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UFS students frustrated by online registration challenges
1 March 2021, 7:38 PM

Students from the University of the Free State (UFS) are frustrated by the challenges they are encountering with online registrations.

Some are worried that it could delay the start of their academic program. They say some classes have commenced while they are not yet registered. Students say the registration has been extended to Friday as many students are still struggling to register.

Long university registration queues are now a thing of the past. Most universities have now switched to online registration due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, online registration has its share of challenges.

Many students do not have sufficient data or struggle with poor internet connection, while some say they struggle to get assistance from the university when they experience problems with online registration.

“As a senior student, challenges that I’m facing right now is that classes have started and I still haven’t registered so they extended registrations till Friday but a lot of us still have no academic data summary,” says a student.

“The current challenge now is that students when they get here they are told you must wait for the SMS from the school which is one of the problems,” says another student.

“We applied, they sent only the link and so on. The link, there is no student number. The problem that we have now is the student number because now they want the student number,” adds another student.

UFS students cannot register for 2021 academic year:

The student representative council (SRC) has appealed to management to further extend the registration period. UFS SRC Deputy Secretary-General Kamohelo Seleke says they are also calling for a catch-up plan for students who are left behind with their academics.

“We have noticed that most students are finding difficulties in terms of registering, some having academic or financial blocks. This is the reason why we have called for an extension of registration. We further making a call to the institution to say they must further extend registrations to the 12th of March to ensure that most students are not left behind,” says Seleke.

The University of Free State is yet to respond to challenges raised by the students.

Meanwhile, the online registration process will commence on Friday at the Central University of Technology.

CUT spokesperson, Seithati Semenokane says only a few students will be allowed at the university if they struggle with online registration.

“Our registrations will be starting on Friday, it will be done online and we have a step by step video for our prospective students and should students feel the need to come on campus we will be helping them at the limit of 50 people at a time. Unfortunately this year we are not letting in any walk-ins. So unfortunately if you have queries you will be turned away. We suggest that we make a phone call first just to see how you can be assisted because we are not letting walk-ins,” says Semenokane.

 

 

DA in Gauteng wants investigation into Nasrec field hospital contract
1 March 2021, 5:40 PM

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng wants an investigation into alleged overspending and irregularities in the Nasrec field hospital contract.

The party claims that the hospital has cost the government R150 000 per patient and that the Auditor-General has found procurement irregularities.

The field hospital treated 1 658 patients since it was set up in April last year. It was initially a 500 bed COVID-19 isolation and quarantine site but later extended to 1 000 beds.

The facility was closed down on Sunday and has been decommissioned.

 Nasrec field hospital decommissioned:

DA Gauteng Health Spokesperson Jack Bloom says the money spent on the Nasrec field hospital is wasteful expenditure and that it should be probed by the Special Investigation Unit (SIU).

“A lot of the Nasrec facility was used for quarantine and isolation and those people could have been treated much cheaper at a hotel. As far as the real patients who got oxygen were 287. The overall cost for the Nasrec facility was more than R250 million, it works out at R150 000 per patient at the facility. I really think the contract needs to be i
investigated,” says Bloom.

More SABC employees than anticipated will be without jobs: Bemawu
1 March 2021, 4:43 PM

The Broadcasting, Electronic, Media & Allied Workers’ Union (Bemawu) says many more employees at the SABC will be without jobs than initially anticipated.

The Section 189 process at the SABC was meant to be completed at the end of February, however, the union says there are still around 80 positions that have not been advertised.

Bemawu’s Hannes du Buisson says they estimate that more than 570 staff members will leave the SABC by the end of March, which is almost 300 more than expected.

“There’s a number of positions, most of them critical positions that have not been advertised and it seems like the SABC has no intention of advertising those positions. Some positions were advertised over the weekend by email. Some positions, the deadline has been set very short for people to apply for those positions. There’s going to be a lot of people being put out in the streets that should have been taken up by the organisation and should have been accommodated. The process is unfair and it is flawed,” says Du Buisson.

Meanwhile, the Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) also feels the Section 189 process at the SABC has been flawed.

“There was a process where people were supposed to apply for certain positions and they could not do so because the system at the SABC in terms of applications was not working at the HR level. There are people who were moved from surplus to redundant. That shows you that SABC management is completely not clear of what they are doing. We have 270 people who have applied for voluntary packages, SABC targeted 300 people, we should at a minimum have forceful retrenchments of 30 people,” says  CWU’s Aubrey Tshabalala.

The SABC is expected to respond to the unions’ requests for comment later on Monday.

 

New Bill proposes a Land Court to adjudicate in all related matters
1 March 2021, 2:28 PM

The Land Court Bill set to be introduced in Parliament proposes a court to adjudicate on all related matters with additional responsibilities such as conflict resolution and mediation.

South Africa could soon have its first Land Court. Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola says the new Land Court Bill will be introduced to Parliament soon. The proposed new court will adjudicate on all land-related matters such as expropriation and outstanding claims.

Lamola says the new Bill is the outcome of the work done by the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Land Reform, which is chaired by Deputy President David Mabuza. The proposed new Land Court will have a permanent judge president and four presiding judges.

It will allow for hearsay evidence and the court must check that settlement agreements give just and equitable compensation to landowners in line with Section 25 of the Constitution and the new Expropriation Act. Lamola says people who cannot afford their own legal representatives will now also have access to assistance through legal aid.

“This Bill allows land activists, akin to the trade unions representing their members in the CCMA in the Labour Courts or the Labour Appeals Court. So it is almost geared the same way as a CCMA kind of approach and a Labour Appeals Court,” says Lamola.

Land Restitution | Ministers brief the media on Land Court Bill:

Agricultural, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza says the Land Court is envisaged to create a cheaper and faster dispute resolution mechanism in the form of mediation and arbitration where there are no disputes over the land claim.

“This is where in my view the Land Court Bill will assist once it’s enacted. It will allow for mediation where such matters are not really difficult that they might have to wait for a judge for instance but can be settled through mediation. It, therefore, enables us to fast track the processes that we have currently,” says Didiza.

The Land Court will deal with all land-related disputes.

“The court will deal with any dispute that may arise out of the land question, which may include the dispute that may arise out of the Expropriation Bill as it is finalised by Parliament or any dispute that relate to the legislation that has been listed,” says Didiza.

The court will sit in Johannesburg but will be able to move anywhere in the country.

The Land Court Bill also proposes a Land Appeals Court with a jurisdiction equal to the Supreme Court of Appeal in relation to land matters.

Press conference on Land Court Bill and Land Reform initiatives:

VIDEO: Minister Angie Motshekga closes the 2021 Virtual Basic Education Lekgotla
27 February 2021, 11:30 AM

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga is closing the 2021 Virtual Basic Education Lekgotla.

The Lekgotla was held virtually under the theme: ”Equipping Learners with Knowledge and Skills for a Changing World”.

Minister Motshekga’s live address is in the video below:

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