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NEHAWU in North West calls for permanent employment of community health workers
3 September 2020, 5:44 PM

Trade union NEHAWU in the North West has called for the permanent appointment of community development workers. NEHAWU members marched in the North West capital Mahikeng, as part of the union’s National Day of Action.

Members in all the province’s four districts participated. The main march was in Mahikeng, where members demanded permanent appointments of more than 6 500 community health workers.

The union is also demanding that its members be supplied with sufficient Personal Protective Equipment.

“Community health workers have been temporary for how long already? So we are saying, we can no longer continue to negotiate the fact that community health workers are wanted by the employer in the Department of Health. and as it is, they are recording the stats that are being taken for COVID-19. Community health workers are playing a prime role in that. So we want permanent employment of community health workers,” says Nehawu Provincial Chairperson Elizabeth Mokua.

Nehawu members embark on a National Day of Action: 

Community health workers voice their grievances 

Some of the community health workers, who were part of the protest, say they have been working for the health department for over seven years now. They now demand permanent employment. “We work normal working hours for a minimum wage and that is very unfair because we provide a service that is comprehensive, that the department can not do without, ” says one of them.

Another community health worker says; “Community health workers are not being recognised in terms of skills development. The department has training and development for other employees who are permanent but community health workers are being discriminated against. So we are saying it’s high time they open doors for community health workers to be permanent so that they benefit from the skills development.”‘

Premier Mokgoro addresses protestors 

In responding to their demands, Premier Job Mokgoro said, “Leadership, I have heard you. I have a fellow Exco member here and we have other Exco members in various districts in our province. We have heard you, on behalf of the total collective and there is nothing that we can commit to, other than we have a moral responsibility to implement.”

NEHAWU has given authorities seven days to positively respond to their demands, failing which they have threatened to embark on a national strike from 10 September.

 

Umhlobo Wenene staff, listeners usher in Spring with Jerusalema dance challenge
1 September 2020, 10:18 PM

The date might say 1 September, Spring Day, but the low temperatures and snowfalls around the Eastern Cape a few days ago, indicate we might still need to keep the winter woollies handy.

On Tuesday, staff and listeners of Umhlobo Wenene decided the best way to celebrate was with a viral Jerusalema dance challenge.

Celebrating the arrival of the new season with dancing which also keeps the gloom of COVID-19 at bay.

The online sensation which is the “Jerusalema” was the perfect platform for the 60th-anniversary celebrations of Umhlobo Wenene.

“Because of the pandemic most of our programmes going forward will be virtual because as much as we are on level two, the virus is still around and we want to make sure we protect people,” says acting station manager Lungisa Nogcazi-Solani.

Acting Marketing Manager Vuyo Mpapela says; “This was not only to activate spring but also to lift the spirits of our team members.”

The threat of rain and the icy wind was no deterrent to the high spirits of the participants. They came to dance, and they did.

Umhlobo Wenene FM celebrates 60 years with Jerusalema dance challenge:

Lungisa to approach ANC top structures to plead his case
1 September 2020, 9:44 PM

The embattled African National Congress (ANC) councillor in Nelson Mandela Bay Andile Lungisa says he will approach the top structures of the party to plead his case.

Lungisa has been given 72 hours by the Regional Task Team (RTT) to step down as Branch Task Team member and as a councillor.

The RTT is using his conviction case of assault to do grievous bodily harm against Democratic Alliance councillor to temporarily suspend his membership.

He was sentenced to two years of direct imprisonment. Lungisa is appealing this sentence in the Supreme Court of Appeals.

“I’ll be writing to the provincial leadership, I’ll be writing to the national leadership. I will complain to the provincial leadership and I will write to the national leadership for guidance because there is an NEC statement. It needs the highest office in terms of guidance of the NEC resolution. I’m saying my matter is not on the corruption side. That’s the matter I will be seeking,”  saying Lungisa.

Stage 2 load-shedding to continue on Wednesday
1 September 2020, 7:31 PM

Eskom says it will continue to implement Stage 2 load-shedding from 08:00 until 22:00 on Wednesday.  This is due to the continuing severe generation supply constraints as a result of multiple-unit breakdowns.

“Ten generation units at seven power stations suffered breakdowns in the past two days. With the unreliable and aged generation infrastructure, together with a number of risks on running units, there is a high probability that additional stages of load-shedding may be implemented at short notice,” says Eskom in a statement.

The power utility says a generator each broke down at Arnot, Medupi, Lethabo, Matla power stations, while two units each at Majuba, Camden and Tutuka power stations also broke down.

“This, together with the need to conserve emergency generation reserves, necessitated that load-shedding be implemented in order to protect the integrity of the system. Unplanned breakdowns amount to 11 425MW of capacity, adding to the 4 983MW currently out on planned maintenance.”

Eskom has asked South Africans to help reduce electricity usage in order to assist the power utility to reduce the instance of load-shedding.  The power utility today implemented load-shedding from 12h00-22h00.

ANC Integrity Commission set to be given more powers to act against corrupt party members
1 September 2020, 6:32 PM

The African National Congress (ANC) top six will soon meet with the party’s Integrity Commission in order to support the commission take decisive action against corrupt party members.

In the past, the commission couldn’t take decisions on its own but had to rely on the NEC for its recommendations on members to be endorsed.

On Monday, ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa told a virtual media briefing on the outcomes of the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting over the past weekend, that they want the commission to be quick in dealing with corrupt ANC members.

“Cadres of the ANC who are reported to be involved in corrupt and other serious criminal practices must go to the integrity commission – and explain themselves. Those who don’t give an unacceptable explanation may be suspended, the NEC also decided that cadres in the ANC who are convicted with corruption or other serious crimes, must resign from leadership positions.”

It was a clear message to all ANC members, from the party’s president. Some of the resolutions taken at the ANC National Executive Committee meeting, held over the past weekend elaborated in the video below:

 

 

Powers of the Integrity Commission 

Corruption will receive more attention and all those who are found to have broken the law will no longer be able to use the ANC as a hiding place.

But political analyst, Professor Somadoda Fikeni, says the ANC has no choice but to grant its Integrity Commission more powers if the public is to take the party’s fight against corruption seriously.

“For the ANC to salvage its reputation on the issue of corruption, they ought to have an internal mechanism such as the Integrity Commission working effectively and more so because the problem right now is that when it comes back into the NEC, it’s many people who sit there but they are also implicated. So, if they give that power, to the Integrity Commission, it will help them to say we do have our in-built mechanism,” says political analyst Somadoda Fikeni.

Ramaphosa’s leadership 

On the other hand, ANC Head of Presidency, Sibongile Besani, has spoken out against those who continue to say president Cyril Ramaphosa is a weak leader. That view was expressed by former party president Jacob Zuma in his letter published just hours before the start of the NEC meeting on Friday.

Besani says that is just not true.  “There has been a myth here about a weak president – a president who is very systematic who believes in processing issues and I think during the pandemic, we have seen how meticulous president Cyril Ramaphosa is – so his stewardship is quite meticulous, ” says ANC head of presidency Sibongile Besani.

Meanwhile, ANC Treasurer-General Paul Mashatile conceded that the party’s Integrity Commission would only add value to the fight against corruption if it is granted more powers.

 

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