Today's Big Stories

Shortage of TB-linked vaccine, new BEE codes to be released, DA debate analysis

South Africa affected by global shortage of BCG vaccine for preventing TB

Image: countynewscenter.com

Heard on Cape Talk's Breakfast with Kieno Kammies: Dr Yogan Pillay, Deputy Director-General at the National Department of Health, unpacking how South Africa is affected by the global shortage of the BCG vaccine. Used as a preventative measure against some strains of TB, BCG is usually administered within 48 hours of birth, but can be taken later on life as well:

The department of health has a list of 16 vaccines that we provide - BCG is one of them. It can be given later in life, apart from 48 hours of birth. There is a global shortage of BCG, not just South Africa - it is an old vaccine. We have tried to look around the globe for sources and we've found two sources: Unicef - which stock piles the vaccine and we've received some stock from them - and Cipla from India who will provide us with six months' supply immediately. We should be getting those supplies by the end of May.

New BEE codes will take effect in a years' time

Image: execuflora.co.za

Heard on 702's John Robbie Show: following concerns from listeners around new BEE codes, the Department of Trade and Industry's (DTI) Acting Chief Director of BEE, Takalani Tambani assured that the final phase of the new BEE codes will be gazetted for the market by Thursday:

In October 2013, the Minister of Trade and Industry issued the codes of good practice for an 18 month period - those codes came into effect on the 1st of May. That's Phase 1 of the codes and it covers about 80% of the Codes of Good Practice. There's a second phase of the codes which the Minister has already signed and will be uploaded for gazetting. Those set of codes will be available to the market by this Thursday. When BEE is measured, you are always measured on a 12 month basis and so the effect of these codes will only felt 12 months later. If you did a BEE score card last week, you will have used the last 12 month period to measure your BEE certificate and that certificate will be valid for the next 12 months.

Maimane-James DA debate described as 'well-thought out'

Image: Netwerk 24

Heard on 702's John Robbie Show: Associate Professor in the Public Law Department at the University of Cape Town, Professor Richard Calland says the debate wasn't much of a debate and was civil overall:

Maimane was very eloquent, confident, composed and very impressive. Wilmot James - whom I know very well and was my boss at a point, whom I respect for his great intellect and integrity - came across as he always does, as someone who is very thoughtful and very considered. So it's a question of if people want to go for the charisma of Maimane or the cerebral intellectual of James. The tone was overall, very civil. They didn't really debate each other, they answered the questions.

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