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SGB calls on government to deploy security following teacher’s stabbing in North West
4 May 2021, 8:56 PM

The chairperson of the school governing body (SGB) of the Tshefoge Primary School outside Brits in the North West has called on government to deploy security at the school following the stabbing of one of its female teachers on Monday. Learners are currently attending school at the local town hall while their school is being renovated.

It is  reported that the suspect forcefully entered the premises wearing a balaclava and stabbed the teacher in her neck and back.

SGB chairperson Samson Sewela: “We don’t have security personnel, that is going to be implemented now, when they finish re-building. They going to implement it, remember today we have a meeting with the MEC, they check the school and all those things are in the school. I feel so sad, I just hoped that the teacher is well, all the gates are going to be locked, and we are now talking about getting a security personnel to put in place so that the school will be safe at all times.”

North West Education MEC Wendy  Matsemela says she is satisfied that security is up to standard.

“The school is having a fence, a proper fence, a proper gate, giving also that the school is renovated, our learners  have been relocated to another building, but when you look at the security around that building, the security is well, our screeners were at the gate when this kind of gentleman started to arrogantly approach them and forcefully entered into our school. It cannot be said the is no proper security, because even where our learners are, actually relocated that area is having proper security.” – Report by Salang Motsepe

SA Council for the Architectural Profession marred by allegations of sexual harassment
4 May 2021, 8:04 PM

The South African Council for the Architectural Profession is marred by allegations of sexual harassment and mistreating of female councillors. This is according to Democratic Alliance (DA) Member of the Public Works Committee Madeleine Hicklin.

She raised concern over what she says is a lack of oversight by the department. This came up during a virtual briefing by Minister Patricia De Lille and departmental officials to the committee. Hicklin says there are tremendous problems within the Council dating back to the previous administration.

“We have female councillors who are kicked out of the council. We have allegations of sexual harassment. We have an obligation as the Department of Public Works to ensure that proper governance is actually taken into consideration when dealing with these councils, who may have rogue elements within them and they are really and truly not being dealt with. For the Department to say to women who have been harassed to a point where one was actually in fear of her life. I have asked for a report and I am giving them three months to come back to me. It doesn’t sit well with me.”

De Lille says a probe was launched in October last year. She says a report has been released and will be followed by an independent investigation.

“The report came in February 2021. The report was referred to the Deputy Minster and myself. And because we are concerned about very-very serious allegations contained in that report and that the people that were involved in the first investigation, I agreed with the DM (Deputy Minister) on the 4th of March that it is better that we get an independent investigation going. We have also informed the complainant on the 4th of March that this is what we have decided to do because of the seriousness of the allegations.”

 

President Ramaphosa stresses importance of global preparedness in healthcare
4 May 2021, 7:33 PM

President Cyril Ramaphosa has emphasized the need for expanding global healthcare access to counter any future pandemics. Ramaphosa was speaking during a virtual Friends of Multilateralism round table meeting.

 Virtual roundtable on pandemic preparedness and response:

The panel was established in July 2020 by the World Health Organisation to understand the chronology of the coronavirus pandemic, among other things. Ramaphosa has stressed the importance of global preparedness in the healthcare sector.

“As we prepare for future pandemics, we need to accelerate to realise universal healthcare coverage. We need to ensure that vaccines and other lifesaving treatments are seen and considered as public goods by the world. We must act now as a global community to prevent another pandemic from ever again causing such death and devastation. We know that it is the virus that causes the disease but it is human inaction that causes the pandemic.”

Vodacom remains willing to pay ‘Please Call Me’ inventor
4 May 2021, 7:21 PM

Vodacom says it remains willing to pay ‘Please Call Me’ inventor Nkosana Makate a substantial amount as it entered into negotiations and negotiated with him in good faith, in accordance with an order of the Constitutional Court.

This emerged during arguments at the Pretoria North High Court. The court is considering whether Vodacom’s compensation amount of R47 million is fair, reasonable, equitable and not manifestly unjust.

Vodacom says it will not be making any pronouncements on the issues being ventilated before Justice Wendy Hughes in the High Court. The hearing is set to be finalised on Thursday this week

Vodacom claims it does not owe him more than the offered R47 million as ‘Please Call Me’ is a free service which does not generate income.

In February 2019, Vodacom conceded that it could have done things differently with regard to the ‘Please Call Me’ saga.

Makate responds to Vodacom:

R 70 billion demand

In January 2019, about 200 protesters from the ‘Please Call Me’ movement marched to Vodacom headquarters demanding R70 billion for Makate.

File video: The protestors gathered at the mobile communication giant’s head office holding placards reading “Vodacom Stop Racism”:

COSATU hopeful government will renegotiate wage offer with public sector unions
4 May 2021, 5:13 PM

Labour federation, COSATU, says it is hopeful that government will renegotiate a wage offer with public sector unions. Unions and government representatives are meeting at the Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council on Tuesday.

It follows a meeting request from government, following last week’s deadlock over this year’s public service wage negotiations. Workers are demanding a seven-percent wage hike, with government having previously offered a zero percent increase.

COSATU’s chief negotiator for Public Sector Unions Mugwena Maluleke says, “We believe that government has a responsibility to revive the offer and see if we can reach common ground. It will be good for everyone because what we want is an improvement on the conditions of service for the public servants. We are going to do everything and scratch our heads and think out of the box in order to ensure that we get something together for the public servants.”

Municipality workers suspended following a strike in March

Fifteen employees of the Ndwedwe Municipality, north of Durban, have been suspended following a strike in March. The workers were demanding office space and car allowances for field workers among other things. The municipal manager Musa Hadebe says the municipality is conducting an investigation before deciding whether the disciplinary steps should be taken. He says the suspensions have not affected the operations of the municipality.

“However as the municipality, we have managed to build offices in attending to the issue of office space and we are in negotiations with the employees in trying to advise them against taking car allowances. Currently, the municipality provides employees with vehicles suitable for the terrain it includes climbing mountains.”

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