South Africa confirms first case of coronavirus, according to Health ministry.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has warned that the coronavirus will turn into a “national crisis” and its impact will be “huge“.
His warning came after the first case of the coronavirus was detected in South Africa.
The patient is a 38-year-old man who recently visited Italy together with his wife.
This brings to 27 the number of coronavirus cases reported on African continent. Algeria is worst-affected, with 17 cases, 16 of them in the same family.
The South African couple, who have two children, were part of a group of 10 who returned from Italy on 1 March, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said.
The man and the doctor who first treated him were both in self-isolation in the eastern KwaZulu-Natal province, he added.
A tracer team had been sent to KwaZulu-Natal to identify people who might have been in contact with the man and the doctor, Dr Mkhize said.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has officially assumed chairmanship of the African Union at the 33rd summit of heads of state and government at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
This will be the second time South Africa holds chairmanship of the continental body after first doing so in 2002 when the African Union succeeded the Organisation of African Unity, the Presidency said in a statement.
Cyril Ramaphosa began his mandate vowing to end the conflict in Libya and the Sahel region and to tackle world powers fuelling wars on the continent.
Addressing the AU Summit in Addis Ababa on Feburary 9 afternoon, Ramaphosa pledged solidarity with the people of Palestine and Western Sahara.
“We must also deal with the actions of other countries outside our continent that are fighting proxy wars and fuelling the ongoing conflicts,” Ramaphosa said.
“Today we reaffirm our unwavering support and solidarity with the Palestinian people in their legitimate quest for an independent and sovereign State, as well as the right of the people of Western Sahara to self-determination. We must ensure that our independence and freedom as the peoples of this continent should be universal,” he continued.
Ramaphosa said South Africa would host an extraordinary summit on silencing the guns in May. He also reiterated the Union solidarity with Western Sahara and Palestine.
Nigerian high commissioner is recalled and a special envoy will be send to South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to address recent xenophobic attacks during urban violence outbreaks, said Information Minister Lai Mohammed at a press briefing in Abuja.
South Africa has already temporarily closed its diplomatic missions to Nigeria in Lagos and Abuja fearing reprisal attacks against its citizens, according to CNN.
The closures follow outbreaks of violence earlier this week in South Africa. At least five people were killed and 189 arrested during xenophobic attacks and looting in Johannesburg, Pretoria and elsewhere. Foreign nationals from countries including Nigeria, Zambia, Kenya, Ethiopia were targeted.
In spite of the violence outbreak South African President Cyril Ramaphosa reaffirmed the bilateral relations as “firm and strong” and added that the two partners were resolute in their shared commitment to build an Africa at peace with itself and others.
The statement came amid the deteriorating diplomatic relations between the two African countries, after Nigeria introduced plans to evacuate its nationals in South Africa following a wave of xenophobic attacks.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to visit South Africa in next month to “reinforce strong bonds”, following the attacks against West Africans.
“Let me also say that the EU has concrete proposals for Africa. We are keeping our longstanding commitment to the Global Fund against AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, and we will contribute 550 million euros to the replenishment of the Fund. This means that our overall involvement will exceed 1 billion euros” said the president of the European Council Donald Tusk (pictured) ahead of the G7 Summit in Biarritz.
“I am also happy to announce that the EU will join the “Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa”, which is an important step in the fight for women’s empowerment. The EU’s contribution of over 85 million euros will help develop 100.000 businesses run by women. Last but not least, the EU will contribute an initial 1 million euros to the “International Fund for Survivors of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence” that Nadia Murad and Doctor Denis Mukwege, winners of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize, will present to G7 leaders tomorrow.”
South Africa will collaborate with other developing countries that have been invited to participate in the summit in order to advance Africa‘s developmental agenda, the Presidency said before President Cyril Ramaphosa left for Biarritz, France to attend the summit scheduled for August 24-26, following South Africa’s invitation to attend as a key partner.
South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa vowed to attain “hope and renewal” as he was inaugurated at a stadium in the capital Pretoria.
The African National Congress (ANC) leader vowed to fight corruption and rejuvenate the struggling economy.
Ramaphosa was elected earlier this month with a majority of 57.5%, the smallest since the party came to power 25 years ago.
Mr Ramaphosa initially took over from Jacob Zuma in 2018 after Mr Zuma was accused of corruption.
South Africa’s new national minimum wage will take effect from January 2019, President Cyril Ramaphosa said, ensuring workers earn $1.42 an hour.
“We are here to declare that from the 1st of January in 2019, the national minimum wage shall be introduced. No worker in South Africa may be paid below the national minimum wage,” Ramaphosa said at an event in the township of Soweto.
Last month he signed into law the national minimum wage bill, in an efforts of the government to deal with wage inequality in South Africa.
The National Minimum Wage Act sets the minimum wage at 20 rand ($1.42) an hour, equal to 3,500 rand per month.
EU and South African leaders reviewed relations and discussed ways of intensifying and broadening their cooperation, at this 7thsummit between the two sides, which took place 100 years after Nelson Mandela’s birth.
The summit is an opportunity for the leaders to advance bilateral cooperation, including trade, as well as multilateralism and the rules-based order.
The leaders have focused their discussions on five main areas:
- economic, trade and investment cooperation
- development cooperation
- global challenges such as climate change, migration and human rights
- multilateralism and cooperation in multilateral fora
- the situation in the neighborhoods of each partner
The summit is held in the framework of the EU-South Africa Strategic Partnership signed in 2007.
The EU is South Africa’s number one trading and investment partner.
At margins of the United Nations General Assembly President Donald Trump declined bilateral talks with South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa.
Reportedly US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will have a meeting with International Relations and Cooperation Lindiwe Sisulu to clarify the situation in South Africa upon request of the US President, who expressed concerns with ongoing brutal murders of farmers.
In a tweet a month ago President Trump asked Secretary Pompeo to clarify the situation at “land and farm seizures and expropriations and the large-scale killing of farmers”. Sisulu admitted at the time to being “taken aback” by Trump‘s tweet, which followed a report on Fox News claiming that the South African government had started with “racist” farm seizures against white farmers.
The concerns are aggravated by repeated calls for violence articulated by Marxist politician Julius Maleman, who calls his followers to expropriate land from white farmers. At public gatherings Malema repeatedly sings “kill the farmer” song, which is the “hate speech” in form and in essence.
The issue has become chronic problem, but in denial of obvious ANC ruling party did not adopt a strategy to stop farm murders, proposed by Congress of the People leader Mosiuoa Lekota.
“We trust that this statue will remain a constant reminder to the international community of the dedication of Nelson Mandela to the mission of the United Nations and a constant affirmation of South Africa’s commitment to contribute to a better world for all,”said South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa at the ceremony of unveiling of the Mandela statue in the UN premises in New York.
South Africans have been humbled by the the enthusiasm with which the international community has embraced the celebration of the centenary of the birth of Mandela, Ramaphosa continued.
“The people of our country, united in their diversity, revere Nelson Mandela as the founding father of our democratic nation – whose life, sacrifices and extraordinary contribution to freedom continues to inspire successive generations,” South Africa President underlined.