Jackson Mthembu, Minister in the presidency has died from COVID-19 related complications, on Thursday.
President Cyril Ramaphosa in a statement said “Minister Mthembu was an exemplary leader, an activist and lifelong champion of freedom and democracy. He was a much-loved and greatly respected colleague and comrade, whose passing leaves our nation at a loss.”
The president continued, “I extend my deepest sympathies to the Minister’s family, to his colleagues, comrades and many friends.”
More on Minister Jackson Mthembu:
Jackson Mphikwa Mthembu was born on 05 June 1958, in Witbank, Mpumalanga. Jackson Mphikwa Mthembu was the Minister in the Presidency of South Africa’s government, and parliamentarian for the African National Congress. Previously, he served as the Whip of Parliament for the ruling ANC and as well as the national spokesperson for the ANC.
The year 2020 has been exasperating for all, to say the least, Several students were faced with great challenges suddenly imposed by the government when amending the global pandemic lock-down. It is now 2021 and tertiary institutions are now preparing for a new academic year, here are some preparations currently going underway.
With the amended level 3 lockdown regulations placing several restrictions on South Africans, some institutions of higher learning are still preparing for the resumption of on-campus teaching.
While some universities have started with online registrations for the 2021 academic calendar, others will only be completing the 2020 academic calendar in February and March.
Here is the status of some institutions’ preparations, as of the first week of January 2021:
University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg
Students who are completing their 2020 academic year will be writing their examinations online.
The 2021 academic calendar will commence on 8 March 2021.
Students will be allowed to register online from 5 January to 5 March, according to their relevant year of study, faculty and programme.
University of Johannesburg (UJ)
Operations to continue just as they were before the year-end recess until further notice.
Students returned to campus on Monday, 4 January, for contact sessions.
Registration will commence on 25 January and close on 12 February for returning students. First years register on 23 February to 5 March.
University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN)
Won’t have physical contact sessions until the second semester.
First semester classes will be conducted online.
First-year students will be able to register from 23 February, until further notice.
Tshwane University of Technology (TUT)
Will continue with remote-blended teaching and learning from 6 January 2021.
University will be in touch with students for whom it is mandatory to complete their practical sessions, to make arrangements.
Examination arrangements will be included in the 6 January 2021 communiqué.
Registrations will commence after the 2020 March/April academic calendar.
University of Cape Town (UCT)
Will commence with physically distanced learning in the first semester, from 15 March.
Students will be returning to residences in groups from early January 2021 and only students who have been invited to return to residences will be accepted.
Undergraduate teaching and learning, as well some postgraduate teaching, will be online.
University of Pretoria (UP)
Online registration commenced on Monday, 4 January.
Students will be returning in the second week of March.
This story will be updated as soon as more information becomes available. Some tweets voiced their concerns over tweeter
If you, your friends and family were looking to indulge in the turquoise seas and vibey aura of Kwa Zulu Natal this festive, unfortunately, you may have to look for other options. The KZN department has declared earlier this morning to cancel all major events that elevate gathering due to the alarming rise of Covid-19 cases in certain areas of the province.
The festive season is, of course, notorious for the skyrocketing amount of masses that flood beaches and music concerts but all this seems gloomy this year. The government does however allow small gatherings and visitors considering that the disaster management rule is not breached.
KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Sihle Zikalala made a remark on the matter saying “The government understands the social and economic impact of not hosting major events at popular locations in the province during the festive season, however, it is the view of the government that lives of our citizen’s matter and need to be protected. The provincial government of KwaZulu-Natal has a duty to protect the lives of citizens and does not want to make decisions that may be regretted later,”
KwaZulu-Natal is not the only province battling efforts to curb the virus, George in the Western Cape has also decided to restrict all sporting events, Halls and community pools. This Southern part of Cape Town has seen a rapid increase of more than 300 new infections since Friday with some of its parts declared as high danger zones.
South Africa recently saw a promising future concerning covid-19 after the lockdown was lifted back in September. However, the latest reports claim that some European countries are seeing a rise of covid-19 cases. In South Africa alone, 2217 new Covid 19 cases have been confirmed today but professor Abdul Karim- a South African epidemiologist assures that South Africa is not in a second wave right now.
For the past weeks, cases of Covid-19 have been stable however the health department is concerned that with the festive season approaching there could be reckless actions that could lead to super- spreader events and increased infections especially in the rural parts of the country. Latest reports claim that most parts of South Africa are monitored as stable except for places in the Eastern Cape such as Port Elizabeth (Nelson Mandela Bay hospital) which is “currently overwhelmed with the Covid-19 surge” and some parts of the Western Cape.
The Professor went on to highlight some of the worries he has; particularly of the festive season saying “my concern is the December period when there are three things that are going to happen that worry me: firstly, that people become complacent while on holiday and they stop wearing masks and do not practice social distancing and the second thing is that they start going to parties and we will end up with super-spreader events. I’m anxious about the intergenerational family gatherings where children are meeting their parents and their grandparents and therefore putting the elderly at risk. These three things that I am deeply concerned about over December could end up with us in the second wave in January 2021″ he explained.
South Africa, although the country may be open and some activities carrying on as normal, PLEASE do continue practising social distance, wash your hands & sanitise and always wear your mask. this way it’ll be easier to stay safe here in 2020 and curb the Second Wave in 2021. Let’s make the future less gloomy Mzansi!