Cape Town commits to boosting scarce ICT skills

ITWeb reports that on Monday the City of Cape Town announced the start of the orientation programme for the first group of Western Cape Skills for Africa students who will receive training in scarce ICT skills.

A group of 44 students selected from more than 350 applicants will undergo an intense 12-week training programme from the end of June to September in MIT’s software programming language, Scratch.  According to the city, in addition to the training in this specific software programme, the students will be able to act as trainers for Africa Code Week and once they graduate the city will offer employment to 15 graduates.  To enable this ICT training programme, the City of Cape Town turned to long-time partner, software and technology solutions company SAP Africa.  The course also incorporates essential business and soft skills training that will see the graduates armed with a formal SAP Academy accreditation.


The rich derail good healthcare

The frequent shooting massacres that have become an almost daily occurrence in the United States of America have something to teach us in South Africa. They represent a classic case of dangers of allowing business financed lobby groups to influence and dictate policy formulation.

The National Rifle Association {the American gun lobby group} has become a powerful stumbling block for the American government to regulate the firearms industry. They are a strong and well-financed lobby group with the institutional imperative to keep lobbying no matter how many people die due to gun violence. In South Africa , we have seen the emergence of organizations like the Free Market Foundation {FMF }and the South African Institute of Race Relations {SAIRR }that are vociferously opposed to almost all progressive policies of the ANC led government ,especially the NHI.


Solidarity threatens SABC

Trade union Solidarity has threatened to take legal action against the SABC if it doesn’t reinstate three of its suspended journalists. In a letter addressed to the public broadcaster, the union said on Tuesday it had given the organisation until Thursday to act comply with its demands. The call follows the suspension of SABC journalists Foeta Krige, Suna Venter and Thandeka Gqubule last week. This was after they refused to abide by the call from SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng not to cover the destruction of public property during protests.

Solidarity is representing Krige and Venter, while Gqubele has her own legal team. Solidarity CEO Dirk Hermann said the suspension infringed on the workers’ right to freedom of speech. “The suspension is also a setback for the public’s right of access to information as three suspended journalists cannot fulfil their duties as journalists of the SABC which, as a public broadcaster, has the mandate to convey information to the public,” said Herman. The union has demanded that the instruction not to broadcast the destruction of public property during protests to be lifted, as it requires journalists to exercise censorship.

by Zintle Mahlati (IOLNews)

Exxaro needs funds for Matla expansion

Business Report indicates that Exxaro Resources is in talks with Eskom to obtain more funds to further develop its Matla coal mine after the electricity provider changed the model it uses to obtain the fuel for its plants. Large capital projects at Matla in Mpumalanga “remain unfunded” by Eskom Holdings, Exxaro said yesterday. “We continue to engage Eskom to provide the required capital funding and are considering available recourse” in terms of the coal-supply agreement, it said.

Eskom did not renew a contract with Exxaro’s Arnot mine, which had supplied the power plant by the same name for 40 years, at the end of December, and is using short-term supplies that are providing the fuel for a lower price than what was stipulated in the agreement. The loss of the contract affected about
1 800 employees, and the company expected to complete talks on job cuts in the third quarter, it said. All production had ceased and the mine equipment had been recovered from underground, Exxaro said. Exxaro will announce its financial results on August 18.

(Bloomberg and Philippa Larkin) IOLNews

Probe into municipal qualification ‘faker’ who is still in the job

Sowetan reports that a North West municipality has allowed a senior employee to remain in his job despite internal investigations that he faked his qualifications and has an unsettled fraud case. The man was hired by the Ramotshere Moiloa local municipality (covering Zeerust and Groot Marico) in 2012 as a technical supervisor even though he only has a Standard 9 (Grade 11) progress report that he allegedly faked.

He and another municipal employee were arrested in August 2013 and charged with fraud after they allegedly stole building materials using a municipal bakkie.  Those charges have apparently since been dropped.  Last week, residents gathered at the municipal office and demanded that the man they have accused of theft be fired and that the municipality should investigate fraud charges against him.  Municipal manager Thompson Phakalane confirmed that the allegations about fake qualifications were being probed, with a full report expected in two months.  Phakalane said the employee had not been suspended because the municipality was still getting details of his employment.

by Boitumelo Tshehle (Ref: SALabourNews)

Cosatu in Western Cape to strike over transport services on 12 July

Cosatu Western Cape will strike next month over its unhappiness with the state of public transport in the Western Cape. The labour federation last week postponed protest action, saying that the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) misled the media and the business sector by indicating that the required procedures for protected protest action had not been followed.  Western Cape provincial secretary Tony Ehrenreich said that to protect his members’ job security the strike had had to be postponed.  It has now been decided that it will take place on 12 July 2016 in the Cape Town CBD.  Nedlac spokesperson Kim Jurgensen said that notice of the planned strike was received on 20 June.  She indicated that applications for protest action have to be served with 14 days’ notice, and thus any action after 4 July will be protected.


The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) Provinces will be engaged in nation-wide marches as part of a build-up towards the POPCRU National March to take place on the 14th July 2016 demanding, amongst others;

Department of Correctional Services (DCS)
– The implementation of Occupational Specific Dispensation
(OSD) 2nd Phase
– Filling of all vacant posts at lower levels
– Payment of outstanding overtime since 2009
– Specific Dispensation for all employees 08+ years’
service rank
– Full implementation of all concluded agreements

South African Police Services (SAPS)
– Finalisation of salary upgrades and in cooperation of
PSA appointed members
– Abolition of unconstitutional structures e.g. Clusters
and Regions
– Failure by management to root out racist elements
– The unilateral implementation of decisions
– Abolishment of Trial Units
– Maximum safety of members (Police Killings)

– Special dispensation for all employees with 08+ years’ service
in rank
– Nationalisation of Traffic
– Abolishment of Traffic Intervention Elite Units
– Un-procedural implementation of disciplinary matters

The provincial marches are to submit memorandums of demands as follows;




Starting Point



North West



Ikageng Youth Centre, Potchefstroom

Wespol SAPS Prov. Office





Mbombela Show Grounds

Provincial Legislature


Northern Cape



Kemo Hotel, Kimberley

DCS, SAPS, Dept. of Transport






SAPS Prov. Office, Polokwane


Kwa Zulu-Natal



Dalles Park , Pietermaritzburg

DCS Regional Office


Free State



Batho Police Station, Batho Location

Prov. Commissioner’s office, Bloemfontein


Eastern Cape



Jan Smuts Stadium

DCS Regional office, Quegney


Western Cape




DCS Regional Office, Monte Vista





Union Buildings, Pretoria

DCS Regional Office, Pretoria


Overworked doctors get more backing to get 30-hour shifts reviewed

Cape Times reports that doctors advocating to have their 30-hour work shift policy reviewed have vowed to continue pressurising Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi’s department. The Junior Doctors Association of SA (Judasa) has joined hands with the SA Medical Association (Sama) and Safe Working Hours (SWH) to take up the cudgels for overworked doctors.  The recent death of medical intern, who was killed when she crashed her car on her way home, has put the issue firmly in the spotlight.

SWH spokesperson Helene-Mari van der Westhuizen said:  “If there ever was a time to join forces and push for change, it is now.  It is only through pressure from within and outside the medical profession simultaneously that this archaic practice can be stopped.”  Judasa has called for a cap of 24 hours and for the department to review its overtime policy.  SWH is seeking to have a cap of 12 hours and compiled a document questioning the 30-hour shift policy.  The department recently set up a task team to look at solutions.

by Carlo Petersen (Ref: SALabourNews)

NUM is unhappy with Eskom executives awarding themselves millions of bonuses

The National union of Mineworkers (NUM) is extremely disappointed and saddened by the decision taken by Eskom executives to pay themselves a whopping R6 million per person from the bonus pool of 1.7 billion. Eskom executives deliberately leaked the document to employees to entice on the bonus payout in trying to weaken the NUM during its consultation with the members.

In the meeting with the Eskom’s Group Executive of Human Resources, Ms. Elsie Pule stated that: “ black female employees in Eskom are poor performers as such they deserve below minimum salary increases”. The NUM feels that Ms. Elsie Pule has insulted black female employees who perform three times higher to receive recognition and acceptance in the patriarchal workplace.

The NUM will convene a National Shop Steward Council on the 1st of July 2016, wherein a decision will be taken on the conduct of the Eskom executive. The wage negotiations and the performance bonuses will also be interrogated and the NUM will get the mandate from its members of whether they are accepting or rejecting the offer. The fourth round of wage negotiations will be held on the 13th, 14th, and 15th of July 2016 at CedarWoods in Woodmead.

Two men to serve time for Limpopo racist attack

SABC News reports that the Tzaneen Magistrate’s Court in Limpopo has sent to prison two men convicted for the assault of a petrol attendant during an alleged racially motivated attack. Hermanus Van Dyk and Danie Le Roux will serve two years and 18 months respectively. They pleaded guilty to assaulting Johannes Monyela on June the 18th. The incident was captured on CCTV.

Magistrate Helen Mabuza-Mkansi says the incident has racial undertones.
“If I did not watch the video footage I would not be clear what could have been your motive in assaulting the complainant in a brutal manner the way you did. It clearly portrays that racism was practiced on that day. I must also state that, this is important that your conduct does not reflect the whole white community of Tzaneen, only some few radical elements who refuse transformation which is extremely disturbing.”

by Shibu Mamokgere