VAAL TRIANGLE - The government has ramped up its capacity to monitor and respond to misinformation and fake news during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Acting Communications Minister Jackson Mthembu says a hi-tech monitoring and evaluation process will assess complaints. It has the ability to take down fake news items on a range of platforms and submit cases to the police. Complaints can be channeled through the www.real411.org website or the WhatsApp line 067 966 4015.
Meanwhile the Independent communications authority, better known as Icasa, has designated the phone number 111 as South Africa’s COVID-19 national emergency number. Calls and SMSes to this number will be free. In terms of Icasa’s regulations, the shortcode number will be in use for three months after the end of the national state of disaster. The National Institute for Communicable Diseases has a special toll-free number for anyone with corona questions, on 0800 029 999.