JMPD warns public of fake ad

EWN reports that the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) has warned the public against a fake advertisement promising vacancies at the department’s academy.

Earlier this year a man and a woman were arrested for fraud.  The pair allegedly duped at least 52 people into paying over R10,000 for fake jobs.  The JMPD’s Wayne Minaar said:  “The public should report such incidents to the police or JMPD if they do come across suspicious advertisements.”

by Tendani Mulaudzi

BCEA bill to retain sectoral wage determinations

BusinessLive reports that the parliamentary portfolio committee on labour has decided in favour of amending the Basic Conditions of Employment (BCEA) Amendment Bill to retain sectoral wage determinations. The bill was intended to repeal the provision for sectoral determinations in the light of the national minimum wage (NMW) coming into force, but business, trade unions and academics opposed that.  The committee has now completed its deliberations on the submissions made during public hearings on the NMW Wage Bill, the BCEA Amendment Bill and the Labour Relations (LRA) Amendment Bill, which will be suitably redrafted.  Few changes were made to the proposals in the LRA Amendment Bill, which introduces the requirement for a secret strike ballot and regulates rules on protests.

The committee has redrafted the definition of those who will qualify for the NMW to include independent contract workers, which will take account of the trend towards part-time employment, outsourcing and casualisation.  Cosatu’s Matthew Parks said most of the recommendations made by the labour federation had been accepted by the committee and it was happy with the outcomes, amongst which were the fast-tracking of the minimum wage for farm workers and domestic workers to 100% of the NMW within two years (unless there were compelling reasons against this) and an escalation of fines against repeat offenders who failed to pay the minimum wage.

by Linda Ensor

Cuba-SA doctor training programme put on hold

BusinessLive writes that a question mark hangs over the future of SA’s massive programme for training medical students in Cuba, which will see about 700 fifth-year students returning home in July to complete the last leg of their training.  All of SA’s medical schools are expected to take some of the Cuba trainees.  According to Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, the programme was so large it was a headache for both countries and a decision was taken in the National Health Council to scale it back temporarily.  The programme would lapse for three years to relieve pressure on the system but would not stop entirely, he said.

“The Cuban government is not … coping with these numbers, the provinces in their budgeting systems did not factor it very well, and it is too much for the South African universities to absorb.  It means increasing the final-year medical students by 60% at a go,” Motsoaledi indicated.  The minister has promoted the programme as a way to overcome the failure of South African medical schools to produce enough doctors to meet the country’s needs.  Critics have questioned the wisdom of training doctors in a country with a different disease burden at greater cost than home-grown students.  The programme began in 1996.

by Tamar Kahn

NUM to hold a memorial service

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) will hold a memorial service of six Modikwa mineworkers who were burnt to death in a bus traveling to work. The workers were tragically killed when the bus that was transporting them to work at Modikwa Platinum Mine outside Burgersfort in Limpopo was petrol bombed. The bus was carrying 39 workers. Six workers were burned beyond recognition and the other workers had to escape through windows.

The memorial and funeral services are planned as follows;
Memorial service details:
Date: 20 April 2018,
Venue: Driekop Modikwa Mine
Time: 12h00

Funeral details:
Funeral: service: 21 April 2018
Venue: Driekop Modikwa Mine
Time: 08h00

COSATU Gauteng to march

COSATU Gauteng will be marching to the Department of Transport and to offices of Eskom on the 20 April 2018. The march will start at 14h00 at Johannesburg City Hall. For more details, please contact Dumisani Dakile, COSATU Gauteng Provincial Secretary  at 0827271422

Council for Medical Schemes presses on with draft plan

BusinessLive reports that it is expected that the Council for Medical Schemes (CMS) will finalise a draft consultative framework on consolidating the medical schemes industry within two months. Industry consolidation is in line with government policy on National Health Insurance (NHI), but is likely to run into fierce opposition from industry players and civil servants.  CEO Sipho Kabane indicated that the framework would contain proposals for consolidating government-funded schemes for public servants, reducing the number of scheme benefit options and consolidating schemes that had less than the statutory requirement of 6,000 members.

While the Medical Schemes Act stipulates that schemes must have at least 6,000 members to be registered, this threshold has never been enforced small stable schemes have been permitted to continue with their operations.  All but three of the 31 schemes with fewer than 6,000 members at the end of 2015 were restricted employer groups, which generally subsidised members on low incomes, enabling them to buy cover they could not afford on the open market.  The medical scheme industry had 8.87-million members at the end of 2016.

by Tamar Kahn

Government scraps matric supplementary exams

Daily News reports that the Basic Education Department has scrapped matric supplementary examinations. From next year, a second national exam will be held over May/June. The national decision has been supported by education stakeholders, saying it created access for more people to complete their matric. However, concern was raised about how this would affect university applications and admissions.

Education department spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga said the decision was taken for many reasons, including that all those who qualified to write supplementary exams did not register, and of those who did, more than half did not write the exams. Mhlanga said there was also a high failure rate, possibly because there was not enough time to prepare.  Having a second sitting mid-year means  people who’ve failed can be afforded the opportunity to rewrite, and those who can only sit for some of their exams in December get an opportunity to sit for the rest in June – a six-month gap, as opposed to having to wait a year. The downside, he said, would be for those who would have to wait a year to register for university courses.

by Latoya Newman
Ref: IOl News

SAPS public order policing unit more than 50% short on officers

ANA reports that MPs heard on Wednesday that the SA Police Service (SAPS) has enough budget for equipping its public order policing unit, but is still operating at 50% below the ideal number of members. General Elias Mawela, who was briefing the portfolio committee on police, said:  “The public order policing is not at the level at which it was supposed to be, because according to our work study investigation we wanted to see ourselves standing at the ideal figure of 12,779 in order to be operating at the ideal figure.

But currently we are sitting at 5,600 members, so we are actually operating at below 50 percent…”  He added that since last year an allocation had been afforded to try to increase numbers “because we know that crime management is the game of numbers, if you don’t have numbers, members will operate as individual police.” He said in regard to procurement of physical resources that the SAPS was on course and that in the last financial year they had managed to get more vehicles for public order policing.  The only area said to be lagging behind was procurement of protective gear for the unit’s members.

Two days set aside for talks as CCMA intervenes in nationwide bus strike

News24 reports that unions and employer associations are expected to meet at the bargaining table at 10:00 on Thursday as the nationwide bus strike enters its second day. The talks have been set down for two days, according to a letter the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) sent to the unions.  The CCMA was acting in terms of a section of the Labour Relations Act that allows it to offer its help in resolving a public interest dispute through conciliation.

The SA Road Passenger Bargaining Council (SARPBAC) approached the CCMA for help, and had been waiting for the unions – the SA Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) and others to give the go-ahead for the intervention.  The employer associations, the Commuter Bus Employers Organisation and SA Bus Employers Association, had already committed to the CCMA process.  The strike, over a wage dispute, has put around 80% of the country’s passenger buses on lockdown.

by Jenna Etheridge

3000 unemployed youth will be trained

IOl News reports that local job readiness initiative, The Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi) announced that it will be contributing R250 million to support skills development and job creation in South Africa. CiTi, which was launched in 1999 aims to equip unemployed South Africans with digital skills in Johannesburg, Durban and Port Elizabeth as well as at the organisations hub in Cape Town. The CapaCiTi programme has spent seven years to build their expertise in technology skills development. CapaCiTi has already trained 1000 candidates and placed them in jobs.

With the additional funding of R250 million, CapaCiTi will now be training 3000 candidates with industry-demanded technology and business skills, placing them in permanent jobs in South Africa’s leading companies. CiTi has received  R75 million from the National Jobs Fund, R100 million from BCX, and the additional funding will come from leading SA companies who invest in SA’s youth and their own business’ digital transformation. Thus far, the job readiness programme has achieved a 97% placement rate in 130 South African companies to date. The programme is specifically designed for previously disadvantaged SA citizens.

by Zeenat Vallie