South African Government to Allow Municipalities to Source Their Own Power

According to the Government Gazette, South Africa will allow municipalities to source their own power rather than buying electricity solely from the state-owned utility, potentially easing a dispute with its second-biggest city, Cape Town.

Earlier this year, a judge ordered further negotiations between the City of Cape Town and the energy ministry after the municipality sued the government because it wasn’t allowed to proceed with its own energy procurement plans. Under the planned rules, the local authority would still need government permission to do so, which it objects to.

In addition to wanting to generate more power from renewable resources, South African cities including Cape Town, Johannesburg, the adjacent industrial hub of Ekurhuleni and Tshwane, which includes the capital, Pretoria, have been subjected to regular power cuts because state-owned Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. cannot meet demand and distribution infrastructure is dilapidated.

Cape Town has outlined plans to source electricity from solar plants and waste-to-power projects at its landfill sites. Eskom produces most of its power from coal.

Leila Mahomed-Weideman, director of sustainable energy markets for the City of Cape Town, said she couldn’t immediately comment.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

Relocation Africa’s South African Immigration Interview

Our Immigration Lead, Lynn Mackenzie, recently had the pleasure of speaking to Tracy, our South African immigration partner, about South Africa’s current immigration landscape.

To listen to Lynn and Tracy’s conversation about immigration in the current context, click here to view the recording, or view it below.

We would like to say a huge thank you to Tracy for her insights. We hope you enjoy the recording.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

 

Risk of Second Wave of COVID-19 in South Africa as Cases Rise

South Africa faces a high risk of resurging coronavirus infections that may lead to a review by the council deciding on lockdowns after new cases rose by 42% in Western Cape province in the last two weeks, the health minister said recently.

Zweli Mkhize said in a statement that the increase in infections and deaths “will inform the recommendations that the Health Department makes to the National Coronavirus Council”, the body that determines the different levels of lockdown restrictions.

“According to our resurgence plan, we define this significant spike in new cases in the Western Cape as a resurgence,” said Mkhize, adding that nationally infections in the last two weeks had risen 10.7%, which was also a “concerning trend”.

Mkhize said the cause of the spike in the Western Cape was a “super-spreader event” at a bar in southern Cape Town. The popular tourist city was originally the epicenter of South Africa’s first wave of infections.

Africa’s most advanced economy, which also has the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases on the continent at more than 700,000 infections, eased lockdown restrictions to their lowest level in September as the rate of new cases fell.

It also opened its borders to international travelers at the beginning of October after a six-month ban, in what was one of the world’s strictest lockdowns that included restrictions on movement, economic activities and the sale of alcohol and tobacco.

The lockdown cost the country more than 2 million jobs in the second quarter, while the economy shrunk by its most on record.

To track worldwide cases via the Bing COVID map, click here.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

Kenyan Immigration Update: Introduction of Document Upload Platform and Digitization of Foreigner Registration Appointment Scheduling

The Kenyan Directorate of Immigration Services (DIS) has issued the following updates.

1.    Document Upload Platform

 

Directive Pursuant to the attached notice, the DIS is currently piloting an online document uploading platform in the eFNS portal to replace the hardcopy deposit of documents.

 

The digitization process shall also include payments processing and receipting.

Effective Date
  • Pilot ongoing

 

  • Formal launch to be communicated in due course

 

Impact on business High

 

Expectations
  1. The historical issue of missing files and documents will be eliminated

 

  1. In the transition phase, delays in the processing of applications should be expected due to system downtime

 

  1. The application processing time may increase by 3-5 days due to the initial document verification process and allocation of the applications internally (DIS)

2.    Digitization of Foreigner Registration Appointment Scheduling

Directive The scheduling of foreigner registration appointments has been digitized. Applicants are required to book their appointments through the eFNS portal (https://fns.immigration.go.ke/dash/appointments.php) with availability being given on a first come first served basis.

 

While the DIS had previously directed that passport endorsement and foreigner registration should be done at the same time, this will no longer be possible due to the drawn-out appointment dates. Accordingly, passport endorsement shall done as soon as a permit or pass is issued while foreigner registration will be completed at a later stage

Effective Date 28 September 2020
Impact on business Low

 

Expectations Increased efficiency in the foreigner application process

 

Should you require any further information and or assistance please do not hesitate to contact us at immigration@relocationafrica.com.

The content of this article is provided for general information purposes. The provision of this article does not constitute legal advice or opinion of any kind; no advisory or fiduciary relationship is created between Relocation Africa and any other person accessing or using this article. Relocation Africa will not be liable for any damages or loss arising from using any part of this article.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

New Lock-down Change for South African Schools

Basic Education minister Angie Motshekga has published a new gazette which will allow for the resumption of some sports at South African schools.

The directive states that the following activities are permitted to resume, subject to social distancing, hygiene and safety measures and without spectators:

  • Non-contact sport training;
  • Inter-school non-contact sport matches;
  • Non-contact sport-related activities;
  • Arts and culture school-based activities in schools.

The number of persons in the sporting venues, change rooms or training area, at any given time, must not be more than 50% of the capacity of the venue with persons observing the social distancing requirements.

In addition, schools that compete in inter-school format must adhere to the limitation of:

  • 250 persons or fewer, in the case of an indoor activity; and
  • 500 or fewer, in the case of an outdoor activity;
  • Provided that no more than 50% of the capacity of the venue is used with persons observing the social distancing requirements.

Other regulations include the wearing of face masks expect when playing, the provision of hand sanitisers and the keeping of a register for all participants.

Social distancing rules in classrooms

The resumption of sports comes after Motshekga said that her department will make further changes to the country’s schools as it continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic.

Motshekga told the SABC that key among these changes will be a review of the social distancing rules in classrooms.

The minister indicated that the current ‘rotation system’, where students alternate days at school, meant that too much learning time was being lost.

Instead, her department is looking at other measures, such as body screens, to get more children into classrooms safely.

“We are looking also at other measures. Other big schools for instance are using body screens not distancing because physical distancing is very expensive for us because it means we have to cut classes in half,” she said.

Motshekga said that schools had to cut out some parts of the curriculum because of the reduced contact time.

To make up for the teaching time lost to the coronavirus lockdown, the department has already trimmed the curriculum nationally. Parts of the 2020 curriculum will be carried over into 2021.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].