South Africa: What’s Happening In South African News – June 20, 2022

Cape Town — Soweto Roads Blocked with Debris, Burning Tyres as Residents Protest

Major routes into Soweto have been blocked by demonstrating residents, disrupting traffic and leaving bus commuters stranded. This comes as demands for service delivery have put demands for change, particularly intervention by Johannesburg Mayor Mpho Phalatse, into sharp relief. Residents have also warned that the protests will lead to a greater shut-down within 24 hours. A protest organiser denied the action was part of Operation Dudula – an anti-migrant movement targeting black foreigners in alleged xenophobic attacks – but rather a communitiy initiative to ensure their petition of demands is received by Phalatse.

Nelson Mandela Bay Inches Closer to Drought Disaster

The Churchill Dam is set to run dry by Friday this week, becoming the latest of several water sources to the beleaguered Nelson Mandela Bay metro (NMBM) to be lost. Dam levels currently sit at 11.94% with the municipality urgently calling on residents to reduce water usage. Ten private plumbing companies have been hired to fix leaking pipes which NMBM claims accounts for 30% of water losses.

Union Slams Salary Increases for Govt Officials

Increased salaries for public office bearers have been slammed by the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) who labeled the pay hikes as unfair compared to earnings of public service workers. The 3% salary rise comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa approved recommendations by the Independent Commission for the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers. Cosatu Deputy President, Michael Shingange, said in response: “The Labour Appeal Court and the Constitutional Court felt that as public servants, we’re ungrateful for wanting to receive a salary increase in 2020 in the midst of the pandemic. Today they’re giving themselves a 3% hike; we hope that they’re going to carry this going forward when the public servants themselves demand what they think they deserve in the upcoming wage negotiations.”

Amazon Eyeing South Africa in e-Commerce Marketplace Expansion?

Retail giant Amazon has allegedly included South Africa on its list of countries where it plans to expand its online shopping services, according to leaked documents. Along with fellow African nation Nigeria, Amazon may enter the markets of Belgium, Chile and Colombia by early 2023. South Africans will also gain access to Amazon’s Prime membership programme, a premium delivery service with additional online benefits. The move comes as the megacorporation faces a legal battle over its planned head office in Cape Town where local communities oppose its development.

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