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Nehawu and government agree to engage further on issues
25 September 2020, 9:10 PM

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) and government have agreed that both parties will continue to engage on a number of issues that affect frontline workers in the public sector, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This comes after a meeting between President Cyril Ramaphosa and Nehawu leadership on Friday.

Statement following the meeting:

Workers affiliated to the union have demanded an 8% wage hike for frontline workers, better working conditions and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) amongst other things.

On Monday, the union held a picket outside the Union Buildings seeking that the President responds to their demands.

Nehawu briefing on programme of action to protect workers from COVID-19:


The meeting, which was held at Mahlamba Ndlovu in Pretoria, further agreed that government and Nehawu will continue work on the issues raised in the union’s memorandum that are currently being discussed by task teams comprising government and the union.

Reports of the task teams will be presented to a meeting of the senior leadership of government and public sector unions who will soon meet again.

Also present at the meeting were Minister in The Presidency Jackson Mthembu, Minister of Employment and Labour Thulas Nxesi, Minister for the Public Service and Administration Senzo Mchunu and Deputy Minister of Health Joe Phaahla.

Vavi slams SA’s public education system as ‘dysfunctional’
25 September 2020, 6:50 PM

The South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) is calling for a complete overhaul of what it terms “a dysfunctional” public education system in the country.

Saftu General-Secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi, says the current system is not responsive to the demands of the labour market.

Vavi was speaking on the Tru FM current affairs show, Tru Newshour.

“We are in crisis when it comes to our education system. It’s dysfunctional. It is offloading hundreds and thousands of our kids before they reach grade 12. These kids find themselves roaming in the streets without any prospects of getting employed,” laments Vavi.

“We’re now demanding a single public education system that is free, compulsory and decolonised, that is going to give skills to our young people to enter the job market, confident that they can make a positive contribution to the growth of our economy.”

Vavi says South Africa’s education system needs to compete with other African counterparts who are poor and less-resourced but still produce better results.

“We demand change that the quality of our education be improved, that steps be taken to ensure that we can compete with our counterparts, in Zimbabwe, Botswana and our neighbouring countries who are much poorer and use far lesser resources than us, but producer far better quality of education for their children and their youth.”

Matric dropout numbers a huge concern

Meanwhile, the Department of Basic Education says it’s worried about the number of matric learners who’ve dropped out of school this year.

Just last month, the Department told Parliament that its projections are that over 52 000 learners in Grade 7 and over 23 000 matriculants would not return to class.

It emerged that about 18% of all Gauteng learners, from grades 1 to matric, have not gone back to school after several COVID-19 related disruptions to schooling.

But National Education spokesperson, Elijah Mhlanga, says some learners might have opted for homeschooling. Mhlanga says of bigger concern is the grade 12 learners who’ve absconded.

“Drop out rate is still a problem because we want all our learners back at school, but if there is no way of verifying why they are not coming back. It becomes difficult for us because we don’t want a drop-out rate, particularly at matric level. So, we hope as we finalise the numbers, we will get a good idea of how many of our learners have not returned to school especially our grade 12 learners.”

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has expressed concern.

“That worries us big time, I must be honest. We’ve got almost 18% average across all grades of all learners that didn’t come back and that feel they can repeat. We are pushing it to have a national policy with the national minister to determine how we can assist them, but even during this hour, we want to urge parents, it’s not advisable to keep your children at home.”

 

Sascoc meeting with Cricket SA yet to bear fruits
25 September 2020, 5:34 PM

Lately, South Africa’s cricket controlling body has been embroiled in a lot controversy with top officials resigning and others suspended, while several sponsors pulling out in recent months.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) has also been affected by accounts of racism, mistreatment, and maladministration.

In an attempt to restore the image of cricket in the country, the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) and CSA agreed earlier this month to appoint an independent task team that will investigate the affairs of cricket’s governing body, but that failed to materialise.

Sascoc is adamant that nothing is going to materialise until a full CSA report is released unconditionally.

 Sascoc reiterates calls for CSA Board to step down:

Sascoc is aiming to take the CSA report to independent experts before any intervention is made to normalise the sport of cricket in the country.

The two bodies have already held a series of meetings with very little progress made.

But Sascoc seems to have a trick up their sleeve to force CSA to release a report.

South Africa’s sports umbrella body could block three inbound tours against England, Sri Lanka and Pakistan between November 2020 and January 2021.

But Sascoc also has problems of their own. The Olympic body has finally agreed to hold their Annual General Meeting on the 7th of November.

The AGM was called off in March 2020 due to the spread of COVID-19.

Acting Sascoc President Barry Hendricks was suspended in April, but later reinstated amid allegations he had blocked the candidacy of rivals ahead of the Sascoc presidential elections.

Minister Nathi Mthethwa calls on CSA to accelerate transformation:

SAA bailout being questioned by more opposition parties
25 September 2020, 5:29 PM

The South African Airways (SAA) bailout debacle is now being questioned by other opposition parties in Parliament.

Government still seems intent on bailing out the airline.

This week, some opposition parties joined the Democratic Alliance (DA) in rejecting any attempt to bail out the struggling national carrier.

It’s still not clear where the government intends to get the R10.4 billion bailout from, for SAA.

But some Cabinet ministers are adamant SAA must be saved, almost hinting that it’s just too big to fail.

 SAA Business Rescue Practitioners reach an agreement with government:


Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula says, “We are trying to make sure that SAA troubles are a thing of the past … working hard to see the SAA package come back to online.”

But other opposition parties have joined the DA in rejecting attempts to save the airline, especially if the money is to come from the already paltry public purse.

United Democratic Movement’s Nqaba Kwankwa, National Freedom Party’s Sheik Imaam, Congress of the People’s Dennis Bloem and DA’s Alf Lees, all totally reject any government efforts to either borrow money or try to adjust the budget again to find the R10.4 billion bailout.

Last week, it was reported that SAA business rescue practitioners have received a letter from Treasury, which stated that the government has agreed to a R10.4 billion state-funded bail-out for the airline.

But as things stand, it is clear that opposition parties will refuse to approve any further adjustments to the budget, especially for an SAA bailout.

 

Hawks investigate Alfred Nzo District Municipality following alleged fraud activities
25 September 2020, 5:13 PM

The specialised police investigative unit, the Hawks, have conducted a search and seizure operation at the Alfred Nzo District Municipality in the Eastern Cape.

The investigation stems from alleged fraudulent activities linked to a water project worth R36 million.

It’s alleged that the water tender was duplicated and a company was paid twice.

It’s a municipality that has been characterised by allegations of fraud and corruption for years.

The Hawks have constantly conducted investigations at the municipality but no one was successfully charged and prosecuted before a court of law.

Hawks Spokesperson Philane Nkwalase says: “The allegations are that, it is alleged that there was a duplicate tender that was awarded to a particular company. At this stage, we are not in a position to state the people of interest who the companies are and which companies are involved. But it is alleged that a tender was awarded to a company and procurement process were not followed.”

Alfred Nzo District Municipal senior managers allegedly colluded with the private company to defraud the municipality.

But, the municipality says there is nothing sinister about its governance.

Municipal spokesperson, Lixolile Petela says: “We are not at liberty to say there is anything happening, service delivery is happening, we are servicing our people, we are doing clean governance, and we are gunning for a clean audit. We received an unqualified audit opinion last year so from where we are seated everything is going in order here.”

This is the second operation in the province after the Hawks conducted a search and seizure operation in the Inxuba Yethemba Municipality earlier this week.

The Eastern Cape is among the provinces where fraud and corruption are rife.

Service delivery is immensely affected in rural areas due to alleged fraudulent activities.

Weather

 

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