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South Africa stands out in continent in protecting LGBTI community
9 June 2021, 9:54 PM

A human rights organization that focuses on LGBTQI+ people, says South Africa stands out in the African region for its advanced protection of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people.

However, gender-based violence and homophobic murders are still on the rise in the country.

Access Chapter 2 says this month they’re supposed to celebrate Pride Month, which aims to highlight the marginalised and abused LGBTI community in Africa.

“The rights enshrined by the constitution seem to be a challenge for many LGBTI people to enjoy and to celebrate and also to be respected and I think we are struck by many challenges not only of physical, sexual, and even brutal murder of LGBTI people. We are struck by levels of high inequalities, discrimination, and stigma that exist whether one is accessing services or one is at the workplace or in school which actually does create a challenge for LGBTI people. So where they can freely exist freely and equally as citizens,” says Steve Letsike of Access Chapter 2.

LGBTQI+ community celebrates Pride Month in June amid fears of violence: Steve Letsike

 

Cosatu, Fedusa leadership to hold talks on public wage negotiations
9 June 2021, 4:15 PM

The leaders of labour federations, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) and Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa), are set to hold talks on Wednesday afternoon to discuss the way forward with regards to the public sector wage negotiations.

This comes as public sector unions conclude consulting their members about government’s offer to increase salaries by 1.5%.

Public servants’ wage negotiations under threat

SABC News understands that the consultation processs has produced a mixed bag of responses with some union members totally rejecting the offer while others are happy with it.

That has prompted Cosatu leaders to request the meeting with FEDUSA to come up with a joint response and then present this to government either on Thursday or Friday.

Public sector unions still mulling over government’s 1.5% wage increase offer

Bird flu strain found in three Free State poultry farms
9 June 2021, 2:51 PM

Poultry farmers in the Free State are on high alert following an outbreak of Avian Influenza.

Birds on three poultry farms in Villiers, Parys, and Wesselsbron have tested positive for the virus.

The H5 strain which is known to be highly pathogenic causes severe illness among poultry and sometimes wild birds and often death.

Avian flu is a highly infectious disease that can spread from migratory birds to domestic poultry.

“It can mutate and become influenza in people but it normally goes through the pig then it becomes influenza and it has exactly the same symptoms as in all the other pigs, horses, human beings, and chickens. You must take the samples to Pretoria where they will check the infection if it is ok in those birds and if once it is confirmed, it is put under quarantine and once it’s under quarantine it will go through the depopulation process,” says Dr. Daniel Chitauro, Free State Department of Agriculture’s State Vet.

Poultry farmers have been urged to be vigilant.

“Biosecurity is the measures a farmer should take, to prevent the spread if there is an outbreak at a particular farm. And at the same time to prevent the infection from coming in. So we disinfect even the cars that transport feed and people moving from one farm to another. And even disinfecting people working in the farm also checking the movement,” says Thabo Lerotholi, Free State Department of Agriculture’s State Vet.

The Department of Agriculture has deployed its field veterinarians to ensure early detection and rapid response.

In the video below last month, there was an outbreak, which was reported on a farm in the Tshwane Metro

Winde requests Special Provincial Funeral for actress Shaleen Surtie-Richards
8 June 2021, 8:01 PM

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde has written to President Cyril Ramaphosa to request a Special Provincial Funeral for Shaleen Surtie-Richards.

The 66-year-old Surtie-Richards was found dead at a guest house in Cape Town on Monday morning.

She was in the city shooting scenes for the series Arendsvlei. Winde says the nation has lost a giant who will be remembered for her immense talent and contributions to the creative industry.

Video: Remembering Shaleen Surtie-Richards

Winde says should Ramaphosa assent to the request, support will be made available for the funeral service which will take place in Cape Town on Sunday.

“Someone who was born in Upington and raised in Cape Town, someone who was a champion of the arts. During her career, she won more than 40 awards and acted in numerous movies and festivals in South Africa and London. A beloved actress will always be known for her starring role in Egoli, and for the role she played in Fiela Se kind. Shaleen also brought her versatility to the stage, and she performed in various plays, including Hallo en Koebaai and Shirley Valentine,” says Winde.

RIP Shaleen Surtie-Richards | Condolences pour in for the veteran actress

 

40 traffic officers requested to explain why they should not be suspended without pay
8 June 2021, 6:01 PM

The Department of Transport in the Eastern Cape has served traffic officers who embarked on an illegal strike with a letter saying they should explain why they should not be suspended for four months without pay.

The 40 officers embarked on an illegal strike following the introduction of a 24-hour shift by the department.

Both the department and workers could not reach a consensus during discussions over the change in shifts, with the department saying most road crashes happen overnight and in the early hours of the morning.

The traffic officials have not been on duty for two months, prompting the department to take harsh action against them.

Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) Provincial Chairperson, Loyiso Mdingi, says the union is fighting against any possible dismissal or unpaid suspension of the officers.

“Initially, the employer wanted to dismiss all of them and then I engaged on behalf of the organization not to do that, looking at the number first. I asked the question, how do you begin to dismiss so many traffic officers? What about their families? We agreed that they are not going to dismiss, but they are going to suspend. And then we asked for how long? They said six months. I said ‘no’, they cannot do that,” says Mdingi.

Provincial Transport Department Spokesperson, Unathi Binqose, says the four months suspension of the traffic officers is in process, pending an appeal against the decision.

“It was a proposal from the department as informed by the start that a lot of accidents happen when our officers are not on duty in the wee hours of the morning or late at night. So we had proposed, as called upon by RTMC (Road Traffic Management Corporation) at a national level, to rather have a 4-hour shift and we are quite keen on it. The stats do not lie, but we are not agreeing with them at all, so that is why the process to suspend them is in process,” says Binqose.

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