Schools Should Not All Be Treated The Same In Delayed Return – THE ACDP

Schools Should Not All Be Treated The Same In Delayed Return – THE ACDP

In light of the serious health emergency and its impact on hospitals, it would be advisable to keep schools closed for the next two weeks.
The ACDP wants to state however that all schools should not be treated the same. School Governing Bodies (SGBs) and communities should determine school readiness. There should be a differentiated approach in the reopening of schools and not a one size fits all approach.

BABY SHAMPOO NASAL RINSE – ACDP RESPONSE TO NEWS 24 ARTICLES

BABY SHAMPOO NASAL RINSE – ACDP RESPONSE TO NEWS 24 ARTICLES

THE ACDP REPLIES TO TWO NEWS24 ARTICLES

11 January 2021

  1. “DEBUNKED | Covid-19: Experts slam ACDP baby shampoo claims, call for politicians to be more responsible” (10 Jan 2021) 
  2. “Does baby shampoo help to treat Covid-19? No science backs this up, experts say.” (11 Jan 2021)

We believe it is a mistake to ask experts in one medical field to debunk what experts in a different medical field already perform and recommend to their patients for many years. While we respect them for their knowledge in their field, their limitations are regrettably evident.

‘While we wait for definitive therapies and vaccines to contain and prevent the spread of SARS‐CoV‐2, additional strategies are required to lessen transmission.’ (Meyers, C, et al. Sept 2020*) 

(*all links to references are provided below.)  
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2021 – Perspectives from President Reverend Kenneth Meshoe

2021 – Perspectives from President Reverend Kenneth Meshoe

Dear ACDP friends,
Greetings in the name of the Lord.

Most people agree that the year 2020 was not a great one. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, some people lost their jobs and livelihoods, while others lost their loved ones.

If we look at things from a natural point of view, 2021 looks to be no better than 2020 because of what we see in our hospitals, and from what we hear from our Minister of Health, who tells us that the rate of Coronavirus infections are increasing.

For the first time, there were no celebrations to ring in the New Year. Churches were not allowed to have their traditional New Year cross-over services which left many very upset.

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced new lockdown measures at both national, and district level for South Africa.

In a national address on Monday evening (14 December), the president said that the country has been hit by a second wave of coronavirus infections with nearly 8,000 new cases reported on Sunday.

There can no longer be any doubt that South Africa has entered a second wave, said the president. “If we do not act urgently, the second wave will be even more severe than the first wave.”

The president pointed to four provinces leading this second wave, including:

  • The Western Cape
  • The Eastern Cape
  • KZN
  • Gauteng

There are probably many reasons for this massive spike in infections, but some key contributors are now becoming clearer, the president said.

Ramaphosa said that most cases are reported in young people between 15 and 19 years. He said that one of the main reasons for the massive spike in infections are social gatherings and parties- particularly the matric rage event.

“In many of these gatherings, social distancing is not being observed, venues are crowded and not adequately ventilated, hand sanitiser is not readily available, and people are not wearing masks,” he said.

Many people consume alcoholic drinks at these ‘super-spreader’ events, with the result that people become less careful about taking measures to protect themselves and prevent infection.

“We now know that nearly 1,000 young people from Gauteng who attended the event have tested positive for the coronavirus. What we don’t yet know is how many more people each of them has infected.

“It is said that up to 300 families could, in turn, have been infected. The sad truth about is that festivals, concerts & parties – which should be occasions for fun & joy – are proving to be sources of infection & illness and may even lead to deaths.”

Other reasons behind the rise infections include increased travel between provinces and a relaxed attitude to current lockdown regulations such as wearing masks.

“The more we travel, the greater the potential to spread the virus,” the president said.

He said that the relatively low rates of infection over the last few months have made us more relaxed about wearing a mask over our nose and mouth every time we go out in public.

“Another factor in the rise in infections is increased travel with many people not observing prevention measures as they move within cities, towns and rural areas, and between different areas.”

“The festive season now poses the greatest threat,” the president said. “Unless we do things differently, this will be the last Christmas for many South Africans,” he said.

Local restrictions

Ramaphosa said that it is necessary to take extraordinary measures to save lives, while still protecting livelihoods.

These measures include local lockdown restrictions for the Sarah Baartman District in the Eastern Cape and the Garden Route District in the Western Cape, which have been declared hotspot regions.

From 00h01 on Tuesday, until a drop in infections is seen, the following additional restrictions will take effect in these areas:

  • Hours of curfew will be from 22h00 – 04h00 except for essential workers and emergencies;
  • The sale of alcohol will only be permitted between 10h00 and 18h00, from Monday and Thursday at retail outlets;
  • Alcohol use will be banned in public places such as beaches and parks;
  • All gatherings, including religious gatherings, may not be attended by more than 100 people for indoor events and 250 people for outdoor events;
  • At all times the total number of people may not exceed 50% of venue capacity;
  • All post-funeral gatherings are now prohibited.

National lockdown

Ramaphosa also announced that further national restrictions will be reintroduced from 00h01 on Tuesday.

These restrictions will be reviewed in early January based on the state of the country’s coronavirus cases, he said.

The new restrictions include:

  • Stricter enforcement of existing level 1 lockdown restrictions – This includes that people in public buildings and public transport wear masks.
  • Gatherings – Gatherings will be further restricted to 100 people for indoor events and 250 for outdoor events. The total number of people in a venue may not exceed 50% of the capacity of the venue.
  • Funerals – All post-funeral gathering are prohibited across the country.
  • Beaches – Ramaphosa said that a differentiated approach will be used for the country’s beaches and public parks. In areas with high coronavirus cases beaches and parks will be closed from 16 December to 3 January – this will apply to all of the Eastern Cape and the Garden Route. Beaches will also be closed in KZN on days which are seen as particularly busy. These include 16 December, 26 December, 31 December, 1 January, 2 January, and 3 January. Beaches and public parks in the Western Cape and Northern Cape will remain open for now.
  • Evening – South Africa’s national curfew will be extended: 23h00 until 04h00. This means that non-essential establishments such as restaurants will have to close at 22h00 so that staff and patrons can go home before curfew. The curfew is in full effect on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.
  • Alcohol – The sale of alcohol will only be permitted from 10h00 – 18h00 from Monday to Thursday at retail outlets. Wine farms can remain open and sell alcohol for off-site consumption as per their licence hours.
Lack of response equals tacit approval of violence against women and children

Lack of response equals tacit approval of violence against women and children

The ACDP is on record for condemning the violence perpetrated against women and children through pornography. We have consistently said that pornography is the theory and rape, the practice. It is hypocritical to speak out against the act of rape, and sexual violence but not the source. We must be unashamed and bold to go to this source to stop the barbaric and immoral violence against women and children.

Comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) in public schools in 2021

Comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) in public schools in 2021

We only have 5 weeks left to STOP the Implementation of CSE in our public schools! The ACDP is on record for opposing this dangerous curriculum since 2002 when the DBE introduced Curriculum 2005.

CSE is currently being imposed on South Africa’s public schooling system by the Department of Basic Education – despite overwhelming public opposition. CSE takes an ideological “sexual rights” approach to sexuality education – thereby driving a wedge between parents and their children.

A Tribute to Jesse

A Tribute to Jesse

Jesse to me, as a woman of color, is a reminder of the fruits of democracy and the new dawn. She was everything women in this country dream for their daughters to become. She studied at the University of the Western Cape in the field of her passion, Theology. She was a fresh faced young woman who at the age of 19, had enough boldness to stand very pretty, but confident in a pulpit. She wanted to live her faith out in a bold manner. When I asked her aunt Sandra Hess, what Jesse”s dream was she without hesitation said: Jesse wanted to live for God! How prophetic that her name means: God exist!

Rail Infrastructure Damage Affects Economic Wellbeing of Poor and Most Vulnerable

Rail Infrastructure Damage Affects Economic Wellbeing of Poor and Most Vulnerable

The negative impact of ongoing damage to public rail infrastructure is costing commuters dearly. Millions of former train commuters now have to pay up to 500% more to travel to and from work by taxi.

Instead of Prasa safeguarding our public rail infrastructure, they have allowed vandals to strip train stations bare, and to put many commuter routes out of action. Workers that used to spend R7,90 on train-fare as an example, from Garankuwa to work in Pretoria, now have to pay R45 to get to work by taxi in the morning, and R45 to go back home. Those who used to spend R140 on a monthly train ticket to their place of work are now spending R960 a month to use taxis to the same work place. As a result of these high transport costs, these workers are now unable to meet all their financial obligations and the needs of their families. Those badly affected are now calling for trains to be brought back as a matter of urgency, as trains are the most affordable public transport for the poor.

There must be some serious consequences for those damaging and destroying public infrastructure. Without severe punishment for those who are destroying property, the problem we are debating today will continue unabated, and the poor and vulnerable will continue to be the ones who suffer the most.

Even before lockdown, Prasa was experiencing serious problems. Countrywide, Metrorail commuters dropped from 543 million in 2013 to 147 million in 2019, and between 2017 and 2019, almost a billion rands of damage was done to our rail infrastructure by vandals and arsonists – while guarded by a security company contracted to Prasa.

In April this year, however, our state-owned rail entity ended their security contract and put its own security guards in place. Vandals became bolder and plundered ticket office roofs, overhead lines, bricks, copper and whatever else they could lay their hands on.

On 20 November 2019, the President signed the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act into law. The law provides for sentences of up to 20 years in prison for train arsonists, and to my knowledge, nobody so far has received such a sentence for destroying our infrastructure. The ACDP believes that government must take full responsibility for this sad state of affairs in our country because of their soft approach when dealing with criminals.

Government must have a political will to hunt down and punish criminals who destroy our infrastructure. Unless a clear message is sent that they will be punished severely, then criminals will continue doing it as they have no fear of punishment.

The ACDP demands to know when government is going to start implementing the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act. We therefore, call on government to show that they have the will to stop this destruction of our valuable infrastructure.

South Africa’s Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan

South Africa’s Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan

The ACDP will support all efforts and workable plans to restore our economy to inclusive growth following the devastation caused by COVID-19 to the country’s economy. Sadly, because of the hard lockdown imposed by the government to mitigate the effects of COVID-19, our economy contracted sharply, businesses have closed, and approximately 3 million workers lost their jobs in the second quarter of this year.

The interventions introduced by President Ramaphosa this past week are not new but are a repeat of what the government said many times before. As always, the government has been good with new ideas on paper, but very weak with implementation.

News about the Infrastructure Fund that will provide R100 billion in catalytic finance over the next decade, leveraging as much as R1 trillion in new investment for strategic infrastructure projects are welcome, but we wonder whether corruption that is endemic in our country, will not derail the noble intentions that the President highlighted in this House.

The ACDP reiterates its call to focus more on recovering the more than R500 billion lost as a result of corruption. The Hawks, NPA, SARS, SIU and other law enforcement agencies, have wide powers to freeze bank accounts and attach assets worldwide, but we are not convinced that these powers are being used optimally to send a clear message to corrupt tenderpreneurs and looters that crime is not profitable. All fake millionaires enjoying their ill-gotten gains must pay back what they have stolen.

The ACDP would like to encourage the Hawks and the SIU in particular to accelerate their investigations of the 67% of companies that won tenders related to PPEs. It is scandalous that much of the R50 billion that was spent on PPEs went to companies that are politically connected such as the President’s spokesperson’s family who received a contract of R139 million.

To ensure that such an unfair practice is not repeated, the ACDP endorses a proposal by the SIU that a legislative amendment should be made to prohibit civil servants, public representatives, and their families, from doing business with the State. In addition, the ACDP proposes that the tender system be reviewed due to ongoing abuse that costs the country billions.

If the government is to succeed in their plans for economic reconstruction and recovery, they must be relentless in pursuing all those who have been implicated in corrupt dealings, including senior political officials and those in the House.