Premier Alan Winde says a lot of investment will be poured into the province’s internet and IT infrastructure in this financial year to give more Western Cape residents access to technology and online services.

Winde delivered his Department’s 2022/2023 budget in the Provincial Parliament yesterday and said millions of residents access online services and facilities on a daily basis for their educational and other needs.

He says the fact that millions of people worked from home during the Covid-19 lockdown shows the importance of having a stable and capable internet infrastructure.

Read his full address here.

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Metrorail Western Cape says it has successfully relaunched its Northern Line between Cape Town and Bellville earlier today.

The first train departed Bellville at 05:40 am bound for Cape Town Station.

This is after the line was closed along with the rest of Metrorail operations with the introduction of the Covid-19 hard lockdown that saw all public transportation operations halted.

Metrorail acting spokesperson Nana Zenani says they have been hard at work this past few days to reintroduce the service.

 

Metrorail focused on the following aspects to get the services running again:

  1. Corridor Condition Assessment
  2. Rail infrastructure upgrades and repairs
  3. Station facilities upgrades
  4. Rail track griding to improve track formation
  5. Operational planning and service design in order to produce a timetable
  6. Testing of the line
  7. Staff training

The operator ran empty trains over the past two days (Monday the 14th and Tuesday 15 March) as part of fulfilling the regulatory mandate before operations could start.

Get the latest updates and route announcements here.

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Millions of South Africans who will lose access to monthly Covid-19 allowances, should government decide to immediately scrap the national state of disaster.

According to dr. Mosa Moshabela, from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, the R350 Covid-19 grant would fall away if the state of disaster is lifted.

The grants have been provided to millions of residents over the past 2 years,

Moshabela says there are still too many mechanisms that need to be put in place before the national state of disaster can be lifted.

Read more here and here.

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With calls continuing across South Africa to have the national state of disaster lifted, some experts caution against lifting the restrictions prematurely.

The regulations were implemented in March of 2020 at the start of the national lockdown.

Many scientists and civil rights group say the state of disaster measures, meant to curb the spread of Covid-19, are no longer needed.

Infectious diseases expert at the WITS University, Professor Francois Venter spoke to eNCA and had this to say.

Venter says it’s time the regulations are abolished.

Meanwhile Dr. Mosa Moshabela, the Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research and Innovation, at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, says it would not be so easy to do away with the State of Disaster.

He says even though he agrees that it is time to do away with these measures, the regulations should rather be done away with in a gradual, controlled manner.

Moshabela says South Africa does not have the legislative framework to fall back on, should it do away with the Disaster Risk Management Act.

Read more here and here.

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