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Involve Jarana in business rescue process or face legal action: Numsa to SAA
6 December 2019, 9:50 PM

The National Union of Metal Workers (Numsa) has threatened South African Airways (SAA) with further legal action unless they involve former Chief Executive Officer Vuyani Jarana in the business rescue process in order to save workers’ jobs at the national carrier.

Numsa will also be lodging an urgent interdict to have government’s voluntary business rescue of SAA set aside because, they say, it is unlawful.

The union, along with the Cabin Crew Association, says the only business plan that makes sense is that put forward by trade union, Solidarity.

Numsa Spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola says the business rescue process is a ploy by government to get the airline liquidated and sold cheap.

“We’ve noted that they’ve gone ahead. They’ve rushed this process. They’ve even gone and appointed their own business practitioner without even consulting or speaking to labour. Our compromise would be that in this process, Vuyani Jarana, must be consulted and must form an integral part of this business rescue. If their goal as they are claiming is to turn around the airline and to save it then they should have no problem with agreeing to these terms. As workers and as labour, we cannot accept liquidation because it means everybody loses; it means all jobs are lost. We are in a situation in our country where we got 38.5% unemployment.”

Comments on ethnicity spark chaos in NCOP
6 December 2019, 9:43 PM

Tension arose in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) sitting during the budget vote debate of Sport, Arts and Culture on Friday. This came as the Freedom Front Plus (FF Plus) member Fanie Du Toit made comments about ethnicity and calling on other ethnic groups to erect their own statutes instead of destroying the statues of other groups.

This was triggered by Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Member of Parliament Mmabatho Mokause, who called for the apartheid and colonial statues to be removed and placed in an apartheid museum. It was the last sitting of the NCOP for 2019.

Before bidding one another farewell, the NCOP members passed various budget votes and bills.

Mokause was critical, not only calling for the removal of statues, but also for Die Stem version to be removed from the National Anthem.

“We need to stop celebrating and honouring things that caused us so much pain. We need to remove apartheid statues with no apologies, particularly here in Parliament and take them to a dedicated apartheid museum as a reminder of our future generation, under the theme: ‘Never again’. We need to recognise the pain that Die Stem caused to the majority of our people and the  symbol it still has to arch racist and that having Die Stem still as part of our National Anthem is offensive to the memories of all those who were killed by the racist government. Die Stem must fall with no apologies.”

FF-Plus’s Fanie Du Toit reacted to Mokause’s statement.

“If you do not know where your roots are, you don’t know where you are heading. Honourable chair, removing cultural statues that belong to a certain ethic group is not the solution. It’s turning a blind eye. If it is so offensive to other members in the House, I can make the example of having a stone and then putting it under the rug. They are going to fall over it all the time. The Freedom Front Plus suggests that other ethnic groups also put up statues of their own.”

African National Congress Member of the NCOP China Dodovu took offence and told Fanie Du Toit that he was out of order for his comments on ethnicity.

“Honourable Chair, I am calling a point of order because this Honourable Member is misleading the house. He is saying that we don’t know our roots; we don’t know where we come from; and we don’t know where he is coming from. We know where he is coming from! And when he came to this country! Therefore, he is misleading the country when he says we don’t know our roots and we don’t know his roots. We know his roots!”

It did not end there. House Chairperson Winnie Ngwenya’s hands were full as calls were made for Du Toit to withdraw his comments.

NCOP passes bills 

The National Council of Provinces (NCOP) passed five Bills that include the Adjustments Appropriation Bill, the Hydrographic Bill and three Taxation Bills.

The Adjustments Appropriations Bill was tabled with the 2019 Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) in Parliament by the Minister of Finance on 30 October 2019, outlining the budget priorities of the government for the medium-term estimates. The Money Bills and Related Matters Act, No. 9 of 2009 (as amended) provides that “after the National Assembly passed the Adjustments Appropriation Bill, the Bill must be referred to the National Council of Provinces and referred to the Select Committee on Appropriations.” Accordingly, the NCOP referred the Bill to the Committee for concurrence on 04 December 2019.

The three Taxation Bills, namely the Taxation Laws Amendment Bill, the Tax Administration Laws Amendment Bill, and the Rates and Monetary Amounts and Amendment of Revenue Laws Bill were part of Minister of Finance, Mr Tito Mboweni’s, Budget announcements on 20 February.

The Taxation Laws Amendment Bill proposals affect individual savings and employment tax, business tax, Value Added Tax and the Customs and Excise Act. A key proposal is an amendment to the tax treatment of surviving spouses’ pension. The amendment seeks to lessen the financial burden when calculating taxes, which retirement funds may withhold on spousal pensions. The amendment becomes effective on 1 March 2021. The original effective date, 1 March 2020, has been postponed for administrative reasons, to enable SARS and taxpayers to ready their systems for the changes.

The Tax Administration Laws Amendment Bill was formally introduced on 30 October, when Minister Mboweni presented the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement. This Bill makes technical corrections to the Income Tax Act, 1962; the Customs and Excise Act, 1964; the Value Added Tax Act, 1991; the Skills Development Levies Act, 1999; the Unemployment Insurance Contributions Act, 2002 (to align time periods for a refund under this Act to the Tax Administration Act of 2011); and the Tax Administration Act, 2011.

The Rates and Monetary Amounts and Amendment of Revenue Laws Bill deals with changes in rates and monetary thresholds, changes to personal income tax tables, increases of excise duties on alcohol and tobacco and adjustments to the eligible income bands that qualify for the employment tax incentive.

The Hydrographic Bill aims to, amongst others, provide for the establishment of the Hydrographic Office; provide for the safety of navigation in the – exclusive economic zone and internal waters of the Republic, and ensure that hydrographic surveying is done in accordance with the requirements of internationally accepted specifications and standards.

The sitting also considered and adopted two Committee reports – one by the Select Committee on Land Reform, Environment, Mineral and Energy Resources on the “Legislation relating to the domestic trade in Rhinoceros Horns” and the other on the Select Committee on Appropriations’ “Proposed division of revenue and the Conditional Grant allocations to provinces and Local Government.”

Workers at former Bosasa-controlled property uncertain about future of their jobs
6 December 2019, 8:09 PM

Workers at the former Bosasa-controlled Lindela Repatriation Centre and Youth Development Centre say they are uncertain about the future of their jobs.

The property was sold for R60 million at an auction in Krugersdorp, west of Johannesburg, this week.

The repatriation centre accommodates over 6 000 illegal immigrants while the youth care centre accommodates 5 000 teens.

Watch the video below for more on the story:

Bosasa came under the spotlight at the State Capture Commission amid allegations that the politically connected company fraudulently benefited to the tune of billions in tenders after allegedly paying dodgy retainers and kickbacks.

“We’ve heard about other provinces that Bosasa was having youth development centres. All those youth centres now, they’re all under government and all those former employees of Bosasa, they are reporting to government which was our demand as employees ever since this issue started. But to our surprise, we, as Gauteng only, we remain under a new contract from a new service provider, which is the situation we’re in now. We are trying to adjust to a new system from the old system of Bosasa,” says Hulisani Nevodo, a Social Worker at the former Bosasa Youth Centre.

Court sets aside decision to oust City of Tshwane Mayor, Speaker
6 December 2019, 6:04 PM

The Pretoria High Court has granted an interim order to the Democratic Alliance (DA), setting aside the removal of the Tshwane mayor and speaker.

The Judge found that pending the finalisation of several applications before it, all resolutions passed by the Tshwane Council on Thursday, at its special council meeting were suspended and of no effect.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and the African National Congress (ANC) in the city passed a motion of no confidence against Mayor Stevens Mokgalapa and Speaker Katlego Mathebe.

The two parties appointed an acting speaker, EFF Councillor Obakeng Ramabodu, to preside over the removal of the two.

The DA did not vote in protest as they say the whole process was illegal. The DA has now approached the court and the matter will be heard on 17 December.

“What that means is that everything that happened yesterday (Thursday), the election of acting speaker as well as the motion of no confidence against the speaker and the executive mayor is now set aside and it has fallen away and they are back in their positions. Tshwane has got the mayor that is Stevens Mokgalapa. We have an acting mayor since Stevens Mokgalapa is on leave and that is the acting executive mayor Councillor Abel Tau and we have the speaker which is Councillor Katlego Mathebe,” says DA leader in Gauteng John Moodey.

The City of Tshwane earlier said in a memo that it had appointed Makgorometje Makgata as the Acting City Manager to oversee all administrative decisions and ensure continued service delivery to residents.

The Human Settlements Department in the ANC controlled Gauteng administration is among those finalising plans to move forward with placing the City of Tshwane under administration.

Among the reasons for this is what the provincial administration says is the frequency of unauthorised and irregular expenditure highlighted in the Auditor General’s report.

Statement – Court ruling reinstates mayor and speaker

 

 

More heads expected to roll at CSA board meeting
6 December 2019, 5:27 PM

Cricket South Africa (CSA) is facing a difficult weekend with a board meeting scheduled for Saturday in Kempton Park, east of Johannesburg, over the current crisis where more heads are expected to roll.

The federation’s Chief Executive, Thabang Moroe, has been suspended and national team’s main sponsor, Standard Bank, has informed CSA that it will not renew its sponsorship in April next year.

Standard Bank says it has suffered reputation damage from problems CSA is experiencing. Standard Bank’s Group Chief Marketing Officer, Thulani Sibeko, says the bank had no choice.

“Standard Bank has decided not to renew the relationship with CSA which ends at the end of April in 2020. This is because of our concerns of developments that have been visible from CSA which we believe have caused reputational harm both to CSA and Standard Bank.”

Standard Bank’s decision comes just before the beleaguered Cricket South Africa’s special board meeting on Saturday, which has been called after reports of poor corporate governance, fraud and the decision to revoke the accreditation of five seasoned cricket journalists.

This week has already seen three board members resign, and at least three people have been suspended from the CSA’s administrative office. There is less than three weeks to go to the first test against England, and still there is no selection committee and/or management team in place.

Those are two issues expected to be discussed at the board meeting on Saturday. Standard Bank could not stand these shenanigans any longer.  Standard Bank has said it is giving CSA adequate notice so that it may explore an alternative title sponsor.

Standard Bank has been a long time sponsor of both the National Cricket Team, and the CSA development programme through the Regional Performance Centres.  The non-renewal by the Standard Bank will have a dire impact in the growth and nurturing of new talent in the country.

Sibeko says Standard Bank has been supporting the development of Cricket in South Africa. “We have been involved and committed in supporting cricket not only the Proteas but development programmes as well making sure that young talent over the years come through and becomes the next cricket stars. However, our involvement in cricket is on condition that the reputation of cricket and attributes associated with cricket are the kind that we would love to transfer and associated to our brand. So it was with that difficult consideration that we concluded that the reputation that has been harmed by these developments necessitate that we do not renew the relationship.”

This is bad news for players, fans and other genuine stake holders. The good news is that progress is being made to right all the wrongs and getting rid of the bad apples.

The Chief Executive of CSA, Thabang Moroe, has been placed on precautionary suspension. His suspension with full pay comes after reports from the Social and Ethics and the Audit and Risk Committees.

A forensic audit will now be carried out.

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