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The City of Cape Town has received numerous questions about its preparedness to deal with any potential cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

COVID-19 is part of a large family of viruses that are common in people and many different species of animals. The virus is spread mainly from person-to-person (coughing, sneezing, touching affected surfaces). An infection may present with fever, coughing and shortness of breath with at least 80% of the cases being mild in nature. Residents with underlying co-morbidities such as diabetes, heart and lung conditions are at increased risk of contracting the infection.

It is important to note that South Africa’s response to the Coronavirus outbreak is being led by the National Department of Health (NDoH), with support from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), World Health Organisation, Centre for Disease Control, and other partners.

The City of Cape Town is one of the partners involved in the response – under direction from the National Health Department and the Western Cape Health Department.

City Health fulfills a complementary primary health function through its network of more than 100 clinics, as well as an environmental health function.

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STATEMENT BY THE CITY’S MAYORAL COMMITTEE MEMBER FOR FINANCE, ALDERMAN IAN NEILSON

The City of Cape Town continues to disconnect services of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA). The disconnections should not affect the operation of the trains and thus commuters.

This is as a result of PRASA repeatedly failing to pay municipal rates and services debts of approximately R114 million to the City, of which R98 million is the arrears amount.

Eskom recently disconnected some of PRASA’S train operations for non-payment of debt to the value of only R6,5 million leaving passengers stranded and no trains operating.

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Scheduled maintenance on the water supply line in the Buh-Rein Estate and Mosselbank areas will cause low water pressure in these areas between 5 March and 27 March 2020. Read more below:

Residents of Buh-Rein Estate and Mosselbank areas are advised that repair work will take place on the water supply line currently feeding their areas between 5 March and 27 March 2020.

The City is making adjustments to the water network in the area to ensure supply is maintained, and although residents will likely notice a drop in water pressure, we do not expect any supply interruptions as a result of this work.  

Residents are also advised to make sure that taps are left in the closed position during this period to prevent any water loss and/or water damage when supply is restored. Residents are advised to store water in clean, sealed containers for use during this period. 

The City sincerely regrets any inconvenience that may be caused. 

After months of international premieres and sold-out performances, director Oliver Hermanus’ latest film, MOFFIE, will premiere on the local circuit next week – finally reaching his “intended audience…my fellow South Africans.”

The story of a young conscript who battles to survive compulsory service in apartheid-South Africa’s military while confronting toxic masculinity and coming to terms with his sexual orientation, premiered at the Venice Film Festival in September of last year. Since that sold-out performance in Italy, MOFFIE and Hermanus have garnered high praise from critics and audiences across the globe.

In recent weeks, in anticipation of the film’s South African premiere on 13 March, 2020, Hermanus shared and discussed the film with a select few gay men for whom he has great admiration, and sat down to talk about their experience of the word “moffie.” These conversations form part of the #calledamoffie campaign by Portobello Productions – the team behind the movie – to denuclearize the word and the hurt it has caused so many people. Videos of these conversations are available to watch on the film’s website, www.moffiefilm.com and features actor Armand Aucamp, comedians Marc Lottering, Pieter-Dirk Uys and Casper de Vries, TV and radio personality Rian van Heerden, politician Siphesihle Dube, fashion designer Lukhanyo Mdingi, business consultant and founder of the Gay Pages, Rubin van Niekerk, sexual health activist Phumlani Kango, and Damian Engelbrecht, the first openly gay contestant on the reality series Boer Soek ‘n Vrou. Among the topics the videos touch on, is how the word “moffie” has affected their lives.

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Finding love online is not a strange phenomenon these days and soulmates are literally found at the click of a button.

This is also the topic of Pieter Marcato’s brand new single, SWIPE REGS, which has just been released. “One of my best friends recently married his soulmate. They met on a dating app and it made me realize that people can find each other in different ways,” the musician explains about the inspiration behind his second solo release.

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Busiswa Lutshaba (33) is a dynamic emerging entrepreneur, born and bred in the vibrant community of Khayelitsha in Cape Town, the third biggest township in South Africa.

In 2015, with a passion for people and budding business savvy, Busiswa founded Blu Space Communications SA, a Public Relations boutique that works with emerging local entrepreneurs, providing them with essential communication services and to help them bridge the gap with corporates and the government.

Responding to an open call by Soapbox, a digital agency that helps small businesses with financial inclusion, the dynamic emerging entrepreneur, made it to the top 5 and later became the first social entrepreneur of the Unboxed Incubator Programme.

To unpack Busiswa’s growth potential, Unboxed, set up a campaign on donations based crowdfunding platform, BackaBuddy to raise funds to assist her with a three-year strategic development plan for her business. The fund will also help cover Busiswa’s financial business needs such as equipment to create professional content for her clients.

The crowdfunding campaign went live on 1 February 2020 and has thus far raised a total of R9165.83 towards her fundraising target of R40 000.00 with contributions from 29 donors. Busiswa is hoping to have reached her target by the 14 March, when funds are due.

“We believe by helping Busiswa we create an active and self-sustaining economy in Khayelitsha. The long term effects are aiding to financial inclusion and the betterment of socio-economic standards.” – says Ruben Hazelzet from Soapbox.

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While the Isuzu Southern Kings will be playing for pride in their eight remaining Guinness PRO14 pool matches, the heat will be on for the Toyota Cheetahs, whose playoff fate will be decided by a series of home matches as the round-robin stages reaches the business end of the competition.

A series of wasted opportunities and costly errors again left the teams on the wrong side of the scoreboard this past weekend, with the Toyota Cheetahs going down 13-10 against the Dragons in Newport (click here for the match report), while the Isuzu Southern Kings suffered a 29-19 defeat against Connacht in Port Elizabeth (the match report is available here).

The defeat for the Free Staters saw them remain in fourth place in the Conference A log – two points behind the Glasgow Warriors, who are expected to be their main contenders for a playoff spot.

Fortunately for the Toyota Cheetahs, seven of their remaining eight matches will be played in South Africa, with six of them being at home in Bloemfontein.

Toyota Cheetahs coach Hawies Fourie was disappointed that his team allowed a 10-0 lead to slip against the Dragons, and said they needed to be further ahead to challenge for the victory.

“We didn’t get enough points on the board in the first half when the wind behind us was unbelievably strong,” said Fourie.

“Being 10 points ahead wasn’t good enough, and we needed to take our chances. Unfortunately some passes were dropped and penalties given away, and it cost us.

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What to do when your coach calls you off the bench with one second (and basically one play) left on the clock and your side trail the World Series champions by seven points in the final of the HSBC LA Sevens?

If your name is Branco du Preez, you first execute the perfect restart to hand your side the possession, then you score a try and convert it from a tight angle two minutes into injury time.

And then, in extra time, you again run strongly, make a crucial tackle and celebrate when the team pull off one of the most unlikely victories seen in the 21 years of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.

If Hollywood, and Los Angeles in particular and the USA in general, are the places where dreams come true, Du Preez, South Africa’s most capped player in the World Series, can tell you all about it.

He lifted the USA crown four times when the tournament was played in Las Vegas and this weekend in Los Angeles, it was yet another gold medal around his neck, something that Du Preez described as a phenomenal feeling.

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The City of Cape Town’s Recreation and Parks Department, in partnership with the Western Cape Health Department, today  rolled out its first  universal access mat at Muizenberg beach. The Mobi-Mat, a roll-out walkway, is environmentally friendly, lightweight and creates easy access for wheelchairs and persons with walking aids within minutes.

In celebration of International Wheelchair Day on 1 March 2020, the City’s Recreation and Parks Department in partnership with the Western Cape on Wellness (WoW!) Partnership Programme of the Western Cape Government, launched a universal access beach mat at Muizenberg Beach. The mat was donated by Western Cape Government Health via its WoW! Programme to support people with disabilities to get onto the sand and closer to the water.

Manufactured in France, the Mobi-Mat is environmentally friendly as it is made from 100% recycled polyester. Its lightweight roll-out technology, creates a pathway for outdoor access for wheelchairs, baby prams and walking chairs. The bright blue colour makes it easy to identify from a distance and the non-slip surface provides an easy transition from the pathway over the sand to the ocean. The length of the mat is approximately 50m and cost R390 000 to procure.

‘This is the launch of the first-ever Beach Access Mat in the province, accordingly, it is expected that the installation of the Mobi-Mat would facilitate the empowerment and social inclusiveness of persons with mobility impairments through their participation in coastal recreation and leisure activities. In addition, the mat should positively influence the attitudes that prevent differently-abled individuals from participating in the community, said the Western Cape Provincial Minister of Health, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo.

‘As a Department, we recognised the need to give dignity and equal access to all members of society to our award-winning coastline. We are excited that these advancements in technology exist and would like to thank the WoW! Programme of the Western Cape Provincial Government who have so generously made this equipment available to us to improve the lives of those who depend on wheelchairs for mobility. Not only will make the beach more enjoyable for those with a disability/differently-abled, but it will also add value to mothers with baby strollers and the elderly,’ said Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Zahid Badroodien.

This project is being piloted at Muizenberg Beach which is the City’s flagship differently-abled-friendly beach. Muizenberg has demarcated parking for the disabled, ramps, hand railings, ablution facilities and an amphibious wheelchair, which helps those with a disability to submerge directly into the water.

“WoW! promotes inclusive healthy lifestyles for all. This specialised mat enables people using wheelchairs, and other aids for mobility, independent ease of access to the beach. The launch of the mat marks another step forwards towards co-creating inclusive healthy-lifestyle enabling environments. We are grateful to our partner, OCAL Global, for the support in procuring the Mobi-Mat” said Dr Frederick Marais, Deputy Director: Increasing Wellness, Western Cape Government.

The beach mat will now undergo a series of tests as part of the pilot project, and will only be available for public use once all legal documentation has been finalised. It is anticipated that this process will be concluded by the end of March 2020.

In addition to facility improvements, an important priority for the universal access project is to provide environmental education and awareness programmes for the differently-abled. Two programmes have already been developed: a rocky shore biodiversity programme for  those with a visualland physically disability and a waste programme adapted for the visually impaired.

The Department has also been conducting extensive research on universal access best practices around the world. An internal audit of all coastal facilities has since been conducted, in order to put a plan in place to ensure that as many beaches as possible become differently-abled-friendly.

“Developments and improvements in universal access to the City’s recreational nodes such as beaches and parks is a longstanding priority for the Recreation and Parks Department. Ultimately, the goal is to have these mats on every beach, although that will take some time to fund and implement”, said Cllr Badroodien.

For enquiries about universal access along the coast and any further queries, please contact the City’s Coastal Coordination Unit at beach.enquiries@capetown.gov.za.

For enquiries about the WoW! Healthy Lifestyles Partnership Programme, please contact team WoW! on wow@westerncape.gov.za

If you were a fan of Apprentesses SA’s reality show, STER-STATUS, on VIA (DStv channel 147) last year and want to be a part of this year’s action, now is your chance… but you have to hurry, because entries close on 28 February 2020!

This program is the first of its kind in South Africa and focuses on preparing young women for life in the limelight by introducing them to the entertainment industry

Last year’s twelve finalists had to work their way through workshops, training sessions and various challenges, before Jaenette Jacobs of Pretoria was finally crowned as the winner… and she has not looked back since!

“Being on STER-STATUS taught me a lot about myself and to look at other people differently. It made me realize that you should never give up on your dreams and that you will reap the benefits of what you sow,” shares the beautiful brunette, who has already been cast in three music videos, including Snotkop and Ricus Nel’s popular hit Boerepompie, starred in her first television commercial for Paintmaster, spent time on the set of Getroud Met Rugby and has been selected as a brand ambassador for Wildebees clothing since winning the show.

Some of the other contestants who have also had great success include Theresho Makwiya who is now the face of Landine Professional; Jean-Marie Viljoen and Michélle Mostert who have also recently starred in music videos; and Natalene Makhubo, who landed a lash course at Flirt Lash & Beauty.

Jaenette will also be hosting the next season and is thrilled about this unique opportunity. “I feel privileged to be part of the next season and am looking forward to this exciting chapter in my career. It not only provides me with the chance to broaden my knowledge of the industry, but also to prepare for similar work opportunities in the future,” she says.

According to Tarien Cronjé, founder and executive director of Apprentesses SA, this year’s program promises to be even bigger and better than it was in 2019. “Due to the success of last year’s production, we are proud to announce that the show has now grown from six episodes to thirteen episodes! As a result, we added a raceway challenge and will also be shooting a short film, to challenge the participants and the industry and make things even more exciting,” Tarien explains.

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