June 27 — Severe weather caused storm damage in the Cape at the weekend. A flooded hospital was closed and cars were flattened by falling trees. City disaster management spokesperson Charlotte Powell said no deaths or injuries were reported.
June 27 — Bridge climbers on the Harbour Bridge near the Opera House as the sun sets in Sydney, Australia. BridgeClimb Sydney reopened to visitors from June 27 following its temporary closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic. BridgeClimb has introduced new safety measures with increased cleaning and sanitisation processes, as well as all climbers travelling in small, physically distanced groups.
June 28 — The body of an 80-year-old man, whose cause of death was given as Covid-19-related, is accompanied by family members and friends at Westpark Cemetery in Johannesburg. The family agreed to photographs on condition of anonymity. Concerns have been raised about the rise in deaths not officially attributed to Covid-19 in SA.
June 29 — Technical glitches and backlogs have hobbled the government’s flagship programme to cushion the Covid-19 economic shock, resulting in R4.2bn in unpaid claims and denying cash to nearly a million potentially deserving workers who haven’t had an income in three months. President Cyril Ramaphosa’s team came up with a form of salary protection under which the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) would pay out between R3,500 and R6,700 for three months until the end of June to workers forfeiting their salaries during the lockdown.
June 30 — The economy contracted 2% in the first three months of 2020, data released by Stats SA showed on Tuesday. This is down from the 1.4% decline in the last quarter of 2019, when SA slid into a recession, testament to the difficulties the economy faced even before the onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic.
Lockdown regulations, despite being eased, and general fear of infection, still sees recently reopened businesses, such as some restaurants, spas and hairdressers, standing empty.
July 1 — China passed a sweeping national security law for Hong Kong on Tuesday, a historic move that critics and many Western governments fear will smother the finance hub’s freedoms and hollow out its autonomy. The legislation was unanimously approved by China’s rubber-stamp parliament, little more than six weeks after it was first unveiled. Hong Kong police fired water cannons and teargas and arrested more than 300 people on Wednesday.
July 2 — The City of Johannesburg could be placed under administration after it missed the deadline for passing its budget before the start of the financial year. Johannesburg, led by mayor Geoffrey Makhubo, is SA’s economic hub, its richest city and the municipality with the biggest budget, and was initially set to pass its budget on Tuesday but, for the first time since the Municipal Finance Management Act came into effect in 2003, it was unable to do so.
July 2 — Daniel Mminele, who took over as Absa CEO just as the Covid-19 storm was about to hit SA, says he’s expecting a long and hard slog before the country’s economy recovers to its levels before the pandemic struck. Speaking to Business Day on Wednesday, barely six months into his tenure as the leader of one of the continent’s largest financial institutions, Mminele, a former deputy governor of the Reserve Bank, said the eventual speed of the recovery will depend on what policymakers do.
July 2 — The bodies of more than 160 jade miners were pulled from a sea of mud after a landslide in northern Myanmar on Thursday, after one of the worst-ever accidents to hit the industry. The disaster struck after heavy rainfall pounded the open-cast mines, close to the Chinese border in Kachin state, where billions of dollars of jade is believed to be scoured each year from bare hillsides.
July 2 — Two people died in an explosion and a fire at an oil refinery in Cape Town owned by a unit of Glencore. The unit confirmed that two people were killed in the blast and seven others were injured. The incident occurred at 4am on Thursday.
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