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South Africa Welcomes U.S Support For Patent Waiver On COVID-19 Vaccines

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Morocco Vaccinates Prisoners Against COVID-19

South Africa has welcomed the U.S. decision to support patent waiver on COVID-19 vaccines.

America has endorsed a temporary and targeted waiver of intellectual property protections to COVID-19 vaccines as a campaign to lift patent protections on coronavirus vaccines is picking up steam.

South Africa’s president Cyril Ramaphosa says U.S. support is a victory for his country.

Director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. John Nkengasong, says the U.S. decision is a step in the right direction.

Africa, with a population of 1.3 billion, is facing challenges of insufficient vaccines. Africa CDC data show COVID-19 coverage rate stands at 1.14%. As of May, 37.6 million vaccine doses had been acquired by African countries, around 20.2 million of which had been administered.

Analysts say, access to vaccines and some hesitancy to take them among the general public have been important factors in the low level of inoculations.

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Wike Blasts Buhari Over Continued Insecurity

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Wike Blasts Buhari Over Continued Insecurity

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South Africa To Investigate Deaths Of 20 Persons Found At Vacant Gold Mine

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South African police says it is investigating the deaths of 20 persons suspected to be illegal miners, whose bodies were discovered in two locations, in the gold mining town of Orkney. 14 decomposing bodies were found near a railway line on Wednesday.  Five more bodies were discovered outside an old unused mine shaft on Tuesday.

The police believes the deceased, who were found wrapped in white plastic bags, were illegal workers, commonly known as ‘Zama Zamas’.  Security agents say the deceased had severe burns on their bodies and autopsies were being done to identify the cause of death.

The South African police say the incident could be linked to a video on social media where a man was seen pleading for assistance at a mine shaft.

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South Africa Electricity Under-Performing

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South Africa Electricity Under-Performing

South Africa’s electricity company, Eskom, has continued to experience shortfalls in providing power to its consumers.  The company has had to implement rolling blackouts because of a high demand for power. The government said it will end existing red tape to deal with power blackouts.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced a major shake-up in the energy sector that will allow private power companies to generate more electricity without red tape, to deal with the blackouts. The limit on the self-generation of electricity without a licence has also been lifted from 1mw to 100mw

For years, the state-owned power utility, Eskom, has struggled to meet the demand of one of Africa’s biggest economies.

Ramaphosa says the partial liberalization introduces a new era for South Africa’s troubled energy sector.

These changes will make it easier for independent power providers to generate electricity and sell it back to the grid.

Firms will still need to obtain some licenses, like a grid connection permit.

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