For Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Sane Dhlamini.
Making headlines: Gauteng unveils R4-billion upward revision to Budget in response to Covid-19, Schools reopening: Motshekga hits back at opposition criticism and, Tobacco ban costing South Africa R35-million a day in lost taxes
Gauteng unveils R4-billion upward revision to Budget in response to Covid-19
The Gauteng government announced a R4-billion upward revision to its 2020/21 provincial Budget on Thursday, indicating that the increase to R146.4-billion, from the R142.2-billion outlined in March, had been made in response to the need for additional resources to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.
Gauteng has emerged as the epicentre of the pandemic in South Africa, with some 145 000 official infections by July 22 and 1 156 deaths.
Gauteng Finance and e-Government MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko said the adjustments were designed to provide a comprehensive response to Covid-19, while safeguarding the implementation of the administration’s Growing Gauteng Together 2030 strategy.
Schools reopening: Motshekga hits back at opposition criticism
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga took exception to being called a "stubborn Minister" after she was criticised for the decision to open schools amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Opposition MPs from the Economic Freedom Fighters, National Freedom Party, Inkatha Freedom Party and African Independent Congress criticised her for this decision during the debate on her department's adjusted budget in a virtual mini-plenary of the National Assembly on Wednesday afternoon.
The usually demure Motshekga came out guns blazing when closing the debate; she dismissed the opposition as "anti-everything", offering nothing constructive.
She said she consulted all stakeholders the previous week, and all provinces supported the opening of schools.
Tobacco ban costing South Africa R35-million a day in lost taxes
British American Tobacco South Africa on Thursday said the ongoing tobacco ban was costing the government R35-million in taxes daily and should be lifted immediately.
"After 118 days of lockdown, the ban on tobacco product sales has now cost over R4-billion in excise taxes alone and substantial job losses," the country's biggest cigarette manufacturer said.
The statement from Batsa follows the release of a study report by academics at the University of the Western Cape that concluded that extending the ban beyond the beginning of May, when the country's hard coronavirus lockdown was lifted, had proven a bonanza for the black market, while delivering negligible public health benefits.
That’s a roundup of news making headlines today
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