The South African Society of Psychiatrists says there is an urgent need for the government to boost access to critical mental healthcare support services for young people.

SASOP says this is of critical importance, especially in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The society says there are only about seven state-funded facilities, across the country, that cater to providing mental health support services to children and young people under the age of 18.

Board member at SASOP, Dr. Alicia Porter says this includes the 4 units in Gauteng, one in KwaZulu-Natal, and two in the entire Western Cape.

Porter says the Covid-19 pandemic had a severe negative impact on the mental health of young people in South Africa.

Read the complete SASOP statement here.

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The Ad-Hoc Joint Committee on Flood Disaster Relief and Recovery says rebuilding houses & infrastructure in KwaZulu-Natal, after the recent devastating floods, will cost more than R25-billion.

The floods, in April, left more than 450 people dead.

The committee’s chairperson, Jomo Nyambi, says they paid the province a visit last week to gauge the overall damage.

Nyambi says there is also a great need for humanitarian assistance to be rolled out to affected residents.

Watch the full briefing here.

Read more on the committee’s work here.

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Transnet says it has started increasing supplies of jet fuel to the OR Tambo International Airport to address the shortage currently being experienced at the airport.

Dwindling supplies of jet fuel have affected several international flights, with airlines having to divert flights to other airports to refuel.

Spokesperson, Ayanda Shezi says the repair of Transnet infrastructure, damaged in the recent KwaZulu-Natal floods, is being fast-tracked to ensure the increased delivery of fuel to facilities in Gauteng.

She says they hope to have the shortages addressed as soon as possible.

Read Transnet’s full statement here.

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The Western Cape’s healthcare system is ready for the fifth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Head of Health, Dr. Keith Cloete says the system is, like with the previous waves of the Covid-19 pandemic, ready to react should there be a drastic increase in hospitalizations.
Cloete says the capacity that has been built in the healthcare system, over the past 2 years, can easily be re-activated should the need arise.

He spoke to ENCA and says all systems are in place to deal with the expected 5th wave.

Cloete says the sudden increase in Covid-19 infections, recorded in the past few days, should not be a cause for alarm.

This past weekend, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases said the country’s test-positivity rate reached the 22% mark, with Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, and the Western Cape recording the majority of new infections.

Cloete says newer versions of the Omicron variant are responsible for this surge in new infections.

Read more here.

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Health Minister Joe Phaahla says 66 healthcare facilities have been affected by the recent flooding in KwaZulu-Natal.

The Minister provided an update on Government’s interventions to assist flood-affected residents.

He says assistance is also being provided to residents and healthcare facilities in the Eastern Cape.

Phaahla says the priority now is to ensure that those with injuries, and those patients who are on chronic medications, get urgent medical attention.

Authorities are hard at work finalizing all post-mortem examinations, on the more than 430 people who died in the KwaZulu-Natal floods.

He says more than 60 school-going children died in the floods.

The Minister says it is important to determine exactly how these people died so that their family members can find closure.

The confirmed death toll stands at 435, with 55 people that are still missing.

Watch the minister’s full briefing here.

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