News 07:00

NEWSFLASH NEWS AGENCY 20 March 7am

You are listening to ……..………. The time ………… I am……….……..….… with the news.
In the bulletin:
# SA’s number of confirmed coronavirus cases is expected to pass 200
# Two men are being questioned following the murder of a leading Mpumalanga detective
# And, the PSL has suspended the Absa Premiership

# Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize says the number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus in South Africa is expected to go beyond 200. He engaged with medical doctors on the virus at the SA Medical Association’s offices in Pretoria yesterday evening. Mkhize says there is currently no vaccine against the virus but trials are expected in June. He adds that they are looking at how to increase testing capabilities:

Play sound: ENG-MkhizeOnTesting

SA Medical Association chairperson Angelique Coetzee says it is important that the medical sector works together to fight the virus:

Play sound: ENG-CoetzeeOnPartnership

# The Hawks have taken two men in for questioning regarding the murder of a senior Hawks detective. Forty-nine-year-old lieutenant colonel Leroy Bruwer was shot and killed in his car on Tuesday while on his way to work in Mbombela. Bruwer was well-known for his work against rhino poaching and other high profile cases in Mpumalanga. Hawks spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi wouldn’t speculate on whether Bruwer’s killing is being linked to a case he was investigating.

# The Bloemfontein Zoo has been permanently closed down. The Free State’s department of Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs says inspectors of the Green Scorpions have found that the zoo doesn’t comply with several laws and regulations, including the National Environmental Management Biodiversity Act. Some of the animals starved to death. The surviving animals have, with the help of the NSPCA, been moved to qualifying and complying game reserves.

# German police have raided the homes of 21 senior members of the newly banned far-right group United German Peoples and Tribes. The group is affiliated to a much larger network which claims links to the pre-war German Reich. Germany has stepped up its surveillance of far-right-groups after shootings by racist and anti-Semitic gunmen in recent months. The German government says the country should not be distracted by the coronavirus crisis in its fight against far-right extremism, racism and anti-Semitism.

# Soccer: The Premier Soccer League has announced that the Absa Premiership will remain suspended in the wake of the coronavirus epidemic. At a news conference in Johannesburg, PSL chairperson Irvin Khoza confirmed that the organisation’s board of governors agree that the season must come to an end by no later than the 30th of June. Kaizer Chiefs are currently leading the Premiership on 48 points.

# Financial Indicators: The dollar is trading at 17-rand-32-cents and the euro at 18-rand-59-cents. One British pound costs 20-rand-11-cents. Gold is selling at one-thousand-484-dollars-47-cent a fine ounce and Brent crude oil is quoted at 29-dollars-10-cents a barrel.

# And finally: The Willowton Group has partnered with Pick n Pay to donate over 750-thousand bars of soap to young learners and selected old-age homes and frail care centres across the country. The donation is worth around five-million-rand and is aimed at promoting good hand hygiene and help curb the spread of the coronavirus. The schools received the bars of soap before they were closed on Wednesday.

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News Headlines 06:30

NEWSFLASH NEWS AGENCY 20 March 06:30 am
You are listening to ……..………. The time is ………… I am……….……..….… with the news headlines:

# Zweli Mkhize says the number of Covid-19 cases in the country is expected to go beyond 200
# Two men are questioned following the murder of a leading Mpumalanga detective
# And, the Bloemfontein zoo is shut down permanently

Our newscast follows at…………




News 06:00

NEWSFLASH NEWS AGENCY 20 March 6 am
You are listening to ……..………. The time ………… I am……….……..….… with the news.
In the bulletin:
# An economist says the repo rate cut will mitigate the risks of Covid-19
# There are now more than 600 confirmed coronavirus cases in Africa
# And, another three Grand Prix races are postponed

# An economist says the Reserve Bank’s decision to cut interest rates by 100 basis points is the right one to help mitigate the riks of the coronavirus on the South African economy. Raymond Parsons of the North West University points out that the bank’s Monetary Policy Committee has now followed about 50 central banks around the world that have so far reduced interest rates and taken other steps to offset the impact of the virus. 

# The World Health Organisation has announced that there are now more than 600 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Africa. The body’s regional director, Matshidiso Moeti, says this compares to only 147 cases just a week ago. He points out that although the continent has seen a significant increase in confirmed cases, there are still fewer cases than in other parts of the world. Moeti says the rapid evolution of the virus in Africa is deeply worrisome and a clear signal for action.

# The chief whip of the DA, Mireille Wenger, has applauded the efforts of all political parties for setting an example of social distancing by keeping minimal numbers in the Western Cape legislature when the province’s budget was approved. A reduced proportional number of only 28 members provided the necessary quorum. This allowed members to have ample physical distance between each other. All political parties also agreed to vastly reduce the time required for the session.

# The government has announced new regulations prohibiting the hiking of prices of goods, especially those crucial in the fight against the coronavirus. Toilet paper, sanitisers, facial masks and disinfectants top the list on the sanitation side. Basic foodstuff like maize meal, wheat flour and frozen meat have also been added to the list. Those found flouting the price rules could be jailed or fined up to one-million-rand.

# A conservation expert says although the meat of the pangolin was considered a delicacy for a long time, the animal may now have a new chance of survival following the coronavirus outbreak. The director of Conservation Justice, Luc Mathot, told the RFI news agency that if the market in Libreville, Gabon, was a criterion, the trade in pangolin is decreasing all over the world. He says the sale of this animal’s meat took a dive since researchers linked the scaly anteater to the virus. Before the outbreak, pangolin was one of the most poached and illegally traded animals.

# Motorsport: Three more Formula One races have been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak. The Grand Prix in the Netherlands, Spain and Monaco will now take place later this year. The first race of the season in Australia was earlier called off, while the races planned for China, Bahrain and Vietnam will also take place at a later date. The sport and its governing body, FIA, said in a joint statement that they will study the viability of finding alternative dates.

# Financial Indicators: The dollar is trading at 17-rand-34-cents and the euro at 18-rand-60-cents. One British pound costs 20-rand-9-cents. Gold is selling at one-thousand-481-dollars-6-cent a fine ounce and Brent crude oil is quoted at 25-dollars-30-cents a barrel.

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News 18:00

NEWSFLASH NEWS AGENCY 19 March 6 pm

You are listening to ……..………. The time ………… I am……….……..….… with the news.
In the bulletin:

# The repo rate is cut by 100 basis points
# The court decides that Wits students are compelled to vacate residences
# And the Super rugby series may not have a winner this year

# Economists have welcomed the South African Reserve Bank’s decision to cut the repo rate by a full percentage point. The governor of the central bank, Lesetja Kganyago, announced this afternoon that the rate will now be 5.25 percent. Economist Sifiso Skenjana told the media that this could not have come at a better time:

Play sound: ENG SkenjanaOnIntererestCut

# The High court in Johannesburg has dismissed an urgent application by two students from the Witwatersrand University to prevent the institution from evacuating residences because of the coronavirus. This comes after all classes were suspended after a medical student tested positive last week. Students had received 72 hours to evacuate the university by today. The judge said the university was implored to comply with Government’s directives and asked the students to do the same.

# Amnesty International South Africa says government’s failure to address human rights risks associated with the coronavirus again highlights the inequalities that exist in the country. Amnesty’s Mienke Steytler, says while Government’s response to the pandemic has been commendable, a lack of access to basic services such as sanitation, water, and healthcare for the poor is putting people’s lives at risk. She says compliance with international human rights standards and the National Disaster Act, have to be addressed.

Play sound: ENG-MienkeStytlerRights

# A leading expert on HIV and Aids says because of lack of data it’s not yet clear if people living with HIV have a higher risk for acquiring the coronavirus disease. Researcher and scientist at the Centre for the Aids Programme of Research, Salim Karim, says the risks for this group are already high, as they can develop serious complications from all viral infections. Karim says some groups of HIV-sufferers are even more at risk

Play sound: ENG KarimOnHIVTB

# Rugby: The South African Rugby Union’s decision on Wednesday to suspend all rugby matches until the end of April could leave this year’s Super trophy with no winners. This is according to the CEO of governing body Sanzaar, Andy Marinos. He told the media that if the tournament does not resume within five weeks there will be simply not enough time to play the deciding games.

# And financial indicators: The dollar is trading at 17 rand-33 cents and the euro at 18 rand-71 cents. One British pound costs 20 rand-21 cents. Gold is selling at one thousand 482 dollars-68 cents a fine ounce and Brent crude oil is quoted at 28 dollars-20 cents a barrel.

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News 17:00

NEWSFLASH NEWS AGENCY 19 March 5 pm

You are listening to ……..………. The time ………… I am……….……..….… with the news.
In the bulletin:
# The Western Cape government helps business people
# Quantas stops flights
# And Super rugby may not have a winner this year

# The Western Cape government and the investment promotion agency Wesgro announced strategies to reduce the impact of the coronavirus on businesses. The MEC for Finances and Economic Opportunities, David Maynier, says a total of 20-thousand pamphlets were made available at the Cape Town International Airport to be distributed to visitors and tourists. A virtual information centre was created to assist business people with information regarding labour issues. A guide on creating social distance in work places and guidelines on health issues for employers will also be available in the near future.

# This weekend will see new regulations banning gatherings of more than 100 people tested as Gauteng residents have been told to inform police if they’re holding funerals and weddings. It forms part of new measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Gauteng Community Safety MEC, Faith Mazibuko, says this requirement is not meant to infringe on people’s beliefs or religious expression, but should be adhered to as required by law.

Play sound: ENG-FaithMazibukoLaw

# Australia’s top airline, Qantas, has halted all international flights due to the coronavirus pandemic. Flights will be on hold from late this month to the end of May. The airline says it has advised a majority of its 30-thousand employees to use their paid leave, while two-thirds of its workforce will be laid-off during this period to preserve jobs over the longer term. Prime Minister Scott Morrison also says non-citizens will be banned from entering the country from tomorrow

Play sound: ENG-ScottMorrisonBorderClosure

# The US embassy in Ethiopia has condemned the attacks on foreigners in cities across the country who are being accused of being infected with the coronavirus. The embassy says since the first case of the virus was reported in the country it has been receiving reports of a rise in the anti-foreigner sentiment. So far Ethiopia has detected six cases of the virus, the first having been a Japanese national who traveled into the country from Burkina Faso.

# Rugby: The South African Rugby Union’s decision on Wednesday to suspend all rugby matches until the end of April could leave this year’s Super trophy with no winners. This is according to the CEO of governing body Sanzaar, Andy Marinos. He told the media that if the tournament does not resume within five weeks there will be simply not enough time to play the deciding games.

# And financial indicators: The dollar is trading at 17 rand-25 cents and the euro at 18 rand-64 cents. One British pound costs 20 rand-7 cents. Gold is selling at one thousand 474 dollars-76 cents a fine ounce and Brent crude oil is quoted at 28 dollars-20 cents a barrel.

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News 16:00

NEWSFLASH NEWS AGENCY 19 March 4 pm
You are listening to ……..………. The time ………… I am……….……..….… with the news.
In the bulletin:

# The coronavirus tally in South Africa reaches 150
# The first cases of the virus are recorded on Mauritius
# And The Daily Show goes on

# Government has confirmed that the number of coronavirus cases in South Africa now stands at 150. This is an increase of 34 on yesterday’s tally.

# This weekend will see new regulations banning gatherings of more than 100 people tested as Gauteng residents have been told to inform police if they’re holding funerals and weddings. It forms part of new measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Gauteng Community Safety MEC, Faith Mazibuko, says this requirement is not meant to infringe on people’s beliefs or religious expression, but should be adhered to as required by law.

Play sound: ENG-FaithMazibukoLaw

# The University of the Western Cape has instructed all staff members to work from home as a precautionary measure. This comes after a staff member who had travelled tested positive for the coronavirus. Acting rector and vice-chancellor Vivienne Lawack says after presenting with some symptoms, the staff member opted to be tested:

Play sound: ENG LawackOnVirus

# The first three cases of the coronavirus were confirmed on Mauritius. The Indian Ocean island’s government says the patients are three nationals aged 21, 25 and 59 years of age respectively who returned home recently. Two of them worked on cruise ships and the other worked in the United Kingdom.

# Road running: The organisers of the Two Oceans Marathon have confirmed that runners will not be refunded following the cancellation of this year’s race due to the coronavirus. It says its terms and conditions state that and it is also purely to safeguard the financial security of the event based on the potential losses which arise from a cancellation. All runners who entered will receive a T-shirt and a free commemorative Two Oceans Marathon 2020 buff.

# Financial indicators: The dollar is trading at 17 rand-28 cents and the euro at 18 rand-61 cents. One British pound costs 20 rand-6 cents. Gold is selling at one thousand 471 dollars-41 cents a fine ounce and Brent crude oil is quoted at 28 dollars-20 cents a barrel.

# And South African comedian and host of The Daily Show, Trevor Noah, says fans don’t have to worry about missing any episodes as the show will continue online. This follows the rise of coronavirus cases in the US, with New York, where shows studios are situated, already having two thousand-382 confirmed cases. Due to this, the show’s producers have decided to make the show from homes while all its staff is self-isolating. Noah says daily episodes will be posted online for fans to stay informed.

Play sound: ENG-TrevorNoah

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News 15:00

NEWSFLASH NEWS AGENCY 19 March 3 pm

You are listening to ……..………. The time ………… I am……….……..….… with the news.
In the bulletin:

# A murdered couple’s bodies are found near a dam in Mpumalanga
# All Dion Wired shops in South Africa are closing
# And The Daily Show goes on despite the coronavirus

# Mpumalanga police are looking for the murderers of a couple whose bodies were found in their car next to the Bethal Dam yesterday. The pastor and his wife, both 67, sustained serious injuries. Police spokesperson Leonard Hlathi says the couple left earlier to take a worker to Emizinoni near Bethal and never returned home.

# Massmart has announced that it is closing all 23 of its Dion Wired stores in South Africa today. This comes after the retail group, which also owns Game, Makro and Builder’s Warehouse, plunged to a 1.1 billion rand loss in the 2019 financial year. Management says the consultation process with all affected employees, organised labour and other relevant stakeholders will continue in order to mitigate the number of job losses.

# Public Works and Infrastructure minister Patricia De Lille says government has identified 37 sites that can be used as quarantine facilities across several provinces. This is part of government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. De Lille says some of the sites will be available to people living in informal settlements where there are no such facilities available:

# Road running: The organisers of the Two Oceans Marathon have confirmed that runners will not be refunded following the cancellation of this year’s race due to the coronavirus. It says its terms and conditions state that and it is also purely to safeguard the financial security of the event based on the potential losses which arise from a cancellation. All runners who entered will receive a T-shirt and a free commemorative Two Oceans Marathon 2020 buff.

# Financial indicators: The dollar is trading at 17 rand-38 cents and the euro at 18 rand-69 cents. One British pound costs 20 rand-8 cents. Gold is selling at one thousand 479 dollars-7 cents a fine ounce and Brent crude oil is quoted at 28 dollars-20 cents a barrel.

# And South African comedian and host of The Daily Show, Trevor Noah, says fans don’t have to worry about missing any episodes as the show will continue online despite the coronavirus. The  producers have decided to make the show from homes while all its staff is self-isolating. Noah says daily episodes will be posted online for fans to stay informed.

Play sound: ENG-TrevorNoah

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News 13:00

NEWSFLASH NEWS AGENCY 19 March 1pm

You are listening to ……..………. The time ………… I am……….……..….… with the news.
In the bulletin:
# President Ramaphosa has met with religious leaders over the coronavirus
# A new debit order system protects account holders and businesses
# And, there is hope for the Ryder Cup competition

# President Cyril Ramaphosa says it is imperative that leaders across all sectors of society are involved in Government’s plans to combat the coronavirus. He met with leaders of diverse communities of faith in Pretoria to reinforce the national response to the virus. Ramaphosa says he fully understands that the decision by churches including the Methodist Church and the Zion Christian Church to cancel Good Friday and Easter Monday services was reached with great difficulty:

Play sound: ENG RamaphosaChurcheLeaders

# Western Cape premier Alan Winde will chair today’s provincial cabinet meeting via a teleconference from his home. He had taken to working from home earlier this week and says he’s not self-isolating because of his contact with Health MEC, Nomafrench Mbombo. She confirmed on Twitter that she is self-quarantining after having contact with French consul, Laurent Amar, who has tested positive for the coronavirus. Winde says a medical team said there was no need for him to self-isolate or test for the virus.

# A leading group in debit order management says South Africa is the first country to introduce a new debit stop order system to prevent fraud. Executive Manager at PayM8, Andrew Springate, says the system requires that banks directly ask their account holders for electronic authorization. The South African Reserve Bank and the Payments Association of South Africa have welcomed the system as there has been an increase in debit order fraud.

# Golf: European captain Padraig Harrington expects the Ryder Cup to go ahead in September despite the chaos caused by the coronavirus. The year’s first two majors, the US Masters and the US PGA Championship, have been postponed. The European Tour and PGA Tour have suspended tournaments until May. According to SuperSport, Harrington believes the clash between Europe and the United States remains on schedule to take place in Wisconsin, America, in September.

# Financial Indicators: The dollar is trading at 17-rand-30-cents and the euro at 18-rand-74-cents. One British pound costs 20-rand. Gold is selling at one-thousand-482-dollars-44-cent a fine ounce and Brent crude oil is quoted at 28-dollars-20-cents a barrel.

# And finally: Animal welfare organizations say they’re taking the guidelines to protect staff, volunteers and customers from the risk of the coronavirus disease seriously while still providing care for vulnerable animals at their centers and in communities. The marketing director of Tears Animal Rescue in Cape Town, Lara Black, emphasizes that companion pets cannot transmit the coronavirus to their owners or other animals. Black says that self-isolation is the ideal time to bond with your pet:

Play sound: ENG BlackOnAnimals

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News 11:00

NEWSFLASH NEWS AGENCY 19 March 11am

You are listening to ……..………. The time ………… I am……….……..….… with the news.
In the bulletin:
# South Africans warned against panic buying
# The African Development Bank has taken measures to stop the spread of coronavirus
# And, ATP and WTA season suspended until June

# Professor Hettie Schönfeldt of the African Research Universities Alliance Centre of Excellence for Food Security at the University of Pretoria says South Africans have no need to panic over food security. Shoppers have been panic buying due to the coronavirus pandemic. Schönfeldt says this unnecessarily pushes up the production and prices of food, leaving the poor struggling to afford basic necessities:

Play sound: ENG-HettieSchönfeldtFoodSecurity

# Animal welfare organizations say they’re taking the guidelines to protect staff, volunteers and customers from the risk of the coronavirus disease seriously while still providing care for vulnerable animals at their centers and in communities. The marketing director of Tears Animal Rescue in Cape Town, Lara Black, emphasizes that companion pets cannot transmit the coronavirus to their owners or other animals. Black says that self-isolation is the ideal time to bond with your pet:

# The African Development Bank has introduced measures to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, including at its headquarters in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. The measures include video conferencing in lieu of physical meetings, the suspension of visits to bank buildings and the cancellation of all travel and conferences until further notice. The Bank has already taken several other steps to counter an escalation of the virus, including a 14-day self-quarantine for employees returning from high-risk countries.

# Tennis: Two controlling bodies, the ATP and the WTA, have extended the suspension of their tours until the seventh of June. The extension will affect joint men’s and women’s tournaments in Madrid and Rome, the women’s events in Strasbourg and Rabat and the men’s events in Munich, Estoril, Geneva, and Lyon. The player’s rankings have been frozen until further notice. Both the ATP and WTA say they are assessing all options related to the tennis calendar.

# Financial Indicators: The dollar is trading at 16-rand-89-cents and the euro at 19-rand-4-cents. One British pound costs 20-rand-18-cents. Gold is selling at one-thousand-489-dollars-90-cent a fine ounce and Brent crude oil is quoted at 28-dollars-20-cents a barrel.

# And finally: Britain’s Prince George and Princess Charlotte are to be home-schooled amid the coronavirus pandemic. The oldest kids of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate, will be switching to remote learning for the foreseeable future. The Sun reports that the royal children’s current school, Thomas’ in Battersea, south London, are encouraging parents to take children out of classes by the end of the week as a precautionary measure to help prevent the spread of the disease.

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News 09:00

NEWSFLASH NEWS AGENCY 19 March 9am

You are listening to ……..………. The time ………… I am……….……..….… with the news.
In the bulletin:
# Businesses are urged to make extraordinary plans due to the coronavirus
# Cogta committee supports the dissolution of the Tshwane Council
# And, abortion is no longer a crime in New Zealand

# The business organisation, Sakeliga, urges businesses to find innovative ways to limit the spread of the coronavirus, but still keep their doors open. CEO Piet le Roux says extraordinary measures are needed in the interests of public health:

Play sound: ENG-RouxOnBusiness

# Parliament’s select committee on cooperative governance and traditional affairs, water and sanitation is convinced that there are exceptional circumstances that warrant the dissolution of the Tshwane Council. The embattled municipality was placed under administration by Premier David Makhura. The committee’s chairperson China Dodovu says it is clear that the municipality is dysfunctional, and is failing to render its constitutional obligation. The National Council of Provinces will debate the dissolution of the council today.

# New Zealand’s Parliament has voted to decriminalise abortion. The BBC reports that for more than 40 years, abortion was the only medical procedure considered a crime in New Zealand unless it was performed under exceptional circumstances. The Abortion Legislation Bill, which brings abortion out of the Crimes Act, was passed by 68 votes to 51. Justice minister Andrew Little says from now on, abortions will be rightly treated as a health issue.

# Olympics: Criticism is mounting over the International Olympic Committee’s refusal to consider the cancellation or postponement of the Tokyo Games. The IOC says measures against the virus were delivering results, which makes it confident that the event from the 24th of July will be able to go ahead. Other major events, including soccer’s Euro2020 and Copa America and the French Open tennis tournament, have announced postponements.

# Financial Indicators: The dollar is trading at 17-rand-47-cents and the euro at 19-rand-6-cents. One British pound costs 20-rand-8-cents. Gold is selling at one-thousand-472-dollars-68-cent a fine ounce and Brent crude oil is quoted at 25-dollars-30-cents a barrel.

# And finally: Many South African families are currently staying at home in an effort to curb the coronavirus. But people with schoolchildren say although schools closed early, their kids will not be allowed to be idle. We spoke to a few parents:

Play sound: ENG-PARENTS-1

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