The Eyewitness News Breakfast Brief

Eyewitness News previews a selection of the news that you will find on the website today.

Picture: Engin Akyurt/Pixabay

On EWN.co.za this morning, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan insists Eskom is doing everything in its power to ensure that you don't cast your vote in the absence of electricity on 1 November. During an abrupt briefing last night, the minister and Eskom officials updated the country on the state of the fragile national grid. Eskom has been battling to keep the lights and as a result, we're all being saddled with stage 4 load shedding. For many years, South Africa's grid has edged closer to collapse as a result of aging infrastructure, mismanagement and corruption.

The Gauteng government says it won't stand by while baseless allegations are made against hospital staff by the Independent Media Group. The organisation, which withdrew from the National Press Council back in 2016, claims that hospital staff and others somehow helped unknown syndicates to human traffic ten babies that were allegedly born in June. The group has given details about its internal investigation into the debacle but once again, it's failed to provide any evidence that the babies ever existed. The Gauteng government has confirmed it's now taking legal action against the Independent Media Group. The National Health department says its outraged by the damning and unsubstantiated allegations contained in the report released by Independent Media into the alleged decuplets.

Despite load shedding and lost teaching time due to COVID-19, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga is optimistic the matric class of 2021 matric will still come out tops. matric finals kicked off yesterday for public school learners.

The South African National Defence Force has confirmed that 10,000 soldiers will be deployed across the country to help law enforcement officials safeguard the upcoming local government elections. The troops will be stationed from Saturday, when the special voting process opens, until next Wednesday. At least 300 areas in provinces including Gauteng, the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape have been classified as potential hotspots.

The National Freedom Party says it's certain that the burnt remains found in a car between Nongoma and Pongola are that of their councillor candidate, Dumisani Qwabe. Although police say they're still working to confirm the identity of the victim, the party says Qwabe's family have confirmed it is him.

Western Cape Local Government MEC Anton Bredell says ongoing load shedding is killing the economy. He says Eskom must urgently explain its plans to address the rolling blackouts and breakdowns at power plants. Eskom implemented stage 4 load shedding at noon yesterday and it will last until 5AM tomorrow.

Gang expert is warning that the murder of the alleged kingpin of the notorious Boko Haram criminal group will likely lead to a succession race within the criminal organisation. Mamelodi residents have told Eyewitness News they're relieved to learn that Philip Mnguni was killed this week in a dramatic shooting near the Diamond Hill Plaza. The Boko Haram gang is believed to be running an extortion syndicate in Mamelodi.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases says 472 new COVID-19 cases have been identified in South Africa showing that the level of infection remains low. The total number of laboratory-confirmed cases in the country stands at over 2.9 million since the pandemic broke out in March last year. The National Institute for Communicable Diseases says yesterday's increase represents a 1.4% positivity rate. According to the National Department of Health, a further 62 COVID-19 related deaths have been reported. This brings the total number of fatalities in the country to 89,049.

The Not In My Name movement says King Mswati III must step aside or begin talks as protests continue in Eswatini. There have been numerous demonstrations in that country, with many killed or wounded by security police. A protest that took place outside the Eswatini High Commission in Pretoria yesterday, where members affiliated with the movement called for the king to step aside.

In news abroad, the leaders of the world's major economies gather in Rome this weekend for the first in-person G20 summit since the pandemic began, with COVID-19, economic recovery and climate change topping a packed agenda.

New Zealand on Thursday unveiled plans to tentatively reopen its borders amid growing pressure from Kiwis stranded overseas by some of the world's toughest pandemic travel restrictions.

Treating high-risk COVID-19 patients with the antidepressant fluvoxamine may reduce the risk of prolonged hospitalisation by up to a third, a large-scale study showed Thursday.

VIDEOS

Four brothers from different parties, one election position: who'll win? - Politics can split families. But four Eastern Cape brothers demonstrate that this doesn't have to be the case. They all belong to different political formations and are contesting the same ward in their hometown of Matatiele during the 2021 local government elections.

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