Matric students urged to register and receive matric results via SMS

SABC News reports that a SABC Education in partnership with the Department of Basic Education (DBE) is calling all South African matric students to register and receive their matric results through SMS or USSD lines. SABC Education will run a call-centre to address issues relating to registration process, registration confirmation and queries on results received.

This service was created for matric students to access results via SMS or USSD as soon as results are released to the general public. The National Senior Certificate results will be released at the different schools at 08h00 on Thursday the 5th of January 2017, except in the Western Cape, where the results will be made available on the 6th of January.

Wits, UJ students raise millions for fees through walking

SABC News reports that a group of students from the Universities of the Witswatersrand and Johannesburg let their feet do the talking while raising money for needy students. They walked from Johannesburg to Port Elizabeth, a journey of more than 1000 kilometres. The Feet4fees campaign raised more than R7 million.

“Private donors have through the project donated via our website, and some people who recognised us on the road gave cash donations. So all the money we have collected will go into funding and we have some donation pledges for the next five years” says Fees4Feet leader, Reuben Oosthuysen.

by Olwethu Matsipane

Consumer inflation edges up to 6.6% in November

Moneyweb reports that headline consumer inflation (CPI) accelerated to 6.6% year-on-year in November from 6.4% in October, data from Statistics SA showed on Wednesday.  Core inflation, which excludes the prices of food, non-alcoholic beverages, petrol and energy, was unchanged at 5.7%.  Nedbank’s Group Economic Unit expects inflation to remain above 6% in the very short term, “but to dip back within the South African Reserve Bank’s (Sarb’s) target range as food prices come under some control as the drought dissipates.”

Wandile Sihlobo, head of economic and agribusiness intelligence at the Agricultural Business Chamber, commented:  “Looking ahead, we maintain our view that overall food and non-alcoholic beverages inflation could remain elevated this year.  However, we foresee a slowing trend for most food products inflation in 2017, with the exception of meat which is likely to maintain the upward trend over the coming months due to expected decline in slaughtering rate.”

Ref: SALabournews

Rosemary Hunter’s application in case of cancelled pension funds dismissed

Moneyweb reports that the application by the former deputy registrar of pension funds at the Financial Services Board (FSB), Rosemary Hunter, that the court should supervise an investigation into the cancellation of thousands of dormant pension funds by the FSB has been dismissed in the Pretoria High Court. Hunter has for years been fighting to have the cancellations project more thoroughly scrutinised, as she believes that the process was flawed.

She did not convince the court that it had the jurisdiction to “order the FSB and the Minister to perform a certain act in a certain manner and then to supervise compliance with the order”.  The court however made no finding on whether or not Hunter was correct in her assessment that the cancellations project was either unlawful or mismanaged.  Hunter said she was “deeply disappointed” by the judgment and would be considering applying for leave to appeal.

by Patrick Cairns

More black accountants than white

The New Age reports that after two decades of effort, South Africa’s auditing and reporting standards are still rated best by the World Economic Forum and for the first time there are more black chartered accountants (CAs) than white CAs under 50 on the elite Top 40 JSE boards. The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (Saica) did the 2016 survey on the Top 40 JSE companies based on market capitalisation.

Saica executive director Chantyl Mulder said in 2002 only 322 black and 222 coloured CAs were registered with Saica. By 2015 these figures had seen a vast improvement. The number of black CAs had risen to 3901 and coloured CAs to 1334. By 2015, Saica’s transformation efforts had also resulted in more than 50% of new CAs being female and more than 50% being black. The extent of the transformation in JSE leadership is seen in the race and gender statistics of total directorships, where 32% of directors are now black (up from 31% last year) and 17% are female (up from 15.9% last year), with black female directors outnumbering their white counterparts by more than 2:1.

by Thelma Ngoma

Miners in dark over state’s Marikana deal

BusinessLive reports that lawyers for the mine workers who were injured and arrested during the Marikana shooting incident have accused the government of acting in bad faith. They say no agreement regarding settlement has been reached with the state.

President Jacob Zuma said on Sunday the government was “ready to pay” compensation when he gave an update on steps that have been taken to implement the Farlam commission’s recommendations. The mine workers’ lawyer, Andries Nkome, said his clients had not heard anything from the government, and accused the Presidency and the state of acting in bad faith. The government had tried to convince the mine workers to drop their lawsuit, but they had refused and the matter was still pending, he said.

by Genevieve Quintal

Pretoria domestic worker in ICU after beating by employer’s son

Pretoria News reports that a domestic worker is in an intensive care unit at Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria after being allegedly savagely beaten up with a golf stick by her employer’s son in Montana. Christinah Mabena, 53, received a number of stitches around her left eye and sustained broken ribs.

It is claimed that her employer’s son took Christinah’s cellphone on the day of the incident, and when she demanded it back, he lost his cool and attacked the mother of two.  A case of attempted murder was opened against the son at Sinoville police station on the day of the incident.  He appeared in court on 5 December and again on Monday.   The case was postponed to 23 January.  The suspect has been referred for a 28-day psychiatric evaluation.

by Lerato Tshipe

Mathematics teaching of poor quality in township schools: Motshekga

SABC News reports that Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has admitted that mathematics teaching in township schools is of poor quality, with teachers lacking knowledge of the curriculum they teach. She was addressing a Mathematics Indaba in Pretoria. The indaba was held to come up with solutions for the continued poor performance in Mathematics at public schools.

Motshekga has recently come under fire for the decision to “condone” pupils who did not meet the requisite mathematics requirements for progression to the next grade in the senior phase. The Department says if a pupil fails a language they would fail the year, but says they could fail Mathematics and still pass and go to the next grade.

Human Rights Commission subpoenas Mpumalanga’s agriculture MEC

Sowetan reports that the Human Rights Commission subpoenaed Mpumalanga’s MEC for agriculture‚ rural development‚ land and environmental affairs regarding farm workers’ rights. The commission said in a statement that Vusi Shongwe’s notice to appear before it arose out of a complaint in which it is alleged that the owners of Ryton Estate Farm‚ near Ngodwana‚ sold the farm to the Department of Agriculture‚ Rural Development‚ Land and Environmental Affairs without the knowledge or consent of 214 farm workers‚ who were previously allocated portions of the farm.

The farm owners allegedly failed to pay the workers what was due to them in terms of the share agreement. The Chapter 9 institution said it had previously requested information from the department but had received no response was therefore proceeding with its investigation.

Ref: TMG Digital

Workplace arrests for fines

The New Age reports that motorists with outstanding unpaid traffic fines and already issued with warrants of arrest may soon find themselves in trouble of being arrested at their workplaces. This is an alternative strategy being implemented by the provincial department of community safety, security and liaison in a bid to encourage motorists to refrain from receiving warrants of arrest after failing to settle their traffic fines.

Provincial community safety, security and liaison MEC Pat Ngomane said the unacceptable behaviour by the motorists was happening despite the department having introduced the automated number plate recognition vehicles known as “Nyamsoros” They (Nyamsoros) were used to identify motorists with outstanding fines or summonses by reading the vehicles’ number plates. Motorists were allowed to pay on the spot through the electronic payment system that was fitted in the vehicles.

by France Nyaka