plays a crucial role in sustainable development.

One of the answers is most

on encouraging more learners,

certainly to provide increased

especially those from previously

education and employment op-

disadvantaged backgrounds, to

specific sustainable goals that the

portunities for both the youth and

consider a career in civil aviation.

world should aim to achieve by

women. This would raise Africa's

Not only is the importance of civil

2030. The majority of these goals

labour productivity and promote

aviation recognised in the social

are based on improving living

innovation and competitiveness in

and economic development of

conditions and economic growth

all spheres of life.

nations, but it is also fun and offers

The United Nations has set 17

across the globe, and most especially in our continent.

24

Key to success in this regard is overcoming myths and stereo-

a diverse career path. ATNS encourages youngsters by

Public Sector Manager • June 2020


exposing them to career options

desire to see more women in this

we are to reach our goal, we

they may otherwise not have

sector.

need to recognise that we are

thought of, due to its remoteness

The extent of diversity and

a diverse continent, and it is in

from their residential locations. For

inclusion in aerospace of under-

our diversity that we can co-

this reason, ATNS visits rural areas

represented groups such as

exist best. The youth of Africa

that have limited exposure to avia-

women, minority ethnic groups,

must come together and work

tion, with a view of educating the

people with disabilities and un-

towards building the future of

youth about careers in aviation

der-represented socio-economic

the continent – it is in their hands

and encouraging them to pursue

groups remains a contested

now.

these.

issue globally.

Innovation is the heart of our in-

With these contestations, it is

The ultimate AU vision is of an integrated, prosperous and

dustry. Research shows that in the

crucial to highlight that activities

peaceful Africa that is driven by

past 30 years, our industry has ex-

aimed at addressing matters

its own citizens and represents

perienced a variation of changes

relating to inclusion and diversity

a dynamic force in the global

that have both challenged and

in aerospace of under-represent-

arena. Achieving this vision will

developed the industry.

ed groups will require a long-

take hard work and effort, and

term strategic approach.

it begins by encouraging the

The next 30 years are bound to be affected by technology and

Having realised South Africa’s

youth of the continent to unite

research shows that Africa will be

true potential, and what could

and work together in solving

one of the fastest-growing aviation

be done to unlock it, we have

Africa’s problems.

regions over the next 20 years, with

been playing an active role in

annual expansion averaging near-

the country’s transformation and

who may have otherwise never

ly five percent. This means that,

development. This includes en-

considered this as a career path,

if nurtured, incredible economic

couraging the youth to take up

ATNS believes that as a country

opportunities await the continent’s

careers in aviation and support-

we are moving one step closer

54 nations.

ing the upgrade of ICT infrastruc-

to achieving this goal. We there-

ture at certain key rural schools.

fore urge young people from

Statistics show that the avia-

By introducing aviation to those

tion industry already supports

If we truly hope to one day

some 6.9 million jobs and $80

have the ‘Africa We Want’, we

themselves to be held back by

billion (about R1.2 trillion) of the

will all need to focus even more

individual or collective circum-

economic activity on the African

intently on nurturing local talent

stance or background, but to

continent comes from transporting

and developing the consider-

instead dream beyond their cur-

approximately 70 million passen-

able potential of our people. In

rent boundaries and reach for

gers annually.

this regard, ATNS plays a vital role

the stars. This is the only way we

in attracting, selecting, recruiting,

will ever achieve the Africa that

training and retaining person-

we all truly want.

Advocates of transformation Moreover, as advocates of transformation, we are also driven by the

Public Sector Manager • June 2020

across the continent not to allow

nel, via our own Aviation Training Academy. Most importantly though, if

Percy Morokane is the spokesperson of the ATNS.

25


INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS FEATURE

Writer: Dale Hes

Boosting intra-Africa trade T

he African Continental Free

transforming the continent’s eco-

trade between countries, while

Trade Area (AfCFTA) has tre-

nomic landscape.

also streamlining the free move-

mendous potential to boost

For many years, the African Union

intra-African trade and position the

(AU) has acknowledged the need

continent as a global powerhouse.

for economic integration between

This flagship project has rapidly

African countries. One of the key

upped gears from its planning

drivers towards achieving this aim

phases, and is now on the brink of

is to increase the ease of doing

ment of business travellers and investments.

Establishing one of the world’s largest free trade areas Historically, trade between African countries has been low, hovering between 15 percent and 18 percent of total exports. This compares to 68 percent intracontinental exports in Europe and 59 percent in Asia. In 2012, the AU Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, committed to establishing a Continental Free Trade Area which would boost intra-Africa trade. Negotiations commenced at the summit in Johannesburg in 2015, and after a series of 10 negotiation sessions over the next three years, three key agreements were signed in 2018.

26

Public Sector Manager • June 2020


These included the African Continental Free Trade Agreement,

linkages among our countries.” “This accelerated growth and

Benefits of establishing the free trade area

which commits to establishing

sustainable development of

The United Nations Economic

a single market for goods and

African countries will enable us

Commission for Africa estimates

services across 54 countries on

to realise the vision of the African

that the agreement will boost

the African continent. This market

Union and Agenda 2063: ‘An in-

intra-Africa trade by 52 percent by

covers some 1.2 billion people,

tegrated, prosperous and peace-

2022.

with a gross domestic product of

ful Africa, driven by its citizens,

US$2.5 trillion.

representing a dynamic force in

provide immense benefits to the

the global arena.’”

continent in a number of areas.

The establishment of the AfCFTA

The AU has said that this will

“Consolidating this continent

has become one of the AU’s flagthat an effective free trade area

The finer points of the agreement

will more than double intra-Africa

The launch of the operational

prises, businesses and consumers

trade, thereby strengthening the

phase has set the cogs turning

across Africa and the chance to

continent’s common voice in

on a number of key instruments

support sustainable development

global trade negotiations.

governing the effective establish-

in the world’s least developed

ment of the free trade area.

region,” the AU points out.

ship projects. The AU envisages

On 30 May, 2019, the AfCFTA agreement officially came into

These include a reduction of

into one trade area provides great opportunities for trading enter-

The AfCFTA is particularly ex-

force, bringing into being the

tariffs between African countries,

pected to boost industrial exports

world’s largest trading block since

an online mechanism of monitor-

and shift Africa’s economy away

the establishment of the World

ing and reporting, the establish-

from reliance on commodities.

Trade Organisation. On 7 July

ment of a Pan-African payment

2019 the operational phase of

system and the launch of the

Africa’s trade and encouraging a

the agreement was launched.

African Trade Observatory, which

move away from extractive com-

seeks to provide a trade informa-

modities, such as oil and minerals,

tion portal.

which have traditionally account-

Albert Muchanga, the AU Commissioner of Trade and Industry,

“This is important for diversifying

said that the launch was a signifi-

“The AfCFTA shall be fully sup-

ed for most of Africa’s exports,

cant milestone towards achieving

ported with well-defined rules of

towards a more balanced and

an integrated Africa, in line with

origin; schedules of tariff conces-

sustainable export base.”

the AU’s Agenda 2063.

sions in trade in goods; an online

Due to this diversification, the

continental non-tariff barriers

trade area is likely to create mil-

making it work, Africa is overcom-

monitoring and elimination

lions more jobs, because more

ing the historic fragmentation

mechanism; a Pan-African digital

people will need to be employed

and isolation of her economies

payments and settlement plat-

in work-intensive sectors such as

by opening up huge commercial

form as well as an African Trade

manufacturing and agriculture.

opportunities as well as improving

Observatory portal,” Muchanga

transport and communication

explained.

“In launching the AfCFTA and

Public Sector Manager • June 2020

The free trade area will also give small and medium businesses –

27


INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS FEATURE

which account for 80 percent of

an integral part of rebalancing

international investor community

Africa’s businesses – the stepping

global trade relations. The era of

that Africa is open for business,

stones they need to penetrate

economic colonialism and im-

based on a single rulebook for

regional markets.

perialism, under which Africa is

trade and investment,” Mene

a pit stop in the global assembly

said in his acceptance speech.

South Africa’s pivotal role

line, has passed.” South Africa’s involvement in

Mene added that the continent should not let global

As AU Chairperson, President Cyril

the AfCTFA process was further

economic challenges such as

Ramaphosa will play a pivotal

deepened with the appoint-

the COVID-19 pandemic stand

role in overseeing the implemen-

ment of South African diplomat

in the way of progress.

tation of the AfCTFA. When he

Wamkele Mene as the first

took over the role in February

Secretary-General of the AfCTFA

fall into despondency – from a

this year, he said his focus would

in March.

trade perspective, we should

be on ensuring that the free

“The AfCTFA has the potential

“Africa should not despair and

see this crisis as an opportunity

trade area manifests into real

to be a catalyst for industrial

– through the AfCFTA we have

results.

development, placing Africa

an opportunity to reconfigure

on a path to exporting value-

our supply chains, to reduce reli-

field for African businesses, so

added products, improving

ance on others and to expedite

they are able to operate in a

Africa’s competitiveness both in

the establishment of regional

large-scale market unfettered by

its own markets and globally. It

value chains that will boost intra-

regulatory fragmentation. This is

also sends a strong signal to the

Africa trade.”

“We have to level the playing

28

Public Sector Manager • June 2020


COVID-19 WORKPLACE SAFETY

Writer: More Matshediso

Working hard to ensure

workers’ safety

A

s thousands of employees

gies and policies to minimise the

the direction and how it will be

return to the workplace

spread of COVID-19.

implemented.

following the easing of the

“The direction reflects all that we

• They must inform employees

lockdown, government is deter-

have learnt about the virus and

that if they have COVID-19

mined to ensure their safety and

how to combat it over the period

symptoms they must not be at

provide them with the necessary

of the lockdown, and from inter-

work and grant paid sick leave

support.

national best practice,” explained

or apply for COVID-19 Tem-

the Minister.

porary Eemployer/ Employee

Minister of Employment and Labour Thulas Nxesi issued a direc-

“Businesses that are re-opening

tion that sets out the measures

must put these measures in place

employers are required to take to

before restarting work,” he added.

Relief Scheme (TERS) benefits. benefits. • The employer must appoint

prevent the transmission of the

Employers are expected to put

a manager (from within the

coronavirus (COVID19) in work-

in place measures to protect the

existing structure) to address

places.

health and safety of everyone in

the concerns of employees and

their workplace, including employ-

workplace representatives.

The direction is in terms of Regulation 10 (8) of the Regulations

ees of contractors, self-employed

issued by the Minister of Coopera-

persons and volunteers.

tive Governance and Traditional

• They must take measures to minimise the contact between workers and the public to pre-

Affairs in terms of Section 27 (2)

Clear plan

of the Disaster Management Act,

The process starts with a risk as-

2002.

sessment in the workplace and a

of workers in the workplace at

vent transmission. • They must minimise the number

clear plan to implement the meas-

any time through shift or work-

that the measures taken by em-

ures contained in the direction,

ing arrangements to achieve

ployers under the Occupational

which states that every employer

social distancing.

Health and Safety Act are consist-

must:

ent with the overall national strate-

• Notify workers of the contents of

“The direction seeks to ensure

30

• The employer must provide employees with information

Public Sector Manager • June 2020


concerning COVID-19 and how

More importantly, the worker puts

Inspections

to prevent its transmission.

themselves – and their co-workers

Labour inspectors will to pro-

– at risk.”

mote, monitor and enforce com-

• They must report any diagnosis of COVID-19 at work to the De-

Workers with symptoms must be

pliance with the direction and

partment of Health and the De-

placed in isolation and arrange-

any employer who does not

partment of Employment and

ments made for their safe trans-

comply with it may be ordered

Labour, investigate the cause,

port for a medical examination or

to close their business.

and take appropriate measures.

for self-isolation.

It is a contravention not to do so

Employers are also expected

“As the failure to comply fully with the OHSA is a criminal of-

to provide sufficient quantities of

fence, failure to take the neces-

hand sanitiser with at least 70 per-

sary measures to prevent the

tracing measures initiated by

cent alcohol content. They must

transmission of COVID-19 may

the Department of Health.

ensure that work surfaces, equip-

as an employer. • They must support any contact

With regard to social distancing,

ment and

result in criminal prosecution,” said the Minister.

the Minister said workplaces must

common

be arranged to ensure a minimum

areas

Inspection and Enforce-

of 1.5m between workers.

such as

ment Service unit con-

“If this is not practicable, physi-

toilets, door

cal barriers must be erected and

handles

workers must be supplied free of

and shared

charge with appropriate Personal

equipment are

Protective Equipment (PPE).”Social

regularly cleaned

distancing must be implemented

and disinfected. Em-

in all common areas in and of the

ployers must provide

workplace to prevent.

facilities for hand wash-

Employers must also screen workers for symptoms of COVID-19 at the time that they report for work,

ing with soap and clean water and sufficient paper towels. All workers must wear masks and

The department’s

ducted inspections at 2 789 workplaces throughout the country between 30 April and 8 May. It found that 1 237 organisations were not compliant with the OHSA and issued 1 463 notices, including contravention notices,

namely: fever, cough, sore throat,

members of the public entering a

improvement notices and prohi-

redness of eyes or shortness of

workplace are also expected to

bition notices.

breath (or difficulty in breathing);

do so.

body aches, loss of smell or loss of

“Employers must provide each

Of these inspections, 411 were conducted at government

taste, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea,

employee, free of charge, with

and or state-owned enterprises

fatigue, weakness or tiredness.

at least two cloth masks to wear

where the rate of compliance

while at work or commuting. There

was at 50 percent.

“Workers should immediately

The department is gearing up

inform the employer if they experi-

must be suitable arrangements

ence any symptoms while at work.

for washing and drying masks. The

for more inspections as more

Not doing so is a contravention

employer remains responsible for

organisations increase their op-

of the Occupational Health and

the maintenance and upkeep of

erations and more employees

Safety Act (OHSA) by the worker.

PPEs.”

gradually return to work.

Public Sector Manager • June 2020

31


COVID-19 WORKPLACE SAFETY

Unemployment Insurance Fund

payment goes

One of the department’s major

straight to

tasks during the lockdown has

the ac-

been to repurpose the Unem-

count of the

ployment Insurance Fund (UIF)

worker thus

to facilitate the flow of benefit

eliminating

payments to mitigate the effects

further wait-

of lay-offs.

ing period.”

The introduction of the COVID-19

The depart-

TERS and massive increase in

ment is able to process

claims required that the depart-

payments within 48 hours.

ment completely redesign the ar-

The Minister’s quest to ensure

chitecture and supporting systems

that vulnerable workers benefit

of the UIF claims process.

from the CVOID-19 TERS has ben-

represents a drop in the ocean in

efited domestic workers, who have

terms of domestic workers on our

been being paid directly.

systems whose number is almost

This saw the UIF shifting from individual walk-in claims to mass distribution hubs through online

By the middle of May, UIF figures

a million.

applications supported by the call

showed that 14 113 domestic

centre for enquiries.

workers had benefited from the

domestic workers to apply on their

special lockdown benefit to the

behalf so that they benefit from

tune of R55 572 870.00.

the relief scheme that government

Minister Nxesi said the UIF has now started paying workers directly in their bank accounts instead of through employers only. “What this means is that workers do not have to wait until employ-

A further 10 092 employers

“We need more employers of

availed to ensure that we mitigate

lodged claims on behalf of do-

the worst effects of the lockdown,”

mestic workers.

said Minister Nxesi.

“Certainly, we are beginning to

The department is also going

ers transfer their benefits to their

ensure that the spirit and let-

through its database to reach

accounts.

ter of our intervention is reach-

out to farm workers who are also

ing the most vulnerable of our

vulnerable groups.

“While the claim is submitted by the employer who would have all

society. While we are happy that

the information that is pertinent

the efforts are beginning to bear

of May, the UIF distributed R13.3

to make the payments, the actual

fruit, we are worried that this still

billion to 2 401 973 workers.

32

Between 16 April and the middle

Public Sector Manager • June 2020


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FEATURE

Source: SAnews

SA moves to Alert Level 3

S

outh Africa moved to coro-

Economic Development and La-

navirus Alert Level 3 from 1

bour Council. The President also

June, with more sectors of the

consulted with leaders of political,

guided by several criteria, includ-

economy opening and the removal

traditional leaders, leadership of

ing the level of infections and rate

of a number of restrictions on the

interfaith communities, the South

of transmission, the capacity of

movement of people.

African Council of Churches and

health facilities, the extent of the

the tourism industry.

implementation of public health

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the country’s progres-

“While the nation-wide lockdown

lockdown,” said the President. This risk-adjusted approach is

interventions and the economic

sion from Alert Level 4 to Level 3 of

has been effective, it cannot be

and social impact of continued

the national lockdown following

sustained indefinitely. We intro-

restrictions.

consultative meetings with the

duced the five-level coronavirus

“It is on the basis of these criteria

business, labour and community

(COVID-19) alert system to man-

– and following consultation – that

constituencies of the National

age the gradual easing of the

Cabinet has determined that the alert level for the whole country should be lowered from Level 4 to Level 3 with effect from 1 June 2020.” President Ramaphosa said implementation of Level 3 involves the return to operation of most sectors of the economy, subject to observance of strict health protocols and social distancing rules. The opening of the economy and other activities also means that more public servants have been called back to work. This was done in accordance with provi-

34

Public Sector Manager • June 2020


sions of the Occupational Health

60 years of age and those who suf-

with areas that have far higher lev-

and Safety Act and guided by the

fer from underlying conditions such

els of infection and transmission.

Department of Public Service and

as heart disease, diabetes, chronic

A hotspot is defined as an area

Administration, working together

respiratory disease and cancer

that has more than five infected

with all other government depart-

should ideally stay at home.”

people per every 100 000 peo-

ments.

ple or where new infections are increasing at a fast pace.

Protocols and workplace plans

areas, government will implement

As more sectors of the economy

intensive interventions aimed at

open, government is relying on so-

decreasing the number of new

cial compacts with role players to

infections.

To deal with the virus in these

address the key risk factors at the

“We are putting in place enhanced measures of surveillance,

workplace and in the interface be-

Employees who can work from

tween employees and the public.

home should be allowed to do so,

infection control and manage-

urged the President

ment. We will assign a full-time

“We will therefore be finalising a number of sector protocols and will

Subject to these measures, manufacturing, mining, construction, financial services, professional

team of experienced personnel to each hotspot,” the President said. This team will include epidemiolo-

and business services, informa-

gists, family practitioners, nurses,

tion technology, communications,

community health workers, public

government services and media services, commenced full reopening from 1 June. Wholesale and retail trade are require every company to develop

now fully opened, including stores,

a workplace plan before they re-

spaza shops and informal traders.

open,” said the President.

E-commerce continues to remain

According to these plans, com-

open. Other sectors that opened

panies will need to put in place

previously, such as agriculture and

sanitary and social distancing

forestry, utilities, medical services,

measures and facilities, screen

food production and manufacture

health experts and emergency

workers on arrival each day, quar-

of hygiene products, remain fully

medical services, to be supported

antine those who may be infected

open.

by Cuban experts.

and make arrangements for them

“We will link each hotspot to

COVID-19 hotspots

testing services, isolation facilities,

“They also need to assist with

As part of South Africa’s risk-adjust-

quarantine facilities, treatment, hos-

contact tracing if employees test

ed strategy to manage the spread

pital beds and contact tracing.

positive. Because of their vulner-

of COVID-19, the country will have

ability, all staff who are older than

a differentiated approach to deal

to be tested.

Public Sector Manager • June 2020

“Should it be necessary, any part of the country could be returned

35


FEATURE

Writer: More Matshediso

to alert levels 4 or 5 if the spread of

ing hairdressing and beauty

infection is not contained despite

services.

overwhelmed.” The list of hotspot areas will be

The President noted that according to these models, South Africans

our interventions and there is a risk of our health facilities being

planning and budgeting.

Movement of people and sale of alcohol People are now able to exercise at

can expect the number of COVID-19 cases in the country to rise further and faster.

reviewed every two weeks depend-

any time during the day provided

ing on the progression of the virus.

they do not do so in groups. The

tant things. Firstly, that the corona-

curfew on the movement of people

virus pandemic in South Africa is

has also been lifted.

going to get much worse before it

The President said about 60 000 community health workers have

“These models tell us two impor-

gets better.

been going door-to-door across

“Alcohol may be sold for home

the country to identify possible

consumption only under strict con-

cases of coronavirus.

ditions, on specified days and for

they tell us that the duration, scale

limited hours. Announcements in

and impact of the pandemic de-

“In preparation for the expected

“Secondly, and most importantly,

increase in infections, around 20

pends on our actions as a society

000 hospital beds have been, and

and on our behaviour as individu-

are being, repurposed for COV-

als.”

ID-19 cases, and 27 field hospitals

With the risk of a massive increase

are being built around the coun-

in infections now greater than ever,

try. A number of these hospitals

the President reiterated that it was

are ready to receive coronavirus

time for South Africans to intensify

patients.”

their efforts and deepen cooperation in the fight against COVID-19.

High-risk economic activities prohibited

“Now, we look once again to you, to your actions and to your sense

Under Level 3, high-risk economic

of responsibility. We look to you to

activities remain prohibited. These

this regard will be made once we

uphold the sanctity of life and the

include:

have concluded discussions with

dignity of all people.

• Restaurants, bars and taverns,

the sector on the various condi-

except for delivery or collection of food. • Accommodation and domestic air travel, except for business

tions,” the President said. The sale of tobacco products re-

• Conferences, events, entertainment and sporting activities. • Personal care services, includ-

36

weakest and most vulnerable among us. We look to you to dem-

mains prohibited, due to the health

onstrate the solidarity and com-

risks associated with smoking.

passion that has characterised the response of the South African

travel, which will be phased in on dates to be announced.

“We look to you to protect the

Infections to the rise Various models have been built to

people to this crisis.” He urged South Africans to unite

predict the trajectory of the virus

in action and tackle the pandemic

and help inform government's

as one people.

Public Sector Manager • June 2020


FEATURE

Writers: Allison Cooper and SAnews

Alert Level 3: Rebuilding SA's economy S

outh Africa now finds itself at

cans,” explained Minister Dlamini

productive services. It means that

coronavirus Alert Level 3 – a

Zuma.

the country’s steel mills, textile

phase that entails govern-

Economic Development Minister

operations, chemical plants and

ment intensifying efforts to rebuild

Ebrahim Patel described Level 3

plastic operations will operate at

the economy while still saving lives.

as the most significant reopening

full capacity.

Under Level 3, many more economic activities are permitted, with about 8 million workers, among

since the lockdown was implemented in March. “If Level 5, and to some extent

Under Level 3, electronics, furniture and other sectors will all be able to produce for both the South

them most public servants return-

Level 4 were directed at detailed

African market and for export to

ing to work.

regulations and having as many

the rest of the world.

The Minister of Cooperative

people at home, Level 3 is based

While under previous levels of

Governance and Traditional Affairs,

on most South Africans being at

lockdown, the retail sector was

Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, an-

work. That is the big shift in Level 3,

open under limited conditions,

nounced Level 3’s regulations re-

and the shift is therefore to a more

under the new regulations people

cently. Various ministers have since

flexible and collaborative set of

can purchase appliances, elec-

expanded on these regulations.

arrangements, including regula-

tronic goods and all clothing items.

“This risk level, thanks to the employ of the Risk Adjusted Strategy, allows us to maintain the delicate

tions that enable businesses to do more,” he said. Level 3 opens up the country’s

Under Level 3: Everyone who enters a workplace or public space

balancing act between saving the

core productive sectors from

or uses public transport must

lives and livelihoods of South Afri-

manufacturing and mining to all

wear a face mask or home-

38

Public Sector Manager • June 2020


made item that covers the nose and mouth. The curfew has been lifted. Alcohol sales are allowed from Monday to Thursday, from 9am to 5pm, however on-site consumption is prohibited. Time restrictions on all road-based public transport modes has been lifted, but capacity restrictions remain. Domestic workers can return to work. Domestic air travel, for business purposes, is allowed. Exercise is allowed daily, be-

spectators.

prohibited. However, provi-

tween 6am and 6pm, but not

Hairdressers and beauty

sion has been made for a

in organised groups.

services remain closed.

competent court to grant an

All wholesale and retail

Travel between provinces,

eviction order if it’s just and

stores, including spaza shops,

metropolitan areas, districts

equitable.

are open.

and hotspots, with the excep-

Religious gatherings are al-

tion of those in possession

Permits for movement

lowed.

of a permit to start work,

“The South African Police Service

International travel is allowed

attend a funeral, conduct

and other law enforcement agen-

only under exceptional

essential services and Level

cies will continue to monitor local

circumstances, including

3 functions or move to a new

and inter-provincial movements,

returning to work, study or a

residence. Travel between

by holding roadblocks on national

residence in South Africa or

these areas is also allowed

highways and rotating in suburbs,

abroad.

for those who need to care

cities and towns,” said Police Minis-

The following is prohibited:

for an immediate family

ter Bheki Cele.

The sale of tobacco, tobacco

member, transport mortal re-

products, e-cigarettes and

mains, obtain medical treat-

to carry permits with them. These

related products, except for

ment, return to their place of

are issued by the head of the

export.

residence from a quarantine

relevant school or educational

Social gatherings.

or isolation facility or attend

institution. Adults who transport

Visiting family and friends.

school or an institution of

children to school must have a

Public training, fitness and

higher learning. Members of

permit issued by the head of the

recreation facilities, except

Parliament may travel to per-

school or educational institution

for professional non-contact

form oversight responsibilities.

that the child attends.

sports matches, without

The eviction of tenants is still

Public Sector Manager • June 2020

Children who go to school have

The regulations distinguish

39


FEATURE

between children who are moved

tional state of disaster, have been

Public and private game

within district and metropolitan

extended to 31 July.

farms can open for self-drive

boundaries, and those who need

excursions. However, South

a child legally from one residence

Non-urgent court cases postponed

to another, within the same district

Minister Cele said the Department

open-access parks will open.

or metropolitan area, an adult

of Justice and Constitutional De-

Hiking is allowed, but not in

must have a court order, parenting

velopment will issue directives for

groups.

plan or permit issued by a magis-

court operations during Level 3.

Accommodation activities

trate. To move a child legally to a

“The department will prioritise

are allowed for permitted

to cross these boundaries. To move

African National Parks has announced that only its

different district, metropolitan area

urgent cases relating to corruption,

services, but not leisure.

or province, an adult must have a

sexual offences, gender-based vio-

Hunting is allowed.

permit issued by a magistrate.

lence and femicide, serious violent

Domestic commercial flights

crimes, robbery, murder, assault

for business travel is allowed.

Borders still closed

and violation of COVID-19 regula-

Car rentals are allowed..

South Africa’s borders are still

tions for speedy resolution.

Long-distance public trans-

closed for travel, except for the

port, including inter-provincial

“Where appropriate, the courts

evacuation of stranded and dis-

will use audio-visual communica-

travel is allowed.

tressed South African citizens, the

tion, such as teleconferencing and

The following remain prohib-

evacuation of foreign nationals by

videoconferencing to conclude

ited:

their respective foreign missions,

urgent cases. All cases which are

Conferences, events and

the movement of medical treat-

not urgent will be postponed.”

entertainment.

ment cases and the transportation

Casinos.

of goods to and from neighbouring

Tourism

countries.

Tourism Minister Mmamoloko

Leisure travel. The Minister said that government

Kubayi-Ngubane said lockdown

and the private sector have com-

bouring countries who attend

has been difficult for the tourism

mitted to working towards getting

school will be allowed to enter our

sector.

more tourism subsectors to open

“Daily commuters from neigh-

borders with a special permit, sub-

However, under Level 3, tourism

ject to all COVID-19 regulations on

activities that are supportive of the

transport and health,” said Minister

re-opening of the economy can

Maritime sector

Cele.

re-open.

There are no changes to the regu-

No visa or permitting functions will be open to the public in South

Level 3’s regulations for the sector

at Level 3.

lations regarding the movement of ships.

state:

“The ban on passenger vessels

Africa or at missions abroad during

Tour guides, tour operators,

Level 3.

travel agents and tourism

and cruise liners remains in place,

information officers can go

and only vessels bringing in cargo

remain closed. All asylum seeker

back to work. The training

are allowed to call on our ports.

permits lawfully issued, which have

of nature guides and other

Movement of cargo from our

expired or will expire during the na-

related services is permitted.

sea-ports to its final destination is

Asylum and refugee services will

40

Public Sector Manager • June 2020


allowed. Similarly, full operations for the port of Mossel Bay and port of Saldanha Bay for movement of cargo is permitted,” said Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula. “Allowance will be made for South African-registered seafarers to embark and disembark ships with a mandatory quarantine for those returning,” he added.

Aviation sector Limited domestic air travel for busi-

inside terminal buildings, tempera-

and they must be disinfected

ness purposes is allowed, subject

ture screening will be conducted

after off-loading. Drivers, baggage

to restrictions on the number of

at entrances and a mask has to

handlers and ground handlers

flights per day and authorisation

be worn. All airports will have floor

must be fully equipped with

for travel.The availability of port

markings, to ensure social distanc-

appropriate personal protective

health services will also guide the

ing. This is applicable at check-in

equipment.

scheduling of flights.

counters, security checkpoints

Aviation training organisations

and airport lounges. All airport

can conduct virtual and in con-

flights will be rolled out in three

personnel will wear masks and all

tact aviation training to students

phases. “The initial period will serve

airline check-in agents will wear

who are South African citizens

as a trial period to stress test the

face shields. Protective screens will

and to foreign students who are

system and measures to deter-

be installed on counters, which will

already in the country.

mine if they are holding up or not,”

be frequently sanitised.

The resumption of domestic

Minister Mbalula said.

Passengers are encouraged to

Rail

use self-check-in to avoid queues.

While the Gautrain resumed op-

ternational Airport, Cape Town

Boarding will be staggered and

erations at the beginning of May

International Airport, King Shaka

sectional boarding will be imple-

and its airport service from 1 June,

International Airport and Lanseria

mented to avoid unnecessary

the Minister said that the Passen-

International Airport can oper-

contact inside the aircraft. Full ca-

ger Rail Agency of South Africa

ate. Phase two will include Kruger

pacity is allowed inside the cabin.

is not ready to resume with the

In phase one, OR Tambo In-

Mpumalanga International Airport,

There will be no catering or

Metrorail commuter service. A revised target date of 1 July has

Polokwane International Airport

magazines on-board, and the

and Bram Fischer Airport; while

last row is reserved for isolation of

been set for the lines from Pretoria

phase three will include Kimberley

suspected cases.All aircrafts must

to Pienaarspoort, Cape Town to

Airport, Upington Airport, East Lon-

be disinfected before entering into

Simonstown, East London to Berlin

don Airport, Umtata Airport and

service and after each flight.

and Port Elizabeth to Uitenhage.

Port Elizabeth Airport. Only passengers are allowed

Public Sector Manager • June 2020

Loading capacity for all airport buses is limited to 70 percent,

Long-distance trains remain prohibited.

41


FEATURE FEATURE

Writer: More Matshediso

Third of student population returns to campus

A

maximum of 33 percent

line with the national risk-adjusted

tivity and access to residence

of the student population

strategy. This includes putting

and private accommodation.

will be allowed to return to

remote learning systems in place

• Students in all years of study

campuses, delivery sites and resi-

as well as planning the gradual

who require clinical training

dences under Alert Level three of

return to various campuses during

in their programmes (pro-

government’s risk-adjusted strategy

various phases of the risk-adjusted

vided that the clinical training

aimed at curbing the spread of the

strategy,” the minister said.

platforms have sufficient space and can accommodate them

coronavirus (COVID-19). and Innovation Minister Blade

Categories of students to return

Nzimande stressed that these

The returning students will include

students will only be allowed to

the following cohorts:

require laboratory equipment

return to campuses on condition

• All groups that returned during

and other technical equipment

Higher Education, Science

that they can be safely accommodated and supported, in line with

Alert Level four. • Students in the final year of

while adhering to the safety protocols). • Post-graduate students who

to undertake their studies. In addition to the above, the min-

the health and safety protocols as

their programmes, who are on

ister said institutions may consider

directed by the department.

a path to graduating in 2020.

selected return of other categories

“The post school education and

• Final-year students who require

of students to residences who may

training (PSET) sector is committed

access to laboratories, techni-

face extreme difficulties in their

to resume academic activities in

cal equipment, data, connec-

home learning environments, pro-

42

Public Sector Manager • June 2020


vided that the above categories

affected, Minister Nzimande said

Aid Scheme (NSFAS) students in

are prioritised and all safety and

the quality of qualifications has

universities and TVET colleges,” the

logistical requirements are met.

not been compromised.

minister said.

This will only apply to institu-

The data bundles will be used to

on the readiness and capacity of

Zero-rated educational sites for students

each institution.

The minister also announced that

tions based in districts that will be moving to Level three, depending

access additional content that is not covered under the zero-rating agreement. The department has success-

educational content sites of public

fully negotiated with all mobile

ported through remote multimodal

institutions of higher education

network operators for favourable

teaching, learning and assess-

and training have been zero-rated.

rates for NSFAS students, including

All other students will be sup-

ment until they can return to campus. The minister noted that some

This will benefit students who

FunzaLushaka students who will

have enrolled in public universities,

receive 10GB day-time and 20GB

technical vocational education

night-time data for three months,

institutions may identify other

and training (TVET) colleges, com-

until the end of August. This will be

groups of students, in line with their

munity education and training

subsidised by government.

particular contexts, who should

colleges, agricultural and nursing

return to campus. However, the

colleges.

minister said any deviation from

This means that access to

Digital devices The department acknowledged

the criteria must be approved

institutional websites will be free,

that the cost of connectivity re-

by the department and must fall

although some of the embedded

mains a huge barrier for students

within the maximum of 33 percent

content, like YouTube and videos,

who want to use the digital learn-

of the student population.

will be charged.

ing mode as part of multimodal

The ministry will publish national

This new development is thanks

and remote learning. To further

directives on the broad param-

to the collaboration between

address this challenge, Minister

eters and conditions under which

Higher Education, Science and

Nzimande aims to supply an ap-

each institution must plan for the

Innovation; the Department of

propriate digital device, most likely

controlled resumption of all forms

Communications and Digital Tech-

a tablet, to NSFAS students regis-

and levels of academic activity to

nologies; and electronic network

tered at public institutions.

complete the 2020 academic year.

providers, including the mobile

The department is working

network operators.

He said government is committed to ensure that all NSFAS

closely with all education quality

“This is a huge step forward and

students have access to an ap-

assurance bodies in South Africa

highlighted the effective collabora-

propriate device to support their

to ensure that COVID-19 measures

tion between the department and

online learning and to ensure that

do not affect the quality of qualifi-

the telecommunications sector.

no student is left behind.

cations offered by PSET institutions.

The next step is to make educa-

While institutions’ methodology of offering programmes has been

Public Sector Manager • June 2020

“Some universities have already

tional data bundles available

issued their students with laptops,

to all National Student Financial

some as part of their normal

43


FEATURE

policies, others as a response to

period and move South African

COVID-19. A lot of work had to be

education into the modern era,

undertaken to quantify the exact

offering access to wider resources

network operators to work with

number and location of students

and teaching materials.

institutions to offer affordable pack-

who still need to be issued with devices.” The minister added that work has been completed and procurement will commence as soon as

This will also be extended to TVET students. Giving them access to

a position to subsidise them. “We, however, appeal to mobile

ages to such students.” An affordable higher education

technology will improve their skills

loan scheme involving the private

fit for a modern economy.

sector is also being considered.

Minister Nzimande acknowl-

NSFAS and FunzaLushaka stu-

the approval of the Minister of

edged that many students who

dents must ensure they register

Finance is received.

fall within the so-called ‘missing

their cellphone numbers with their

middle’ category and students

respective institutions so that they

devices in the learning materi-

in private institutions also need

can receive their free data.

als provided to NSFAS learners

support in accessing data for their

will promote technology-enabled

online learning. Unfortunately, he

period, they must also not change

pedagogy over the lockdown

said, government is currently not in

their sim cards so as to enable

The shift to include digital

“We advise that during this

network operators, through their institutions, to load data to their devices. “I just want to emphasise that this data that needy students will receive must be used for dedicated online educational platforms for teaching and learning, as approved by institutions.” The department has also made free digital content available, specifically to TVET college students, through its website, the National Open Learning System, institutional websites and other sites. Students will be able to access digital materials which will help them prepare for exams. Universities will also be delivering paper-based teaching and learning materials to students who do not have the resources to engage electronically or online.

44

Public Sector Manager • June 2020


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FEATURE

Writer: Silusapho Nyanda

Prioritising the safety of learners and teachers

P

arents who are uneasy with

apply to the head of the pro-

their children going back to

vincial education department

on 1 June but that was post-

school amidst the corona-

who, in the terms of the South

poned for a week because some

virus (COVID-19) pandemic have

African Schools Act, can exempt

schools were not ready.

the option of home schooling.

a learner entirely, partially or con-

The first group to go back were

However, according to Basic

ditionally from compulsory school

Grades 12 and seven, on condi-

Education Minister Angie Mot-

attendance, if such an exemp-

tion that their schools had the

shekga, in terms of the relevant

tion is in the best interest of the

necessary personal protective

section of the South African

learner,” said Minister Motshekga.

equipment and other safety

Schools Act, parents or guard-

After being closed since the

Schools were initially set to open

measures in place to safeguard

ians need to get home schooling

middle of March following the

approval from the education

COVID-19 outbreak in South

authorities.

Africa, schools have begun to

learners, teachers and support

reopen, with the department fol-

staff is the department’s number

lowing a phased-in approach.

one concern.

“A parent who chooses not to send a learner to school must

46

both staff and learners. The Minister said the safety of

Public Sector Manager • June 2020


“Critical to the re-opening of

by a principal of a school or a

schools was and still remains abso-

delegated person. The issuing of

lute compliance with all health,

the certificates must be done in

safety and social distancing pro-

compliance with the regulations.”

tocols pronounced by the Department of Health. “Any school or office that does not comply with these measures

“A person transporting a learner to school must also be issued with a permit." The school timetable has also

will remain closed until compli-

been re-engineered to make up

ance is reached,” said Minister

for the lost school days.

Motshekga. She urged parents not to send

“In order to recoup the teaching and learning time lost, the

learners who exhibit COVID-19

schooling system had to be

symptoms to school.

re-engineered – resulting in an ad-

The Minister said water tanks

justment of the timetables and a

have been delivered to schools

review of the curriculum in terms of

without running water to enable

the National Education Policy Act.”

hygiene protocols to be followed.

The Act empowers the Minister to

The department printed direc-

determine a national policy for the

tives in the Government Gazette

curriculum framework, core sylla-

pertaining to the reopening of

buses and education programme.

schools and the measures needed

“A curriculum workstream, con-

to address, prevent and combat

sisting of curriculum experts from

the spread of the virus in the basic

the department and from outside

education sector.

the department, is continuously

The gazette states that peo-

managing this aspect of the re-

ple who need to travel between

engineering of the curriculum,”

provinces, metropolitan areas and

said Minister Motshekga.

districts to get to and from work

The ban on all extramural events

on a daily basis will be issued with

at schools, including sport, choral

special travel permits. These will be

eisteddfod or choral rehearsals,

issued by a head of department

arts and other cultural festivals,

or a delegated official.

remains in place.

“There will also be a certificate issued to learners who have to commute to and from school on a daily basis, which will be issued

Public Sector Manager • June 2020

47


C

M

Y

CM

MY

CY

CMY

K


PROVINCIAL FOCUS

Writer: Dale Hes

KwaZulu-Natal lauded for COVID-19 efforts K waZulu-Natal (KZN) was the

population of KwaZulu-Natal and

around the country began to slow-

location of the first case of

the country. If we do not make

ly rise, a worrying trend emerged at

coronavirus (COVID-19) in

drastic changes to how we do

KZN hospitals, as healthcare work-

South Africa and was immediately

things, it has the potential to cause

ers on the frontlines contracted

identified as a high-risk area.

high levels of morbidity and mortal-

COVID-19.

Since then, the province has quickly identified COVID-19 hot-

ity, and pose a threat to our social and economic security,” he said.

spots and prepared the healthcare

Simelane-Zulu closed the affected hospitals and immediately initiated

system to deal with a rise in infec-

Identification of threats

tions.

Led by Health MEC Nomagugu

The province has been lauded by

Premier Zikalala and MEC

investigations into the outbreaks. The province has also been quick

Simelane-Zulu, the province has

to identify the province’s COVID-19

President Cyril Ramaphosa for its

excelled at creating awareness

hotspots.

extensive, proactive efforts to keep

about COVID-19. The provincial De-

new infections under control.

partment of Health embarked on

was identified as the main hot-

When the virus emerged, Kwa-

numerous awareness campaigns

spot. The settlements of uMlazi,

Zulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala

across the province, encompass-

Chatsworth, Verulam and Westville

was quick to identify the potential

ing both urban and rural areas.

were also identified, leading to the

threat of COVID-19 to the province. “The coronavirus outbreak represents a significant risk to the

50

The provincial government has also been quick to deal with outbreaks of the virus. As infections

In early April, the eThekwini Metro

intensification of efforts to control the outbreaks. The province took the firm step

Public Sector Manager • June 2020


of isolating all positive patients in

screening for COVID-19, hence

activation for use as quarantine facilities based on demand.

approved facilities, as self-isolation

the strategy of conducting mass

was identified as being largely

community screening and testing.

ineffective.

The Provincial Community and Testing Screening plan comple-

Praise from the President

in eThekwini, we have found that

ments the Contact Tracing Plan

President Ramaphosa visited

the majority of them will defy

and will yet prove to be a vital

KwaZulu-Natal in May, touring

these protocols and not adhere

cog in our efforts to intensify this

healthcare facilities and meeting

to them. We have very serious

fight.”

with the provincial coronavirus

“Our lived experience, especially

Concerns have been raised

task team. He was impressed at

various areas where those self-

about the capacity of the pro-

the measures taken to respond

isolating are being seen moving

vincial healthcare system to deal

to COVID-19 challenges, and the

around and going to the malls

with a rise in COVID-19 infections.

state of readiness of the province.

and having some engagement,”

While keeping the infection rate

said the MEC.

low through lockdown regulations

tailed report about the work that

and screening and testing, the

the Provincial Command Council,

by some, have now been viewed

province has had time to expand

under Premier Sihle Zikalala, is

as crucial for keeping infection

the capacity of its healthcare

doing here in KZN ... I commend

rates at relatively low levels in

facilities.

you for addressing the challenges

and unexpected experiences in

These measures, seen as drastic

KwaZulu-Natal.

Screening, testing and healthcare capacity

Premier Zikalala pointed out that

“I have been given a full and de-

that COVID-19 has presented. I

the province has more than

also want to commend you for

1 000 operational beds dedicated

handling the challenges extremely

to COVID-19 patients. A further

well,” said President Ramaphosa.

The province has implemented

1 200 will be made available

mass screening and testing at

through the newly-built Pixley

Premier Zikalala touched on the

homes in every district of KZN. A

Ka Isaka Seme Hospital, north of

important aspect of occupational

total of 565 mass screening and

Durban.

health and safety measures, in-

testing teams, comprising mostly

“In addition, the department is

During the President’s visit,

cluding the provision of personal

enrolled nurses, were deployed

renovating and reconfiguring the

protective equipment (PPE) to

to conduct the campaign, while

existing clinical spaces in public

healthcare workers and all other

620 tracer teams are dedicated to

health facilities and establishing

employees as the economy starts

contact tracing.

field hospitals in order to increase

reopening.

Premier Zikalala said the prov-

bed capacity and to meet

“The provincial government has

ince’s response is based on a

isolation and quarantine safety

also developed occupational

three-step approach across the

requirements. The province is also

health and safety guidelines to

province; contact tracing team,

accepting offers from private

protect healthcare workers during

community screening and testing,

health establishments in order to

COVID-19. PPE is being provided

and roadblock teams that work

increase the total bed capacity.”

to the relevant healthcare work-

with police at roadblocks. “More effort is now required to conduct more surveillance and

Public Sector Manager • June 2020

The province has also negoti-

ers based on risk assessment and

ated and established a database

we are also providing PPE to all

of lodges, resorts and hotels for

employees,” he said.

51


FEATURE

Writer: Silusapho Nyanda

Prof Rod Walker sanitises MEC Nomakhosazana Met h's hands during her visit to Dohne Agricultural Development Institute where sanitisers are being produced.

Partnership provides protection to rural communities

C

ollaborative work be-

the spread of the coronavirus

Development and Agrarian Re-

tween the Eastern Cape-

(COVID-19).

form (DRDAR) in the Eastern Cape. The programme has already

based Rhodes University

What started out as an effort to

and the province’s government is

produce sanitisers for the univer-

produced over 1 000 litres of an

reskilling public servants and

sity, which has over 8 200 students,

80 to 83 percent alcohol-based

delivering sanitisers to rural

is now a social relief programme

sanitiser.

communities, all in an effort to

partnership between the institu-

stop

tion and the Department of Rural

52

Rhodes University’s Professor Rod Walker is working with scientists

Public Sector Manager • June 2020


from the DRDAR to produce sanitis-

production of the sanitisers is

ers that are given to rural commu-

a move to ensure the safety of

nities and farmers. Prof Walker, who

workers in the agricultural sector.

oversees the project, has trained

Rural Development and Agrarian

staff from the department on the

Reform MEC Nomakhosazana

production of the sanitisers.

Meth says during visits to farms

He is also helping DRDAR

they noticed that farm owners

develop its own fully functioning

were observing the regulations but

sanitiser manufacturing plant at

they needed to be supported with

its Stutterheim-based research

personal protective equipment

station, the Dohne Agricultural

and sanitisers.

Development Institute.

The team trained by Prof Walker is made up of five scientific techni-

Contributing to the fight against COVID-19 Walker, who is a professor of

cians. When fully operational, 900 litres of sanitiser will be manufactured each day.

pharmaceutics and was the first-ever academic to receive a

Water scarce areas

the raw materials used in the

South African Pharmacy Council

Control scientific technician

manufacturing of the sanitisers.

Pioneer Pharmacy Award, started

Bulelwa Ngcangathi says local

The sanitiser is made up of an

the production of the sanitisers in

farmers, people in rural communi-

83 percent ethanol (an alcohol),

March. The first batches given to

ties, Stutterheim Hospital, Amathole

hydrogen peroxide, glycerol and

the provincial government were

Old Age Home and workers at the

sterile distilled or boiled cold water

used by the Eastern Cape Depart-

research station are some of the

mixture. The formula used is rec-

ment of Health.

programme’s beneficiaries.

ommended by the World Health

“I started the project for Rhodes

The production of the sanitisers

Organisation.

University. The university had a

by the department is in line with

standing Memorandum of Under-

its mandate to improve the quality

gent protocols and the process

standing (MOU) with the DRDAR

of life for those in rural areas. “The

is recorded at all times to ensure

and on the basis of that MOU, the

sanitisers will be made available in

traceability and confirmation of

department asked Rhodes Univer-

water scarce areas as the depart-

quality,” says Prof Walker.

sity for sanitisers and they came to

ment seeks to deliver on its goal

In another DRDAR effort to as-

an agreement.

of helping improve the quality of

sist farmers in the fight against

life for people in those areas,” she

COVID-19, the Tsolo Agricultural

says.

and Rural Development Institute,

“As a healthcare professional I wanted to make a contribution to the fight against COVID-19 and I

The sanitisers, produced at the

“The production follows very strin-

a college owned by the depart-

felt that was the best way of doing

Dohne Agricultural Development

ment, is currently producing cloth

it,” he says.

Institute, are made in 25-litre

face masks which are also distrib-

containers. The department buys

uted to farms.

The department says the internal

Public Sector Manager • June 2020

53


FEATURE

Writer: Dale Hes

Tourism adapts amid COVID-19 challenges W

ith the worldwide

tribution from tourism stood at 8.2

Her department, in conjunction

grounding of airlines,

percent. The sector also indirectly

with SA Tourism, and international

closed borders, shut-

contributed to 9.2 percent of all

organisations, is currently working

jobs in South Africa.

on a detailed recovery plan for the

tered tourist attractions and restrictions on domestic and local travel,

These figures underscore the

sector.

the coronavirus (COVID-19) pan-

need to preserve the tourism sector

demic has dealt a heavy blow to

through times of crisis such as the

be more focused on the domestic

the tourism industry. Tourism agen-

COVID-19 pandemic. To support

tourism market by, for instance,

cies and governments have quickly

tourism businesses, the National

looking at aspects like pricing for

had to adapt to the situation. By

Department of Tourism launched

local tourists. For this one needs

harnessing digital technology and

the Covid-19 Tourism Relief

research and analysis,” the Minister

other strategies, the tourism sector

Fund,targeting mainly small and

said.

is responding to the immense chal-

medium businesses in the sector.

lenges it has to contend with.

Protecting an important sector

The fund has provided once-off

“We need to build incentives and

There also needs to be a balance between protecting against

grants of R50 000 to businesses

the health risks of COVID-19 and

such as accommodation estab-

reopening the industry.

lishments, hospitality services and

“Remember, if we do not man-

The tourism industry plays a crucial

travel operators. Thousands of

age the virus better, it will end up

role in contributing to South Africa’s

other businesses have been sup-

shutting the economy down as

economic development and job

ported through the Unemployment

more and more establishments are

creation.

Insurance Fund.

forced to close due to the spread

In 2018, tourism directly contrib-

Tourism Minister Mmamoloko

of infections.”

uted R139 billion to the economy,

Kubayi-Ngubane has stressed that

accounting for 2.8 percent of total

domestic tourism will likely only

Creativity needed

gross domestic product (GDP).

resume in December, with inter-

Minister Kubayi-Ngubane said the

With its strong links to other sectors

national tourism resuming a few

industry needs to think of creative

of the economy, indirect GDP con-

months after that.

ways to keep afloat, and recover

54

Public Sector Manager • June 2020


after COVID-19. “One has to ensure that we have a tourism sector that can respond

attractions for future tourism, and

new and innovative ideas,” said

providing income streams for peo-

Maynier.

ple working in the industry.

to the challenge. We know that we

The campaign uses streaming

are not going to be the same and

services to conduct virtual tours

eThekwini doing things differently

if we think that we are going to

of top tourism experiences in the

Meanwhile, the eThekwini Met-

continue like we did, it is not going

Western Cape, led by local tour

ropolitan Municipality has also

to work.”

guides.

put creative new plans in place

In April, South African Tourism

“Bringing the world of the

to support the tourism sector in Durban.

hosted a series of webinars as

Western Cape to people’s living

part of the recovery plan for the

rooms, the campaign will present

tourism industry.

12 virtual tours by our tour guides

said that apart from linking busi-

Stephan Ekbergh, CEO of Travel-

using video calls and streaming

nesses to the tourism relief fund,

start, said that the tourism industry

services, like Zoom, together with

the municipality will focus on utilis-

should increasingly be looking

photography and video to high-

ing small businesses for accom-

toward more virtual and online

light the magic of the province’s

modation services.

experiences.

six regions - the Cape West Coast,

eThekwini Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda

“We will ensure that the mu-

Cape Overberg, Cape Town, Cape

nicipality's own accommodation

act as a catalyst for technologi-

Winelands, Garden Route and

bookings will now be directed

cal development in business. The

Klein Karoo and Cape Karoo,”

to small businesses like bed and

technological developments the

explained the Western Cape MEC

breakfasts,” said the mayor.

tourism industry would typically

of Finance and Economic Oppor-

expect to see over the next five

tunities, David Maynier.

“The COVID-19 pandemic will

years will be necessary over the next five months.”

Western Cape launches digital tours On a provincial level, tourism

At the end of the virtual tour,

The metro has also introduced a campaign to promote Durban as a safe, clean tourism destination

viewers are able to show appre-

post COVID-19, while creating new

ciation for guides by paying them

tourism packages relevant to the

over online channels such as

new landscape.

PayPal or SnapScan. “This campaign allows people

“We are increasing funding to community tourism organisa-

agencies are heeding the advice

to make a difference to the lives

tions from R250 000 to R500 000 to

of national government and

of our talented tour guides by

market their areas and create new

industry experts.

appreciating their descriptive

tourism packages.”

The Western Cape provincial

storytelling and expertise. We know

National government and other

government, in association with

that the lockdown is a tough time

provinces are putting similar meas-

economic development partner

for businesses, especially those in

ures in place to ensure the survival

Wesgro, recently launched its

the tourism sector, and so we will

of South Africa’s tourism industry

“One Day” campaign, which has

continue to work hard to support

and reposition it for the world after

the double purpose of promoting

business in the Western Cape with

COVID-19.

Public Sector Manager • June 2020

55


IN OTHER NEWS

Support for small-scale farmers

Source: SAnews

of smallholder and communal

A further R400 million is being

farmers. Of the 15 036 approved

channelled to farmers within the

applications, 5 494 are women, 2

Proactive Land Acquisition Strat-

More than 15 000 small-scale farm-

493 youth and 224 people living

egy (PLAS), who were already

ers will receive government support

with disability and males at 9 542,”

approved for the department’s

through the COVID-19 Agricultural

said the Minister.

Stimulus Package.

Disaster Fund. Minister of Agriculture, Land

Livestock has been the most requested commodity by farmers,

Reform and Rural Development

followed by vegetables, poultry

Minister Thoko Didiza said 55 155

and fruits.

This had initially been budgeted for in the 2019/2020 financial year. “It must be noted that an amount of R600 million had to be repriori-

“Each of the approved farmers

tised from the Stimulus Package

smallholder and communal farm-

will receive inputs in line with the

on PLAS farms in the 2019/2020

ers for the funding. The highest

size of their farming operations up

budget to assist the other small-

number of applications came from

to a maximum of R50 000.”

holder and communal farmers in

applications were received from

the Eastern Cape Province, fol-

The application process opened

terms of this COVID-19 intervention.

lowed by the Northern Cape and

on 8 April and closed on 22 April

North West.

2020, with 33 000 manual appli-

provinces will commence on

The R1.2 billion fund intervention

cation forms distributed through

18 May 2020. The department

aims to address the effects of COV-

the department’s provincial and

engaged the services of different

ID-19 and ensure sustainable food

district offices, community and civil

suppliers through an open Sup-

production post the pandemic.

society organisations.

ply Chain Management (SCM)

“The issuance of vouchers to

“To date, 15 036 applications

The department was still finalis-

process to avoid any delay in the

have been approved, valued at

ing its decision on the remaining

delivery of these inputs,” said the

just over R500 million in favour

applications.

Minister.

to minimise the negative impact

Finance Management Act (PFMA)

of the lockdown on business and

still applies and all efforts must be

jobs.

made to ensure that suppliers can

Govt urged to continue paying SMMEs

“Business is under enormous

also continue to operate and pay

As COVID-19 continues to put busi-

duress now, with most facing a

their staff and suppliers beyond the

nesses under immense pressure

bleak future due to the nationwide

lockdown.

and jobs on the line, the Public

lockdown. Departments are urged

PSC spokesperson, Humphrey

Service Commission (PSC) has en-

to put measures in place to ensure

Ramafoko said non-compliance

couraged departments to engage

that all suppliers, in particular, small

with the PFMA must be viewed as

suppliers to resolve outstanding

businesses are paid for services

transgression and must be treated

payments and speedily process

rendered and goods delivered,” the

as such.

small medium micro enterprises’

PSC said.

(SMME) invoices. This is in a bid

56

It reiterated that the Public

“Failure to pay suppliers on time has dire consequences for the

Public Sector Manager • June 2020


sustainability of SMME’s, impacts negatively on the government’s job

performance and service delivery.” Strategies should be in place to

for those exiting the system. “Furthermore, the PSC encour-

creation initiatives particularly dur-

deal with the 30-day requirement

ages departments to put in place

ing this period when government is

for payment of suppliers, the pay-

supportive measures for public

trying to prevent massive job losses

ment of contract workers as well as

servants that retired during the

and compromises government’s

processing documents with speed

lockdown period,” he added.

SA ranked first for budget transparency South Africa has been placed

transparency and informed

In an effort to improve on this

measures and mechanisms

score South Africa, in partner-

adopted to address those gaps.

ship with International Budget

According to the National

Partnership and Global Initia-

joint first, together with New Zea-

Treasury, the reforms imple-

tive for Fiscal Transparency are

land, in the 2019 Open Budget In-

mented between 2017 and 2019

embarking on a three-year pilot

dex (OBI). The country was ranked

include, among others:

project to work on mechanisms

joint first out of 117 countries

• Launch of the online budget

to include public participation

The OBI was conducted by the International Budget Partnership

portal www.vulekamali.gov.za • Introduction of a Central Sup-

in the budget process with the assistance of civil society.

(IBP) through an Open Budget

plier Database and other pro-

Survey.

curement reforms undertaken

Out of the 117 countries sur-

by the Office of the Chief Pro-

veyed, only 34 had adequate

Africa’s commitment to a trans-

curement Officer to enhance

oversight from legislature, while

parent budget process. This is

transparency in bidding for

71 had adequate oversight from

a repeat of the results from the

government contracts.

audit institutions. South Africa

The accolade recognises South

2017 OBI. The global average transparency score is 45 out of 100 and South Africa scored 87 out of 100.

• Annual budget outreach at institutions of higher learning. • Enhanced commitment of the South African Govern-

The final category is oversight.

scored 75 out of 100 on legislative oversight and 100 on audit institution. “South Africa remains com-

According to National Treas-

ment to engage with civil so-

mitted to constantly improving

ury, over the years South Africa

ciety organisations to ensure

the budget process in order

has consistently entrenched its

increased participation in the

to maintain its international

reputation as a global leader in

budget process.

reputation as a global leader

budget transparency.

“The global average public

in budget transparency even

participation score is 14 out of

during the global pandemic

sive budget information that is

100. While South Africa scored

of Covid-19,” National Treasury

published for public analysis and

24 out of 100 in this category, it

said.

scrutiny,” said National Treasury.

is needless to say that this is a

“This is evidenced in the expan-

The OBI survey provides a com-

Past survey results have been

score that requires innovation to

prehensive review of South Africa’s

used to identify gaps in budget

improve,” said National Treasury.

budget process.

Public Sector Manager • June 2020

57


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FOCUS ON WOMEN

Writer: More Matshediso

Victims of violence

and abuse need professional help

P

hysical scars left by violence

portant because they reassure the

or to the offence or victimisation and,

and abuse may fade over

survivor of abuse that there is noth-

ideally, to a state where the person

time, but the emotional scars

ing wrong with them; instead, their

is able to learn and grow.

may never heal if not treated. The Department of Social Develop-

ment says that victims of violence

rights were violated by the person

It is acknowledged that victims

who perpetrated the crime and vio-

do not all have the same degree of

lence against them.

need for empowerment and support,

and abuse who seek professional

She says this support is important

which means a diversity of responses

help benefit greatly from external

to strengthen the intervention of pro-

are needed when it comes to recov-

interventions, which help them heal

fessionals and alleviate the anxiety,

ering from abuse.

and become empowered survivors

stress and other negative behaviour-

rather than victims.

al effects, such as low self-esteem.

“Such needs are met through a well-managed, integrated, multidisciplinary team approach,” says

“If violence and abuse, especially against children, are not addressed,

Moving forward

they have the potential to turn a

By seeking professional help, the per-

Psycho-social support is an ongo-

child into an abuser or a victim for

son will learn from the experience

ing process of meeting the physical,

life. The emotional effects, which are

and move forward as a survivor of

emotional, social, mental and spir-

invisible, will be felt on the structure

violence and abuse, rather than a

itual needs of individuals, all of which

and functioning of the brain and im-

victim.

are meaningful and aid positive

Oliphant.

pact the behaviour of the person,”

“Untreated violence contributes to

development, enabling survivors to

says the department’s spokesperson,

post traumatic stress disorder which

develop resilience and to approach

Lumka Oliphant.

changes one’s functioning com-

situations differently.

“Counselling, psychotherapy and

pletely. Victims can also live in fear

psycho-social support are the most

and that has the potential to drive

effective interventions to transform a

them into depression and isolation.”

Victim Empowerment Programme

Professional assistance is meant to

In response to its psycho-social sup-

The support of a person’s family

restore the victim to a state as close

port mandate, the department de-

and significant others are also im-

as possible to that which existed pri-

veloped the Victim Empowerment

victim into a survivor,” she adds.

60

Public Sector Manager • June 2020


Programme (VEP), which not only

The department also partners with

provides support services but has

NGOs and other stakeholders in its

ority is to ensure that victims receive

the potential to prevent and reduce

Khuseleka programme, which pro-

As a service available to the public,

crime and violence.“This service

vides for a number of one-stop cen-

Oliphant says the GBVCC has been

immediate support.

is rendered because humans are

tres that enable victims to receive

playing a critical role during the

basically rational, socialised and

trauma counselling and psycho-

coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown

realistic and they have an inherent

social support, healthcare, police

period. Among other services, it is

tendency to strive towards growth,

services, legal assistance and shel-

available 24-hours a day to refer and

self-actualisation and self-direction,”

ter services, to name a few, all under

share general information on other

Oliphant explains.

one roof.

government services available to the

“Empowerment of victims in a ho-

“Social workers of the department

listic manner reduces secondary

and civil society partners are al-

victimisation, encourages their co-

ways available to provide psycho-

operation with the criminal justice

social support in the empowerment

GBVCC lockdown statistics

process, reinforces socially desired

of victims,” Olifant says.

Before lockdown, from 1 to 26 March,

public during national lockdown.

behaviour and acts as a deterrent

Additionally, the care and sup-

the centre received 4 494 telephone

to offenders or potential offenders,”

port of victims include services

calls, 208 Please Call Me messages

she adds.

rendered by medical doctors and

and 281 SMSes, of which 133 were

To ensure its VEP is effective and far-

nurses, and mental health practi-

GBV-related.

reaching, the department partners

tioners such as psychologists and

with non-governmental organisa-

psychiatrists.

Between 27 March and 12 May, the centre received 28 990 calls, 3 008

tions (NGOs) that have experience

While doctors and nurses attend

Please Call Me messages and 1 501

in the provision of victim support.

to the physical wounds of victims,

SMSes, of which 1 114 were cases

These partners are responsible for,

the mental health practitioners

related to GBV.

among others, the running of tem-

focus on the emotional impact of

porary safe spaces – like the White

their traumatic experiences.

Door initiative, shelters and victim advocacy groups. Some of the interventions provid-

Oliphant says it is critical for victims to speak out about their abuse and to seek help.

President Cyril Ramaphosa says reports of increased levels of GBV since the lockdown started are very disturbing. “The scourge of GBV continues to

ed to protect and support victims

“It is important that victims feel

stalk our country as the men of our

through these partnerships include:

safe when reporting a case, which

country declared war on the women.

• Crisis intervention and over-

means they should not be judged

We have developed an emergency

night accommodation for

by the people assisting them, be it

pathway for survivors to ensure that

victims,

at a police station, hospital, clinic,

the victims of GBV are assisted,” he

church, White Door safe space or a

says.

• Temporary and containment facilities,

traditional leader.

One of the interventions is to ensure

The department’s Gender-based

lockdown regulations are structured

shelters for further interventions

Violence Command Centre (GB-

to allow a woman to leave her home

within 24 hours, and

VCC) has a mandate to provide

to report abuse, without the fear

• Linkages with local police sta-

psycho-social support services to

of a fine, intimidation or further vio-

tions and health services.

victims of crime and violence. Its pri-

lence.

• Referral to VEP-approved

61


FEATURE

Writer: More Matshediso

Face mask etiquette W

earing a face mask in

mask you must still:

ties, and carefully fold the mask

public is compulsory

• Wash your hands.

inside out, hold it by the strings/

for South Africans, as

• Observe social distancing.

elastic and place the mask in a

• Remember to sneeze and

container reserved for washing

everyone does their part to curb the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

cough into your elbow. • Avoid touching your eyes, nose

The main benefit of everyone wearing a face mask is to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

or mouth with unclean hands. The public should not use surgical (medical) or N-95 respirator

it. cc Wash your hands thoroughly and dry before doing anything else. cc You must have at least two

masks because these are reserved

cloth masks so you can wash

COVID-19 may not have symptoms

for healthcare workers and other

one and have a clean one

or may not know they are infected,

medical first responders.

ready for use.

Since some people with the

everyone should wear a face mask.

Cloth face mask respiratory hygiene Cloth face masks are recommended as part of respiratory hygiene or etiquette which also

cc Masks should be washed with

How to handle your cloth mask

soap and hot water, rinsed thoroughly and ironed.

cc Only use a mask that has been washed and ironed. cc Wash your hands before putting the mask on. cc Place the mask with the cor-

The importance of social distancing In the battle against the highly infectious COVID-19, social distanc-

includes coughing and sneez-

rect side facing your face, and

ing is extremely important to help

ing into a bent elbow or a tissue.

ensure that it covers both your

curb the spread of this disease

The face mask must cover the

nose and mouth properly.

across the country.

nose and mouth completely. Face

cc Tie the strings behind your

Social distancing is about

masks should not be lowered when

head, or if you are using elastic

keeping a safe distance of about

speaking, coughing or sneezing.

bands, make sure these are

two metres from others, so that

tight.

you reduce the transmission of

It is very important that cloth masks are used correctly. Incorrect use might result in users putting themselves at risk of spreading COVID-19. Even when you are wearing a

64

cc Make sure it fits well. Move it around to get the best fit. Never touch the cloth part. cc Once you have put on the

COVID-19. This practice is very important during the coronavirus pandemic as the virus spreads from person

mask, do not touch your face

to person via an infected person

again until you take it off.

passing droplets through sneezing,

cc When you take it off, undo the

coughing or talking.

Public Sector Manager • June 2020


SILENCE SILENCE

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DOMESTIC DOMESTIC


OPINION

Writer: Lebogang Maseko

Minister Sisulu’s anti-corruption efforts should be commended

L

ruption at the department, amid a number of negative reports casting doubt on her capacity to bring about positive change in the water and sanitation sector. The negative media reports are an unfortunate distraction from what needs to be done to accelerate the provision of water,

indiwe Sisulu is only a year

It is worth noting that the de-

especially now as the global

into office as Minister of Hu-

partment attained an unqualified

community is at the mercy of the

man Settlements, Water and

audit outcome for the 2018/19

coronavirus pandemic.

Sanitation. Since her appointment,

financial year. During a recent

she has set her sight on turning

media briefing, Minister Sisulu out-

when addressing the nation on

the department around.

lined efforts to root out corruption

13 May 2020, we need to come

by senior officials in the depart-

together and embrace change.

ment and its entities.

Change in this regard is meant to

When Minister Sisulu took to office in her new role, she made a commitment to clean up the

She said that from 1 April 2012

As President Ramaphosa said

restore the dignity of the most im-

Department of Water and Sanita-

to 31 September 2019, 249 re-

poverished in the country, through

tion and stabilise all the water

ported cases were investigated.

the supply of proper sanitation

boards that work directly with

Of these, 139 were referred for

and clean water.

municipalities through the supply

disciplinary action.

of bulk water. She reiterated this

Following the disciplinary cases,

For the sake of our country, let us put politics aside and enable

commitment during her Budget

86 officials were found guilty

Minister Sisulu to do what she

Vote in July.

while 14 officials were not found

was appointed to do, which is to

Some of the interventions Minis-

guilty. The Minister also has ap-

ensure that the country’s water

ter Sisulu introduced included es-

pointed Advocate Terry Motau

resources are protected, man-

tablishing a Stabilisation Commit-

to lead a team of lawyers to

aged, conserved and controlled

tee to provide advisory services to

review all fraud, corruption and

in a manner suitable to benefit

her and to assist the department’s

irregular expenditure reports at

the environment and all citizens

director-general with professional

the department and ensure that

of the country.

capacity in various disciplines.

all recommendations are fully

The committee has since accelerated investigations into matters

implemented. This follows reports that more

related to maladministration,

than R16 billion worth of projects

fraud and corruption and miscon-

were issued irregularly, including

duct, and worked on improving

corruption and fraud by officials

findings of audits by the Auditor-

in the department and its entities.

General (A-G).

66

by the Minister to root out cor-

These are just some of the efforts

We should not praise a fish for swimming, what we should do is to commend a captain for saving a sinking ship.

*Lebogang Maseko works for the Department of Water and Sanitation.

Public Sector Manager • June 2020


HEALTH AND WELLBEING

Writer: Silusapho Nyanda

Smoking, alcohol and COVID-19 T

obacco researcher Dr

up of the sinuses, nasal cavity,

Catherine Egbe has warned

windpipe, bronchi, bronchioles and

that smokers are twice as

air sacs. It is this system that is also

ated with the increased develop-

negatively impacted by smoking.

ment of acute respiratory distress

likely to become severely ill should they contract the coronavirus (COVID-19). Egbe is a specialist scientist at

the Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Research Unit of the South

As such, smokers stand a greater chance than non-smokers of becoming critically ill from the virus or even of dying. Egbe says smoking is known to

asthma and diabetes. “Smoking is known to be associ-

syndrome, which is the key disease manifestation for severe COVID 19. “Even if smoking does not directly cause a smoker to die from COVID-19, it could cause this indirectly

African Medical Research Council

cause many of the underlying

because smokers are more likely

(SAMRC).

medical conditions that have

to have the diseases that could

She explains that COVID-19,

been linked to severe symptoms of

cause a person die of COVID-19,” she says.

which is respiratory virus, is wors-

COVID-19. These include cancers;

ened by smoking. A respiratory

chronic obstructive pulmonary

virus mainly attacks the human

disease; cardiovascular diseases

harms nearly every organ of the

respiratory system, which is made

such as heart disease and stroke;

body and generally reduces the

68

In addition, cigarette smoking

Public Sector Manager • June 2020


body’s ability to fight diseases. Egbe says that tobacco smoking

be allowed but government

immune system, which makes one

reversed the decision after the

an easy target for COVID-19.

produces more than 7 000 chemi-

National Coronavirus Command

Parry says research has shown

cals, 250 of which have been con-

Council consulted with medical

that earlier alcohol-provoked lung

firmed as toxic to the human body.

experts and various role-players.

damage from heavy drinking can

Out of these 250 chemicals, 69 are

“We’re a very consultative

worsen the outcome of a secondary infection, such as COVID-19.

known to cause cancer. This af-

government and we do consult

fects the health of smokers, as well

on a number of issues... and we

as those exposed to second-hand

are a listening government …,”

orders are more likely to develop

smoke, Egbe explains.

said President Ramaphosa when

pneumonia, TB, respiratory syncy-

explaining why the decision was

tial virus infection and acute res-

reversed.

piratory distress syndrome. Alcohol

Those with TB and asthma are also high-risk patients where COVID-19 is concerned.

He said government had listened

“Individuals with alcohol-use dis-

disrupts ciliary function in the up-

to concerns raised and re-exam-

per airways, impairs the function

those who have asthma are at

ined its position on the sale of

of immune cells and weakens the

risk of having severe symptoms

cigarettes.

barrier function of the epithelia in

“There is evidence to show that

or even dying if they contract COVID-19.

Egbe says apart from the direct effect smoking has on a smoker;

the lower airways. “Often, alcohol-provoked lung

cigarettes are often shared

damage goes undetected until a

published showing TB patients’

among friends. This, she says, can

second insult, such as a respira-

risk of contracting COVID-19 but

lead to faster community transmis-

tory infection, leads to more severe

the World Health Organisation

sion of COVID-19 because the

lung diseases than those seen in

has warned that it is not unlikely

coronavirus has been found in the

non-drinkers.

that people with TB will have poor

saliva of infected people.

“There is no study that has been

treatment outcomes if they con-

“Remember, people are being

He adds that a study found that binge drinking can reduce

tract COVID-19. This means that

asked to avoid touching their

infection-fighting white blood cells

they can also have more serious

mouth, nose and eyes. When a

known as monocytes in the hours

outcomes of the disease because

person is smoking, he or she will

after peak intoxication, essentially

they have TB.”

not be able to keep to that hy-

weakening the immune system for

giene practice.”

up to at least five hours.

As part of levels four and five lockdown regulations, the sale of

Another habit that is equally

Allowing the sale of alcohol

cigarettes is banned. This decision

dangerous in relation to COVID-19

would increase the risk of commu-

is in the interests of the people,

is the consumption of alcohol.

nity transmission of COVID-19, Parry

says Egbe.

SAMRC’s director of the Alcohol,

says. He adds that when people

Tobacco and Other Drug Re-

drink, they lose their inhibitions and

initially announced that under

search Unit, Professor Charles

drink with others in a way that is

Level Four, cigarette sales would

Parry, says alcohol weakens the

opposed to social distancing.

President Cyril Ramaphosa had

Public Sector Manager • June 2020

69


FEATURE FOOD AND WINE

Writer: Nicholas Francis

It’s all about the dough

attachment, mix on low speed until combined. Knead for three minutes on medium speed until a ball forms. Put the ball of dough onto a floured surface.Sprinkle with flour, knead a couple of times and form into a ball.

Brunch bagels Ingredients: Prepared dough 1 egg white, beaten Sesame seeds to decorate (optional) Toppings for savoury bagel: Cream cheese Pressed meat, sliced Lettuce Tomato, sliced Toppings for sweet bagel: Fruit of your choice, sliced

T

Chocolate spread he lockdown has pushed

3 cups plain yogurt

many of us out of our culinary

Method by hand:

Method:

comfort zones and in search

In a mixing bowl, sift the flour

Cut the dough into six pieces.

of delicious yet doable recipes.

and gently fold in the yogurt us-

Roll each piece into a rope

While homemade bread may be

ing a spatula until the dough is

and then form a circle with the

a stretch too far for some, we have

formed. Knead the dough for six

dough rope. Where each end

a quick and easy recipe for dough

minutes on a floured surface. If

meets, pinch together to form

that will give you delicious bagels,

the dough is too sticky, add more

bagel shape. Place on a baking

flat bread and pizza. We’ve also in-

flour while kneading. Cover with

sheet lined with baking paper.

cluded recipes for the dishes these

a cloth and set aside until you’re

Brush with beaten egg whites

compliment.

ready to use it.

and sprinkle with sesame seeds

Method with a mixer:

if desired. Bake at 180 °C for 12

The dough

Put the self-raising flour and

minutes until golden brown.

Ingredients:

yogurt in a standard mixing

Cut through the bagel horizon-

4 cups self-raising flour

bowl. Using the dough hook

tally. Spread the cream cheese

70

Public Sector Manager • June 2020


and top with lettuce, tomato and pressed meat for a delicious brunch treat. For the sweet version, cut the bagels in half and add chocolate spread. Top with any fruit of your choice.

Tomato soup with freshly baked rolls until the onions and garlic are

to lightly make holes all over the

The rolls

coated.

base. Repeat with the remaining

Cut the dough into eight pieces.

Add the tomato paste, sugar,

pieces of dough.

Roll each piece into a ball and

tomatoes and a cup of water to

place on a baking sheet lined

the pot and stir. Let it simmer for

Ingredients:

with baking paper. Brush with

30 minutes over medium heat,

1 tbsp olive oil

melted butter and bake at 180

occasionally stirring. Remove the

2 chicken fillets, diced

°C for 12 minutes until golden

pot from stove and let soup cool

1 cup mushrooms, sliced

brown.

slightly.

200g mozzarella, grated

Pour into a blender and purée

2 cups cherry tomatoes,

Tomato soup

until smooth. Pour the soup back

chopped in half

Ingredients:

into the pot and place back on

30ml chives, chopped

3 tbsp butter

stove. Add half the cream and

Chicken spice

12 tomatoes, diced

stir.

2 tbsp tomato paste

250ml fresh cream

Allow it to simmer for 10 min-

Mayonnaise

2 garlic cloves, crushed

utes then add salt and pepper

3 tbsp tomato paste

to taste. Add the remainder of

Method:

1 onion, thinly sliced

cream and stir. Remove from

Spice the chicken with chicken

stove and serve.

spice. Heat the oil in a large fry-

2 tsp sugar

ing pan and throw in the chicken

1 tbsp dried thyme Method: Melt the butter in a

Mini chicken and mushroom

cubes, sauté for five minutes then

pizzas

remove from heat. Place the pizza bases on a large

pot over medium

The bases

flat baking sheet. Spread some

Add the onions

Cut the dough into 16 pieces.

tomato paste over the bases and

and garlic and

Place one piece of dough on a

cover the base with mozzarella

let it sauté for

well-floured surface and sprinkle

cheese. Scatter the mushrooms,

a few minutes.

with flour. Roll it out into a circle

chicken and tomatoes over the

Throw in the

and set aside. Roll out to the

pizza bases. Add one more layer

thickness you prefer. Use a fork

of cheese and top with half a

to high heat.

thyme and stir

Public Sector Manager • June 2020

71


FOOD AND WINE

teaspoon dollops of mayonnaise

side. Once cooked, remove from

stir until the onions and garlic

around the pizza.

the pan and repeat with other

are coated with the spices. Add

Sprinkle the chives over and

pieces of dough.

a quarter cup of water to the

pop the pizzas into the oven for

pot and stir. Drop the tempera-

eight-10 minutes until the base

Creamy chicken curry

ture to medium heat and let the

is crisp and golden and the

Ingredients:

spices cook for a minute. Add

cheese is bubbling

1 knob of butter

in the chicken and constantly

4 chicken breasts, cubed

stir until chicken is coated with

1 onion, diced

the spices. Throw in the tomato

2 cloves garlic, crushed

paste, stir and let it cook for five

1 tsp turmeric powder

minutes. Pour in the cream with

The flat bread

3 tsp curry powder

some salt and pepper to your

Cut the dough into eight pieces.

1 tbsp tomato paste

taste level and let it simmer over

Place one piece of dough on a

500ml fresh cream

a low heat for 10 minutes, stirring

well-floured surface and sprinkle

Salt and pepper to taste

occasionally.

with flour. Roll it out into a circle

100g coriander

Creamy chicken curry with flatbread

and set aside. Roll out to the thickness you prefer. Repeat with

Method:

the remaining pieces of dough.

Melt the butter in a pot over

Warm a non-stick or cast-iron

medium to high heat.

pan over medium to high heat.

Add the onions and

Cook for a few minutes until it

garlic and let it sautĂŠ for

puffs up slightly and browns,

a few minutes. Throw

turn and repeat on the other

in the spices and

72

Public Sector Manager • June 2020


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GROOMING AND STYLE

Writer: Gilda Narsimdas

Get comfy, stay stylish 1

T 2

he athleisure trend is here to stay. And if you are one of the many South Africans working from home, athleisure is perfect for staying comfortable yet stylish. We’ve rounded up some of the best athleisure, loungewear and easy-towear, warm wardrobe staples to get you through winter.

1.

4

Layer up with this stylish v-neck knitted sweater from Queenspark, R299.

2.

Treat yourself with Beyonce’s Ivy Park range with Adidas. The Nite Jogger comes in beautiful maroon and solar orange which stands out while remaining understated, Adidas, R2 599.

3

3.

5

We love these simple black leggings from Legit because of the modern and slimming silhouette, Zando.co.za, R169.

4.

A wardrobe classic, this logo hoodie comes in double-knit fabric and offers soft durable comfort, Nike, R799.

5.

Nothing is as cosy as a poloneck. This houndstooth patterned one from H&M is as comfy as it gets, R699.

74

Public Sector Manager • June 2020


6. 6

7.

The new Nike Air Force 1 React is an updated take on a classic design of the Air Force 1, SportScene, R1 999. If it’s loungewear you’re after, look no further than Brave Soul for comfy, affordable gear. This set comes in black, navy, charcoal and grey, R159 for the pants and R129 for the top from Zando. co.za

8.

H&M’s athleisure collection is a mix of outerwear that’s perfect for sportswear as well as casual wear, R549 for the top and R489 for the pants.

7

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* Prices valid at the time of print.

Public Sector Manager • June 2020

75


NICE-TO-HAVES

Writer: Gilda Narsimdas

Home office essentials

1

A

s we adjust to life during the coronavirus (COVID-19),

many of us have had to transform our homes into offices, making do with what we have. But if your

home is going to be your office for the foreseeable future, it might be time, budget allowing, to spruce up your work

2

space a little. Here are some items to help you do just that.

3

1 Create a cosy ambience and fight fatigue with this NO.4 sandalwood candle. The scent is meant to enhance mental functioning, H&M, R249. 2 If you are in need of a new laptop and have the budget for it, try the MacBook Pro, iStore,

4

R24 999. 3 If it’s a printer you’re after, the HP Neverstop Laser printer is a cartridge-free solution

5

designed to help you work smarter with fewer interruptions, Makro, R4 499. 4 The Original DeskStand is the perfect standing desk. Thanks to the adjustable design, you can alternate between standing and sitting, Takealot.com, R1 499. 5 The Logitech wireless mouse is perfect for 6

multi-computer use, Takealot.com, R1 399. 6 Local designers Native Décor pay homage to Jock of the Bushveld with this playful plywood desk lamp, nativedecor.co.za, R499. 7 Home Swede Home has this sleek Mieke desk which is functional without taking up too much space. They import directly from popular Swedish homeware store IKEA. Get

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76

this one for R2 999.

Public Sector Manager • June 2020


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PSM June 2020 edition  

PUBLIC SECTOR MANAGER, A GCIS PUBLICATION. Aimed at all middle and senior managers in public service and the public sector in general, Publi...

PSM June 2020 edition  

PUBLIC SECTOR MANAGER, A GCIS PUBLICATION. Aimed at all middle and senior managers in public service and the public sector in general, Publi...

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