Wits students appeal to stakeholders to join General Assembly

SABC News reports that Wits University’s student leadership has appealed to all stakeholders to join them at the General Assembly being held on Friday. Students say the University will also assist in their march to National Treasury to hand over a memorandum of demand for free education.

The SRC says each faculty will also ensure that the academic programme be extended to ensure that students are not harmed academically. Meanwhile, Wits spokesperson Shiron Patel says the university has made an agreement that all university activities will resume on Monday October 10.

Fall in South African inflation seen to be temporary

Moneyweb reports that the South African central bank governor, Lesetja Kganyago said on Tuesday that the decline in consumer inflation to within the bank’s target range of 3-6% is expected to be temporary and that there is no room for complacency in monetary policy.

The central bank kept interest rates unchanged at 7% for a third consecutive time this year last month, with a weak economic growth outlook balancing out concerns about inflation. South African inflation stood at 5.9% in August. Kganyago also said the central bank’s focus was on the impact of the rand exchange rate on the inflation outlook.

by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo, Reuters

Checkers worker would take 290 years to earn what her boss was paid in a month

GroundUp reports that it would take a worker in a Checkers deli about 290 years to earn what the chief executive of the Shoprite group, Whitey Basson, was paid in a month this year. Basson was paid R49.7 million in basic pay and a special performance bonus of R50 million in the financial year to June. The group said he had not had a pay increase since 2013.

Phumla (not her real name), who works in the deli department at a Checkers store, earns R550 a week. At R28,600 a year, it would take her nearly 3,500 years to earn what Basson earned this year. She works a nine hour shift. Nosakhele (not her real name) works for House & Home, also part of the Shoprite group. She earns a basic salary of R2,700 a month, and depends on commission from sales. Nosakhele would have to work for more than 250 years to make as much as Basson did in a month.

Mike Tau, national chair of the S A Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers’ Union for Shoprite, said the union was opposed to executives getting big salaries while employees were paid “peanuts”. Tau said the union was consulting members around the country about the best way to respond to the announcement of Basson’s pay package.  “We cannot sit and watch while employees are being exploited,” said Tau. Shoprite reported turnover of more than R130 billion for the year to June 2016. The group includes 577 Shoprite supermarkets and  202 Checkers supermarkets, as well as hypermarkets, and also owns Usave, OK, House & Home, Hungry Lion, MediRite and LiquorShops. It employs nearly 138,000 people.

by Thembela Ntongana

Petrol price up from today

eNCA reports that the price of petrol will increase by 43c to 44c a litre on Wednesday. The department said all grades of petrol and diesel will increase, with 93 ULP and LRP rising by 44c a litre and  95 ULP and LRP by 43c per litre, while diesel (0.05% Sulphur as well as 0.005% Sulphur) will increase by 23c a litre.

The department said the rand/dollar exchange rate was the main reason for the fuel price adjustments. The wholesale price of illuminating paraffin will increase by 22c a litre, SMNRP of illuminating paraffin will increase by 30c a litre and the maximum retail price of LP Gas will increase by 58c a kilogram. The fuel price adjustments were also due to the increases in the prices of petrol, diesel and illuminating paraffin, on average, in the international markets during the period under review.

Sibanye halts Cooke operations after employees injured in attack

Mining Weekly reports that Sibanye Gold has halted operations at its Cooke mine, after four employees were injured in an attack by unknown assailants in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Two of the four employees were seriously injured and are being treated at local hospitals. The incidents are related to illegal industrial action which started on Monday, following a union membership verification dispute.

Loss of new doctors entering health sector looms as fees protest continues

BDLive writes that public hospitals will have 1,600 fewer doctors and the class of 2016 will miss out on graduation if the shutdown of universities continues.  This is the grim reality that came out of a failed fees imbizo in Kempton Park on Monday, where President Jacob Zuma made an opening address but then rushed off to fulfil his other obligations.

University of the Witwatersrand vice-chancellor Adam Habib said shutting down universities for the rest of the year would have a ripple effect.  “If this situation does not change, we will not be able to graduate anyone this year.  Public hospitals will have 1,600 fewer doctors in January 2017 and the economy will have to deal with thousands fewer engineers, accountants and other professionals.”

by Penelope Mashego

Eight UKZN students to spend another week behind bars

SABC News reports that eight male students from the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Pietermatzburg campus have briefly appeared in the local Magistrate’s Court. They are all facing charges of public violence. The accused were arrested on Friday night following the burning of a computer laboratory at their campus.

The state has indicated that it will oppose their bail applications. The state also wanted to verify if all the accused are students at UKZN. The students will now spend a week behind bars. They will be back in court on the 11 October for a bail application. Meanwhile, UKZN issued a statement saying classes are continuing regardless of disruptions at the Westville campus and Howard College.

The university also cautioned students about the court interdict preventing them from having mass action and disruptive gatherings within the university premises. Large numbers of police remain deployed at all UKZN campuses to monitor the situation.

by Nonkululeko Hlophe

Table Mountain cableway strikers accept wage increases of 8% to 13.5%

TMG Digital reports that more than 100 SA Commercial‚ Catering and Allied Workers’ Union (SACCAWU) strikers at the Table Mountain cableway were to come back to work on Monday after a pay deal ended their wage stoppage. The deal gives staff pay increases of between 8% and 13.5%‚ with lower income earners receiving the largest increase.

by Dave Chambers

Citrusdal farmworker wins battle against eviction notices

Cape Times reports that the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) has repealed the eviction proceedings against a Citrusdal farmworker after finding the eviction notices by his employers, Mgro Properties, were invalid. The SCA upheld Abraham Snyers’ leave to appeal, with costs, after a Land Claims Court (LCC) judgment had confirmed the validity of the eviction notices. The SCA also dismissed the applications to evict Snyer’s wife.

  • Read this report by Siyavuya Mzansi

Zwane’s promises of cash to Lily Mine disaster victims not materialised

Sunday Independent reported that it has become abundantly clear that Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane will not be paying the monetary windfall he promised the disaster victims at Lily Mine on 5 February.

Nothing has been paid so far as the minister seems to have dumped the hot potato in the lap of Lily Mine.  But, this can only happen after Lily receives the R200 million it seeks to restart operations at the mine.

by Don Makatile