Elijah Barayi Memorial Training Centre (EBMTC) to hold its annual graduation ceremony

The Elijah Barayi Memorial Training Centre (EBMTC) will be hosting its 4th Annual Graduation Ceremony where 64 National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) members within the Construction Sector will be graduating. The Shop stewards will be graduating with South African Qualifications (SAQA) accredited unit standards. The Graduations will take place on the 2nd of December 2016 at the state of art EBMTC Midrand Campus. EBMTC is a section 21 company non-profit association established 21 years ago on the 04th of December 1993 by the NUM.

The NUM identified the need for a facility that specialises in the Training and Development of its Shop Stewards and leaders of the organisation and 2006 the NUM congress resolved that the Centre should get accreditation for the courses currently offered. “EBMTC has entered into a partnership with the Construction Education and Training Authority (CETA) to uplift the workplace skills for the Shop Stewards,” said Mercy Sekano, the Executive Director of EBMTC. Construction Skills Development is still relevant towards building the country’s economy through empowered manpower.

For more information, please contact:
Nyiko Mlambo: EBMTC General Manager: 083 287 0416
Livhuwani Mammburu: NUM National Spokesperson: 083 809 3257

– See more at: http://www.cosatu.org.za/show.php?ID=12248#sthash.HNCqTvbY.dpuf

NEHAWU hosts World Aids Day Awareness Event in KZN, Magwaza Maphalala Region, Newcastle

The National Education Health & Allied Workers Union (NEHAWU) acknowledges and recognizes HIV/AIDS as a workplace issue that poses a serious threat to the health, well-being and development of employees, family, stability and socio-economic wellbeing of the country. HIV/AIDS is a Trade Union issue and must be discussed and find space in our worker struggles. In the workplace HIV and AIDS manifest itself in a form of increase sick leave, absenteeism and deaths.

The absence of an HIV and AIDS Workplace policy serves as a major factor contributing towards a situation where employees who are HIV-positive are victimized or their being abused.  Hence the union of Bheki Mkhize and Yure Mdyogolo, NEHAWU, will be having a World Aids Day Event as part of educating and empowering members to recognize HIV/AIDS as a workplace issue and also on the importance of Counselling and Testing. NEHAWU will be joining the world in raising the awareness and promoting the important of HIV Testing and Counselling and healthy living to all workers. Screening and testing will be done on site.

The event shall be held as follows:
Date: Thursday, December 1, 2016
Time: 10am
Venue: Madadeni Hospital, Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal

Education Officials grilled over 2017 school readiness

EWN reports that Parliament’s basic education portfolio committee says department officials are exaggerating successes and under-reporting challenges in many schools countrywide. The committee on Tuesday grilled officials on the state of readiness for the 2017 school year. While the department says it’s ready, Members of Parliament (MPs) expressed concern over a lack of infrastructure and whether textbooks would be delivered on time.

Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape were flagged as three provinces with the biggest education-related problems. The committee’s Desiree van der Walt says, “They need to have textbooks and teachers who are qualified to teach and are in the classroom. When we come to infrastructure our learners need to have water, electricity and proper sanitation.”

by Giovanna Gerbi

Time Square set to create thousands of jobs

Business Report indicates that the R4 billion Time Square casino and hotel being developed by Sun International at Menlyn Maine in Pretoria is set to create thousands of new job opportunities and economic benefits to the city and the country. Michael Farr, the group general manager of band and communications at Sun International, said yesterday about 10 000 direct and indirect jobs would have been created during the construction and initial fit-out and start-up phase.

Construction of the Time Square casino and hotel development commenced in September 2013.“About 2 200 permanent jobs will be created, including those people and other permanent jobs that were created by the various service providers and concessionaires that opened businesses at Time Square,” he said. The casino will open in April next year. Apart from the jobs created by the Time Square development, Farr said it was anticipated that about R1.7 billion in gaming taxes and VAT would be generated in the first five years of operation at Menlyn Maine.

by Roy Cokayne

Labour D-G faces contempt charges over non-payment for processing of compensation claims

Sowetan reports that a second top labour department official faces contempt of court charges for taking too long to pay hundreds of millions of rands to a company that processes “injury on duty” claims. Compensation Solutions (CompSol) is to institute contempt of court charges against labour director-general Thobile Lamati and the Compensation Commission.

The department’s chief operations officer (COO) Shadrack Mkhonto, who was previously the commissioner at the Compensation Commission, is fighting similar charges after the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) sentenced him to a three month jail term, suspended for five years, for ignoring court orders to pay CompSol over R400m for processing laims.  Mkhonto has approached the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) to have the SCA’s finding set aside.  CompSol CE Charl van Wyk, revealed in his opposing affidavit that the company issued no less than 19 summonses against Mkhonto, the commission and the D-G relating to the accounts.  The ConCourt will hear Mkhonto’s appeal in March.

by Loyiso Sidimba

Mandarin trainees head to China

The first group of frontline tourism staff to be trained in Mandarin have completed the initial phase of their training and are heading to China for cultural learning experiences. The trainees received certificates from Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom at a ceremony held in Johannesburg on Tuesday. The 20 trainees were selected for specialised training from establishments frequented by the growing number of Chinese tourists visiting South Africa.

Modules for reading, writing and speaking, situational role playing sessions and the three-week visit to China will enable trainees to communicate in Mandarin, which is used by about one billion speakers, mainly in the People’s Republic of China. The Department of Tourism is creating a database of the trainees, linked to SA Tourism’s websites, to make it accessible to establishments who need Mandarin speaking staff or guides.

Ref: SAnews.gov.za

Historic HIV vaccine trial to be launched

eNCA reports that research sites countrywide will launch a major study on Wednesday on the eve of World Aids Day to test the efficacy of a vaccine to prevent HIV infection. One of the first sites to administer the experimental vaccine was Soshanguve.

HVTN 702 is the only HIV vaccine efficacy trial in the world and is being conducted solely in South Africa. More than 5,000 volunteers have enrolled in the project. It has been seven years since the world last saw the start of an efficacy trial of an HIV vaccine.

Fees Commission adjourns public hearing

SABC News reports that the Fees Commission has adjourned its public hearing after listening to submissions by witnesses from the University of KwaZulu-Natal and the Thusanani Foundation. During the presentation Makovhe Masutha told the commission that the Thusanani Foundation was in favour of free education for poor students.

Masutha says the foundation has a problem with the way the National Student Financial Aid Scheme(NSFAS) and institutions of higher education categorise poor students. The Fees Commission will resume its public hearings during the last week of January. The commission chaired by Judge Jonathan Heher is expected to present its recommendation to the office of the President in June 2017.

16 Days of Activism campaign sends clear message

SABC News reports that a clear message as another annual 16 Days of Activism Against Women and Children Abuse campaign is launched. The provincial police have held special operations focusing on crimes committed against women and children. North West Police Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone says, “Our focus was also more on suspects who are wanted for crimes against women and children of which we managed to arrest 56 of them.”

In the Eastern Cape, elderly women and children are the most vulnerable people in rural areas. Many of these women live with their grandchildren or alone. Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini says, “Women need to mobilise each other and stand together.  They need to be friends of the court and attend court cases.” Social Development has set up a helpline to assist those who have been victims of abuse.

by Hasina Gori

Abduction of girls for marriage incorporated into Trafficking Act

SABC News reports that the practice of forcing young girls into marriage with older men, known as “ukuthwala” in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal is now a criminal offence. It has now been incorporated into the Trafficking in Persons Act. This emerged at a human trafficking awareness campaign conducted by the Hawks, National Prosecuting Authority and the South African Police Service in Ngcobo in the Eastern Cape.

Now it is a crime to force girls into marriage without their consent. Human trafficking also remains a big problem. The victims most often end up as sex slaves like a 26-year-old woman who spent three years of her life working in a brothel in East London while forced to use drugs. The Hawks have asked communities to be vigilant, especially now that many young people who have finished school will be looking for jobs. People have also been asked go to the police immediately if they suspect somebody has been abducted.

by Fundiswa Mhlekude