Flash Briefing: Covid-19 cases cancel Ballito Rage; vaccine passport on the cards for SA; petrol price blunder

  • After just a day, the Ballito Rage Festival has been cancelled. The annual event came to an abrupt end when party-goers and staff members tested positive for Covid-19. Despite strict protocol, including mandatory vaccination for staff and attendees, 32 guests and four staff members tested positive for the virus. The Department of Health was on-site and conducted contact tracing to ensure the isolation of those who tested positive. “We take the safety of all our customers, staff and suppliers extremely seriously. It is for this reason that the event organisers have taken the decision to cancel the remainder of Ballito Rage,” said organisers in a statement.
  • The start of 2022 could see the South African Government introduce a Covid-19 vaccine passport system. President Ramaphosa has said although the government will consider a vaccine mandate, it would not compel citizens to receive the inoculation against their will. A passport system would restrict access to areas and public services.
  • The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy has admitted to a mistake in the recently announced adjustments to the petrol price. Minister Gwede Mantashe said unleaded 93 and 95 petrol would increase by 81 cents on Wednesday. The price was supposed to go up by only 75 cents. In a statement, the department apologised for any inconvenience caused, noting it was the first time in the basic fuel price determination’s history that it made this mistake.
  • South Africas Aspen Pharmacare is hoping to produce its brand of Covid-19 vaccine. According to a statement released by the Durban-based company, Aspen is hoping to enter into a licensing agreement with Johnson and Johnson, with the intention of manufacturing the vaccine under the Aspenovax brand name. Aspen plans on selling it to a number of African states.
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