September 23, 2020

According to an article published in the Lancet the indirect effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on maternal and child mortality rates in low-income and middle-incomes countries could reach a devastating possible maximum of 56 700 additional maternal deaths and 1 157 000 additional child deaths over 6 months in the 118 countries reviewed.

Covid-19 is a crisis on a crisis – it is a health crisis on top of existing social, economic and political crises in SA. Every faultline is exposed: those with food security, and those who go hungry; those with jobs and the unemployed; those with water and sanitation and those without; those who drive cars and those in crowded public transport; those in well-resourced schools with small classes and those in overcrowded, under-resourced schools; those who use private health care and those who wait in long queues outside under-resourced rural and township clinics. 

The Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute (Safcei) says it is concerned that the situation in the country is reaching a boiling point, with the ongoing impact of Covid-19 on society and the economy, and the threat of a huge hike in electricity. The SA government is expecting far too much from its citizens, who now face a potential increase of up to 15% more for electricity while simultaneously having to contend with increased lockdown regulations and a fresh bout of load shedding.

The Southern African Faith Communities Environment Institute (SAFCEI) and Earthlife have sent a letter to the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy urging the government to abandon all plans for new nuclear energy programmes.

Fishing communities from around the country marked World Ocean Day on 8 June by raising a number of serious threats to their way of life experienced by South Africa’s small-scale fishers during the lockdown period, and demanding that the government “legitimise” the sector as a matter of urgency.

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Notes from the House is an independent online publication that tracks and monitors Parliament’s role in fulfilling its constitutional responsibilities to improve the lives of South African citizens. Published by Moira Levy with the support of the Claude Leon Foundation.

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