PSM - May 2020 Edition

Page 1


MAY 2020


MAY 2020


Coronavirus alert levels Eight-phase plan Economic support Social relief


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Contents: May 2020

on their feet and support the economy



Kickstarting SA’s economy

A major fiscal and monetary policy response is being

implemented to preserve the economy and get it moving again



Provincial focus

Gauteng is intensifying efforts


guide SA

From the Union Buildings

to control the spread of

Easing of lockdown

President Cyril Ramaphosa

COVID-19 and strengthen the

restrictions will be informed

calls on South Africans to

public healthcare system

by the five coronavirus alert

unite in the fight against COVID-19 42

levels 56

Women’s issues

GBV: A pandemic on top of a pandemic

Conversations with leaders


Minister Khumbudzo

Ntshavheni outlines how government will support small

Life under Level Four

What to expect as South Africa moves to coronavirus


alert Level 4

Financial fitness

Door to home ownership opened for public servants

businesses through tough times 48

Coronavirus alert levels to


SA’s battle plan for COVID-19

In other news


you are on the go


News you need to know when

Government has developed an eight-stage plan to tackle COVID-19

Govt pulls out all the stops to support economy, people A social relief and economic


Nompumelelo Ncube is a healthcare heroine

support package of R500

Healthcare workers are

billion will help get people

stepping up to the plate in

44 2



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The SANDF has played an

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is leading the charge to find a

enforcing the nation’s lockdown

vaccine for COVID-19 and SA


is lending a hand

SA’s exemplary COVID-19 response

The country’s proactive handling of the global pandemic has been lauded 44

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Lockdown takes a toll on


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Independent contractors have

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Public Sector Manager • May 2020


Putting people first in the battle against COVID-19


resident Cyril Ramaphosa has been praised by South African citizens and global

leaders for his hard-hitting response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The lockdown he placed the country under was one of the strictest in the world, with citizens only being allowed to leave their homes to buy food and essential provisions, collect a social grant, buy medicine or seek urgent medical care. Government’s response to the global pandemic had to weigh

contingent of public servants

frastructure workers who ensured

up the financial impact of a lock-

who remained at their posts de-

the supply of water, sanitation,

down on the country’s already

spite the personal risk they faced.

electricity and telecommunica-

fragile economy, with the need to

Foremost were our healthcare

tion services; and those office

prevent as many infections and

workers, including emergency

workers responsible for the deliv-

deaths as possible.

medical services/paramedics

ery of essential human resources,

A range of health interventions

who were critical to government’s

budgeting and payroll activities.

and economic and social meas-

efforts to slow the rate of infection.

We salute each and every one

ures have been put in place to

Equally important were the

who enabled the continuous

alleviate the effects of the virus on

soldiers and law enforcement

provision of critical and essential

our country and people.

officers; the garbage collectors;

services for the effective function-

education officials; social security

ing of the public service during

we can take pride in the way the

and Home Affairs officials. Let’s

the lockdown.

nation and its people united in

not forget about our Post Office

the face of great adversity.

personnel who facilitated the

an active threat is unknown so

payment of grants; essential in-

we should continue to observe all

Yes, mistakes made but overall,

Leading the way was a massive


How long the virus will remain

Public Sector Manager • May 2020

safety protocols communicated

country have greatly benefitted

and other essential goods and

by our government.

from the concerted measures

also to assess the capacity of

taken by government and other

state-owned entities to produce

everyone involved in the large-

social partners to provide relief

essential supplies.

scale roll-out of screening, testing

to vulnerable communities and

But while we reflect on gov-

and tracing services.

individuals. Measures included

ernment’s performance at this

emergency water supplies,

difficult time – the public service

We must also take our hats off to

While the majority of South Africans were safely at home,

is as vulnerable to this virus as

thousands of field workers visited

every other sector – we must ac-

villages and towns to screen peo-

knowledge that the progress we

ple for the virus. Those who raised

have made to date is thanks to

red flags were sent to clinics for

our national philosophy – Grow-

testing. These clinics – including

ing South Africa together.

the 67 mobile sampling and test-

It is with this ethos in place

ing units – were selflessly manned

that government reached out

by another contingent of health-

from the onset of this pandemic

care workers.

to communities of faith, political parties, the business sector, the

Government has pulled out all the stops to limit the spread of

labour movement, traditional


leaders and the international community to ensure that our

Finding and quarantining

national response would be a

infected people is of paramount importance and government is using technology to trace people who have been in contact with

Minister in t he Presidency, Jac kson Mt hembu.

truly inclusive effort. We therefore attribute a great deal of the success we have recorded in key areas of man-

those who tested positive for food parcels, the distribution

aging this pandemic to the

This is especially relevant in in-

of sanitisers and the setting up

collaboration demonstrated by

formal settlements and townships,

of temporary facilities to house

many sectors and stakeholders

where poverty, cramped living

the homeless. During this period

outside of government – includ-

conditions and poor infrastruc-

government has also imple-

ing law-abiding citizens who

ture increase the likelihood of

mented economic relief meas-

observed the rules and regula-

runaway infections.

ures to tide over employees and

tions of the lockdown.


Through the COVID-19 Data Management Centre, govern-

businesses. The spread of the pandemic

While the future remains uncertain, what is clear is that

ment is also receiving early

has necessitated that govern-

South Africa’s synergy, determi-

warning of potential clusters of

ment responds to the need

nation and commitment to the

infections, which enables pre-

for increased local manufac-

Thuma Mina philosophy will help

ventative measures to be taken.

turing capacity, especially of

the nation prevail over this pan-

personal protective equipment


Communities throughout the

Public Sector Manager • May 2020


adjustment to the member’s pensionable service Upon divorce, the spouse of a member of a to years theto member’s pensionable Upon divorce, the may spouse of a member of a to adjustment theservice member’s pensionable service Upon divorce, theimmediately spouse of be a member of aadjustment in terms of of to cover theservice divorce retirement fund entitled adjustment to the member’s pensionable service Upon divorce, the spouse of a member of a in terms of years of service to cover the divorce retirement fund may immediately be entitled to in terms of years of service to cover the divorce retirement fund may immediately be entitled to settlement. This means that the lump sum paid a share of that member’s pension interest held in in years of means service to lump cover the divorce retirement fund may immediately beinterest entitled to insettlement. This means that sum paid a share of thatof member’s pension interest held inheld settlement. This that the lump sum share that member’s pension outterms uponof retirement will the be reduced by thepaid thearetirement fund of that member. The extent settlement. This means that the lump sum paid a share of that member’s pension interest held in upon retirement will be byto the theof retirement fund of thatofmember. The extent out upon retirement willreduced beservice reduced by the thespouse’s retirement fund that member. The extentoutnumber of years of pensionable take the entitlement to that share, depends out upon retirement be service reduced thetake the retirement fund of order that member. The at extent of years ofdivorce pensionable toby take of the entitlement to that share, depends of years ofwill pensionable service to of the spouse’s entitlement to that depends intonumber account the settlement. onspouse’s the specific divorce and theshare, law that number number ofthe years of divorce pensionable service to take of the spouse’s entitlement to that share, depends account divorce settlement. on the specific divorce order and the law at thatat thatinto into account the settlement. on the specific divorce order and the law point in time. into account the divorce settlement. on the specific divorce order and the law at that point in time. point in time. The new rules came into effect on 1 August point time. new rules came into 22 effect on 1 to August The new rules into on 1 August 2019. Members havecame until Mayeffect 2020 choose Upon in the divorce settlement, the non-member The The new rules came into effect on 1 August 2019. Members have until 22 May 2020 to choose Upon the divorce settlement, the non-member 2019. Members have until 22 May 2020 to choose Upon the divorce settlement, the non-member between the divorce debt model or the service former spouse can choose to either receive 2019. Members until model 22 May 2020 to choose Upon the divorce themodel. divorce debt or the service former spouse choose toit the either receive between thehave divorce debt model or the service former spouse can choose tonon-member either reduction Affected members who do not their share incan cash,settlement, or have transferred toreceive an between between the divorce debt model or the service former spouse can choose to either receive Affected members who do not their share inretirement cash, have transferred to an to anreduction reduction model. Affected members who do not their share in or cash, or ithave it transferred make a model. choice, will automatically be moved into approved fund. If the non-member reduction Affected members who do notinto their share inretirement cash, or to have ittheir transferred an make a choice, willreduction automatically be moved into approved retirement fund. If the amodel. choice, will automatically be moved approved fund. Ifnon-member the non-member former spouse decides take share into cash, the make new service model. choice, will reduction automatically be moved into approved retirement If the non-member new service reduction model. former spouse decides to fund. taketotheir share in cash, thea new service model. take their share cash,themake he former or she spouse will be decides responsible for the tax on in the the new service reduction model. former spouse decides to take their share in cash, he or she will bewill responsible for thefor tax ontax theon the In light of a changing legislative environment, he or she be responsible the pension withdrawal. he pension orwithdrawal. she will be responsible for the tax on the In with light of a changing legislative environment, Inpotentially light of a complex changing legislative environment, outcomes, Old Mutual pension withdrawal. In light of a changing legislative environment, pension withdrawal. advises to consider their options carefully. Previously, upon divorce, the member would with withdivorcees potentially complex outcomes, Old Mutual potentially complex outcomes, Old Mutual with potentially complex outcomes, Old Mutual have a debt against his/her for would the nonadvises divorcees to consider their options carefully. Previously, upon divorce, the member wouldadvises divorcees to consider their options carefully. Previously, upon divorce, theaccount member Previously, upon divorce, the member would advises divorcees to consider their options carefully. member former spouse’s pension share, known debt against account the non- “Divorce is rated as one of the most stressful have ahave debtaagainst his/herhis/her account for thefor nonhave a debt against his/her debt account for the non- “Divorce that individual might to go “Divorce is rated as of one the have most stressful as divorce debt. The divorce gathers interest is rated asanone theof most stressful member former spouse’s pension share, known experiences member former spouse’s pension share, known “Divorce is life. rated as one of theshould most evaluate stressful member former spouse’s pension share, known through in Fund members experiences that an individual might have to go until the member retires or resigns. The member experiences that an individual might have to go as divorce debt. The divorce debt gathers interest as divorce debt. The divorce debt gathers interest experiences that an individual might have to go as divorce debt. The divorceordebt gathers interest the through sufficiency theirmembers retirement savings life.ofFund should evaluate pays off debt monthly asresigns. aThe lump sum, and through in life.inFund members should evaluate until the member retires or The member until the member retires or resigns. member through in life. Fund members should evaluate until the member retires or resigns. Thededucted member payments toof their former spouses,” says any remaining outstanding debt the sufficiency their retirement savings sufficiency of their retirement savings pays themonthly debt monthly as aissum, lumpand sum, andthefollowing pays off theoff debt or as aor lump the sufficiency of their retirement savings pays off the debt monthly or as a lump sum, and Karabo Ramookho, strategic manager member’s retirement upon following following payments toformer theirretail former spouses,” payments to their spouses,” saysatsays anythe remaining outstanding is deducted anyfrom remaining outstanding debt debt issavings deducted following payments to their former spouses,” says any remaining outstanding debt is deducted OldKarabo Mutual. retirement or resignation. Ramookho, strategic manager at from the member’s retirement savings Ramookho, strategic retail retail manager at from the member’s retirement savings upon uponKarabo Karabo Ramookho, strategic retail manager at from the member’s retirement savings upon Old Mutual. retirement or resignation. Old Mutual. retirement or resignation. Old Mutual. advises that in addition to the lump retirement resignation. Ramookho On 23 Mayor2019, the GEPF amended its rules. of2019, creating a the divorce debt upon paying sumRamookho reduction tothat retirement savings, atolump further advises that in addition the lump 23 May 2019,GEPF GEPF amended its rules.Ramookho advises in addition toto the On Instead 23On May the amended its its rules. On 23 May 2019, the GEPF amended rules. Ramookho advises that in addition the lump the divorce settlement, there will now be an tax deduction upon the withdrawal of retirement Instead of creating a divorce debt upon payingsum reduction sum reduction to retirement savings, a further to retirement savings, a further Instead of creating a divorce debt upon paying Instead of creating a divorce debt upon paying sum reduction to retirement savings, a further the divorce settlement, there will be nowanbe antax deduction tax deduction upon the withdrawal of retirement thethe divorce settlement, there will now upon the withdrawal of retirement tax deduction upon the withdrawal of retirement divorce settlement, there will now be an


Old Mutual Life Assurance Company (SA) Limited is a Licensed FSP.


38% 38% means means that that youyou willwill only only be be able able to to earn earn savings savingswillwillbe bepayable, payable,further furtherreducing reducing 38% thatincome you will be able to earn savings savings. will beIt payable, further reducing 38% 38% of your ofmeans your current current income at only at retirement retirement after after retirement retirement savings. It means means that that members members 38% 38% means means that that you you will will only only be able be able to earn to earn savings savings will will be be payable, payable, further further reducing reducing 38% of your current income at retirement after retirement savings. It means that members allowing allowing for for inflation. inflation. A typical A typical replacement replacement ratio ratio should should save save more more to to make make up up for for thethe losses losses to to 38% of your of your current current income at contributing retirement at retirement after after retirement retirement savings. savings. It means thatfor that members allowing forretiring inflation. A typical replacement ratio should save moreIt tomeans make up themembers losses to 38% for for someone someone retiring at 65 atincome 65 after after contributing to ato a savings. savings. ON RETIREMENT SAVINGS OF MEMBERS OF THE GEPF allowing allowing for inflation. for inflation. A typical A typical replacement replacement ratio ratio should should save save more more to make to make up for up the for losses the losses to to for someone retiring at 65 after contributing to a savings. retirement retirement fund fund for for 20 20 years years is 30%. is 30%. On On thethe other other for someone for retiring retiring at 65 atof after 65 contributing contributing tobe aother to a savings. savings. retirement fund for 20 years is 30%. On the hand, hand, a someone replacement a replacement ratio ratio around ofafter around 80% 80% can can be “Divorced “Divorced retirement retirement fund fund members members should should askask retirement retirement fund fund for 20 for years 20 years is 30%. is 30%. On the On other the other hand,when a replacement of after around 80% can be “Divorced retirement fund members should ask expected expected when retiring retiring atratio 65 at 65 after contributing contributing their their financial financial adviser adviser for for assistance assistance in evaluating in evaluating hand, replacement a replacement ratio ratio of40 around around 80% 80% can be can be “Divorced “Divorced retirement retirement fundfor fund members members should expected when retiring atof 65 after contributing their financial adviser assistance inpart evaluating to a tohand, retirement aa retirement fund fund for for 40 years. years. This This illustrates illustrates their their retirement retirement planning planning needs, needs, asshould as part ofask of a ask a expected expected when when retiring retiring at 65 at after 65 after contributing contributing their their financial financial adviser adviser for assistance for assistance in evaluating in evaluating to atrue retirement fund for 40 years. This illustrates theirfinancial retirement planning needs, ascapital part of a further how how true it isitthat is that thethe earlier earlier one one starts starts to save to able save fortofor financial plan. plan. AnyAny projected projected capital 38% means that you will only be earn savings will be payable, reducing nt to holistic the holistic member’s pensionable service a to retirement a retirement fund fund for 40 for years. 40 years. This This illustrates illustrates their their retirement retirement planning planning needs, assupplemented part assavings. part of capital aItofmeans a to 38% of your current income at retirement after retirement that members of years of serviceshould to should cover thebe divorce how true is that the earlier one starts to up save for holistic financial plan.needs, Any projected retirement, retirement, theitthe better better the the chances chances of building of building up shortfalls shortfalls be addressed addressed and and supplemented how true true it is it isthe that the earlier the one starts one starts to save to save for ratio for holistic holistic financial plan. plan. Any Any projected projected capital capital allowing forearlier inflation. A typical replacement nt. This means that the financial lump sum paid should save more to make uphow for the losses to that retirement, better the chances of building up shortfalls should be addressed and supplemented your your replacement replacement ratio ratio and and retiring retiring comfortably. comfortably. with with further further appropriate appropriate investment investment products. products. for better someone retiring at of 65 after contributing to savings. n retirement will should be reduced by the retirement, the the the chances the chances building ofthen building upthe upa shortfalls shortfalls should be addressed beshould addressed and supplemented and supplemented your replacement ratio and retiring comfortably. with further appropriate investment products. If you If retirement, you started started to better save toretirement save for for retirement retirement later, later, then Non-member Non-member spouses spouses should similarly similarly take take stock stock fund for 20 years is 30%. Onthe the other of years of pensionable service to take your your ratio and retiring retiring comfortably. with with further further appropriate appropriate investment investment products. products. hand, aratio replacement ratiocomfortably. of around canthe be “Divorced retirement fund members should ask ratio unt the settlement. Ifreplacement youreplacement started to save for retirement later, then spouses should similarly take stock replacement replacement ratio can can also also beand be increased increased by saving by80% saving ofdivorce their ofNon-member their situation, situation, with with thethe assistance assistance of aof financial a financial their financial adviser for assistance inIfevaluating expected when retiringlater, at 65later, after contributing If you started you started to save to save for retirement for retirement then then the the Non-member Non-member spouses spouses should should similarly similarly take take stock stock replacement ratio can also be increased by saving of their situation, with the assistance of a financial adviser. adviser. This This is an is an opportunity opportunity to invest to invest the the newly newly more more and and making making additional additional contributions contributions into into rules came into effect on 1 August to a retirement fund for 40 years. This illustrates their retirement planning needs, as part of a replacement replacement ratio ratio can also can be also increased be increased by saving by saving ofhave their of their situation, situation, with the assistance the assistance afor financial offor athe financial mbersacquired until 22asset May 2020 to choose more and making contributions into adviser. This is an opportunity toof invest newly an an appropriate appropriate investment investment acquired asset into into awith growth a growth vehicle vehicle future future how true additional it is product. thatproduct. the earlier one starts to save for holistic financial plan. Any projected capital more more and and making making additional additional contributions contributions into into adviser. adviser. This is This an is opportunity an opportunity to invest to invest the newly the newly the divorce debt model or the service shortfalls should be addressed and supplemented retirement, the better the chances of building up an appropriate investment product. acquiredsays asset into a growth vehicle for future retirement,” retirement,” says Ramookho. Ramookho. n model. Affected members who into do not your replacement ratio and retiring comfortably. withvehicle further appropriate investment products. acquired acquired asset asset into a growth a growth vehicle for future for future an appropriate an appropriate investment investment product. product. “Old “Old Mutual Mutual personal financial advisers advisers willwill act act as asthe retirement,” hoice, will automatically be says movedRamookho. into If youfinancial started to save for retirement later, then Non-member spouses should similarly take stockpersonal retirement,” retirement,” says says Ramookho. service reduction model. of their situation, with the assistance of a financial replacement ratio can also be increased by saving partner partner and and coach coach to help to help structure structure an an action action plan plan Inadequate Inadequate levels levels ofRamookho. of savings savings because because of of notnot “Old Mutual personal financial advisers will act as “Old “Old Mutual Mutual personal personal financial advisers advisers will act willas actinto as morefinancial and making additional contributions adviser. This is an opportunity to invest the newly addressing addressing the the shortfall shortfall of of retirement retirement savings, savings, to create to create a healthy a healthy financial financial portfolio. portfolio. Consideration Consideration partner and coach to help structure an action plan Inadequate levels of savings because of not of a changing legislative environment, an appropriate investment product. acquired asset into vehicle forand future Inadequate Inadequate levels levels of savings of members savings because because ofbeing not ofa growth not partner partner coach and coach help to help structure structure an anbudget, plan plan should should be be given tototo the the importance importance ofaction a of aaction budget, could could result result in the in divorced divorced members notnot being entially complex outcomes, Old Mutual to create agiven healthy financial portfolio. Consideration addressing shortfall of retirement,” retirement savings, says Ramookho. to create to create a healthy a healthy financial financial portfolio. portfolio. Consideration Consideration addressing addressing the the shortfall shortfall of retirement of retirement savings, savings, vorcees to consider their options carefully. “Old Mutual personal financial advisers act as settling debt, debt, saving for animportance an emergency emergency fund, able able to to retire retire comfortably. comfortably. TheThe earlier earlier oneone starts starts should be saving given toforthe of fund, a will budget, could result in divorced members not being settling partner and coach to help of structure an action plan Inadequate levels of savings should because of not should be given be given to the to importance the importance a of budget, a budget, could could result result in divorced in divorced members members not not being being addressing addressing themost the gap gap of of retirement retirement savings, savings, thestarts theof retirement lifelife and and disability disability cover which provide essential essential settling debt,tocover saving for financial an provide emergency fund, tothe retire comfortably. The earlier one is rated asable one of stressful addressing the shortfall savings, create awhich healthy portfolio. Consideration able able to retire to retire comfortably. comfortably. The earlier The earlier one one starts starts settling settling debt, debt, saving saving for an for emergency an emergency fund, fund, ces that an individual might have to go of retirement financial financial protection protection for for your your dependants dependants andand a of will,” aa will,” easier easier it will it will be be tothe accumulate to accumulate thethe capital capital required required should be given to the importance budget, could result in divorced not and being addressing gap savings, themembers life disability cover which provide essential and life disability disability covercover which which provide essential the gap gap of standard retirement ofstandard retirement savings, savings, the theThelife in life.addressing Fundaddressing membersthe should evaluate settling debt, saving for provide an essential emergency fund, able to retire comfortably. earlier oneand starts concludes concludes Ramookho. Ramookho. to sustain to sustain the the necessary necessary of living. of living. it will be to accumulateaddressing the capital required financial protection for your cover dependants andessential a will,” ficiency ofeasier their savings the required gap of retirement savings, theprotection lifefor and disability which provide financial financial protection your for your dependants dependants and aand will,” a will,” easier easier it willretirement itbe will tobe accumulate to accumulate the capital the capital required concludes Ramookho. sustain necessary standard of living. payments to to their formerthe spouses,” says easier it will be to accumulate the capital required financial protection for your dependants and a will,” to sustain the necessary the necessary standard standard of living. of living. concludes concludes Ramookho. Ramookho. Ramookho, strategic retail manager at tothis sustain the called necessary standard ofFor living. concludes For solutions solutions relevant relevant to your toRamookho. your needs, needs, callcall OldOld A sustain simple A to simple measure measure illustrates illustrates this point, point, called ual. thethe replacement replacement ratio, ratio, which which is the is the ratio ratio of your of your Mutual Mutual on on 0860 0860 60 60 60 60 60 60 to find to find an an adviser adviser in For solutions relevant to your needs, callin Old A simple measure illustrates this point, called For solutions to call your needs, call Old A simple measure illustrates For this solutions point, calledrelevant For solutions relevant to your torelevant your needs, needs, Old call Old A simple A simple measure measure illustrates illustrates this point, point, called called income income level level after retirement as as athis percentage a percentage ho advises that addition toafter theretirement lump your area area scan or scan the the QR QR code. code. the inreplacement ratio, which the ratioratio, of your theis replacement which isyour the ratio of or your Mutual on 0860 60 60 60 to60find inin Mutual on 0860 60 60 toan findadviser an adviser replacement the replacement ratio, ratio, which which is the is ratio the ratio ofafter your of your Mutual on 0860 on 0860 60 60 6060 60 toscan 60 find to an findadviser an adviser in in uctionthe retirement savings,salary. a salary. further income level retirement as a Mutual percentage your area orQR the QR code. oftoof your your current current A replacement A replacement ratio ratio of of income level after retirement as a percentage your area or scan the code. ction upon the withdrawal of retirement of your current salary. A replacement ratio income income levellevel after after retirement retirement as aas percentage a percentage your your area area orofscan or scan the QR thecode. QR code. of your current salary. A replacement ratio of of your of your current current salary. salary. A replacement A replacement ratioratio of of




Upholding workers’ rights

workers whose jobs are threatened. One of the main interventions is the establishment by the Unemployment Insurance Fund of the Temporary Employer-Employee Relief Scheme. Companies that are unable to pay their employees as a result of the lockdown, are able

There are healthcare workers, law enforcement officers, supermarket

A host of other measures are in

workers, soldiers, lab technicians,

place and it is our duty as public

pharmacists, cleaners at medical

servants to ensure that as many

facilities, farmworkers, refuse

people as possible are aware of

collectors, taxi drivers, caregivers,


bus drivers, security personnel and

Phumla Williams, GCIS Acting Director-General.


to apply for assistance.

We need to remind all employers

so many men and women who

that it is their responsibility to

put themselves at risk during the

keep up to date with available

coronavirus lockdown.

support measures; to access

They kept the nation going

these measures if needed so

while the majority of people

their employees are not left high

orker’s Day is a celebra-

stayed safely at home during the

and dry; and to communicate all

tion of workers’ rights.

lockdown period.

relevant plans to their employees.

Despite 1 May being a

The global pandemic presents

All employers and managers

longstanding international public

threats not only to our health, but

must also follow global safety

holiday, it only became recognised

to our financial wellbeing too. While

precautions to minimise workers’

in the democratic South Africa

the people classified as essential

risk of exposure to the virus.

as part of honouring the labour

workers had to face the fear of

movement’s contribution to our

contracting the virus during the

people with the means to continue

Struggle and ending the restrictive

lockdown, thousands of other

paying their employees – including

and oppressive labour laws

workers had their own anxieties –

domestic workers – should do so.

that left workers voiceless under

those of being unable to pay their

While government is ready to help,

apartheid rule.

bills and feed their families.

the burden on the state coffers is

Worker’s Day 2020 unfolds in the

Days once filled with productive

In the spirit of ubuntu, those


most extraordinary circumstances

labour suddenly became empty

in modern history – with all parts of

and the certainty of receiving a

employers – both big and small

the global community reorganising

salary was snatched away.

– to treat their staff members with

societies and economies to

With great difficulty but out

Government appeals to all

compassion and empathy during

combat the coronavirus disease,

of concern for the wellbeing

these unprecedented times. With


of citizens and our economy,

the country and its citizens in

government has done everything

survival mode, it is imperative that

hundreds of thousands of

to ensure no-one is left floundering.

the needs and rights of workers –

South Africans who have been

Support measures are in place

which were so hard won – are not

classified as essential workers.

for businesses in distress and for

trampled or carelessly disregarded.

This Worker’s Day, we salute


Public Sector Manager • May 2020


Source: SAnews

Govt pulls out all the stops to support economy, people


overnment has an-

funding to small businesses. These

to direct resources towards fighting

nounced a massive social

were aimed at mitigating the worst

the pandemic. This will include the

relief and economic

effects of the pandemic on busi-

reprioritisation of around R130 bil-

support package of R500 billion to

nesses, communities and individu-

lion within the current budget.”

mitigate the impact of the coronavi-


rus (COVID-19) on South Africans. In his address to the nation on 21

“We are now embarking on the

The third phase is the economic strategy implemented to jumpstart

second phase of our economic

the recovery of the economy as

April, President Ramaphosa said

response to stabilise the economy,

the country emerges from the

the pandemic required an eco-

address the extreme decline in


nomic response equal to the scale

supply and demand and protect

of the disruption it was causing.

jobs,” said the President

Government’s economic response is divided into three phases.

The social relief and economic

The announcement of the reprioritisation of the state’s coffers to fight the pandemic follows recent delib-

support package that stands at

erations at Cabinet, the National

the centre of the second phase will

Coronavirus Command Council,

March when the coronavirus pan-

cater for an extraordinary health

the President’s Coordinating Coun-

demic was declared a national

budget to respond to COVID-19,

cil, and the National Economic


the relief of hunger and social

Development and Labour Council,

distress, support for companies

among others.

The first phase began in mid-

This phase included a range of measures such as tax relief, the

and workers and the phased re-

release of disaster relief funds,

opening of the economy.

Raising funds to fight COVID-19

emergency procurement, wage

“The impact of the coronavirus re-

support through the Unemploy-

quires an extraordinary coronavirus

The rest of the funds to fight

ment Insurance Fund (UIF) and

budget – of around R500 billion –

COVID-19 will be raised from both


Public Sector Manager • May 2020

local sources, such as the Unem-

providing food and shelter for the

VAT refunds and a three-month

ployment Insurance Fund, global


delay for filing and first payment of

partners and international finance institutions.

With the COVID-19 crisis set to add to job losses, the President an-

carbon tax. To assist more businesses, the

nounced that an additional R100

previous turnover threshold for tax

proached the World Bank, Interna-

billion will be set aside for the pro-

deferrals is being increased to R100

tional Monetary Fund, BRICS New

tection of jobs and to create jobs.

million a year, and the propor-

To date, government has ap-

Development Bank and the African

An additional amount of R2 bil-

tion of PAYE payment that can be

Development Bank. Work is under-

lion will be made available to assist

deferred will be increased to 35

way between the National Treasury

small, medium and micro enter-


and these institutions on the vari-

prises and spaza shop owners and

ous funding transactions.

other small businesses.

This funding will be used in the

Businesses with a turnover of more than R100 million a year can apply directly to SARS for deferrals

response to COVID-19 through the

Loan guarantee scheme

provision of treatment, additional

In partnership with the major

will be applicable if they can show

expenditure on personal protective

banks, the National Treasury and

they have been materially nega-

equipment for health workers, com-

the South African Reserve Bank,

tively impacted in this period,” said

munity screening, an increase in

government will introduce a R200

the President.

testing capacity, additional beds in

billion loan guarantee scheme. This

field hospitals, ventilators, medicine

will assist enterprises with opera-

nate to the Solidarity Fund will be

and staffing.

tional costs, such as salaries, rent

able to claim up to an additional

and the payment of suppliers.

10 percent as a deduction from

first instance, to fund the health

“An amount of R20 billion will be directed to addressing our efforts

In the initial phase, companies

to address the pandemic,” said the

with a turnover of less than R300


million a year will be eligible. The scheme is tipped to support

Municipalities to receive R20 billion

over 700 000 firms and more than

of their tax payments. “No penalties for late payments

Additionally, taxpayers who do-

their taxable income. In total these tax measures should provide at least R70 billion in cash flow relief or direct payments to businesses and individuals.

three million employees during

As the coalface of service deliv-

this period. A number of banks are

Protection of jobs

ery, municipalities are among the

ready to roll out the product before

Government will set aside an addi-

hardest hit at a time when the

the end of the month.

tional R100 billion for the protection of jobs and to create jobs.

demands on them are increasing. In this regard, additional fund-

Tax relief measures

“While there are several interven-

ing of R20 billion will be made

In addition to existing tax relief

tions that already exist within gov-

available to municipalities for the

measures, government will also

ernment to deal with the extremely

provision of emergency water

introduce a four-month holiday

high unemployment, such as the

supply, increased sanitisation of

for companies’ skills development

Expanded Public Works Programme

public transport and facilities, and

levy contributions, fast-tracking

and the community works pro-

Public Sector Manager • May 2020



gramme, these are not enough. The coronavirus crisis will lead to many people losing their jobs,” the President said. Since the declaration of a state of national disaster over a month ago, government has put in place a range of measures to support

unemployed and do not receive

new economy in a new global

workers’ wages and assist compa-

any other form of social grant or


nies in distress.

UIF payment. The Department of Social Devel-

The economic strategy going forward will require a new

Help for the vulnerable

opment will issue the requirements

social compact among all role

The President also announced

needed to access and apply for

players – business, labour, com-

that government will direct R50

this funding.

munity and government – to

billion towards relieving the plight

President Ramaphosa acknowl-

restructure the economy and

of South Africans who are most af-

edged the government’s food

fected by COVID-19 by temporarily

distribution capacity is not ad-

increasing the child support grant

equate to meet the demand that

that is being forged among all

for six months.

has arisen since the start of the

social partners during this crisis,


we will accelerate the structural

“This means that child support

achieve inclusive growth. “Building on the cooperation

grant beneficiaries will receive an

“The South African Social Security

reforms required to reduce

extra R300 in May and from June

Agency will, within days, implement

the cost of doing business,

to October they will receive an ad-

a technology-based solution to

to promote localisation and

ditional R500 each month.”

roll out food assistance at scale

industrialisation, to overhaul

through vouchers and cash trans-

state-owned enterprises and to

receive an extra R250 per month

fers to ensure that help reaches

strengthen the informal sector.”

for the next six months.

those who need it faster and more

All other grant beneficiaries will

"Poverty and food insecurity have in recent weeks deepened

efficiently.” In addition, the Department of

A compact will be forged for radical economic transformation that advances the

dramatically as the country deals

Social Development has partnered

economic position of women,

with the pandemic. To reach the

with the Solidarity Fund, non-

youth and persons with disabili-

most vulnerable families in the

governmental organisations and

ties, and that makes our cities,

country, we have decided on a

community-based organisations

towns, villages and rural areas

temporary six-month coronavirus

to distribute 250 000 food parcels

vibrant centres of economic


across the country.


of Distress grant of R350 a month,

Structural reforms

founded on fairness, empower-

for the next six months, will be paid

Looking to the future, the President

ment, justice and equality, he

to individuals who are currently

said the time had come to forge a


A special Covid-19 Social Relief


This new economy must be

Public Sector Manager • May 2020


Source: SAnews


response zooms in on the economy


n May, the state will shift its

“Phase three is a pivot to position

do not mortgage our future. In par-

response to the coronavirus

the economy for structurally higher

ticular, as we come out of the coro-

(COVID-19) pandemic by

growth. This virus will be beaten, but

navirus crisis, we must work quickly

preserving the economy, develop-

we must make sure that when we

to implement our structural reforms

ing immediate recovery plans and

beat it, we do not compromise our

to get the economy moving. Virus

pivoting the economy to a position

long-run sustainability.”

or no virus, the economy has been

of growth.

Concerns about the sustainability

growing too slowly for too long.”

This was revealed by Finance

of South Africa’s fiscal choices has

Minister Tito Mboweni during a

seen the cost of South Africa’s bor-

the country’s macro-economic

press briefing in which he outlined

rowing increasing faster than other

response must not only be about

details of government’s R500 billion

emerging economies.

high-level fiscal and monetary

economic support package. The package was announced by

“The fiscal weakness was present going into the crisis – in particular

The Minister reiterated that

variables but must also be people centred.

President Cyril Ramaphosa during

rising debt to gross domestic prod-

an earlier address to the nation.

uct levels, and the rapid growth

ple, particularly the poor, the infirm

in interest costs as a share of total

and the vulnerable. It must also be

spending, squeezing out spending

about the businesses – large and

on other priorities,” said Minister

small – that drive our economy,


and create work for our people. It

In May, government will focus on three phases. The first phase, which the state is currently in, aims to preserve the country’s economy.

must be about our banking and

mediate, targeted and temporary

Focusing on the short- and long-term

responses,” explained the Minister.

While government is aware of the

“It is designed to be a set of im-

“It must also be about our peo-

financial system, to make sure money continues to flow through the veins of the economy.”

need for a short-term enormous

National Treasury has proposed

plan, which will be outlined in due

intervention, it also has its eye on

a coordinated fiscal and monetary

course, for the recovery from the

the future.

policy in response to the pan-

The second phase involves a

immediate effects of the crisis.


“We must ensure that our choices


Public Sector Manager • May 2020

The state’s response will see

will utilise the combined balance

six months. During the next six

National Treasury use fiscal and

sheet of the country in a careful

months, the unemployed will

monetary policies in a way that

but appropriate way.”

receive a COVID-19 Social Relief of

delivers an immediate, targeted and clear response. “Wisely used together, these key levers can deliver a counter-cyclical boost directly into the heart

This takes the total economywide measures to over R800 billion.

see an extensive set of tax relief

etary policy response.”

and support for workers.

The five components of the fiscal response are:

levers work against each other, or

 A health budget (R20 billion)

if the levers are used incorrectly,

to respond to coronavirus.

then we can be left substantially

 The relief of hunger and social

choose a path that seems easy, or too good to be true,” he said.

distress.  Support for companies and workers.  The phased re-opening of the

Coordinated response Teams from National Treasury and the South African Reserve Bank

The third part of the package will

“This is a major fiscal and mon-

of the economy. But, if these two

worse off. We must be careful not to

Distress Grant of R350.

economy.  Supportive monetary and financial market measures.

These range from:  An increase in the expanded employment tax incentive amount from R500 to R750 per employee.  A skills development levy holiday of four months from 1 May 2020.  Fast-tracking VAT refunds.  Deferring the payment of excise duty on alcoholic beverages and tobacco products.  A three-month deferral for filing

(SARB) have worked together on a set of macro-economic responses

Three packages

and first payment of carbon

to the crisis.

“Under the first part of the pack-

tax liabilities to 31 October

age, we are setting aside an


Recent discussions, the minister said, pointed to a need to ap-

amount of R20 billion to be di-

propriately calibrate fiscal and

rected to addressing our efforts in

the corporate tax proposals in

monetary policy interventions, and

dealing with the pandemic. Under

this year’s Budget on interest

provide appropriate advice.

the second part of the package,

expenses and assessed losses.

“We must always balance

the government will substantially

 A postponement of some of

 An increase in the deferment

short-term fiscal and monetary

increase our social security net.

policy interventions with long-run

To this end, government has set

sustainability. Working under the

aside R50 billion towards child

threshold for automatic defer-

leadership of our President, we

support grants.”


calibrated a fiscal package of ap-

In May, child support grant

of employee’s tax.  An increase in the turnover

National Treasury has also ex-

proximately R500 billion. Governor

beneficiaries will receive an extra

panded access to living annuity

[Lesetja Kganyago] has already

R300. In the following five months,

funds by allowing individuals to

unveiled a monetary and policy

caregivers will get an additional

adjust the proportion they receive


R500 each month.

as annuity income, instead of wait-

“This will bring additional life into the whole financial system, and

Public Sector Manager • May 2020

All other grants will be topped by R250 per month for the next

ing up to one year until their next contract anniversary date.



Source: SAnews

Coronavirus alert levels to guide SA


he easing of South Africa’s

rate and manner of the spread of

could cause a massive resurgence

lockdown restrictions will be

the coronavirus (COVID-19) within

in infections,” he said.

done deliberately and cau-

the South Africa population.

The President cautioned that a

tiously, and will unfold through the

“The action we take now must

implementation of a risk-adjusted

therefore be measured and incre-

spread, which would need to be



followed by another hard lock-

President Cyril Ramaphosa

“This approach is guided by

explained that this approach is

the advice from scientists who

necessary because there is still

have advised that an abrupt and

much that is unknown about the

uncontrolled lifting of restrictions


rushed re-opening could risk a

down, as has happened in other countries. “We have to balance the need to resume economic activity with the

Public Sector Manager • May 2020

imperative to contain the virus and save lives. “To achieve this, we have developed an approach that determines the measures we should have in place based on the direction of the pandemic in our country.” As part of this approach, there will be five coronavirus levels.

The five levels Level Five means that drastic measures are required to contain the spread of the virus to save lives. Level Four means some activity

need it,” explained the President. From the start of the national

passengers and stringent hygiene requirements, including that all

can be allowed to resume subject

lockdown South Africa was at Level

passengers must wear a face

to extreme precautions required to

Five – the highest level of lockdown


limit community transmission and

which was imposed when dras-


tic action was necessary to curb

sised that during this period, the


public is encouraged to stay at

Level Three involves the easing of some restrictions, including on work

Following a decision by the

President Ramaphosa empha-

home, other than for essential per-

and social activities, to address a

NCCC, the national coronavirus

sonal movement, doing essential

high risk of transmission.

alert level was lowered from Level

work and work in sectors that are

Five to Level Four from 1 May.

under controlled opening.

Level Two involves the further easing of restrictions, but the mainte-

The range of goods that may be

nance of physical distancing and

Level Four unpacked

sold will be extended to incorpo-

restrictions on some leisure and

Under Level 4, borders remain

rate certain additional categories.

social activities to prevent a resur-

closed to international travel,

gence of the virus.

except for the repatriation of South

certain sectors regardless of the

African nationals and foreign

level of alert for as long as the risk


of transmission is present. These

Level One means that most normal activity can resume, with precautions and health guidelines

Restrictions remain in place in

However, no travel is allowed

include bars and shebeens, con-

between provinces, except for

ference and convention centres,

the transportation of goods and

entertainment venues, cinemas,

Command Council (NCCC) will

exceptional circumstances such as

theatres and concerts.

determine the alert level based on


followed at all times. “The National Coronavirus

an assessment of the infection rate

During this period, public trans-

Concerts, sporting events and religious, cultural and social gath-

and the capacity of our health sys-

port continues to operate, with

erings will not be allowed until it is

tem to provide care to those who

limitations on the number of

deemed safe for them to continue.

Public Sector Manager • May 2020



Under Level Four some activity

The President said while a nation-

sible, President Ramaphosa said

is allowed to resume subject to

wide lockdown was probably the

there will be a national level and

extreme precautions to limit com-

most effective means to contain

separate levels for each province,

munity transmission and outbreaks.

the spread of the coronavirus, it

district and metro in the country.

Some businesses can also resume

cannot be sustained indefinitely.

The NCCC is expected to de-

“Our people need to eat. They

termine the alert level based on

operations but under specific

need to earn a living. Companies

an assessment of the infection

need to be able to produce and

rate and the capacity of South

here to detailed health and safety

to trade, they need to generate

Africa’s health system to provide

protocols to protect their employ-

revenue and keep their employees

care to those who need it.

ees, and workplace plans will be

in employment.”

conditions. “Every business will have to ad-

put in place to enable disease sur-

The pandemic was declared a

“We have undertaken a detailed exercise to classify the

veillance and prevent the spread

national disaster on 15 March. This

different parts of the economy

of infection.

was in an effort to delay the spread

according to the risk of transmis-

of the virus.

sion in that sector, the expected

“All businesses that are permitted

“We have sought to avoid a

impact of the lockdown, the eco-

quired to do so in a phased man-

massive surge in infections and

nomic contribution of the sector

ner, first preparing the workplace

an uncontrollable increase in the

and the effect on livelihoods,” he

for a return to operations, followed

number of people needing medi-


by the return of the workforce in

cal care. Our approach has been

batches of no more than one-third.”

based on the principles of social

disposal indicates that 75 per-

distancing, restriction of move-

cent of confirmed coronavirus

able to return to full production

ment and stringent basic hygiene

cases are found in just six metro

during Level Four while the risk of


municipalities – Johannesburg,

to resume operations will be re-

In some cases, a sector may be

infection remains high.

By delaying the spread of the

Evidence at government’s

Ekurhuleni, Cape Town, Buffalo

Businesses have been encour-

virus government has had time to

City, eThekwini and Mangaung.

aged to adopt a work-from-home

prepare the country’s health facili-

President Ramaphosa said it

strategy where possible.

ties and mobilise essential medi-

was therefore essential that eve-

cal supplies needed to meet the

rything was done to restrict the

inevitable increase in infections.

movement of people and reduce

Lockdown has slowed the pandemic

“And it is in so doing, that we

human interaction.

President Ramaphosa said,

hope to save tens of thousands of

coupled with measures such as

lives. There is clear evidence that

as individuals, that will determine

closing the country’s borders, the

the lockdown has been working.”

how quickly the virus spreads. If

lockdown has slowed the progression of the pandemic. This week the World Health

“Ultimately, it is our own actions,

we all adhere to instructions and

NCCC to determine alert level

follow public health guidelines, we will keep the virus under con-

Organisation commended South

To ensure that government’s re-

trol and will not need to reinstate

Africa’s swift interventions to limit

sponse to the pandemic can be

the most drastic restrictions,” he

the spread of the virus.

as precise and targeted as pos-



Public Sector Manager • May 2020

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Source: SAnews


Life under Level Four T

he country may have moved

“It’s not a licence to visit your

from coronavirus (COVID-19)

relatives or friends. So, between

of infections and we don’t want

alert Level Five to Level Four

infection, others have higher rates

8pm and 5am, if you’re not having

those at a higher rate of infec-

on 1 May, but the road ahead is still

a permit to be out, you have to be

tion to keep moving to those at a

steeped with sacrifices and curfews

at home.”

moderate rate of infection," the

that need to be obeyed. Government said Level Four is not

Those who live in one province but work in a neighbouring

Minister said. The borders – sea borders and air

a call for free reign for all and still

province will be permitted to travel

and land ports of entry – are still

expects people to stay at home.

daily, but must be in possession of

closed except for goods that are

a permit.

arriving or leaving the country.

Under the Level Four COVID-19 regulations, which were gazetted

Children who visited relatives be-

by Cooperative Governance and

fore the lockdown will be permitted

borders is only allowed under

Traditional Affairs Minister

to move back home.

exceptional circumstances, for

Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, 1.5

The regulations on funerals have

million workers will return to their

not changed and close relatives

work posts.

still need a death certificate and

Movement of people While more people will now be go-

The movement of people across

instance, if you are a South African stuck in another country. “When they return, they must be

permission from the police station

quarantined for 14 days before

or magistrate to attend.

they go to their families, homes or

Movements between provinces,

work because some will be com-

ing to work, Minister Dlamini Zuma

except for the specified circum-

ing from very high-risk countries

stressed that people should stay at

stances, is not allowed.

where the infection is higher than

home after knocking off.


“They’re on a different level of the

it is here.”

Public Sector Manager • May 2020

With more people returning to work rail and buses and other forms of transport will now operate

Any form of liquor is also not permitted to be distributed.

their neighbourhood, within a 5km radius, between 6 am and 9 am.

“The non-sale of alcohol has hospitals and units are normal

Work places must be COVID-19 ready

agricultural products, such as wine

now. Our intensive care units are

“We’re still encouraging people

and wool, among others, will open

not filled with people who have

who can work at home to work at

for exportation.

been stabbed or shot or raped or


under strict guidelines. Transportation of cargo and all

People are still barred from going to beaches, flea-markets,

freed the hospitals; our emergency

For those who will be returning to

so on.” The Minister said this stance is

night clubs and parks. Hairdress-

work, the Minister urged industries to prepare their workplaces.

ers’ doors will still be closed under Level Four because of the risk, despite a lot of people requesting this service. However, you can still go out and buy winter clothes, heaters and bedding to keep warm to curb the flu outbreak as winter approaches.

She said those who do not ad-

“We’re still encouraging people who can work at home to work at home.”

Cigarettes, alcohol and exercise The sale of cigarettes and alcohol remains prohibited, said the Minister. “We debated the matter and

here to the COVID-19 regulations will be fined. Under Level Four, workers in manufacturing, transport and logistics; agriculture, forestry and fishing; mining and quarrying; finance and business, construction; information and communications; and wholesale and retail, among others, can return to work. Under the regulations, workers in

assisting in fighting COVID-19. “Besides that, alcohol attracts

specified industries can return to

crowds. Very few people enjoy

the workplace subject to:

drinking alone. Besides that, it

Strict health protocols and

looked at it and decided we must

means that the police can do

continue as we are when it comes

what they need to do and all the

to cigarettes and tobacco prod-

enforcement officers. The hospital

for measures to make the work-

ucts and we decided not to open

can look after the sick and not the

place COVID-ready.

the sale.”

emergencies that come from the

The Minister said the reasons are health-related and include how tobacco is shared amongst people, which encourages the spread of the virus.

Public Sector Manager • May 2020

affects of alcohol,” she explained. Exercise is allowed but only under strict conditions. Under the new regulations, people can cycle, run and walk within

social distancing rules. •

A phased-in approach to allow

The return taking place in a manner that avoids and reduces the risks of infection. To view all Level Four regulations

gazetted, go to: www.gpwonline.


Writer: Allison Cooper


SA’s eight-stage plan to tackle COVID-19 S outh African epidemiologist

could see an abrupt increase in

how COVID-19 originated, what the

and infectious diseases spe-

the infection rate. On a positive

early trajectory was in South Africa

cialist Professor Salim Abdool

note, he said the lockdown has

and the country’s eight-stage plan

Karim believes that government’s

bought us time. “We cannot end

for tackling the virus, among others.

novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

lockdown abruptly. It will undo all

interventions – most notably the na-

we have achieved.”

tional lockdown – were successful

At a briefing held with Health Min-

Professor Karim said that the world’s first cases of COVID-19 probably occurred in November

in slowing down the viral spread.

ister Zweli Mkhize in the first week of

2019, but the first reported case

However, he cautioned that as

April, Professor Karim, the chairman

was on 19 December in Wuhan,

soon as the opportunity arises for

of the Ministerial Advisory Group

China. These initial cases ema-

the virus to spread, South Africa

on COVID-19, gave an overview of

nated from a seafood market in


Public Sector Manager • May 2020

the area where pangolins, which

He explained that when South

the case, we could not be getting

are among the things being con-

Africa reached 100 positive

a true sense of what the epidemic

sidered as the source of the virus,

cases of COVID-19, it seemed to

is doing in our poor communities

were sold.

be following the same trend as the

that don’t have medical aid.

“In the short four months that

United Kingdom. The initial trajec-

The second is that the reduction

we’ve known about the virus,

tory of the epidemic in these two

of cases could be genuine. “The

we have seen it go from a small

countries showed similar numbers.

overall number of tests increased

outbreak in relation to the seafood

However, after lockdown, South

in the past two weeks. That reduces

market to a situation where we

Africa’s numbers declined and the

the likelihood that it's just simply a

have just over 1.8 million people

curve started to flatten. This is a


very different situation to other

This gives some indication of how rapidly the epidemic can grow.

countries, such as the United Kingdom

“When we look at each country

and China.

and the way in which the epidem-

“I’ve also

ic grows, we can see that once a

compared our

country reaches 100 cases, the epi-


demic grows at a rapid rate – what

curve to

we call an exponential curve – that

some of

reflects the high number of new

the most

infections that occur almost daily.


“When you have this exponential


curve and new cases increase

that have

rapidly, people need medical care

been able to

and the medical system gets over-

make a marked


impact on the

People infected with the virus

growth of the epi-

generally show symptoms seven

demic, particularly South

days later, he said.

Korea, Japan and Singapore.

According to Professor Karim,

No other country has been able to

South Africa was on an upward

reach a stage where you get that


trajectory and entering the expo-

kind of plateau.”

lem of a lack of testing. There has to be a third explanation… It’s

nential curve before lockdown. On 26 March, the day lockdown

Why is SA different?

most likely due to some genuine

commenced, South Africa began

Professor Karim said there are three

effect… It's not something we can

to see a decline in the number of

possible reasons why South Africa’s

say definitively, but we can say that

cases. Following this, the country

trajectory is different.

it’s the likely situation. We still need

reached a plateau, where it was

The first, he said, is that we could

seeing a similar number of cases

not be doing enough testing, espe-

every day – between 60 and 70.

cially in the public sector. If this is

Public Sector Manager • May 2020

to do more in terms of testing.” The first wave of cases in South Africa came from people who











had travelled overseas, where they

africa has some special protective

munity to find them before they get

acquired the coronavirus and then

factor that’s not present anywhere

to a hospital,” said Professor Karim.

brought it back to SA. The second

else in the world… Government

wave came from people who had

interventions have slowed the

care workers are going door-

contact with these individuals and

spread and the curve has been

to-door in SA’s most vulnerable

third wave is community transmis-

impacted. Delaying the spread

communities, to screen people for


is important because we simply

COVID-19 and refer them for testing

While South Africa expected

do not have enough ICU beds or

if needed.

to see an exponential growth in

ventilator medical care. We simply

COVID-19 due to community trans-

cannot provide care to so many

The first four stages

mission, its efforts to locate people

people at one time. That’s the chal-

South Africa has an eight-stage

who could have come into contact

lenge we face.

plan in place to tackle COVID-19.

with infected people has slowed

“South Africa has a unique com-

He explained that 28 300 health-

The first stage response to

ponent to its response. Every other

COVID-19 was preparation, includ-

country has simply had to wait until

ing setting up laboratories, starting

What’s next?

they saw cases coming to hospi-

testing and educating citizens

Is the exponential spread of

tals. We are being proactive and

about the virus.

COVID-19 in SA avoidable?

have chosen to do active case

community transmission.

“That’s very unlikely, unless South


finding. We are going into the com-

The second stage was primary prevention, including declar-

Public Sector Manager • May 2020

ing a national state of disaster,

Africa, and will include surveil-

patients who do not need to go to

introducing social distancing and

lance on case load and capacity,

hospital. Hospitals will be reserved

handwashing, closing schools,

managing staff exposures and

for seriously ill patients.

controlling the number of people

infections, building field hospitals

attending gatherings and closing

for triage and expanding ICU bed

to prepare now so that we can

the borders to international travel.

and ventilator numbers.

deal with the mental health and

The third stage was lockdown,

Stage seven focuses on bereave-

“In terms of stage seven, we have

social consequences we are going

including intensifying the curtail-

ment and the aftermath, including

to see. For stage eight, we need

ment of human interaction; while

expanding burial capacity, regula-

to be vigilant and stay one step

the fourth stage was surveillance

tions on funerals and managing

ahead of the virus.”

and active case-finding via door-

psychological and social impacts. vigilance, including monitoring;

Ongoing surveillance programme

administering vaccines, if available,

The three components of the

will guide the next steps and the

and ongoing surveillance for new

ongoing surveillance programme

lockdown,” said Professor Karim.


will include community health-

to-door screening, testing, isolation and contact tracing. “Community transmission levels

A systematic easing of the lock-

Stage eight focuses on ongoing

Professor Karim said the major

care workers conducting house-

down would be implemented to re-

concerns for stage six include poor

to-house screening and testing,

duce the risk of rapid transmission,

healthcare access; the need for

especially in vulnerable communi-

taking economic imperatives and

an effective ambulance system;

ties; health worker surveillance one

social disruption into consideration.

HIV positive and TB patients; as well

day each month; and a national

as COVID-19 and flu epidemics

surveillance day, per month, for


schools, mines, prisons and big

He said that using epidemiological criteria would create a clear approach on how to deal with the national response going forward. “There will be large daily varia-

Other concerns include the need for a voluntary partial lockdown

companies. This will involve getting a five

until the end of September for

percent sample from the selected

tions, but these have to be looked

older people (above 60 or 70) and

institutions, initially via a self-taken

at over a period of time. We will

those with co-morbidities, to re-

swab and later, when a rapid an-

compare weeks with weeks, so that

duce their exposure; field hospitals

tigen test is available, via a finger

we compare apples with apples.”

for triage, mainly in big cities; get-


ting staff ready for the exponential

The overall picture of COVID-19

Stages five to eight

curve; and hospitals with makeshift

in South Africa to date is positive.

Stage five of the country’s response

ICUs, more ventilators and personal

“Because we intervened at an op-

will focus on hotspots, including

protective equipment.

portune time, community transmis-

“We need to be ready for stage

sion is at a much lower level than

vene in hotspots, spatial monitoring

six, when patients come. We need

we anticipated. We probably can't

of new cases and outbreak investi-

to ensure that we have capacity

escape the exponential part of

gation and intervention teams.

and field hospitals for triage,” said

this epidemic, but it has bought us

Professor Karim. He explained that

some time,” said Professor Karim.

surveillance to identify and inter-

Stage six will focus on medical care, when the virus peaks in South

Public Sector Manager • May 2020

field hospitals will be able to assist



A message from President Cyril Ramaphosa

Let us unite in our fight against COVID-19


he entire world is in the

that urgent and drastic measures

do. As of now – which is 46 days

unrelenting grip of the coro-

would need to be taken.

since we recorded our 100th

navirus pandemic, whose

Those measures – which includ-

coronavirus case – we have 6 783

spread has been rapid. A vaccine

ed a nation-wide lockdown and

confirmed cases. Italy, which has

has yet to be found. Across the

the closure of our borders – have

a similar size population to ours,

world, over 3.4 million people are

proved to be effective in delaying

had more than 140 000 cases

known to be infected and more

the spread of the disease.

and the United States had around

than 240 000 have died. These are indeed desperate times. When the national state of

This has been possible because most South Africans have adhered to the lockdown provisions,

700 000 confirmed cases at the 46-day mark. But this does not mean that the

disaster was declared, South

practising social distancing and

danger has passed. We have

Africa only had 61 confirmed

wearing face masks. I applaud

not nearly reached the peak of

coronavirus infections. Despite

you for this and for all the other

infections in South Africa. All the

the relatively low number, expert

sacrifices you have made.

scientific models show that the

opinion and international experi-

At this stage in the progress of

infection rate will continue to rise

ence indicated that infections

the pandemic, other countries

at a much faster rate in the next

would rise exponentially. I said

had far more infections than we

few months.


Public Sector Manager • May 2020

Importance of regulations

we are required to value these

which last month imposed a ban

two rights above all others.”

on alcohol sales during lock-

However, the speed with which

The regulations we have put in

the virus spreads and the num-

place are founded on that com-

‘to curb violence against women

ber of people who are ultimately

mitment to life and dignity, and

and children.’

infected will be determined by

which justify – in these extreme

what we do now. That is why the

circumstances – temporary

easing of the lockdown needs

restrictions on other rights, like

to be gradual and cautious. It is

freedom of movement and as-

Prohibition on the sale of tobacco products

for this reason that many regula-


There has been much public

tions need to remain in place and why it is absolutely essential that people observe them. I know

In doing this, South Africa is not unlike many other countries. An estimated one-fifth of the

down to limit infection but also

comment on government’s decision to extend the prohibition on the sale of tobacco products into

how difficult this is and I under-

world’s population is under quar-

Level Four. A decision like this is

stand the concern that many of

antine or nationwide lockdown,

bound to be controversial, but

our compatriots have about how

with this number growing rapidly

it is wrong to suggest that there

these regulations are interfering

in response to rising infections.

are Ministers or a President doing

and limiting their rights. But all this

This includes countries with sub-

and saying whatever they want

is necessary. Our overriding ob-

stantially larger populations than

on this matter.

jective is the preservation of life.

ours, like India with its 1.5 billion

Social distancing and proper


On 23 April, I announced that cigarette sales would be permit-

Dozens of countries have im-

ted during Level Four. This was

defences in this struggle. This is

posed curfews such as the one

based on the view of the Na-

what informs the regulations we

that is now in place here. Limita-

tional Coronavirus Command

have put in place for Level Four of

tions on movement are in place

Council (NCCC), and which was

our response. Our considerations

in a number of countries. In the

contained in the draft framework

are based on empirical evidence,

UK and the French capital, Paris,

that was published for consulta-

scientific and economic data

public exercise is limited to cer-


and international best practice.

tain hours and within a certain

hygiene are still our best and only

In the 1995 judgment of the Constitutional Court that out-

distance of one’s home. Containment and prevention

After careful consideration and discussion, the NCCC reconsidered its position on tobacco. As a

lawed capital punishment,

measures similar to ours are in

result, the regulations ratified by

Justice Arthur Chaskalson wrote:

place in a number of countries.

Cabinet and announced by Min-

“The rights to life and dignity are

For example, alcohol sales dur-

ister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma on

the most important of all human

ing lockdown have been either

29 April extended the prohibition.

rights and the source of all other

restricted or banned in a number

personal rights. By committing

of territories and by local govern-

and the public statements by

ourselves to a society founded on

ments, including parts of Mexico,

both myself and the Minister were

the recognition of human rights

Hong Kong and Greenland,

done on behalf of, and mandat-

Public Sector Manager • May 2020

This was a collective decision



ed by, the collective I lead. Every regulation we have put in

advances the rights to life and dignity of all our people.

place has been carefully con-

Under these extraordinary circumstances, as government, as individuals and as society

been consultation with medical

Saving lives a priority

experts, various constituencies

Listening to our people and

rect them. But we must carry

and different industries. We have

their concerns during this

on, losing neither our nerve nor

been guided by international

period has been one of the dis-

our resolve.

bodies and the experience of

tinguishing features of how we

other countries.

as government have managed

ourselves demands courage

this pandemic. We continue

and patience. It requires good-

in unchartered waters. There is still

to listen to the concerns of our

will and trust between you, the

a great deal about the epidemi-

people and are prepared to

citizen, and your government,

ology of the virus that is unknown.

make adjustments that bal-

and between each other.

It is better to err on the side of

ance people’s concerns about

caution than to pay the devastat-

the challenges they face with

South Africans have adhered

ing price of a lapse in judgment

the need to save lives.

to the lockdown regulations

sidered. Along the way there has

The reality is that we are sailing

in future. While there are differing views

At this difficult time, our collective energies must be focused

we will at times make mistakes. When these occur, we will cor-

The situation in which we find

Over the past five weeks, most

and, as a result, we have slowed the spread of the virus.

on some of the decisions we

on ensuring that health and

have taken – and in some

life is preserved, that the deliv-

in this way and that we remain

instances these have polarised

ery of food, water, health care,

united in confronting this grave

opinion – government is making

social security and social sup-

threat to the life and dignity of

every effort to act in a way that

port is not disrupted.

our people.


It is my plea that we continue

Public Sector Manager • May 2020


Writer: Dale Hes


heroine N

ompumelelo Ncube is one

munity, so I

of our healthcare heroes

saw a lot of

working on the frontlines of

the issues

the COVID-19 fight. Ncube works as a communica-

being faced at commu-

ble disease control and outbreak

nity level. When

response coordinator. She is

my friend passed

employed by the Gauteng Depart-

away, it made me sit

ment of Health and is stationed

back and think what I

in the Tshwane District. This means

want to achieve and how I

that she is at the very heart of

can help the community. Health-

the country’s efforts to control the

care was the perfect choice.”

epidemic. systems are in place to respond to

Long hours on the frontlines

the virus, that health workers are

Ncube has been working long

correctly trained and that we are

hours, up to six days a week.

“We make sure that all the right

on the ground doing testing of

“It has been very draining but

patients and tracing of contacts,”

fulfilling at the same time. It is

says Ncube.

rewarding to be able to help our

She decided to become a

President in curbing the increase

healthcare worker when she lost a

of infections. It has also been very

close friend in a car accident.

heart-warming to see the coordi-

“My grandmother, who raised

nated response from all sectors

me, was a midwife in the com-

of healthcare and government,


Public Sector Manager • May 2020

from emergency medical staff, to ward councillors and the outbreak response teams.” She says that although the arrival of COVID-19 has been scary, she and her colleagues were prepared for it. “Even when the virus first emerged in China, we were receiving training on how to handle it if it arrived here. So before the first cases came, we knew what to do and the processes to be followed. We had all the necessary pro-

one of the best ways to prevent

tective equipment, training and

the spread of the virus. It helps

“Many of our communities are


with lessening the strain on the

very sociable by nature, so that is

healthcare system and prevents

a challenge. But staying at home

back to the basics of infection pre-

hospitals from being overcrowded

is really the best way to prevent

vention and control prevention. It

with patients.

the spread. I encourage everyone

“COVID-19 has really taken me

to try and play their part.

Ncube says that she was delight-

to follow the regulations and to

all the time, such as washing of

ed that President Cyril Ramaphosa

try social distancing, wash your

hands, proper cough etiquette

took such early action to prevent

hands and cough into your elbow

and social distancing. Now the

the virus from spreading.

or a tissue.”

is the things that we speak about

rest of South Africa has been

“The enforcing of the lockdown

alerted to the importance of these

at such an early stage was a bril-

The virus is real!


liant move by the President. It is

Ncube says that this virus is very

Seeing patients recover from the

exactly what we need to prevent

real, and can have a devastating

virus has been the best part of her

the spread of new infections. You

impact if it is not controlled.


can see what has happened in

The importance of sticking to lockdown regulations Around the world, social distanc-

“COVID-19 is very, very real. It is

other countries which did not take

dangerous and if we don’t control

action so early. We have a very

it, it can destroy us. So let us be

low death rate compared to many

safe, protect ourselves and protect

other countries.”

others. The minute we start taking

She says that although some

the virus seriously, the faster we

ing (staying away from other

communities may find social dis-

can beat it. This needs all of us to

people) has been recognised as

tancing difficult, everyone needs

work together.

Public Sector Manager • May 2020



Writer: Jauhara Khan

SANDF on the frontlines of COVID-19 battle T

he sight of brown and green camouflage has become the norm on South Africa’s streets

care practitioners. Together with members of the SAPS, the SANDF has

since the country entered the na-

played an important

tional lockdown on 27 March 2020.

role in supporting

In line with the National Disaster

and enforcing the

Management Act of 2002, Presi-

nation’s lockdown

dent Cyril Ramaphosa deployed


nearly 3 000 South African National

ensuring that

Defence Force (SANDF) members

citizens prac-

across the country to support the

tice social

South African Police Service (SAPS)


in restricting movement to curtail

and stay

the spread of the coronavirus


(COVID-19). To add to the force of workers

President Cyril

fighting the coronavirus, the De-


partment of Defence and Military

delivered a mov-

Veterans called up members from

ing address to SAPS

the Reserve Force, while the South

and SANDF members

African Military Health Service

before the country

called up Reserve Force doctors,

went into the lock-

nurses, and operational emergency



Public Sector Manager • May 2020

“Officers, I send you off now to go

coronavirus cases, but we didn’t

ings to brief soldiers on progress

and be amongst our people. I send

know where it would spread. People

and ensure they were aware of the

you to conduct service amongst

in the community were also not

importance of washing their hands,

our people and shower our people

aware of how dangerous the virus

practicing social distancing.

with guidance, advice and leader-

was, and how quickly it could

ship right now in the Republic of

spread. People live close to each

Doornkop Military Base in Johan-

South Africa. Tonight, you begin

other and the virus could bring

nesburg, away from family, includ-

the most important calling of your

down the whole township. We knew

ing her 10-year-old son.

mission: To save the lives of South

it would be challenging to get peo-


ple to listen to us and stay home.”

Among those soldiers on the

The streets of Alexandra were

frontlines was Lieutenant Ma-

packed with people on the first day

mosala Tsoane of Platoon 2 Charlie

of the lockdown, says Tsoane.

Company in the SANDF’s 21 South African Infantry (SAI) Battalion.

Battling a global pandemic Tsoane began her career with

“Some residents did not even

Tsoane was stationed at the

Tsoane says despite the risks of her deployment, being called to serve the country during this global crisis was a special honour. “This is not an ordinary job. We risk our lives every day not know-

know there was a lockdown. Many

ing what we will face. Not everyone

were angry that they were being

can do it. But our superiors have

forced to stay indoors.”

placed their trust in us and this is

It took time for residents to accept the regulations of the lockdown,

the time to show that we are here when our country needs us.”

the armed forces as a rifleman with

but many were happy to have the

During the lockdown, law enforce-

the 14 SAI Battalion in the Eastern

SANDF present because it led to a

ment agencies arrested thousands

Cape. During her 15-year career,

decrease in crime.

for non-compliance with the

Tsoane has served in the Demo-

Tsoane worked in 12-hour shifts

National State of Disaster regula-

cratic Republic of the Congo and

from 6am to 6pm. Her duties

tions. Police Minister Bheki Cele

at various border posts in South

included conducting foot patrols

also announced a reduction in

Africa, including Beitbridge and the

and vehicle control checks. She

serious and violent crimes which is

Kruger National Park.

also counselled residents about the

believed to be, among other restric-

impact of the virus and precautions

tions, the result of the prohibition of

they needed to take.

the sale and movement of liquor.

But none of these missions have been as vital as the one to protect the people of South Africa during a global pandemic.

In April, the President announced

Serving with pride

that he had deployed over 70 000

Despite wearing protective gear,

defence force personnel to assist

dra township. She says she felt a

Tsoane knew she was still at risk of

with the COVID-19 response.

mix of emotions in the days before

contracting the virus. Soldiers were

the lockdown.

screened daily for symptoms and

the defence force members will

if necessary, transferred to nearby

assist in other essential areas, such

hospitals for further testing.

as the provision of water supply,

Tsoane was deployed to Alexan-

“This situation was a new experience for all of us. None of us knew what would happen. We knew Gauteng had a high number of

Public Sector Manager • May 2020

The SANDF also conducted regular presentations and meet-

In addition to supporting SAPS,

infrastructure maintenance and health services.



Writer: Neo Semono

SA’s exemplary

COVID-19 response S outh Africa, together with

in case detection and over 120

which has not been the case in a

the rest of the African

000 tests completed with a 2.7

number of other countries.”

continent, has handled the

percent positivity rate, which is

Sidiropoulos said that as far

COVID-19 pandemic well, given

incredible – that much testing for

back as February 2020, African

the circumstances that the world

that return,” he added.

health ministers came together

finds itself in.

Chief Executive of the South

to chart a way forward to address

African Institute of International

the pandemic. Recently African

Director of the World Health Or-

Affairs Elizabeth Sidiropoulos said

Union Chairperson (AU) President

ganisation’s Health Emergencies

Africa has been proactive in its

Cyril Ramaphosa convened a

Programme, said African countries


second teleconference meeting

Dr Michael Ryan, Executive

were innovative in their response

“I think in Africa as a whole,

of the AU Bureau.

to COVID-19 and, in some instanc-

what has been apparent is a sig-

es, were leading the way, before

nificant amount of coordination

many countries had fallen victim

singling out South Africa’s efforts.

among African countries early

to what Sidiropoulos refers to as

on,” she said.

'mixed messaging' and a lack of

“It is interesting the way in which South Africa is bringing the dis-

The African continent has learnt

In responding to the pandemic,


ease under control. The strategy in

from other countries dealing with

“One of the most important

South Africa was based on prepa-

the pandemic that has grappled

things when dealing with pan-

ration, lockdown and enhance

the world.

demics is that there has to be

surveillance. “Sixty-seven mobile lab units

“I think both South Africa and

a sense of public trust. Citizens

Africa have taken the lessons

have to trust that the government

around the country, 28 000 com-

learnt from other countries and

actually knows what it’s doing.

munity healthcare workers trained

responded with seriousness...

That has not been the case in


Public Sector Manager • May 2020

other countries.”

Improved coordination

“Our health workers are warriors.

Over the course of the lockdown,

They have fought through many

tries the pandemic has been

South Africa, he said, has seen bet-

things in the history of our health

used for political gain.

ter government coordination in the

system and they are prepared to

She believes that in some coun-

“I think it has been politicised

way that the various ministers have

fight COVID-19. All they are asking

and we have done less of that in

addressed regulations put in place

for is personal protective equip-

our case.”

to deal with the virus.

ment which is appropriate for the

South Africa’s first case of COV-

“On the health systems side, we

task at hand.”

ID-19 was reported on 5 March

have seen a lot of preparation.

2020, when a KwaZulu-Natal man

The Minister of Health will always

South Africans are struggling with

returned from abroad.

emphasise the need to increase

uncertainty that is linked to issues

capacity for laboratory testing...

about mortality.

Response with purpose

On top of that, add the relaxation

Professor Moshabela said many

“You feel helpless when you

of testing criteria to make sure

have to think about not knowing

Sidiropoulos commended govern-

that there is mass screening of

what’s going to come next. You

ment’s efforts to curb the spread

the population. You can see that

then have to grapple with the fact

of the disease, including the

the Department of Health and the

that you’re not invincible and that

implementation of a national

Ministry is using the time to put

you’re vulnerable as well, when

lockdown that started 27 March

things in place which we might

you see people getting infected.


not have had the time to do, had

“I do think there’s a lot of un-

Also lauding efforts put in place

we not had the lockdown.”

certainty, but I think that what

to stop the spread of the virus, was

Professor Moshabela also

has helped is the good com-

Dean of the University of KwaZu-

expressed concern about the

munication from the President

lu-Natal's School of Nursing and

peddling of fake news about

[Cyril Ramaphosa] and Minister of

Public Health, Professor Mosa

COVID-19, an issue which govern-

Health Dr Zweli Mkhize, as well as


ment has moved to address.

other Ministers, in terms of updating people. It helps in that people

“Firstly I must commend gov-

“What I was really happy about

ernment for instituting the lock-

was when we started to see arrests

are not completely lost; they see

down so early. We saw initially

of those who were peddling mis-

what is going on,” he said.

when the national disaster was

information because people were

declared that people were still

falling victim to this misinformation.

Moshabela expressed pride at

confused and did not really co-

The lockdown has really done us

how South Africa, during these

operate with it in that first week.


pressing times, had came out in

For government to move to what

While the majority of the South

Sidiropoulos and Professor

support of one another. This as

I consider a 'heavy duty lock-

Africans stayed home during

those who have continued to do-

down', which is considered to be

the lockdown, health practition-

nate to those who have very little

one of the strictest lockdowns

ers had their stethoscopes firmly

or nothing.

in the world, was really a swift,

around their neck as they were

rapid response with purpose,” he

considered essential service work-

change, South Africa’s principle of



'Ubuntu' continues to shine.

Public Sector Manager • May 2020

In a time of unprecedented



as a by-product. If the hydrogen gas is produced

in partnership with the Department of Defence (DOD)

from renewable energy (such as solar photovoltaic or

and Department of Public Works and Infrastructure

wind energy) through water electrolysis, the energy

(DPWI), will deploy seven hydrogen fuel cell units

production process has a near-zero carbon footprint.

at 1 Military Hospital in Pretoria to assist with the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hydrogen fuel cells coupled with renewable energy thus have the potential to decarbonise both the energy

Since the approval of the Hydrogen South Africa (HySA)

and transport sectors, with a positive contribution to

Strategy by Cabinet in 2007, the HySA programme has

the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Other

made steady progress in developing hydrogen and

notable advantages of hydrogen fuel cells include their

fuel cell technologies focused on platinum group metal

modular nature, as well as their ability to take a variety

(PGM) beneficiation and improved energy security.

of fuel sources from which hydrogen can be extracted, allowing them to be moved rapidly from one point to

Globally, hydrogen fuel cells are increasingly being

another. For these reasons, fuel cells have the potential

recognised as a clean energy technology suitable for

to play an important role in disaster management and

both mobile and stationary applications. Using hydrogen

distributed energy generation in remote areas.

gas as an input fuel, a fuel cell produces electrical energy through an electrochemical reaction with a

The project to deploy hydrogen fuel cell units at

platinum-based catalyst in which only water is emitted

1 Military Hospital is a partnership between the


government and the private sector, comprising of

of the triple helix type of relationship that is critical for

Bambili Energy Group, Singapore-based Horizon, United

taking technology from the laboratory to the marketplace.

States based Element One, and Powercell Sweden. Bambili is a black and female-owned micro-enterprise

The deployment of the fuel cells at 1 Military Hospital will

focused on commercialising intellectual property (IP)

be complemented by a hands-on training programme

developed through the HySA programme. Horizon

to ensure that the skills needed to operate and

and Element One are global original equipment

manage the fuel cell systems are institutionalised within

manufacturers (OEMs) specialising in fuel cell and

government. The first two phases of training will focus on

reformer manufacturing respectively.

officials from the DoD and DPWI, while the third phase will focus on unemployed TVET college graduates with

Through the partnership formed with Bambili, Horizon

N4 electrical or electrical engineering qualifications.

and Element One, they have agreed to incorporate HySA IP into their commercial products, including five of

The National Development Plan, as well as the Integrated

the seven fuel cell systems to be deployed at 1 Military

Resource Plan 2019, highlight the need for South Africa

Hospital. The remaining two systems involve a partnership

to diversify its energy sources and increase the use of

with Powercell, a fuel cell OEM from Sweden. Bambili

renewable energy and gas to reduce the country’s

plans to begin local manufacturing of the stationary fuel

greenhouse gas emissions and address energy security.

cell systems by March 2021.

The fuel cell units will provide all the power requirements for the field hospital which will include tents designated as wards, intensive care units, triage and a lounge area for nurses and doctors treating the patients. The fuel cells will provide power to all the equipment needed to treat the COVID-19 patients who will be housed in the tents.

This has created a platform for emerging low-carbon energy technologies such as hydrogen fuel cells to be part of South Africa’s future energy mix. The government’s foresight and investments in the HySA programme is therefore commendable. With about 75% of global platinum reserves, it is in the country’s interest to develop and promote clean energy technologies that provide alternative applications for platinum and other PGMs like palladium and rhodium. The large-scale use of hydrogen fuel cell technologies

The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the need

could mitigate the potential decline in the use of PGMs

for rapid deployment of health facilities in support of the

in catalytic converters for internal combustion engines

government’s efforts to combat the spread of the disease

due to the need to reduce global greenhouse gas

and provide high care for those infected. Containerised

emissions. South Africa, with its extensive PGM reserves

hydrogen fuel cells can be deployed quickly to provide

and renewable energy resources, has an opportunity

clean power to such facilities, even if they are temporary.

to create a new industry in fuel cell manufacturing and the production of hydrogen from renewable energy for

Accordingly, the DSI, in partnership with the DOD and

global export.

DPWI, identified 1 Military Hospital for the deployment of fuel cells incorporating HySA IP to support the additional

It should be noted that the production of renewable

temporary facilities established as part of the government’s

hydrogen from water requires significant quantities of

response to COVID-19. The collaboration between the

PGMs. Local manufacturing of fuel cells and renewable

government, private sector and academic institutions

hydrogen are therefore potential contributors to job

involved in the HySA programme is an excellent example

creation and economic recovery post-COVID-19.


Writer: More Matshediso

Helping small businesses survive COVID-19 tial impact of COVID-19 on the business operations,” she explains. The interventions will be structured to match the patterns of the cashflow of the SMMEs, as well as the extent of the impact suffered,” she says. To strengthen monitoring and to avoid abuse, the department had to develop qualification criteria which it has put up on its website for businesses to follow as part of


the application process. s many small businesses

the impact during the economic

The DSBD insisted on the use

struggle to keep afloat due

slowdown, we have come up with

of this platform so that it could

to the impact of the coro-

these interventions and we will be

track, monitor and strengthen the

navirus (COVID-19), they can find

working with provincial depart-

impact of business development

some relief from the interventions of

ments to ensure the widest reach

support to SMMEs by both gov-

the Department of Small Business

of SMME support,” the Minister says.

ernment and the private sector

Development (DSBD).

The support will ensure that

during the lockdown and beyond.

Minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni

businesses survive and are able

says some of the interventions that

to continue operating after the

used to apply for both financial

the department has implemented


and non-financial support, to ac-

include the Debt Relief Financing

“In future, the database will be

cess information about business

for small, medium and micro-sized

Debt Relief Financing Scheme

enterprises (SMMEs) and the

Minister Ntshavheni says the Debt

Spaza Support Scheme.

Relief Financing Scheme is aimed

effect in the beginning of April

at providing relief on existing debts

and businesses that had already

and repayments.

registered on the department’s

Scheme, Growth Resilience Facility

“Government understands that SMMEs will be affected on two levels, as businesses when the

“For SMMEs to be eligible for

opportunities and for market access support.” This new intervention came into

database would receive a refer-

economy slows down and as

assistance under the scheme, the

ence number to use when apply-

suppliers of products and services

applicant must demonstrate the

ing for funds.

during the lockdown. To mitigate

direct link of the impact or poten-


Minister Ntshavheni says the

Public Sector Manager • May 2020

turnaround time for applications

six months, to the value of R350

which often are not run as profit-

and approval is around seven

million to 250 clients.

able ventures. The assistance will

days at worst, while approval and

She also released support pack-

cover training in bookkeeping,

disbursement of funds is expect-

ages for those in the informal

customer services skills, stock-

ed to take five days.

sector. These include the Spaza

taking control and purchasing as

Support Scheme, which opened

well as the Occupational Health

in April.

and Safety Act.

Growth Resilience Facility for SMMEs

This scheme includes dedicated

Spaza shops will be helped to

With regard to the Growth Re-

networking, purchase power

access basic business tools, such

silience Facility for SMMEs, the

and bulk purchasing through

as instant payment machines,

Minister says it was specifically

pre-selected and pre-approved

speed points and other vending

created to continue participation

wholesalers. These will include


of SMMEs in the supply value-

buying a pre-approved basket

chain, in particular those who

of goods that includes produce

assistance will have to provide

manufacture (locally) or sup-

procured from SMMEs.

compliance documents. Appli-

ply various products that are in

“The scheme will also seek a

Spaza shop owners wanting

cants will also need Companies

demand, emanating from current

credit facility with seed capital

and Intellectual Property Com-

shortages due to the COVID-19

as some spaza shop owners

mission, South Africa Revenue


are unable to access money to

Service and Unemployed Insur-

purchase stock.”

ance Fund registrations.

“This facility will offer working

They must be owner-managed

capital, stock, bridging finance, finance and the amount required

Support for spaza shop owners

will be based on the funding

This will be followed by a credit

registered on SMMESA and have

needs of the business,” she says.

facility to enable spaza shop

a permit to trade. Municipalities

owners to continuously buy, even

are on hand to assist with the

after the COVID-19 crisis is over.


order finance and equipment

Minister Ntshavheni says the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (SEFA) will approve the rescheduling of the loan repayments for

Business management support will also be given to spaza shops,

and operated, provide proof of an active bank account, be

“We are going to facilitate the licensing of owner-operated spaza shops where they are not licensed… We also assist spaza shop owners to open business accounts,” the Minister says. Existing support programmes offered by the DSBD and its agencies to assist SMMEs remain in place and can be accessed through, www. and www.mybindu.

Public Sector Manager • May 2020



Writer: Lusanda Myoli

Lockdown takes toll on independent contractors


few months ago, news

similar fate. Measures to contain

suppliers, while facing the reality

of the coronavirus

the spread of the virus brought

that this would have financial

(COVID-19) pandemic

with them adjustments to social

implications and affect their bot-

remained a far-fetched reality for

interaction and movement and

tom line.

most South Africans. It was busi-

created a heightened awareness

ness as usual for workers and busi-

of personal hygiene.

nesses across most sectors. This was to change dramatically,

Workplaces, as a microcosm of

Up to that point, businesses were still trading as normal, probably with some random and slight

the larger society, reflected the

changes, but with no variation in

impact the looming crisis would

terms of workers’ earning poten-

have on the country. Businesses

tial. This was in line with Section 22

rates spiraled and it became

sought various means to protect

of the Constitution, which states

evident that South Africa faced a

their personnel, customers and

that, “every citizen has the right to

however. Global infection and death


Public Sector Manager • May 2020

choose their trade, occupation or

dynamics. The reality hit various

whose employers do not make

profession freely. The practice of

businesses, households and

contributions to the UIF, workers

a trade, occupation or profession

individuals differently. While some

who themselves do not make UIF

may be regulated by law”.

faced uncertainty brought about

contributions and even foreign

Then COVID-19 hit South Africa’s

by COVID-19 and the lockdown

workers without the necessary

shores. National reported cases

with absolutely no fear of any ad-

work permits.

and deaths due to it prompted

ditional financial burden, others

government to take stringent

were not so fortunate.

measures to control its spread. On 23 March 2020, President

The various multi-departmental

According to UIF Communications and Marketing Director Makhosonke Buthelezi, “the law states

interventions announced by

that any worker who works for 24

Cyril Ramaphosa announced

President Ramaphosa, as govern-

hours per month or more must be

that, “the National Coronavirus

ment’s response to the economic

registered and contribute to the

Command Council has decided

consequences of the coronavirus

UIF”. Therefore, only qualifying em-

to enforce a nationwide lock-

on citizens, remained a beacon

ployees are eligible to claim from

down for 21 days, with effect from

of hope for those adversely af-

the UIF for loss of income during

midnight on Thursday, 26 March


the lockdown period.


Despite the measures in place,

sage was that this was a well

amongst some categories of

Help for distressed businesses

thought out and necessary meas-

citizens, including vulnerable

In these circumstances, it can

ure to save lives in the face of the

employees and independent

only be hoped that employers

ravaging virus. He acknowledged


will not opt for actions that will

The tone of the President’s mes-

the impact the lockdown would

uncertainty seemed to prevail

Vulnerable employees are

have adverse effects on work-

have on people’s livelihoods, on

employees in non-standard forms

ers but will instead explore other

the life of our society and on our

of employment who, in compari-

government measures in place

economy. He also encouraged

son with employees employed

to help businesses in distress.

participation of all citizens, includ-

on a permanent basis or for an

For example, they may apply to

ing corporates, to save people’s

indefinite period, enjoy few or no

the Commission for Conciliation,

lives, jobs, businesses, property


Mediation and Arbitration for

and the economy.

Earning potential interrupted

Granted, the 2014 Labour Rela-

relief through the Temporary Relief

tions Act amendments regulate

Scheme in the event that, due to

non-standard employment.

the coronavirus pandemic, the

However, there are still pockets of

business faces business closure

As the lockdown kicked in, busi-

employees with little protection.

or retrenchments.

nesses ceased to trade as normal

This includes precarious work-

and some people’s earning po-

ers who, for various reasons, do

nerable citizens with, for example,

tential was interrupted. Paradoxi-

not benefit from the Unemploy-

food packages, may also provide

cally, the lockdown elaborated

ment Insurance Fund (UIF). For

temporary relief under such ad-

the socio-economic differences

example, those not employed

verse circumstances.

and the associated workplace

formally, casual workers, workers

Public Sector Manager • May 2020

Measures in place to assist vul-

General uncertainty in terms of



the impact of COVID-19 has not

no broad clarity on measures in

been unwarranted, especially

place to assist with the economic

because it comes in the midst of

consequences of the pandemic.

a reported global financial crisis. Oxfam is also projecting that half a billion people could be pushed into poverty by the coronavirus. There has also been uncertainty

Monama. On 9 April 2020, President Ramaphosa announced that the National Coronavirus Com-

Provisions for independent contractors Department of Trade and

mand Council had extended the lockdown by another two weeks. This meant, overall, 35 days of no work for some people.

in terms of what the nationwide

Industry spokesperson Sidwell

lockdown means for independ-

Medupe clarified that the provi-

ated the government’s com-

ent contractors. Some independ-

sion for independent contrac-

prehensive economic response

ent contractors faced the abrupt

tors falls under the scope of the

package, with assistance from

cancellation of their projects

Department of Small Business

other stakeholders, to assist vari-

and services already booked.

Development (DSBD).

ous sectors, businesses, workers

Granted, COVID-19 is no-one’s

Asked about government inter-

The President once again reiter-

and vulnerable citizens affected

fault. Therefore, no one could be

ventions in place for independ-

by the lockdown. He indicated

blamed in this regard, as peo-

ent contractors, DSBD Media

that this would be executed

ple’s safety had to be placed first.

Liaison Officer Priscilla Monama

in phases, based on assessed

Independent contractors are

indicated that the department is

needs, with immediate needs be-

'own account workers' operating

developing measures to support

ing prioritised.

in both the private and public

the informal sector. She says a

sector, across various fields, for

detailed plan will be announced

is hope for precarious workers

example, professional services,

once finalised.

and independent contractors. As

legal, IT, human resources and

On the issue of some inde-

Overall, it appears that there

they say, the taste of the pudding

arts and crafts. Ordinarily, they

pendent contractors not being

is in the eating. In the next few

take on the 'self-employed status'

registered as companies/busi-

months, the systems set in place

by choice.

nesses, Monama clarified that

by government will be tested.

while the aim is to provide sup-

It can be anticipated that the

ures have been taken to honour

port, it is important to be able to

systems may be inundated with

commitments for contracted

track and trace support meas-

applications, due to the magni-

independent contractors and

ures, as well as provide broader

tude of the crisis. Therefore, it goes

freelancers during the lockdown

linkage with other government

without saying that patience and

period. For example, as published


cooperation may be required

In some fields, proactive meas-

in various media, actors and

“For this reason, the informal

independent contractors can

sector is also required to register

claim for cancelled work from the

on our SMME SA database and

Department of Arts and Culture.

undergo the necessary verifi-

For some independent contractors, however, there has been


cation, so as to measure the level of support required,” says

from all stakeholders.

*Lusanda Myoli is a Labour Disputes Practitioner and Commissioner at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration.

Public Sector Manager • May 2020


AU appoints COVID-19 special envoys

Source: SAnews

package for Africa, including

to marshal every resource at

deferred debt and interest pay-

our disposal to ensure that this


pandemic is contained and

“The impact of the coronavirus

does not result in the collapse of

African Union (AU) Chairperson

pandemic has been global in

already ailing economies and

President Cyril Ramaphosa has

both scale and reach, and this

financial systems on the conti-

appointed Dr Ngozi Okonjo-

necessitates coordinated inter-


Iweala, Dr Donald Kaberuka,

national action to capacitate all

Dr Okonjo-Iweala is an inter-

Tidjane Thiam and Trevor Ma-

countries to respond effectively,

nationally respected economist

nuel as the AU COVID-19 special

but most particularly develop-

and development expert and


ing countries that continue to

served two terms as Minister of

They have been tasked with

shoulder a historical burden of

Finance of the Federal Republic

mobilising international support

poverty, inequality and under-

of Nigeria.

for Africa’s efforts to address the

development,” said President

economic challenges African


countries will face as a result of

The appointment of the spe-

Dr Kaberuka is an economist and former President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of

cial envoys will expedite the

the African Development Bank.

process of securing economic

He is the former Finance Minister

concrete support as pledged

support to enable countries on

of Rwanda.

by the G20, the European Union

the continent to respond swiftly

and other international financial

to this grave public health emer-

ing Minister of Finance in South



Africa and formerly headed

the COVID-19 pandemic. They will solicit rapid and

“In the light of the devastating

“The African Union is immense-

Manuel was the longest-serv-

the country’s National Planning

socio-economic and political

ly encouraged by the support

impact of the pandemic on

that has been extended by the

African countries these institu-

international community thus

nessman. He is the former

tions need to support African

far. It is an affirmation that as

Chief Executive Officer of Credit

economies that are facing

nations of the world, we are all

Suisse and also served as Chief

serious economic, challenges,

in this together.

Financial Officer and CEO of

Commission. Thiam is a banker and busi-

with a comprehensive stimulus

“We must now focus on efforts

CoronaFighter app tracks COVID-19 symptoms

CoronaFighter has been created

the information contained in

and developed by Dr Jarrad

the app is sourced from the

van Zuydam and Dr Rick Diesel,

National Institute for Communi-

A newly developed app will en-

from InsightFit, and teams at

cable Diseases (NICD), which is

able South Africans to monitor

Sigma Digital and Lead Robot,

a national public health institute

their health during the coronavirus

to provide citizens with accurate

that provides reference micro-


information about the virus.

biology, virology, epidemiology,


A web-enabled app called


Dr Van Zuydam says most of

Public Sector Manager • May 2020

surveillance and public health

duces pressure on testing points

lect data to provide medical au-

research to support the govern-

and protects its users from the

thorities with reactive feedback

ment’s response to communica-

risk of infection presented by the

on where COVID-19 hotspots are,

ble disease threats.

testing centres themselves.

and aids in providing crucial

“Over 30 super-talented volun-

Due to COVID-19’s tendency to

data so that medical resources

teers from the Civitas Founder

present symptoms slowly and be

can be used in the most efficient

Network and Knife Capital’s

passed along incredibly easily,

way possible.”

Grindstone climbed in to build

users are encouraged to self-

To test yourself for COVID-19

the CoronaFighter app in one

monitor as soon as possible.

using the app, sign-up on www.

week. The app allows you to track

Speaking on behalf of the with your

your symptoms through a simpli-

developers, Paul van Zyl of Sigma

email, phone number or Google

fied automated self-monitoring

Digital says the platform was

account. Give CoronaFighter a


developed as an open-source

brief medical and travel history,

initiative to ensure that users get

and the app will be able to tell

the best possible support.

you what the latest NICD guide-

By providing users with the tools and information they need for self-monitoring, CoronaFighter re-

China supports SA’s efforts to fight COVID-19

“The app was designed to col-

Deputy Minister Dr Joe Phaahla

to the People’s Republic of China

and International Relations and

for its continued support and as-

Cooperation Minister Naledi


Pandor received the consignment South Africa has received medical supplies from China to help combat the COVID-19. Recently, a Boeing 777 aircraft,

lines suggest you do next.

from Chargé d'affaires Li Nan. Minister Mkhize said the medical equipment will go a long way in protecting healthcare workers on

Li said the donation of medical supplies demonstrates the strong the bond between the two countries. “This batch of medical supplies

which flew more than 24 hours

the frontline of the country’s fight

arrived in South Africa just five

from Guangzhou, China, arrived

against COVID-19.

days after President Xi Jinping’s

at OR Tambo International Airport

“We are sensitive about the

telephone call with President Cyril

with a consignment of medical

protection of our professionals, so

Ramaphosa, which represents an

supplies and equipment donated

this donation is going to contrib-

important concrete step to imple-

by China.

ute quite significantly to ensuring

ment the consensus reached by

that we are able to get our staff

our two heads of state.

Items donated include 11 000 N95 masks, 50 000 surgical masks,

protected against infection.

“It fully demonstrates the comprehensive strategic partnership

3 000 sets of protective suits, 500

“This for us indicates a contribu-

portable infrared thermometers,

tion to a kind of commodity that is

and the special brotherhood that

3 000 goggles, 11 000 pairs of

highly needed inside the depart-

exists between China and South

surgical gloves and 11 000 pairs of

ment, particularly as we deal with

Africa,” he added.

medical shoe covers.

the issue of COVID-19.

Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize,

Public Sector Manager • May 2020

The Minister expressed gratitude



Writer: Dale Hes

Gauteng intensifying COVID-19 response A

Early preparations Even before the first case was detected in Gauteng, government healthcare officials were already gearing up to ensure that the province was ready. Major hospitals such as Charlotte Maxeke Hospital, Steve Biko Academic and Thembisa Hospital were rapidly declared as designated hospitals for COVID-19 patients. In anticipation of a surge in infections, all other hospitals around the province also implemented measures such as creating isolation areas for suspected COVID-19 patients.

s the epicentre of South

break in South Africa. The province

Africa’s coronavirus (COV-

is the main arrival and departure

sive training of healthcare profes-

ID-19)epidemic, Gauteng

point for tourists, making it particu-

sionals on how to deal with all

has been stepping up efforts to

larly vulnerable to the disease. The

aspects of treating suspected and

control the virus and strengthen the

arrival of the highly contagious

confirmed cases of COVID-19.

public healthcare system. Guided

virus in Gauteng was inevitable.

by national government, the prov-

But preparations started long

ince’s response to COVID-19 has

before the first COVID-19 cases

Gauteng Command Council

been swift and extensive.

were detected, and exceptional

Spearheaded by Premier David

efforts have been made to contain

Makhura and the Gauteng De-

Gauteng emerged early on as the

the spread in South Africa’s most

partment of Health, a wide range

epicentre of the COVID-19 out-

densely populated province.

of plans and interventions were

It came as no surprise when


Coupled with this was the exten-

Public Sector Manager • May 2020

ity. In addition, several hospitals were converted into COVID-19 treatment facilities, adding a total of 2 163 beds to the number available in the province.

Economy and food security The provincial government has partnered with the private sector and non-governmental organisations to supply people with food introduced to slow the spread of

strengthened, readying it for the

and other essentials during the


worst case scenario of a so-called

lockdown. These partnerships

“tsunami” of infections. While the

help thousands of households in

ahosa’s declaration of a state of

enforcement of strict lockdown

disadvantaged areas, and are

national disaster in March, the

regulations prevented this sce-

continuing to be ramped up to

province adopted a multi-sectoral

nario, it was time for the province

ensure that residents are not left

and multi-disciplinary approach,

to embark on other important


under the Gauteng Provincial

initiatives such as increased

Command Council.

testing and a further expansion

three-pillar strategy in the fight

of the number of hospital beds

against the spread of COVID-19.

available to treat patients.

The system must be about reach-

Shortly after President Cyril Ramp-

The measures taken included enhancing the capacity of emergency medical teams; comprehen-

Screening was quickly rolled out

“Food security forms part of

ing the 20 percent of Gauteng

sive screening at points of entry;

to all five districts of Gauteng, and

residents who are food insecure.

continuously informing the public

testing was ramped up to cover

There should be no patronage

about the health risks of corona-

thousands of people every day.

networks and no political inter-

virus and establishing a tracking,

Meanwhile, sufficient personal

ference in all processes,” said

tracing and testing system.

protective (PPE) equipment was

Premier Makhura while visiting

acquired for healthcare work-

various food banks around the

healthcare workers were trained

ers and other essential workers.


as contact tracers, conducting

Donations from China have been

screenings and tracking down

critical to securing a steady sup-

doing an economic assessment

contacts of COVID-19 positive

ply of PPE.

on the impact of COVID-19, and

A total of 9 000 community


The Gauteng Department of

He added that the province was

has worked closely with national

Health quickly set up a 500-bed

government to ensure that the

hospital in the Nasrec exhibition

various economic interventions

centre, the first of its kind in South

announced by President Cyril

The healthcare system in Gaut-

Africa. The hospital will be used as

Ramaphosa will benefit the people

eng has also been significantly

a quarantining and isolation facil-

of Gauteng.

Ramping up the response

Public Sector Manager • May 2020


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Writer: Silusapho Nyanda

SA part of search for COVID-19 vaccine T

he coronavirus (COVID-19)

authority on healthcare.

and Industrial Research and the

pandemic continues to be an existential crisis that has

Town, the Council for Scientific

Preliminary work

Biovac Institute (Biovac) .

disrupted economies, health sec-

The team is made up of experts

tors and life as people know it. In

in virology, infectious diseases

before a vaccine is publicly avail-

an effort to find a lasting solution,

outbreaks, pathology and phar-


the World Health Organisation

macology, among others. Science

(WHO) is leading the charge to

and Innovation Minister Blade

describe the epidemiology of

find a vaccine that will stop the

Nzimande says preliminary work

COVID-19 in our country, as well as


on the development of a vaccine

to address diagnostic, therapeutic,

is being conducted in collabora-

host and viral factors that may

tion with the University of Cape

facilitate transmission or protect

Seventy countries across the globe are at different stages of

WHO says it may be 18 months

“There is an urgent need to

research into finding what would be a lasting medical solution to the pandemic. South Africa is also part of these efforts, with a team of scientists working together in researching a potential vaccine. A National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) team forms part of the larger WHO effort, with results of its research shared with the global


Public Sector Manager • May 2020

against infection,” says Minister

for COVID-19 interventions and will


redirect an additional R30 mil-

Coordinated response needed

lion to test the efficacy of existing

Minister Nzimande says given


the emergence of the virus at a

As part of these efforts, a number of existing drugs – including interferon, lopinavir/ritonavir and

“The team has also identified op-

global level and the concomitant

chloroquine – are being re-pur-

portunities for accessing key data

lack of adequate information on

posed and their effectiveness as a

sets held by the private sector for

the epidemiology, therapeutic

potential treatment for COVID-19

the explicit purpose of strength-

management or natural history

is being tested. Clinical trials are

ening our situational capacity

of the coronavirus, as well as the

now taking place internationally


lack of a vaccine, it is important

and are being overseen by the WHO. “The South African Centre for

“In addition, a DSI task team is

for researchers in South Africa to

engaging with the Department of

coordinate a response to the out-

Health, the South African Medical

break to facilitate its control. A team of scientists from the

Epidemiological Modelling and

Research Council (SAMRC) and

Analysis is currently engaging with

the South African Health Products

United States, France, China and

other sources of data and model-

Regulatory Authority to facilitate

Hong Kong were able to identify

ling groups and refining their as-

research on COVID-19 by mobilis-

the speed at which the virus is

sumptions with a view to produce

ing funding, reprioritising research

spreading, a factor that may help

an updated model of the spread

strategies and creating an

public health officials in their ef-

of the epidemic over time,” says

enabling ethical and regulatory

forts at containment.

the Minister.


The Department of Science and

The SAMRC has allocated R8

“They found that time between cases in a chain of transmission

Innovation (DSI) has negotiated

million towards disease surveil-

is less than a week and that more

the repurposing of various facili-

lance at five hospitals, with further

than 10 percent of patients are

ties and laboratories to respond

funding of R5 million towards

infected by somebody who has

to the outbreak. Entities in line to

genomic sequencing at the NICD.

the virus but does not yet have

assist include Biovac, the Centre

SAMRC President and CEO Profes-


of Excellence for Biomedical TB

sor Glenda Gray says that health

Research, the Centre for Proteomic

surveillance of the disease is im-

sidered for funding include diag-

and Genomic Research and

portant for tracking and measur-

nostic tests, targeted surveillance

Afrigen Bio. Discussions to facilitate

ing the impact of the pandemic,

to establish risk factors among

the accreditation of some of the

which will help health authorities

frontline staff at airports, trials for

facilities to produce reagents are

in South Africa and globally.

the therapeutic and prophylactic

under way.

“Genomic sequencing will help

Research topics that will be con-

treatment of healthcare workers,

us to study the epidemiology of

the identification of antibodies in

Funding the research

the disease and to leapfrog tech-

patients in South Africa who have

Minister Nzimande says the de-

nologies to develop treatments

successfully cleared the infection,

partment has availed R4 million

against coronavirus,” she says.

and vaccine development.

Public Sector Manager • May 2020


Writer: Gail Smith


GBV – A pandemic on top of a pandemic W

ithin just nine days of

a ‘double whammy’ of COVID-19-

the national lockdown

related trauma,” says Phinah Kodis-

declared by President

ang, CEO of the Soul City Institute.

Cyril Ramaphosa more than 2 300

“GBV undermines the safety,

complaints of gender-based vio-

dignity, health and human rights

lence (GBV) were registered by the

of thousands of women and girls,

South African Police Service.

many of whom were locked down

Most significantly, the COVID-19

in isolation with those they fear the

pandemic has exposed the cold,


ugly reality of GBV in South Africa

The gendered impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic had already begun to be felt early in the lockdown.

As South Africans adhered to the

and the impunity with continues

restrictions imposed on everyone

to drive the epidemic of violence.

to stay at home, the lockdown

Only 148 suspects were arrested

proportionate amount of unpaid

brought into stark relief the inter-

from the 2 300 complaints regis-

labour in homes in South Africa,

connectedness of the human right

tered during the first nine days of

also had to carry a disproportion-

to health, social security, access to

the lockdown. Furthermore, the 2

ate burden of the impact from the

water and sanitation and educa-

300 complaints received during

lockdown. With school closures, the


the first two weeks of the lockdown

Women and girls, who carry a dis-

additional burden of child-care in-

The swift official responses to the

pale in comparison to the 15 924

variably fell onto women and girls,

COVID-19 pandemic indicated a

complaints received during the first

as well as caring for other vulner-

willingness and capacity to ad-

three months of 2020, or the 87 920

able, ill or aged family members.

dress pressing health and social

complaints received by the GBV

crises in a coordinated man-

Command Centre to date.

The livelihoods of women traders

We do hope that beyond COV-

were also severely impacted by

ner that eliminates the silos that

the closure of spaza shops, and

bedevil the day-to-day provision of

ID-19, things will never be the same

travel bans prevented thousands of

essential services in South Africa.

again. And that post the lockdown,

women migrant workers reaching their children.

In ensuring that official responses to COVID-19 do not focus solely on

tional unity will be brought to bear to fight the epidemic of GBV.

In addition, interrupted access

health, but also on the provision

to sexual and reproductive health

of psycho-social support and the

is one of the recognised gender

urgent relief measures for the poor,

impacts of pandemics.

there is a significant recognition

“Women and girls are faced with


the same determination and na-

that silos are inefficient.

*Gail Smith is a feminist writer and spokesperson for the Soul City Institute.

Public Sector Manager • May 2020







Rubber band (or hair ties.)

Bandana or a cloth – make sure to wash first.




ADVERTS Fold your bandana or cloth into three folds.



5 Take rubber bands or hair ties, and slide them on each end.

Fold the sides into the middle, and tuck one side into the other.

Use your scissors to neaten the edges.


7 It should look like this once the sides are tucked into each other.

Place mask on your face and pull rubber bands over your ears. That’s it, easy!

Information provided by: Department of Health

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Writer: Silusapho Nyanda

Door to home ownership opened for public servants


hile becoming a home-

ment Employees Housing Scheme

receive a monthly housing allow-

owner is an empower-

(GEHS) was launched.

ance of R1 398.35.

ing experience – giving

The GEHS is an employee benefit

Employees who joined the public

people a sense of security and

scheme that offers housing ac-

service before 27 May 2015 and

stability – accessing the funds

cess support services to govern-

who are eligible to receive the

needed to buy a property can be

ment employees, subsidising

housing allowance but do not

an uphill battle.

public sector employees who

own a house, receive R900 per

are buying their first home. The

month as part of their salary. The

earn too much to qualify for a

scheme also subsidises home-

balance between the full allow-

state subsidy yet earn too little

owners who have already paid off

ance and the R900 paid to them

to be given a mortgage by a

their housing bond.

– which is R498.35 per month – is

Many government employees

commercial bank. It was against this backdrop that the Govern-


Qualifying government employees who own their own home

deposited into the employee’s individual-linked savings facility

Public Sector Manager • May 2020

(ILSF) in the GEHS, to be accessed

• Educating and advising public

granting the loan.

when the employee acquires

servants on the advantages


and disadvantages of long-term

bearing savings fund for govern-

rental, compared to home-own-

ment employees who do not yet


own a home. When an employee

Employees who joined the public service after 27 May 2015 and

The scheme’s ILSF is an interest-

who are eligible to receive the

In order to benefit from the

enters the property market, they

housing allowance but do not

scheme, employees must ap-

are able to access their savings

own a house will, however, have

ply by submitting the necessary

to buy, build or renovate their

the full housing allowance paid

documents through the human

home. The ILSF is administered by

into their ILSF.

resources department of their

the GEHS office and managed by

employer. In addition, applicants

National Treasury.

The allowance is reviewed and adjusted by inflation each July. In terms of the Public Service

must register on the GEHS website. GEHS services include non-

One of the GEHS’s partners is SA Home Loans which, through a

Co-ordinating Bargaining Council

mortgage housing loans and

partnership between the De-

Resolution 7 of 2015, employees

mortgage-based housing loans,

partment of Public Service and

who are home-owners and have

both of which are accessed from

Administration (DPSA), the Public

submitted proof of title deeds or a

a registered financial institution for

Investment Corporation and the

permission-to-occupy certificate,

the purposes of buying, building

Government Employees Pension

including an affidavit that the

and/or renovating a house.

Fund, provides special home

employee and his/her immedi-

Non-mortgaged loans gener-

finance opportunities to govern-

ate family occupy the house,

ally do not have bond registration

ment employees.

are eligible to receive a housing

costs and have a shorter repay-


ment term. The average loan

between the DPSA, Rural Hous-

In addition, a partnership

amount is R250 000. The GEHS re-

ing Loan Fund, the Ithala Bank in

affordable housing finance by:

quires evidence that the property

KwaZulu-Natal and Risima Housing

• Profiling enrolled employees to

exists and a record of ownership.

Finance Corporation in Limpopo

The GEHS facilitates access to

inform them of housing choices or solutions. • Arranging affordable housing

With mortgage-based loans or

means that public servants in rural

bonds, the house is used as collat-

areas also have access to hous-

eral for the loan. Generally, these

ing finance.

finance with registered financial

loans attract bond registration

service providers.

costs; estate agent commission;

public service in national and

insurance costs and an average

provincial departments can enrol

repayment term of 20 years. These

with the GEHS.

• Offering home loan repayments through payroll deductions. • Facilitating access to available

loans are subject to affordability,

subsidies such as the Finance-

the value of the house and the

Linked Individual Subsidy

lender’s terms. Property valuations

Programme at the Department

and inspections will be done by

of Human Settlements.

the financial institution prior to

Public Sector Manager • May 2020

All persons employed in the

For more information and to enrol, go to the GEHS website –



Writer: Nicholas Francis



not boring T

here’s an argument to be made for colour, colour and more colour when you are trying to spruce up your wardrobe, but don’t forget the neutrals as well.

Basic neutral colours are versatile and the base you need to build a good outfit. Here are some neutral pieces that are anything but boring and perfect for any occasion. 2

1. Zara camel belted jumpsuit, R1 899. 2. Truworths rose pink ruffle blouse, R480. 3. Oakridge pencil skirt, R99.99. 4. Witchery longline rib 3

cardigan, R1 099. 5. Ginger Mary airtech coat, R999.


6. Earth Addict olive green jumper, R699.




Public Sector Manager • May 2020



10 7



7. Woolworths wool blend blazer, R1 799. 8. Zara suit trousers, R799. 9. D66 slim fit shirt, R299.95. 10. Woolworths Harrington bomber jacket, R850. 11. Stone Harbour crew neck pullover, R349.95.

Public Sector Manager • May 2020



Compiled by : Nicholas Francis

Skincare t lkit A

s the cooler weather strips skin of its natural mois-

ture, it's time to give it a little TLC. Here is a five-step guide, with products for him and her, to help keep

your skin looking and feeling great.

Step 1: Cleanser Maintain your skin’s natural moisture with a mild foam cleanser or a gentle cleansing milk. For Him: Clinique For Men face wash, 200ml, R405. For Her: Clarins gentle foaming cleanser, 125ml, R435. Step 4: Moisturiser Achieve a deeper penetration with a water-based moisturiser. For Him: Nivea men deep face moisturiser, 50ml, R139. For Her: Ren daily moisturising cream, 50ml, R625. Step 2: Mask Combat the winter dryness with a hydrating mask instead of an abrasive peel. For Him: L'Oreal Paris Men expert pure charcoal face scrub, 100ml R79. For Her: Elizabeth Arden visible difference peel and reveal revitalising mask, 50ml, R435.

Step 3: Toner Use an alcohol-free toner to prevent the stripping of your skin’s natural moisture. For Him: Kiehl’s ultra facial oil-free toner, 250ml, R886. For Her: Eucerin DermoPurifyer oil control toner, 200ml,

Step 5: Sunscreen Prevent sun damage and wrinkles all year round by applying sunscreen regularly when out in the sun. For Him: Clinique for Men Super Energizer™ SPF 40 anti-fatigue hydrating concentrate, 48ml, R995. For Her: Neutriherbs sunscreen SPF50, 80ml, R349.



Public Sector Manager • May 2020


Public Sector Manager • May 2020


Writer: Ashref Ismail


Suzuki’s SwiftSport offers real world value A

s the world grapples with the effects of

and manufacturers who offer value-for-money will

COVID-19, which include a shrinking

become the new heroes as consumers buy down to

economy, high unemployment rate and an

reduce the cost of personal transport.

ever-increasing cost of living, motoring costs will also

One such manufacturer that is poised to offer

be brought into sharp focus. The next couple of years

vehicles that are affordable, durable and reliable

will see reduced spending power for vehicle owners

is Suzuki. Offering mainly no-frills cars – some may


Public Sector Manager • May 2020

even describe them as being a

Cornering at higher than normal

Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, a re-

bit bland in the design depart-

speeds, go-kart handling and

verse camera, Bluetooth and USB

ment – Suzuki specialises in small

overtaking manoeuvres are par

connectivity, steering mounted

car manufacture in various body

for the course. Car magazine, one

controls and cruise control.

styles from entry-level mini SUVs to

of South Africa’s leading motor

sedans and little people carriers.

publications, recently took one

model has no less than six airbags

Now, with the introduction of

On the safety front, the sport

out on a 'performance showdown'

(two front, side and curtain),

the Suzuki Swift Sport, the brand

and out of 12 cars – all of which

electronic stability control and ABS

has pushed the envelope into the

cost much, much more than the

braking with electronic brake-force

funky, hot-hatch category. Don’t

humble Suzuki – placed the Swift

distribution and emergency brake

be fooled by its mundane looks.

Sport in fifth position!

assistance. There are anchored

The light weight Swift Sport is pow-

The interior of the Swift Sport is

ISOFIX mounting points for infant

ered by the new, award-winning

fresh and modern. The designers

and child seats, side impact

1.4 Boosterjet, turbo-charged

used red and chrome detail-

protection and child locks on the

motor, pushing out 103kW and

ing on the fascia and a special

rear doors.

230Nm of power and torque

red-to-black gradation on the

respectively. Zero to 100 is reached

seats to accentuate the sporting

you spend on your Swift Sport is a

in under nine seconds and the

appeal. The sports-styled seats are

light, durable and highly compe-

top speed is pegged at 205km/h.

figure-hugging and provide ample

tent pocket rocket that will reward

Power delivery is smooth, progres-

support during hard cornering. All

its driver all day, every day. That,

sive and satisfying all the way into

dials are ergonomically designed.

together with the multiple award-

the red line.

The quality of materials is above

winning Suzuki brand, means that

standard and build quality excel-

you are getting reliable motoring


that will hold its value come time

With a body that now weighs about 90kg less than its predeces-

What you will get for the money

sor, the Swift Sport is lighter, lower,

The car comes with all the bells

wider and thus much more agile

and whistles of a car costing in ex-

There is a long waiting list for the

around twisty roads, giving it true

cess of R300 000, so expect to see

Swift Sport and that’s probably go-

sports car handling traits. The tur-

fully automatic climate control,

ing to be the biggest pain for the

bo-charged motor, which is mated

speed-sensitive power steering,

buyer, because you would have

to a highly intuitive transmission,

electrically folding rear-view mir-

made peace with the price, after

comes in both auto and man-

rors, all-round electric windows,

taking one for a test drive.

ual guises and ensures instant

seven-inch touch screen with

to sell the car.

response in every gear. Lowered suspension, bigger wheels and better brakes ensure that not only is the power put down on the road effectively, but stopping is a breeze as well. Having driven the auto version


Suzuki Swift Sport


1.4l, Boosterjet, turbocharged








Under nine seconds

Top speed


over various road types and on


R339 000

long distances, I can vouch for

Service plan

Four-year/60 000 km

Vehicle warranty

Five-year/200 000 km

the fun nature of the vehicle.

Public Sector Manager • May 2020



Compiled by: Gilda Narsim-

Easy peasy, lemon

squeezy recipes L

emons are such a versatile

the easiest Sunday roast of all.

fruit. The tangy zing from a

Ready in an hour, the garlic

ripe lemon turns sweet when

• 1 tsp thyme • ¼ cup loosely packed parsley sprigs or rosemary, to serve • 2 lemons, cut into wedges (one to roast and one to serve) Method Heat the oven to 220°C. If you don’t have a spatchcock chicken, use a whole chicken and, with a pair of kitchen scissors, cut out (you can keep it to make stock) and press down on the breast to flatten. Place the chicken skin up on

brown butter combines with the

a roasting tray, rub the skin with

cooked and adds a wonderful

roasting juices and lemon to

soy sauce and season with salt

citrus flavour to your food that

form a simple sauce.

and thyme. Place some lemon

can’t be beat. We gathered some

wedges underneath the chicken.

recipes that incorporate lemons -


from savoury to sweet – courtesy of

• 1.6kg free-range chicken

If your oven has a grill, turn on

(spatchcock if possible)

for the final 20 minutes of roast-

the Good Food Studio, for you to try at home.

Lemon and garlic roast chicken This roast chicken may just be


Roast in the oven for 50 minutes.

• 1 tbsp dark soy sauce

ing to brown the skin. Remove

• Salt, to season

the chicken to a serving plate,

• 50g salted butter

pour over any roasting juices

• 10 cloves garlic, peeled and

and rest for 10 minutes.


While the chicken is resting,

Public Sector Manager • May 2020

place the butter and garlic in a small saucepan over low-medium heat. Heat for around five to eight minutes, swirling occasionally, until the butter and garlic have a nutty brown colour. Pour over the chicken, scatter with parsley sprigs or rosemary and serve with lemon wedges. Tip: Rubbing dark soy sauce into the skin – whether a couple of days before or at the

• 150g honey

the eggs, lemon zest, sugar and

last minute – is easily the best

• 350g fine semolina

honey for about three to four

way to brown a roast chicken

• 150g almond flour

minutes, until pale and fluffy.


• 2 tsp baking powder

Citrus, semolina and olive oil cake

Mix the semolina, almond flour

• 200ml extra virgin olive oil

and baking powder together.

• 100g plain yoghurt

Fold half into the egg mix, then fold in the olive oil, yoghurt and

The olive oil in this fragrant, sticky

Lemon syrup

lemon juice and keep folding un-

and lemony cake gives it a large,

• 200g castor sugar

til well combined. Finish with the

moist crumb that’s best enjoyed

• 2 lemons, zested and juiced

remaining semolina mix.

while still warm.

Pour the batter into the preMethod

pared tins and smooth over.


Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until a

• 4 extra-large eggs

Grease and line two 23cm loaf

skewer inserted into the cakes

• 2 lemons, zested and juiced


has crumbs on it when removed.

• 150g castor sugar

Public Sector Manager • May 2020

Use a whisk attachment to beat

To make the syrup, add the



sugar, lemon zest and juice and

Lemon meringue pies

densed milk and juice in a bowl

30ml water to a small pot, bring

This is a cheat’s version of the

and set aside to thicken.

to a simmer, stir until dissolved

real thing - the condensed milk

and take it off the heat.

provides the base for an instant

whites to form soft peaks. Gradu-

lemon curd.

ally add sugar, still beating, until

Pour half the syrup over the cakes while still in the tins and

In another bowl, beat the

you have a thick and glossy

set them aside for 10 minutes


meringue. Spoon the lemon fill-

before unmoulding. Pour the

• 400g ready-made shortcrust

ing into the pastry cases and top

remaining syrup over the top of the cakes, slice and serve.


little peaks by drawing the spoon

• 400g condensed milk



• 80ml lemon juice

Whisk the eggs until they’re

• 100g caster sugar

concerned about over-beat-


ing them.

Preheat the oven to 220°C.

Different types of honey will

Cut a dozen 10cm circles from

impart distinctive character

the pastry and line a 12-hole

to this cake, so experiment to

non-stick muffin tin. Prick the

find your favourite.

bases and chill for 30 min-

Storing almond flour in the

utes. Bake for 10 minutes

freezer will keep it fresh by

until lightly golden, then

preventing the oils from going



Bake for six minutes or until lightly browned. Cool before serving.

really light and fluffy, don’t be


each with meringue, creating

• 2 large eggs, separated

Whisk the yolks, con-

Public Sector Manager • May 2020

FALLINTO INTO A FALL A CRUSH CRUSH Introducing our NEW Crushed Liquid Lip

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Writers: Ilse van den Berg and Duane Stacey

Tankwa Karoo:

It’s dry but you can drive it


here will you be head-

The next morning, wind still

ing once COVID-19 is

howling, someone cooked up

rocky Skurweberg mountains are

under control? Swap

a plan: “Let’s take a drive to the

a marvel. Onions are also be-

the isolation of the lockdown for

Tankwa Padstal?” he said with

coming a popular thing to grow

the soul-feeding isolation of the

a desperate tone. His hay-fever

in this region.

Tankwa Karoo. Soon the sizzling

eyes, slightly swollen, were plead-

sound of chops and boerewors


was accompanied by an irresistible smell. Then came the wind – a ruthless wind that almost blew the

This turned out to be a marvellous idea for most of us. This part of the world is all

green orchards set against the

After a couple of kilometres, we passed Boplaas where literary legend Boerneef grew up. The greens quickly turned into browns as we left the farmlands behind

meat off the braai and the tents

about fruit: apples, citrus, cherries

and the landscape suddenly

into the orchards.

and the like, and the gorgeous

turned moonlike. Gigantic rocks


Public Sector Manager • May 2020

looked like they were carefully

didn’t make this trek, their sheep

placed in the most random posi-

would surely die from the cold.

tions. How do they not tip over? We turned right onto the gravel

Coming down the other side, you enter Skitterykloof (loosely

road towards Kagga Kamma. This

translated to Gastro Gorge). But

area falls under the Swartrug-

you won’t see a signboard with

gens Conservancy and you can

that name on. That’s the beauty

also find historical rock paintings

of knowing some locals who can

in certain areas.

share stories. This section of the

Finally, we arrived at Katbakkies

pass is where the farmers would

Pass which would take us from

hastily chase the sheep because

its bonnet buried in the ground,

the Bokkeveld into Ceres and

if they stopped, the sheep would

and a signboard that reads ‘Free

Tankwa Karoo.

nibble on a certain plant that

Wi-Fi’ indicated that this must be

would give them gastro.

it. It’s hard to believe that there’s

Katbakkies has a maximum altitude of 1200m and used to

We reached the R355 and

any form of network connection

be an old sheep-trekking route

turned left. By this time the

here so we remained sceptical,

over the Skurweberg mountains.

conversation in the car was all

thinking it was perhaps a market-

Back in the day, most farmers in

‘AfrikaBurn’ as the Tankwa Karoo

ing tactic. It wasn’t.

the Bokkeveld also had a farm on

is where this massive temporary

the other side of the mountain

city of art with theme camps, cos-

thumb between all the motor-

in the Ceres and Tankwa Karoo

tumes, music and performances

bikes. It’s clearly a popular spot

regions where they would take

takes place every year.

for bikers, but it’s definitely not

their sheep before the cold Bokk-

A red Coca-Cola-branded wa-

eveld winters commenced. If they

ter tank, a light blue skedonk with

Public Sector Manager • May 2020

Our car stood out like a sore

an atmosphere where we felt unwelcome.



We ordered what everyone orders at the Tankwa Padstal – a roosterkoek with jam and cheese. The man behind the counter was owner, Hein Lange.

sift through it. It’s easy to get lost in here, mar-

“I also have shoe soles and laces and bicycle patches,” she

velling at all the stuff. Stuff – that’s

went on to show us plenty of

what you would think is on the

other jewels in her treasure trove

shelves of the Tankwa Padstal. But

behind the counter.

“How can I help? I have any-

Hein’s wife, Susan, explained that

It was not long before my nose

thing you might need,” he said.

she goes on 'treasure hunts' and

started following the smell of the

And he was serious.

everything in the padstal has a

freshly made roosterkoek on the

specific purpose.


“Baby powder-flavoured incense? I have it. Chakra bells? I

“People in this area have three

We looked over the arid Karoo

have all the sizes,” he picked up

main modes of transport: bicy-

landscape, the windpump unhur-

each one and gave it a ring.

cles, donkey carts or their feet.

riedly creaking and the bikers

So that’s why I have donkey cart

vrooming away into the distance

ers, sweets, chappies, iron kettles,

starter packs and anything else

under scorching sun and some-

braai roosters, ribbons, lanterns

a donkey owner might need,” she

one said: “Tankwa Karoo: It's dry,

and knives,” he pulled out his

pulled out a large bag and gave

but you can drive it.” Thankfully,

basket of knives and I began to

me a glimpse inside.

with aircon.

“I also have maps, leg warm-


Public Sector Manager • May 2020

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