The South African Reserve Bank has urged South Africans to not accept or use stained banknotes as a form of payment.

The SARB says an undetermined amount of cash had been stolen from ATMs during last week’s violent looting in Gauteng & KwaZulu-Natal.

SARB Head of Currency, Len Marais says these stolen notes could now end up in circulation.

Marais says bank notes – stained with traces of blue or green ink – are considered the proceeds of crime and have no monetary value.

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The National Consumer Commission has warned retailers against inflating their prices in the wake of violent public protests last week.

The Commission says it will keep an eye on the prices of essential items, in the following weeks, in an effort to protect consumers against unfair, unreasonable or unjust pricing.

Spokesperson for the NCC, Phetho Ntaba says there have been reports of possible food shortages which could encourage unscrupulous suppliers to drastically increase their prices.

She urges consumers to report suppliers to the Commission at 012 428 7000.

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Government could in future consider the reintroduction of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine to help fight the spread of the Delta-variant.

This, according to the co-chairperson of the Covid-19 Ministerial Advisory Committee, Professor Koleka Mlisana.

Her comments comes after research – at the University of Oxford – has shown that the two-dose vaccines, produced by AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech, remain broadly effective against the variant.

Mlisana says South Africa had to halt the roll-out of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine after a study showed “disappointing” results against the Beta-variant.

Another recent study, by Public Health England, also showed that the vaccines, made by Pfizer and AstraZeneca, offer high protection of more than 90% against hospitalization from the Delta variant.

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The World Health Organization says the vaccine technology-hub, to be opened here in South Africa, will help bring the country a step closer to developing and producing its own vaccines.

The organization says this will also lessen the country’s dependence on developed countries to supply medicines.

WHO chief scientist, Dr. Soumya Swaminathan says the organization will partner with the South African and French governments to bring the continent’s first Covid-19 messenger RNA hub into realization.

She says the facility will ensure that, during future pandemics, vaccines reach African countries much faster.

Read more on the initiative here.

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The Minister of International Relations, Naledi Pandor says South Africa & India has submitted a proposal to the World Trade Organization (WTO), calling for certain intellectual rights on Covid-19 vaccines to be waived more quickly, to allow poor countries greater access to vaccines.

Pandor, during a virtual meeting of BRICS-Ministers this week, said it is unacceptable that millions of people in wealthy nations have been vaccinated while billions in poorer countries are still waiting for an injection.

The Minister says the sharing of vaccine-technologies is needed to better manage the virus’s spread in developing countries.

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