Finance Minister Tito Mboweni delivered his medium-term budget policy statement in the National Assembly on 28 October 2020.

Mboweni said while the South African economy will contract by 7.8% this year, the economy is forecast to grow by 3.3% in 2021, 1.7% in 2022 and 1.5% in 2023.

He said President Cyril Ramaphosa’s economic construction recovery plan has ensured that the economy’s recovery will be accelerated.

Mboweni also confirmed the special R350 Covid-19 social relief of distress grant will be extended until 31 January 2021. R6.8 billion has been allocated to the Department of Social Development to extend this grant.

He also said it is not true that the R500 billion relief package has been entirely lost to corruption. He says it is being used to cushion the impact of the pandemic and aspects will continue to be rolled out over the medium term, particularly the Presidential Employment Programmes.

Read the full speech at the link below, or watch him live in action:

http://www.treasury.gov.za/documents/mtbps/2020/speech/speech.pdf

The Western Cape MEC of Social Development, Sharna Fernandez, is calling on members of the public to register to become a safety parent and help us in the fight to protect our children, by providing temporary places of safety.

Minister Fernandez said, “We believe a child’s immediate and extended family is the best place for them to flourish and develop. However, if we have reason to believe that a child is unsafe in their own home, the child or children will be placed in temporary safe care.

Temporary safe care, is an extraordinary measure that can be used by a designated social worker or police official where they believe, on reasonable grounds, that the child is in immediate danger.”

Minister Fernandez added, “We will send a designated social worker or police officer to remove the child from their home if there’s evidence that the child is being abused, neglected or exploited. The child will then be placed in temporary safe care, where they’ll stay pending the outcome of a formal court process.

Temporary safe care can be provided either by an approved person (related or unrelated) or a place of safety that is approved to deliver such a programme to children.”

What is a safety parent?

A safety parent is a fit and proper person, over the age of 18 years, who takes temporary care of no more than six children, except where the children are siblings.

If you are passionate about helping children and are interested in partnering with the Department of Social Development by opening your home to care for, and safeguard vulnerable children, you can volunteer to become a safety parent.

How to become a safety parent

Prospective safety parents must:
· have an interest in the wellbeing of a child at risk.
· have a police clearance and a Form 30 notification – this applies to all the adults residing on the premises of the applicant(s).
· have a Form 39 approval from the DSD to provide temporary safe care.

Due to the nature of the emergency placements, prospective safety parents should be available at any time and short notice.

What happens after I have applied to become a safety parent?

Applicants are carefully screened to determine if they are suitable to care for children. Once approved, the safety parent will receive training on the Children’s Act, the roles and responsibilities of safety parents and how to care for vulnerable children who may have experienced trauma.

Once the placement of a child is finalised, safety parents are given a stipend and an emergency kit (e.g. in the case of a baby, nappies, and formula milk) and a basic daily fee towards the care of the child.

“I am is thankful to all of our Non-Profit Organisation (NPOs), Child Protection Workers (CPWs) and other key partners in the child protection sector, who continue to help us in our fight to create a safer province for our children. These partners include other spheres of government, civil society, business and labour, disaster management services, universities, the diplomatic corps, families (not least our own), the police and criminal justice system.

Only a whole of society approach, through the efforts of all spheres of society, can put a stop to the acts of violence being witnessed and experienced by our children.

I would like to urge everyone to continue helping us in our fight against child abuse and neglect.

It takes a community to raise a child. Let’s unite to protect our children,” concluded Minister Fernandez.

Contact information and support:

To sustain its pool of safety parents in the Province to provide this crucial service, the Department invites interested persons to volunteer to contact their nearest DSD local office or contact the DSD hotline on 0800 220 250.

Furthermore, if you suspect a child is being abused, neglected, or exposed to violence, we urge you to report it to the following channels:

• Calling the Western Cape Department of Social Development toll-free: 0800 220 250
• Calling the SAPs crime stop hotline: 10111
• Calling Childline: 0861 322 322; or
• Calling Child Welfare SA: 0861 424 453

A Cape Town-based wildlife photographer has scooped this year’s Global Eye photography award.

Chris Fallows’ winning entry, called ‘Air Jaws’, won the coveted award at this year’s START-net Fair in London.

It forms part of his collection, The Eleventh Hour, which was recently on display at the Saathi Gallery.

AIR JAWS, 2001, Chris Fallows

Chris says the photo, of a shark breaching the surface of the ocean, forms part of his 12-part photography series called ‘The Eleventh Hour’.

 

Fallows says wildlife photography plays a huge role in the conservation of wildlife species.

 

He says his work was well-received at the fair.

 

Fallows says he hopes his photography makes more people get involved in the conservation of Africa’s iconic animals.

Above: The Pearl, Chris Fallows

Above: The Fig and the Elephant, Chris Fallows

America’s leading infectious diseases expert Dr Anthony Fauci says South Africa appears to have pulled together in a unified way to fight Covid-19, attributing the resurgence in his own country to each of the 50 states following their own strategy.

Fauci, who is Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and has advised six presidents in 36 years, was a guest speaker last night during a webinar streamed in South Africa.

He says everybody has got to pull together and that it was his impression that in some countries, like South Africa, things can be done more centrally.

Watch the full session below:

The City’s Directorate of Water says even though dams are now filled to capacity, strategies remain in place to further boost the Mother City’s future water security.

The Directorate says through the Cape Town water strategy, it recently managed to augment the city’s water supply, now feeding up to 15-million liters of ground water from the Table Mountain Group Aquifer.

Mayco-member, Xanthea Limberg, says a permanent desalination plant will also be built, which is set to deliver an estimated 50-million litres of water per day.

Limberg says the desalination plant is set to be operational by 2026.