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Migrants in South Africa have access to healthcare: why it’s kicking up a storm

Migrants in South Africa have access to healthcare: why it’s kicking up a storm

A political storm has erupted in South Africa after a video went viral showing the health minister for the Limpopo province – which borders Zimbabwe – berating a Zimbabwean woman who was seeking healthcare. Responses have been divided. Some have called for Phophi Ramathuba to step down on the grounds that verbally abusing a patient was out of order. Others have supported her, saying she reflects the sentiments of South Africans living in the area. The Conversation Africa spoke to Kudakwashe Vanyoro, who has done research on the treatment of migrants in South Africa’s healthcare sector, to unpack the issue.…
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South African trade unions sign wage deal with miner Sibanye

South African trade unions sign wage deal with miner Sibanye

TWO South African trade unions have signed a three-year wage agreement with miner Sibanye Stillwater on June 11, one of the unions said on Sunday, removing the last hurdle to restarting operations at its gold mines in the country. The unions - National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) - had agreed on a wage deal with the company on June 3 after almost three months of strike action, but did not sign an agreement as some finer aspects of the deal were still being negotiated. Sibanye, which also mines platinum group metals in South…
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Early warnings for floods in South Africa: engineering for future climate change

Early warnings for floods in South Africa: engineering for future climate change

SEVERE weather, rain and flooding are at the forefront of the minds of many South Africans, especially those in KwaZulu-Natal. Early last week (11-12 April 2022), the province’s coast received heavy rain, with some areas recording over 300mm in 24 hours. This is about a third of the annual rainfall in KwaZulu-Natal. The rain was caused by a strong cut-off low weather system off the east coast of southern Africa. Cut-off lows frequently occur off this coast during the autumn months. These systems can cause localised flooding as well as large wave events. The port city of Durban (in the…
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South Africa leads as Africa ups pandemic preparedness

South Africa leads as Africa ups pandemic preparedness

CONRAD ONYANGO, BIRD SOUTH Africa is the African country most prepared to handle pandemics and epidemics, followed by Mauritius and Kenya, while the entire world remains “dangerously unprepared” to meet future health threats, according to a new report. South Africa is ranked at position 56 among 195 countries in terms of preparedness across six metrics used in the 2021 Global Health Security Index. Together with Mauritius (79) and Kenya (84), these are the top African countries, with scores within the global average. “As a measure of health security, the index assigns the highest score to countries with the most extensive…
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South Africa hit by fourth COVID wave driven by Omicron

South Africa hit by fourth COVID wave driven by Omicron

WENDELL ROELF SOUTH Africa is being hit by a fourth wave of COVID-19 infections driven by the Omicron variant which has been detected in seven of the country's nine provinces, Health Minister Joe Phaahla said has revealed. Omicron, which has raised global fears of a surge in infections, was first detected in southern Africa last month and has prompted governments across continents to impose travel curbs and take other measures to contain it. Phaahla told a media briefing that he hoped that the variant could be managed without causing too many deaths. He urged South Africans to get fully vaccinated,…
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What South Africa needs to do to improve education for disabled children

What South Africa needs to do to improve education for disabled children

IN many countries, including South Africa, there is stark economic inequality between adults with disabilities and those without. One key to reducing these disparities is improving access to education for children with disabilities or difficulties. NICOLA DEGHAYE, PhD candidate in Economics, Stellenbosch University South Africa developed a White Paper on Inclusive Education in 2001, recognising disability as a factor that hinders learning and participation in schools. This policy emphasises that learners with disabilities or difficulties should be provided with the support they need, in their local school, wherever possible. This is in stark contrast to the situation before 2001 where…
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South Africa warns of ‘vaccine apartheid’ if rich countries hog shots

South Africa warns of ‘vaccine apartheid’ if rich countries hog shots

ALEXANDER WINNING  SOUTH African President Cyril Ramaphosa said yesterday that if wealthy nations hogged COVID-19 shots while millions in poor countries died waiting for them it would amount to "vaccine apartheid". South Africa and India have been pushing for a waiver on some intellectual property (IP) rights for vaccines and medicines at the World Trade Organization. U.S. President Joe Biden backed the proposal last week, though it may still take months to reach a deal. Ramaphosa called on South Africans to support the waiver in a weekly newsletter, saying vaccines should be "a global public good". "It is about affirming…
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