Cape law enforcement threaten festive season strike

Cape Argus writes that City of Cape Town law enforcement officers are refusing to work overtime from December 1, which could leave beaches, several public roads and parks open to lawlessness and antisocial behaviour this festive season. Officers affiliated to the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) want their demands met before December 1. Samwu provincial secretary Xolisi Diniso said more than 400 officers were to be promoted from a T6 to T7 salary grade. He stressed that the promotion was more senior and came with an increase in salary.

“Our action has nothing to do with salary increases. Salary increases we get once a year. In 2016 we were told that our officers would receive a promotion, but the City has been dragging its feet. The first engagements on this matter started in 2016. “On November 7 we took the matter to the city manager (Lungelo Mbandazayo). It was then given to Richard Bosman, but until now we have not heard anything.”

by Jason Felix

Afro Voice newspaper to cease publishing

eNCA reports that daily newspaper Afro Voice, formerly known as the New Age, is set to close down at the end of June. On Thursday afternoon, the newspaper’s staff were told that the newspaper will be shut down “due to some legal issues” and the staff were asked to stay at home until further notice. They were promised their July salaries despite the newspaper no longer going into print.

According to journalists, the announcement was made by Chairman Mzwanele Manyi. Manyi was not available for comment. After a vendor financing deal was settled, Manyi’s Afrotone Media Holdings unveiled the rebranded television news channel and daily newspaper on April 23. The rebranding saw changes in editorial policy in line with the Press Code. The ANN7 news channel is now known as Afro Worldview. The television news channel’s contract on Multichoice Dstv platform ends on August 30, following Multichoice’ decision not to renew the ANN7 contract.

Ref: ANA 

Labour conducts blitz inspection in Agricultural Sector, Free State

The department of labour reports that Blitz inspections in the Agricultural Sector painting a positive picture as cases of non-compliance are not as bad as anticipated.  As part of this year’s Workers Month campaign, the Department of Labour in the Free State conducted inspections at Green Park Farm, Yukon Farms and Stols Farm in Bothaville. These inspections are conducted by inspectors representing all competencies within the Inspection and Enforcement Services Directorate of the Department.  Out of three farms inspected, only Yukon Farms was found to be in contravention of the Occupational Health and Safety Act. This company failed to provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for its employees, its electrical installations did not conform to safety regulations as their distribution boxes were not covered and labelled, and had loose wires running about in the workplace.

There were no proper safety signs and notices in terms of safety standards.  The employer’s incident register was there just for compliance purposes but no incidents were recorded on the register while there were incidents that took place in this workplace.  Contravention notices were then served to the employer and they will be required to rectify all the non-compliances within 60 days. The other two companies were found to be in compliant with all provisions of labour laws. Coupled with these inspections were advocacy sessions where workers were taken through different pieces of labour legislation. Workers were also taken through other provisions of the Sectoral Determination 13: Farm Worker Sector stipulating the different types of leave employees are entitled to,  hours of work and the need to have written particulars of employment with their respective employers.

Ref: SA Govt News

Ramaphosa launches YES initiative

The Citizen reports that on Tuesday President Cyril Ramaphosa officially launched the Youth Employment Service (YES), an initiative that aims to see more than one million young South Africans being offered paid work experience over the next three years. Ramaphosa said 330,000 jobs would be created a year for young people as a way to address youth unemployment in the country.  The initiative takes the form of a partnership – led by Ramaphosa – between government, business, labour and civil society and it has three channels through which employment opportunities can occur.

It will be spread throughout the country and will not be confined to urban areas.  Gauteng Premier David Makhura welcomed the decision to use his province as the testing ground for the initiative.  He said YES would partner with the provincial government’s Tshepo 1 million initiative, which has given opportunities to youth in the province by providing training in areas demanding specific jobs.  The service’s CEO, Tashmia Ismail-Saville, called on small, medium and large companies to offer work experience even if it was for one young person or a thousand of them.  She added that several businesses have made pledges to actively take part in the initiative.

by Makhosandile Zulu

Aviation security training school ordered to stop all training pending investigation

The New Age reports that the SA Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) has ordered two training institutions, accused of not offering sufficient training to airport security trainees, to stop all training until an investigation has been completed. The SACAA on Tuesday said it took matters of safety and security very seriously and that it had launched an immediate investigation into the veracity of allegations made in news reports.

On Monday, media reports emerged that Reshebile Aviation and Security Services sent its staff for week-long training at Ntate Aviation and Security Training, but there was no instructor for them.  Instead, they were made to watch a few videos and also read a theory book.  The trainees are responsible for passengers’ luggage before it is loaded onto planes and checking for weapons and other contraband.  Upon receiving reports about the allegations, the SACAA immediately dispatched a team of inspectors to get evidence from the school.  Ntate Training is accredited by the SACAA, however, this is subject to training being conducted in-line with the regulations at all times.

Poultry producer Astral wants chicken to be VAT zero-rated

BusinessLive reports that poultry producer Astral indicated in a press release on Thursday that chicken should be exempt from value added tax (VAT). Under the existing laws, there are 19 basic food items that escape VAT and, with the exception of tinned pilchards and sardines, all of the VAT-exempt food items are vegetarian.

The increase in VAT to 15% in April from the 14% it had been for the past 25 years would hurt consumers who relied on chicken for their main source of protein, Astral argued.  The producer went on to state:  “Chicken is the cheapest source of meat protein in SA and now forms a large part of the basic diet of the South African population, with consumption at close to 40kg per person per year.”

by Robert Laing

Tshwane gears up for Friday’s march

TimesLive reports that according to the Tshwane Metro Police Department (TMPD), officers will be out in full force on Friday to maintain law and order during the anticipated march by dismissed security guards and “Vat Alles” workers.

TMPD spokesperson Nonhlanhla Mgiba said the only approved march was that of a group called “All Tshwane Vat Alles Employees”‚ scheduled to start at 08h00 from Burgers Park to Tshwane municipality headquarters and disperse at 13h00.

by Sipho Mabena