No evidence nearly 7,500 children die from ‘hunger’ each year in South Africa

Claim

Nearly 7,500 children under the age of five die annually in South Africa as a direct result of hunger.
Source: Daily Maverick (18 September 2020)

unproven

Verdict

According to the latest official figures, just over 800 children under the age of five die annually in South Africa from severe acute malnutrition. While the real number is likely to be higher, no available data shows by how much.

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Have South Africa’s commercial farmers declined from 120,000 in 1994 to 38,000? DA MP’s claim is misleading

Claim

The number of commercial farmers in South Africa has fallen from 120,000 to 38,000.
Source: Dianne Kohler Barnard, Democratic Alliance member of parliament (1 September 2020)

misleading

Verdict

There is no data on the number of individual farmers in the country. Figures from Stats SA are of the number of commercial farming units, and the definition of a unit has changed since the early 1990s.

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Yes, cardiovascular disease is second leading cause of death in South Africa

Claim

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in South Africa after HIV/Aids.
Source: The South African Heart Association (29 September 2020)

mostly-correct

Verdict

World Health Organization data shows that infectious and parasitic diseases were the leading cause of death. HIV/Aids accounted for the majority of those deaths. Cardiovascular diseases were ranked second.

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HEPA filters capture virtually all viruses and bacteria from air, but don’t ‘eat any form of virus’ on planes

Claim

Filters can “eat any form of virus including coronavirus” on aeroplanes.
Source: Fikile Mbalula, South Africa’s transport minister (29 June 2020)

misleading

Verdict

High efficiency particulate air filters capture virtually all viruses and bacteria from the air in plane cabins. But they can’t capture large infected particles or prevent transmission caused by close contact.

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