Fund calls for full state control over where private sector doctors work

BusinessLive reports that according to the Board of Healthcare Funders (BHF), the government should consider regulating where private sector doctors and specialists work, in order to distribute their services more evenly across the country. “The disproportionate distribution of health-care professionals is a concern.  Better planning and regulations are required to enforce efficient allocation of human resources … It is therefore imperative that the certificate of need be revisited,” said the BHF, a key player for medical schemes, in a report released on Friday.  The controversial suggestion is unlikely to sit well with doctors, who previously persuaded the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) to set aside regulations requiring them to obtain a certificate of need, or ministerial approval, prior to practising.

While the National Health Act contains provisions enabling the minister to regulate this arena, he has not done so since the ConCourt case.  But the issue is very much still alive, as the Competition Commission’s health market inquiry recently recommended in its draft report that the health department develop a new framework for licensing all health-care facilities, based on a national plan that considers public and private sector capacity and the needs of the population to be served.  While its emphasis is on private hospitals, licensing could be extended beyond acute facilities over time.  The BHF’s Charlton Munrove said other approaches to licensing could be the creation of incentives to get healthcare professionals where they are needed.

by Tamar Kahn

Death toll rises to eight in Rheinmetall Denel

TimesLive reports that eight people have been confirmed dead following a huge explosion at the Rheinmetall Denel munitions depot in Somerset West near Cape Town.

City of Cape Town fire chief Theo Layne confirmed the blast:  “Fire and Rescue responded at 15:45. On arrival it was ascertained that an explosion had occurred and staff of the factory was extinguishing the subsequent fire.”  He said all missing workers had been accounted for.

Ref: ANA

Jobs Summit to be held on 4 & 5 October

The National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) announced on Friday that the Jobs Summit to be held on 4 and 5 October 2018 will focus on collaborative and high-impact interventions to drive job creation, job retention and economic growth. This was agreed upon at a meeting held on 29 August 2018 of the Presidential Committee on the Jobs Summit, chaired by President Cyril Ramaphosa.  The Committee is composed of the leadership of government, labour, business and community organisations and is tasked with guiding preparations towards the Jobs Summit first mooted by President Ramaphosa in his State of the Nation Address earlier this year.

The Committee has five working committees covering economic sector-specific interventions; small, medium and micro enterprises support; education and skills; inclusive growth, transformation and inequality; and public and social programmes, labour market and anti-corruption.  It is said to be resolute that this Jobs Summit must be a major step towards jointly addressing the triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality with its interventions directed primarily to assist youth, women and low-income families and communities.  The social partners welcomed an assurance from President Ramaphosa that there were no forced retrenchments planned in the public sector.

Ref: SA Govt News

Parliament withdraws Expropriation Bill

eNCA reports that the Portfolio Committee on Public Works  has withdrawn the Expropriation Bill so that it may be re-introduced at a later stage. Parliament said the committee also wants to give an opportunity to the Joint Constitutional Review Committee that is currently reviewing whether section 25 of the Constitution should be amended to allow expropriation of land without compensation. The committee has adopted a report that recommends to the National Assembly that the current Expropriation Bill be rejected.

Upington women march against the hospital failures

SABC News writes that hundreds of women have marched to Harry Surtie Hospital in Upington in the Northern Cape to hand-over a memorandum of grievances over their dissatisfaction with the hospital’s failure to give proper healthcare to residents. They say that the hospital operates on minimal staff, and the doctors are unable communicate with patients due to language barriers. The March organiser Eunice Pita says they have communication challenges between doctors and patients.

“We as community don’t understand what’s happening at the hospital. The doctors are too little, the doctors can’t communicate with the patients because of the language barriers. People can’t get their chronic medication from the clinics because there is no medication. They tell the people, ‘you must go and buy’… where must people get money buy medication from?”

by Nobelungu Nowapane

Stellenbosch guest lodge denies that eviction of farmworkers occurred

Cape Times reports that Simondium Guest Lodge has denied evictions took place at its premises, even though one of the farmworkers is now sleeping outside the structure he has been occupying for years. A man, who refused to identify himself and said he was responding on behalf of lodge owner Elsabe Rabe, vehemently denied any evictions, saying no notices were given to any farmworkers on Friday.

Women On Farms Project co-director Carmen Louw said Rabe’s denial that evictions took place “is a lie”.  “One of the men who were evicted, Shaba Johnson, lived in a one-room structure on a part of the land from which the guest lodge operates. “On Friday we were alerted to unlawful evictions, in which we assisted. The structure in which Johnson lived was closed up and all his belongings were thrown out. He currently sleeps outside,” Louw said. Another elderly couple who are long-term occupiers on the same land were told they had to be out at the end of the month. “There is a farm evictions crisis which the government is simply not taking seriously. Every day, across the country, farm dwellers are being evicted – sometimes legally, but often illegally.

by Chevon Booysen

High Court rules on the registration of children born in South Africa

GroundUp reports that the Eastern Cape High Court in Grahamstown recently gave a decision in Naki v Director General Home Affairs that ensures the births of all children born in South Africa can be registered, regardless of the legal status of their parents. The main issues that the court had to deal with were whether or not the Births and Deaths Registration Act (BDRA) and its regulations allow the father of a child to register a child’s birth when the mother of the child is an immigrant whose presence in South Africa is not in accordance with law, or where the mother is absent.

The court made reference to the Constitutional Court’s direction that when dealing with matters of statutory interpretation, judicial officers should favour an interpretation that would render the provision constitutionally compliant. To this end, the High Court found that section 9 and 10 of the BDRA were constitutionally valid as they did not stipulate which parent had the duty to register the birth. The act did not prevent unmarried fathers from registering the births of their children. The Court also read in the words “or father”, enabling the birth of a child born out of wedlock to be registered by either the father or the mother. The decision in this case has made it easier to register the births of children born of a South African parent and an immigrant parent, and of children who have absent mothers.

by  Kathleen Mpofu

Joburg EMS and JMPD female staff march

EWN reports that women employed by Johannesburg Emergency Management Services (EMS) and the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) marched to the JMPD headquarters in Martindale on Tuesday to hand over a memorandum to management demanding equal rights in the workplace.

The women said they were being harassed and overlooked for top management positions because of their gender.  When the women gathered, they held up placards reading: ‘Real men are feminists’ and ‘Our bodies, our minds, our power’.  Dudu Tshabalala, a superintendent at the JMPD, said women should not be treated differently.  “We want to see our department with a [female] deputy director, chief of police, [we seek] equal job opportunities for women.”  Top management in the JMPD was expected to receive a list of grievances from the marchers and indicate when they could respond to the concerns.

by Mia Lindeque

Pikitup suspends Soweto services

SABC News writes that Pikitup services have been suspended in Soweto after employees were threatened with violence. A Pikitup truck was burnt in Diepkloof, Soweto, and another was stoned and damaged in the same area on Friday.

The affected depots are Central Camp and Zondi, where violent protesters demand to be employed despite not meeting the employment criteria. Pikitup spokesperson Muzi Mkhwanazi says it’s still unclear when the services will be back on track.

by Thabile Mbhele

Baragwanath hospital staff back at work

SABC News reports that the Gauteng Department of Health has confirmed that the strike at the Chris Hani Baragwanath hospital in Soweto is over. This follows a meeting with labour unions on Monday night where it was agreed that their grievances would be attended to.

The workers at the hospital accuse the management of corruption, maladministration and nepotism. They also demand the removal of the CEO. The CEO has since been placed on special leave.

by Ditaba Tsotetsi