The Western Cape MEC for Transport, Daylin Mitchell says the arbitration process, to find a lasting solution to the ongoing tax-violence, has now started.

Mitchell says the new negotiation-process comes after the earlier mediation-process, between the province’s main taxi-associations, failed to reach a working solution.

He says the violence has claimed the lives of 83 people since the beginning of the year.

Mitchell also announced the suspension of financing to taxi-associations as a means to suppress the violence.

He says the move follows the inability of CATA, Codeta and Santaco to find a lasting solution to the violence.

Read Mitchell’s full statement here.

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The Western Cape Education Department says schools yesterday resumed without any interruptions.

School management teams and support staff had already gone back to work on Thursday, 22 July, to prepare for the return of learners & teachers.

Director of Communications at the WCED, Bronagh Hammond says uncertainty, due to the taxi-violence, did affect attendance at some schools.

Read the Department’s full statement here.

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The Western Cape Health Department says while it continues to open registration for more age groups, they are balancing the demand and vaccine supply which we receive from the National Government.

“We celebrate reaching 1 million vaccinations, but we know we have much more to do and many more to vaccinate. We have increased our capacity and ability to administer 30 000 vaccinations per day / 150 000 per week.”

The Department has called on all eligible persons to take up vaccination and help get to population immunity.

Approximately 200 public vaccination sites are open daily to assist members of the public. In addition to these, the Department also activated 10 sites on Saturday which saw 2000 people being vaccinated.

The vaccination offers great protection against severe illness and death. To date, almost 70% of health workers have been vaccinated which has had a positive impact on the workforce.

At the height of the first wave (May-July) 4 525 health workers infected; during the height of second wave 3 633 staff were infected. Now, only 679 staff are infected (501 active cases as 22 July).

This does go to show the protection the vaccine offers.

South Africa is on the Tokyo Olimpics medal table, after a sensational performance by Tatjana Schoenmaker in the 100m Breaststroke final, in which she bagged silver.

Having claimed the Olympic Record in the Prelims, Schoenmaker was looking poised to earn a gold medal. She started the race well, leading the pack at the Halfway mark, but American Lydia Jacoby seemed to have shifted into another gear and swept past the South African to snatch the win.

Victoria Bay’s Bianca Buitendag bagged silver after meeting first seed American Carissa Moore in the final of the Surfing event.

Buitendag beat Portugal’s Toland Hopkins in the quarters earlier this morning, before cruising into the final with a 11 to 3.67 victory over second seeded American Caroline Marks earlier this morning.

Pic credit: Anton Geyser

The last two weeks have been quite heart wrenching as we heard from individuals who work in the hospitality and entertainment industry, who have been unable to make an adequate living during the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. With the help of we managed to make things slightly easier for some by filling up their tip jar with a collective total of R300 000. Smile Breakfast looked back on our recipients’ stories:

We got an email about the Community Philharmonic Orchestra. They are a collective of professional and amateur musicians who come together to bring the healing power of music and also feeding programmes to disadvantaged communities. Smile Breakfast caught up with the orchestra’s director Desmond Solomon:

Some of the members of the orchestra told Smile Breakfast about what being involved with the rest of the players means to them, and how the pandemic has affected the much needed work that they do:

Maryke Haywood from heard about the great work that The Community Philharmonic Orchestra does and offered some assistance: