Govt optimistic about defeating listeriosis outbreak

Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane says ministers are encouraged by efforts of the Health Department to stop the spread of the bacteria.

Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG – Government says its optimistic that South Africa will defeat the listeriosis outbreak.

Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane is giving a briefing on a cabinet meeting in Cape Town.

She says ministers are encouraged by efforts of the Health Department to stop the spread of the bacteria.

At least 180 people have died from listeria since January last year and over 940 cases have been reported so far.

Scientists have positively identified the source of the outbreak to Enterprise and Rainbow Chicken factories.

The minster also reported back on the land issue.

She says while Cabinet supports the motion on land reform adopted by Parliament, it’s against land invasions.

Mokonyane says government is satisfied that there won’t be any disruptions to the payment of social grants next month and that the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) is ready to implement a new hybrid payment model.

“The process of changing the beneficiaries’ cards will be done in a similar manner that will not disrupt the distribution of grants. All beneficiaries will receive their grants through their respective pay point which includes commercial banks, the South African Post Office and other retailers,” Mokonyane says.

This is despite Sassa officials telling a Parliament portfolio committee on Wednesday that a new service provider to make cash payments won’t be up and running before July.