Green ID books not being withdrawn: Home Affairs

eNCA reports that green barcoded ID books will not be withdrawn from use on March 31, 2018, the Department of Home Affairs said on Monday. The department issued a statement after a false message did the rounds, stating the books would no longer be a legal form of identification. Home Affairs said the green ID books will continue being used “until such time that the Live Capture System is rolled out to all Home Affairs offices to enable South Africans to apply for Smart ID cards at their nearest offices.

“The department has developed a plan to systematically phase out the green ID book and ultimately consolidate the restoration, common citizenship, identity and dignity to South Africans.” Home Affairs said those who wished to apply for Smart ID cards now, could do so at any of the 180 offices that are already equipped with the Live Capture System. South Africans can also apply for Smart ID Cards FNB, Standard Bank, Nedbank and ABSA branches.

Nehawu stages march against Department of Higher Education

eNCA reports that disruptions on Tuesday are expected at Technical and Vocational Education and Training [TVET] and the Community Education and Training [CET] Colleges countrywide. This largely is due to a planned national day of action march against the Department of Higher Education and Training to take place in Pretoria by members of the National Education Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU].

The march from Marabastad [Old Putco depot] goes to the Department of Higher Education and Training [Corner Francis Baard & Sophie De Bruyn Street] in Pretoria to hand a memorandum of grievances to the department. The union said it expect the department to act in 14 days after the handover.

Joburg’s Klipspruit West Clinic shut after staff threatened

TimesLive reports that officials have shut down the Klipspruit West Clinic after staff faced backlash over the arrest of a man who had vandalised property at the clinic.

The City of Johannesburg’s MMC for Health and Social Development‚ Dr Mpho Phalatse, said the staff were threatened by “a few individuals who were disgruntled about the arrest of their brother‚ who had vandalised property at the clinic”.  Phalatse said services would resume once the safety of staff and patients could be guaranteed, but added that “healthcare was a human right and no one should deny the community that right regardless of their grievances.”

Prison official dismissed as a result of convict’s escape

Cape Times reports that a Drakenstein Correctional Centre official has been dismissed after an internal disciplinary hearing found him guilty of misconduct relating to the escape of convicted murderer from the prison earlier this year. Landile Yeko, serving 25 years for murder, housebreaking and theft of a vehicle, made headlines in February when he escaped from his cell.  He used a hacksaw to saw through the bars of his single cell’s window.  He was subsequently caught and given a six-month jail sentence for the prison break.

Monwabisi Faltein was charged with breaching security measures and dereliction of duties.  According to the charge sheet, he created a security safety risk by switching off lights at the A-unit office before Yeko’s escape.  Faltein then failed to conduct regular visits to A-unit cells while performing a second night shift, which facilitated Yeko’s escape.  Another of four officers charged over Yeko’s escape was exonerated of the charges against him.  The hearing against two more officials will resume in January.  The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) indicated that it would appeal the guilty verdict as Faltein had been dismissed “prematurely”.

by Siyavuya Mzantsi

NUM opposes the retrenchment of 47 workers at WBHO

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) members employed by Wilson Bailey Homes and Ovcon (WBHO) in Kwazulu-Natal are determined to stop the employer in its attempt to casualize the Civil Engineering Industry. NUM and WBHO have been in Section 189A consultation meetings since 02 October 2017 where the employer has been insisting that they want to restructure the company into a construction management entity which will be tendering for jobs and give them to subcontractors at low rates than provided by the Bargaining Council for Civil Engineering Industry (BCCEI).

The NUM is strongly opposed to the retrenchment of 47 NUM members by  WBHO in Kwazulu-Natal. The company issued Section 189 of the Labour Relations Act to initially retrench 58 workers but after consultations with the NUM, the number was brought down to 47. NUM says it will not allow the company to do down variation on the employment standards in the industry and defend its gains until the last drop of blood. NUM is calling upon the Bargaining Council to intervene.


Pension funds are not slush funds for SOEs: Cosatu

ANA reports that the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) on Friday, came out strongly against the use of Public Investment Corporation (PIC) funds to bail out cash strapped state-owned enterprises, unless SAA becomes an investment worthy enterprises. “Cosatu wants to make it clear to government that the PIC is not a slush fund. It is not there to balance the budget,” Cosatu parliamentary coordinator Matthew Parks said while briefing Parliament’s standing committee on appropriations said.

“It’s is not a kitty for cash strapped ministries. It is not a bailout for funds for state owned enterprises that have been running into the ground by corrupt leaders.” Cosatu welcomed the overhauling of the South African Airways (SAA) board, specifically than of its former chairwoman, Dudu Myeni, but said this was not enough. The trade union federation said it also wanted SAA, along with Eskom and the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa removed from the department of public enterprises (DPE). “It has failed miserable. We really don’t understand why we have this department,” said Parks. “We propose the staff of DPE absorbed by the DTI [department of trade and investment], or whatever.”

by Chantall Presence

NUM to serve another 48-hour notice in coal sector

EWN reports that the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) says it will serve another 48-hour notice to go on strike in the coal sector if it cannot reach an agreement with employers on Monday. The union has postponed the strike which was due to officially begin tomorrow as some of the coal companies are proposing a new wage offer.

The NUM is demanding a R1,100 once off offer for this year, as well as an 8% and 9,5% wage increases for 2018 and 2019 respectively. Employers are only offering a R600 once off along with a 7.5% hike for 2018 and 2019. The NUM’s Livhuwani Mammburu says, “Our members are the ones who were given as a mandate to say don’t file the notice now, let us see what these companies are going to offer on Monday. “And then, if they offer something good, they will accept but if they don’t offer something good, our members will immediately give us a mandate to go on strike.”

by Koketso Motau

Protest by Tshwane Metro Police ex-trainees for jobs

The Citizen reports that former Tshwane Metro Police Department (TMPD) trainees chanted outside Tshwane House on Wednesday demanding to be reinstated and accusing mayor Solly Msimanga of “lying” and promising them “heaven and earth”, yet not doing anything. About 200 former TMPD trainees claimed they completed training courses and received diplomas, but have been without work for three years.  The trainees were initially recruited by the former ANC-led municipality for deployment, but after failing a subject in their exams in 2013, their contracts were terminated.

But they were afforded an opportunity by the former ANC-led administration to complete the course last year and Msimanga, during his election campaign, promised to reinstate them once he took office.  Derrick Kissoonduth, MMC on community safety, said the trainees only completed the first phase of training and that there were hurdles to offering them permanent employment as security guards.  He advised:  “I have spoken to the city manager and the mayor, but to re-employ them is a process.  We suggested taking them on as security guards but, first, we need money for salaries and then uniforms.  This was not budgeted for when this decision was made.”

by Rorisang Kgosana

Metrorail Western Cape to get R8bn injection

Fin24 reports that Metrorail services in the Western Cape are due to get no less than R8bn in new investment to improve ailing infrastructure, according to Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi. He told Parliamentarians on Tuesday that his ministry was working to address the inefficiencies in the province, made worse by instances of vandalism and arson.  He stated:  “Metrorail in the main should be fully functional.  In the Western Cape alone we are going to spend not less than R8bn to improve the Metrorail services.

There are problems of vandalism which have been reported here on several occasions.  We have also raised the matter of security with the Minister of Police.”  Maswanganyi also indicated that they have made progress in repairing train tracks and carriages that had been set alight in the Cape Town metro and elsewhere in the province.  They were confident of restoring around 60 full “sets”, consisting of 12 coaches each, and bringing them back into the system.

by Paul Herman

UN honours SA major for gender work in DRC

IOL News reports that SANDF Major Seitebatso Pearl Block was presented with the UN Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award yesterday. The award specifically recognises her work on a project reaching out to women’s organisations in remote parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It’s a general acknowledgement of the dedication and effort of an individual peacekeeper in promoting the principles of UN Security Council Resolution 1325.

An officer since 2007, Block has been deployed twice to the DRC with the UN Organisation Stabilisation Mission (Monusco), first in 2010 as an information. She was hailed for developing strategic projects adopted and launched by Monusco.