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Thursday, April 2 2020



Ideas FREE

The upsides to a pandemic: from jobs to teaching, it’s not all bad news

A climate boost, new work opportunities, an uptick in innovation, rethinking how we learn – there are many positives

4 min read

We will fight it with torches, bricks and cutting machines, vow kids

Watch four young friends strategising on how they will rid SA of Covid-19

4 min read

SA parents cram online lessons on how to teach their kids

Several learning sites say inquiries about homeschooling and learning material have flooded in

Prega Govender
2 min read



Ideas FREE

Defend SA from its cops, army before it’s too late

ANALYSIS | While Bheki Cele has since urged them to show compassion, his off-the-cuff initial response was telling

Karyn Maughan
3 min read

She fought one pandemic. Now this one has claimed her

The world-renowned medical scientist and professor won many awards for her groundbreaking work

Yasantha Naidoo
Durban bureau chief
2 min read

Virus victim was a talented ad man, writer and artist who loved God

Tributes flood in for Louis Wilsenach, 79, praising him as an ‘amazing’ and ‘unique’ mentor

Iavan Pijoos
2 min read

Don’t scoff: overeating during lockdown may widen SA’s girth

Health experts fear scores of Saffers will turn to their fridges and cupboards for Covid-19 comfort

Suthentira Govender
Senior reporter
4 min read

How a Loskop has changed what we know about the Great Dying

A centimetre of ash in the Free State has filled a scientific gap in what happened 252 million years ago

Dave Chambers
Cape Town bureau chief
3 min read

In the public interest none of our coronavirus news coverage will be behind our paywall. It is available free for all to read. If you would like to support our mission of delivering award-winning, independent local news, please consider taking out a subscription by clicking here.


6 things you need to know

Eskom has 'a lot more capacity than needed'

Eskom has told independent wind farms that it could buy less of their power in the coming days, as electricity demand has plummeted during a lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus. Eskom said on Tuesday that power demand had dropped by more than 7,500 megawatts since the lockdown started on Friday and that it had taken some of its own generators offline. Spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha said the utility had not yet curtailed power procurement from wind farms but that it had told them this could happen "for a few hours a day during the next few days, perhaps until the lockdown is lifted". "Most of them are able to feed power into the grid in the early hours of the day. That coincides with the lowest demand period. And we now have a lot more capacity than needed," Mantshantsha said.

Antibodies found that could treat Covid-19

Chinese scientists have isolated antibodies they say are “extremely effective” at blocking the ability of the new coronavirus to enter cells, which could be helpful in treating or preventing Covid-19. Zhang Linqi, at Tsinghua University in Beijing, said a drug made with antibodies such as the ones his team had found could be used more effectively than the current approaches. In January, the scientists began analysing antibodies from recovered Covid-19 patients, which showed what Zhang described as a “strong” ability to bind with the virus’ proteins. Among the first antibodies tested, four were able to block viral entry and, of those, two were “exceedingly good” at doing so, Zhang said. — Reuters

First repatriation flight on way to Brazil

A flight bound for Sao Paulo in Brazil departed OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg on Wednesday, Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) confirmed. This was the first repatriation flight permitted in terms of revised regulations announced on Tuesday by transport minister Fikile Mbalula. Acsa said 321 passengers boarded the LATAM flight. The crew did not disembark. Acsa said the aircraft carried an additional 16 crew members so it could do a crew change at the airport. “The 16 crew members for the flight into South Africa therefore returned to Brazil as passengers,” said Acsa group executive for corporate affairs Refentse Shinners.

LGBTI+ communities unite for online Global Pride

Organisations running LGBT+ Pride marches have joined forces to hold the first online Global Pride event on June 27, after hundreds of real-life gatherings were shelved due to the coronavirus pandemic. Global Pride will be livestreamed worldwide, said Steve Taylor, spokesperson for the European Pride Organisers’ Association (EPOA). More than 200 LGBT+ rights marches have been postponed or cancelled, according to EPOA, which estimates that up to 22 million people attend at least one Pride in Europe every year. Gay Star News, an LGBT+ news outlet, has held a “Digital Pride” online since 2016, but Taylor said this was the first time physical Pride marches would be held virtually. — Reuters

Man 'sets girlfriend's house alight, killing five'

A 32-year-old man was arrested after allegedly setting his girlfriend's house alight, killing five people. Police spokesperson Capt Khaya Tonjeni said the house in Seymour in the Eastern Cape was engulfed in flames in the early hours of Monday. A resident who contacted the police saw the man allegedly setting the house alight, Tonjeni said. “He called in members of the community and a 32-year-old male suspect was arrested and handed over to the police.” Five people, including the man’s girlfriend, 30, her mother, 46, her sister, 24, a five month-old boy and a 34-year-old man died.

Virus-testing tent thieves urged to get tested

Thieves who stole a coronavirus testing tent from outside an Auckland, New Zealand, hospital have put themselves at risk of contracting the virus and should get tested, police warned. East Health Trust chief Loretta Hansen said staff discovered the tent was missing on Tuesday morning. “Some fool, idiot, come and stole our tent,” she said in a Facebook video. “It was bolted in by concrete and they just chopped it off.” “If you have got that tent ... we're quite happy if you could just let us know anonymously where we can pick it up from. You might save yourself a bit of trouble,” said police.


Research by medical specialists in Hong Kong shows how long Covid-19 can survive on different surfaces and in different environments. The surfaces tested included paper, tissue paper, wood, cloth, glass, a banknote, stainless steel, plastic and the inner and outer layer of a surgical mask.



Today’s cryptic crossword

It's time to put your brain to work

1 min read

Today’s quick crossword

How fast can you get it done?

1 min read



Just as we need to bring the outdoors indoors, along comes this wallpaper

Five reasons you need to take a closer look at the Secret Garden wallpaper range

By Mila Crewe-Brown
3 min read

We should all be Prada how Kering the luxury brands are being

From surgical masks to hand sanitiser, big companies are stepping up to help fight coronavirus

By Paula Andropoulos
1 min read

Blast from the past: it’s one helluva debut for Sanders

Today in SA sports history: April 2

David Isaacson
Sports reporter
1 min read

Lockdown offer | R60 for Times Select for 60 days

Get your Times Select news fix every weekday for two months at this great price – no strings attached!

2 min read