DENOSA and COSATU Mpumalanga to lead nurses march on 05 October

The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) in Mpumalanga, supported by COSATU, will be marching to the Mpumalanga Department of Health Provincial Offices in Nelspruit on Wednesday the 05th of October 2016 to handover a memorandum to the MEC for Health Mr. G Mashego. DENOSA Mpumalanga is calling all members of the society and progressive movements to join hands as we take to the streets on the issues below:

– Poor state of health in the province
– Slow pace on NHI
Implementation and appointment of the fully fledged Nursing Directorate in the province
– We are saying #NursesLivesMatter, hence we are calling for total scrapping on outsourcing of security services in health facilities.
#BursaySystemMustFall. We oppose the contemplated Bursary System for student nurses in the province as it has caused nothing but chaos and regression in other provinces.

Date: Wednesday 05 October 2016
Venue: Provincial Department of Health Offices, Government Complex, Nelspruit
Time: 10h00
Contact person: Nhlanhla Dladla, DENOSA Provincial Secretary in Mpumalanga
Mobile: 082 821 1471



Cape Town Opera contracts feud heads to labour court

TimesLive reports that twelve singers who were dismissed from or left their employment with the Cape Town Opera (CTO) last month because of a feud over contracts filed a Statement of Opposition with the Labour Court yesterday in response to the Opera’s initial claim against them. The singers returned in July from performing Mozart’s Così fan tutte at the Festival Aix-en-Provence in France‚ and were found by the Opera to have violated the terms of their contract.

The dispute arose because the South African singers were contracted to be paid less than their European counterparts in the same festival. In an email‚ Lesley Liddle‚ a spokesperson for CTO‚ said an independent chairperson found the singers had violated lawful protocol under their contracts with CTO and that their dismissal was an appropriate response.

by David Doochin

Protesters burn down new hospital wing

GroundUp reports that a section of the Dora Nginza Hospital in Zwide, Eastern Cape, was severely damaged by fire late yesterday when protesting residents torched it. They are angry that a construction project at the facility is employing people from outside the area. The burnt section, which is still under construction, is earmarked to house the hospital’s emergency wing. Unemployed residents of Zwide and New Brighton have for the past week cordoned off the construction site demanding that Transtruct, the company building the structure, employ them.

The protesters had been singing and dancing peacefully all these days. Some of them sneaked [in] unnoticed and set fire on the building. Police spokesperson Captain Andre Beetge said “We are still investigating and have so far made no arrests.” Siyanda Manana, spokesperson for the provincial health department, said in a statement that communities should refrain from destroying clinics and hospitals as they play a pivotal role in everybody’s life. Manana could not give the cost of the damage nor the cost of the entire project including the sections that were not affected.

by Joseph Chirume

Memorial service for Wits contract worker

News24 reports that the University of the Witwatersrand was on Thursday to hold a memorial service for the contract worker who died during protests last week, the Wits #FeesMustFall movement said. Celumusa Ntuli, 39, would be remembered at an event at Solomon Mahlangu (Senate) House lecture hall 6 at noon, according to a statement.

He fell ill shortly afterwards. Campus’ health and wellness centre staff helped him. He was taken to Milpark Hospital. He was discharged after three days, but developed complications. He died while being taken back to the hospital. The movement asked for donations to help take Ntuli back to KwaZulu-Natal and pay for his funeral.

by Iavan Pijoos

The solution to South Africa’s unemployment problem: pay people less says CDE

Business Tech reports that despite its many achievements in more than two decades after apartheid, South Africa is in ‘deep trouble’, as unemployment and poverty rates remain high. This is according to executive director of the Centre for Development and Enterprise (CDE), Ann Bernstein. The CDE has called for a fundamentally new approach that is urban-led, private sector-driven, enabled by a capable state, and aimed at mass employment.

“We need to be a labour intensive economy as possible,” Bernstein said, adding that the country can be internationally competitive in low-skill manufacturing, which would speed up job creation. “The country needs high growth, but it also needs to be much more labour intensive. We need to change a range of legal regulations to enable private organisations to employ people for low wages – but we would argue that a low wage is a lot better than no wage at all.” Bernstein said that raising minimum wages will not tackle the deep structural deficiencies in South Africa. “Setting wages too high will mean unemployed people’s prospects of gainful, salaried employment would be reduced yet further.”

Table Mountain cableway strike: Employees threaten indefinite action

Business Report writes that disgruntled Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company (TMACC) employees have threatened to continue their legal wage strike indefinitely if their demands for a salary hike are not met by Friday.

Employees are demanding a wage increase of 15%.  Demonstrations began on Wednesday after discussions between the SA Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers’ Union (Saccawu) and the TMACC management deadlocked.  The union was presented with a new offer of a 10% increase to all staff earning under R10,000 and 8% the others.  But, it rejected the offer and pushed ahead with the strike.  There are reportedly 120 workers on strike, leaving TMACC running at a lower capacity.

by Gadeeja Abbas (Ref: Cape Argus)

Chamber of Mines commits to ‘morally’ support #FeesMustFall

The Citizen reports that the Chamber of Mines of SA (COM) agreed to table demands made by Wits University students of the Fees Must Fall campaign on Wednesday to the Chamber’s council and all its members. But the Chamber could only commit to moral support for the movement, saying it was unlikely the mining industry could afford to contribute more than it already did to training and education in the country.

Hundreds of students on Wednesday afternoon marched to the COM’s offices in downtown Johannesburg where they handed over a memorandum of demands.  The students were asked to give the COM two weeks to respond.

by Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni

Productivity SA suspends finance chief over UIF funds not used for job saving

BDLive reports that Productivity SA chief financial officer Bheki Dlamini has been suspended following allegations of irregularities in the management of funds provided by the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) for employment growth.

Productivity SA is a government entity tasked with growing employment and improving productivity. The UIF has since 2010 provided it with funding to the tune of R188.2m to support companies in economic distress in order to turn them around and help save jobs.  However, a figure of some R36m has since 2011 been allegedly utilised for activities that are not related to job saving as per the contract between the UIF and Productivity SA.

by Ntsakisi Maswanganyi

Cosatu on new self-service till points at PnP

eNCA reports that the SA Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers’ Union (Saccawu) will hold discussions with members on the new self-service till points at Pick n Pay. The tills points are being tested at the supermarket chain’s Observatory store in Cape Town.  This is the first of its kind in SA’s retail market.  But Saccawu and union federation Cosatu plan to boycott the new machines.

“We have been in discussions as Saccawu and Cosatu with our members at Pick n Pay.  They are opposed to these measures.  There will be formal negotiations between with Saccawu the union that represents members at Pick n Pay and that will reaffirm Cosatu’s position that we are opposed to staff-less teller machines”, Western Cape Cosatu’s Tony Ehrenreich indicated.

Lily Mine inspection aborted, conditions deemed unsafe

Mining Weekly reports that attempts to inspect the localised geological conditions underground at Vantage Goldfields’ troubled Lily gold mine, in Barberton, have been aborted. A Mine Rescue Service (MRS) risk assessment this week revealed deterioration along the 600 mm rescue shaft and the original ventilation shaft, rendering it unsafe to enter.

The mine’s business rescue practitioner said in a statement on Thursday:  “Given that the rescue shaft has been totally compromised [and] there is no second [exit] outlet [as required by law], the planned inspection cannot proceed.”  The mine was temporarily closed and a rescue mission launched after a shaft collapsed on 5 February, leaving three employees trapped in a container underground.  The initial retrieval and rescue of the container had been aborted after three attempts to retrieve it in February.