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South African trade unions lead protest as inflation, cost of living bites harder

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The wave of protest that has hit African countries lately has stretched into South Africa, as workers in the country, on Wednesday, demonstrated against the country’s rising cost of living.

Local reports say around 1,000 workers marched to the Union Buildings, the seat of government in the capital Pretoria, calling for President Cyril Ramaphosa’s government to contain rising prices.

The demonstrators hit the over the record-high fuel prices and increased costs for basic foods.

The General Secretary of South African Federation Trade Unions (SAFTU) Zwelinzima Vavi, while addressing thousands of workers emphasized the cost of living in the country has become a crisis.

“We cannot breath comrades. We cannot breath when today it costs more than 4700 rands ($277) to buy food for a family of just four people. No!”

Earlier in August, the government announced intention to slash the pump price of fuel from Wednesday, 3 August 2022 but it appears that that didn’t count for much as South Africans still cry under the weight of high inflation.

Inflation rate in South Africa jumped to 6.5% in May of 2022, from 5.9% in April and March, exceeding the central bank’s stated target.

In June, inflation hit a 13-year high of 7.4%, and the central bank expects the 2022 figure to run at around 6.5%, above the ceiling of its target band of between 3% and 6%.

South Africa faces a number challenges lately with an increasingly disturbing power situation that has led to consistent power-cut by the state power firm, Eskom.

South Africa’s economy has been in recession before the Covid19 pandemic which had devastating effects on the country’s economy.

Like in South Africa’s case, the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine has put lots of strain on many African countries as the two European neighbours contribute significantly to the supply of food to the world.

There are have been protests over similar causes in other African countries like Sierra Leone which turned bloody and Guinea lately.

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Metro

Another Ugandan health worker dies from Ebola Virus

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Another health worker in Uganda has died due to complications from the Ebola Virus Disease, making it the fourth recorded death of an official since the outbreak of the Sudan-strain of the virus in last August, the Health Ministry said on Wednesday.

Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng, who announced the death of the health worker, said the victim identified as Ms Margaret Nabisubi, an anaesthetic officer, died at about 4.33am after battling the infection for 17 days.

“The 58-year-old succumbed to Ebola at 4.33am this morning at Fort Portal Hospital (JMedic) after battling the disease for 17 days,” Dr Aceng said in a tweet.

“The late Margaret is the 4th health worker we have lost in the current Ebola outbreak after the probable case of a midwife, Dr Mohammed Ali and the health assistant in Kagadi District. May their souls rest in eternal peace,” Aceng added.

She added that President Yoweri Museveni was very concerned about the situation and has mandated the Ministry to do everything possible to contain the spread.

The country’s disease control agency, in a statement said so far, the confirmed cases of the virus infection have increased to 43 and the deaths have also increased to 13 as of Tuesday.

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ECOWAS mediator, Mohamadou Issoufou, meets Burkina Faso new ruler, Captain Ibrahim Traore

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The delegates of regional bloc, Economic Community of West African States have concluded mediation for Burkina Faso after recent unrest surrounding a military coup that ousted Lieutenant colonel Damiba last Friday.

The Friday coup was led by one of his trusted allies, Captain Ibrahim Traore, eight months after Damiba had overthrown the democratically elected President Roch Kabore in January and there has fear of a counter coup as shootings eusued at the capital on Saturday.

The mediator team led by Mahamadou Issoufou on Wednesday met with the country’s new ruler Captain Traoré who promised to keep the commitments made in July by the previous leadership regarding the organisation of elections and a return of civilians to power by July 2024 at the latest.

While briefing newsmen after the meeting, the mediator reaffirmed his commitment to the Burkinabe people.

“We will report on our mission to the current president of ECOWAS and to the heads of state. But I can already assure you that ECOWAS will remain at the side of the Burkinabe people.

“We will continue to accompany the Burkinabe people in this very difficult ordeal they are going through”, said Mahamadou Issoufou, ECOWAS mediator for Burkina Faso.

The West Africa sub-region has witnessed a series of military coups in recent years. In MaliGuinea, and Burkina Faso since August 2020.

 

 

 

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