SA has flattened Covid-19 curve – NDZ; tobacco, booze ban costs R14bn in tax – SARS; Dudu Myeni declared delinquent

By Jackie Cameron

  • As of Thursday, more than 25 500 people had tested positive for Covid-19 and more than 550 people had died of the disease. Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, says SA has managed to flatten the Covid-19 curve, but restrictions will remain in place until it has been sustained. She was setting out more details of the rules as South Africa moves to level 3 of the Covid-19 containment plan from June 1, in a televised media briefing. “At this alert level everyone who enters a work, public space and/or public transport must wear a cloth face mask or a homemade item that covers the nose and mouth. We must also ensure that all our public facilities have sanitisers and that all patrons are screened,” she says. So far, the government has only identified potential hotspots, “and doing all we can to change the fortune of these areas” – to avoid having to tighten up restrictions in some areas. Domestic workers are allowed to return to work, but hairdressers are not, she says. For more on the coronavirus pandemic and how it affects South Africans, listen to Inside Covid-19 with Alec Hogg. You can also hear an edited version of the ministers’ updates on how the Covid-19 containment rules change, on Biznews.
  • Former president Jacob Zuma’s close friend Dudu Myeni was declared a delinquent director for life this week in a court case that should arm the National Prosecuting Authority to pursue a criminal conviction, says OUTA. The civil society organisation says a lengthy legal battle has ended with a victory against state capture culprit Myeni, who was appointed to the SAA Board in 2012 and for five years made headline news for all the wrong reasons. Now it’s over to the National Prosecuting Authority to pursue criminal charges against the former teacher who ended up in control of SAA because of her personal links with Zuma. OUTA and the SAA Pilots Association made the decision to pursue this case three years ago. Stefanie Fick, OUTA’s Chief Legal Officer said: “We trust that Ms Myeni will meet the full brunt of the law and that the NPA will use this judgment and evidence to successfully prosecute Ms Myeni for her role in state capture. Myeni is still a director of various entities and we shall now be writing to them to have the formal CIPC processes undertaken to have her removed from these boards, including the Jacob Zuma Foundation and the Mangaung metro’s electricity utility.”
  • Gauteng residents are being urged to limit water use. For the first time in a year, the Vaal Dam has dipped below the 50% mark. The Water Department said that this meant that consumers needed to limit their water use. The level is now hovering around 49.8% which is significantly lower compared to 71.5% that was recorded this time last year.
  • South Africa has lost between R14bn and R15bn in taxes in the past two months because of the ban on alcohol and cigarette sales during the lockdown, says the South African Revenue Service (SARS). The tax collection body’s commissioner Edward Kieswetter was speaking to ENCA about the impact of lockdown in tax collection, reports MyBroadband.co.za. In addition to excise duties, SARS also loses out on sales tax (VAT), which is paid on alcohol and tobacco products, the loss in profit which companies would have paid tax on, and, with more people employed, personal income tax.
  • The Public Investment Corporation has appointed Abel Sithole as its chief executive officer, filling a post vacated 18 months ago by his predecessor over accusations of questionable investment decisions, says Bloomberg.
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