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Education & Skills Development News

Wits University pursuing remote online teaching, learning methods

By: Simone Liedtke     15th April 2020 The University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) will switch to remote online teaching and learning from April 20, alongside a range of other contingency and continuity plans. Wits academics have spent the past few weeks adapting the academic programme to go online largely through the university’s... 

Waste pickers get relief with food vouchers during national lockdown

By: Donna Slater     14th April 2020 An electronic food voucher initiative is being rolled out to waste pickers across the country, as part of a partnership between the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF) and the packaging industry, to assist waste pickers who have lost their livelihoods during the national... 

Online hackathon launched to spur development of Covid-19-tackling solutions

By: Donna Slater     14th April 2020 The African Development Bank (AfDB) and partners will host an international 72-hour online competition, the #AfricaVsVirus Challenge – aimed at developing effective solutions to the coronavirus pandemic – from April 16 to 19. The hackathon, or as the AfDB calls it, the "ideathon", is open to... 

UJ Vice Chancellor pledges 33% of salary towards Solidarity Fund

By: Sane Dhlamini     14th April 2020 The University of Johannesburg Vice Chancellor Professor Tshilidzi Marwala has revealed that he will donate 33% of his salary to the Solidarity Fund to help fight the coronavirus pandemic. This follows president Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement that members of Cabinet will donate one-third of their... 

UJ Vice Chancellor pledges 33% of salary towards Solidarity Fund

Skills vital to develop local suppliers for automotive industry

By: Schalk Burger     10th April 2020 Skills are a critical requirement to sustainably allow for the establishment and development of local black suppliers to the automotive industry. Most of the suitable entrepreneur candidates to establish and run local component manufacturing and supply operations will come from the automotive... 

Skills vital to develop local suppliers for automotive industry
INDUSTRIAL SKILLS Economically feasibility will determine which components can be produced locally and the pace of deeper localisation

African countries urged to increase response to Covid-19 pandemic − WHO

By: Simone Liedtke     9th April 2020 World Health Organisation (WHO) regional director for Africa Dr Matshidiso Moeti has urged countries across Africa to increase their response to mitigating the effects of the Covid-19 virus. While the economic impact of the pandemic is severe, she lamented that fragile economies – like found in... 

African countries urged to increase response to Covid-19 pandemic − WHO

UJ, nonprofit find companies are failing to comply with Covid-19 requirements

By: Marleny Arnoldi     9th April 2020 A report compiled by the University of Johannesburg’s Centre for Social Change and nonprofit organisation Casual Workers Advice Office finds that companies still operating during the lockdown are largely failing to provide adequate health and safety provisions. The report is based on analysis... 

Mobile learning platform launched to raise awareness of Covid-19

By: Donna Slater     8th April 2020 The head of the United Nations (UN) in South Africa Nardos Bekele-Thomas, supported by the heads of various UN agencies, has partnered with e-learning mobile service Funzi, to launch a mobile learning course – Covid 19:  Adapt and Thrive – as part of the country’s official coronavirus response... 

Old Mutual provides free cover to healthcare workers

By: Donna Slater     8th April 2020 Financial services group Old Mutual is making R4-billion worth of cover available to about 430 000 registered healthcare workers across South Africa, the group announced on April 8. Unlike traditional cover, the initiative offered to these professionals is neither a product nor a policy and no... 

Ramaphosa places Ndabeni-Abrahams on special leave for violating lockdown regulations

By: Sane Dhlamini     8th April 2020 President Cyril Ramaphosa has placed Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams on special leave for two months, one of which will be unpaid, for violating the regulations of the national lockdown amid the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. A recent social media... 

Ramaphosa places Ndabeni-Abrahams on special leave for violating lockdown regulations
Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams

Research reveals gap in Covid-19 funding for businesses in townships

By: Donna Slater     7th April 2020 The Covid-19 pandemic and the current lockdown are already having a devastating impact on South Africa’s economy, with informal and small businesses in townships likely to feel the brunt of the impact.   A study by postgraduate students at the University of Cape Town (UCT) and entrepreneurs from... 

Unemployment beneficiaries wait while Nedlac discussions progress

By: Donna Slater     7th April 2020 Many employers are waiting for greater clarity regarding unemployment benefits for their staff that have been temporarily laid off during the national lockdown, which is enforced from March 27 to April 16 to curb the spread of Covid-19, according to business law firm Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr (CDH).... 

Unemployment beneficiaries wait while Nedlac discussions progress
Gillian Lumb

Wits produces face shields for hospital staff

By: Simone Liedtke     6th April 2020 Teams at the University of Witwatersrand’s (Wits’) Digital Incubator at the Tshimologong Precinct, the School of Mechanical, Industrial and Aeronautical Engineering (MIA) along with the Transnet Centre of Systems Engineering (TCSE) and the Transnet Matlafatšo Centre (TMC), have come together to... 

Wits produces face shields for hospital staff

Digital tools emerge as key means to support rural teachers

By: Schalk Burger     3rd April 2020 Research has found that mobile messaging service WhatsApp can provide rural teachers with organisational support, serve as virtual communities of practice (VCoPs) and support skills and professional development, Stellenbosch University (SU) Life Sciences facilitator and SU Centre for Pedagogy... 

Schneider Electric academy develops smart energy management skills

By: Schalk Burger     3rd April 2020 As global power capacity is set to double by 2040, and with 80% more renewable sources than there are currently, Schnieder Electric is providing energy management training to meet the needs of heterogeneous and automated buildings and infrastructure, says Schneider Electric head of sustainability... 

Equipment supplier awarded contract to supply tool kits

3rd April 2020 The Colliery Training College (CTC) in Emalahleni has awarded industrial equipment supplier INDUSTRI Tools & Equipment the 2020 contract to supply tool kits, which are used during mining- and engineering-related skills training. “The CTC, initially established specifically for the mining sector,... 

Public servants wage deal on ice as unions move to declare dispute 

By: News24Wire      2nd April 2020 An increase in the wages of public servants – originally due to kick in on April 1, in terms of a wage agreement reached in 2018 – is still on ice after Finance Minister Tito Mboweni announced an ambitious plan in his Budget address to save some R160-billion in the state's wage bill over three... 

 Public servants wage deal on ice as unions move to declare dispute

UJ Makerspace 3D printing face shields for hospital staff

By: Donna Slater     2nd April 2020 The University of Johannesburg’s (UJ’s) three-dimensional (3D) innovation laboratory Makerspace has been mobilised to help in the fight against the spread of Covid-19 by producing face shields to be used by frontline hospital staff as cases of the virus continue to rise in South Africa, and... 

UJ Makerspace 3D printing face shields for hospital staff
The face shields made by UJ Makerspace laboratory

South African school group develops, 3D prints face shields to protect healthcare workers

By: Donna Slater     2nd April 2020 JSE-listed independent education provider Curro Holdings is assisting several healthcare organisations around the country by offering the services of its three-dimensional printers, as well as its staff, to aid in the printing of protective face shields for medical workers currently fighting... 

Nxesi urges sector-level applications for National Disaster Covid-19 benefit 

By: Simone Liedtke     31st March 2020 Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi announced on March 31 that applications for the National Disaster Covid-19 benefit, which had been put in place to mitigate the effects of lay-offs during the lockdown, would not be handled on an individual basis and would instead need to be submitted... 

Nxesi urges sector-level applications for National Disaster Covid-19 benefit
Photo by Creamer Media
Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi

SA adds 16 000 net jobs in fourth quarter of 2019, as part-time work grows

By: News24Wire      31st March 2020 Total employment in South Africa's non-agricultural formal sector grew by 16 000 between September and December 2019, Statistics SA announced on Tuesday in its latest Quarterly Employment Statistics bulletin. This is below the increase of 87 000 in the fourth quarter of 2018. While full-time... 

 SA adds 16 000 net jobs in fourth quarter of 2019, as part-time work grows

Covid-19 may exacerbate the abuse of power – Corruption Watch  

By: Sane Dhlamini     31st March 2020 Not-for-profit organisation Corruption Watch on Tuesday released its yearly corruption report with executive director David Lewis  saying South Africans should not expect corruption to lessen during the coronavirus pandemic. This year’s report is themed “The Writing is on the Wall” and shows... 

Covid-19 may exacerbate the abuse of power – Corruption Watch
Corruption Watch executive director, David Lewis

UCT welcomes R5m donation to help with Covid-19 crisis management

By: Donna Slater     30th March 2020 University of Cape Town (UCT) chancellor Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe has donated R5-million, on behalf of the Motsepe Foundation, to assist university students and staff with a multifaceted Covid-19 crisis management plan. To combat the virus, UCT ended the first term early on March 16, with five... 

UNTU calls for PPE for Transnet employees as iron ore line reopens

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     30th March 2020 The United National Transport Union (UNTU) has acknowledged the decision of Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe to reopen the iron ore rail line operated by State-owned Transnet. This will require Transnet employees from various divisions to be ready to report for duty from March... 

UNTU calls for PPE for Transnet employees as iron ore line reopens
Transnet

Solidarity Fund sets aside R100m to procure protective equipment for frontline health workers 

By: Terence Creamer     30th March 2020 The Solidarity Fund announced on March 30 that it would be using a portion of the R500-million raised during its first week of operations to facilitate the emergency procurement of the personal protective equipment – including five-million face masks – that was urgently required by public and... 

Solidarity Fund sets aside R100m to procure protective equipment for frontline health workers

Staying home most effective way to contain Covid-19 – Ramaphosa

By: Sane Dhlamini     30th March 2020 President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday said it was clear that the most effective way for a society to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus is for the population to remain at home and physically isolated from each other for at least several weeks. As South Africa enters day 4 of its national... 

Staying home most effective way to contain Covid-19 – Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Seifsa encourages re-industrialisation, development of artisans

By: Donna Slater     30th March 2020 The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) says that while South Africa remains a dual economy with one of the highest levels of inequality in the world, part of addressing the unemployment challenge can be tackled through re-industrialisation of its economy.... 

KZN MEC says dept has adopted zero tolerance on price hiking amid lockdown

By: Sane Dhlamini     27th March 2020 KwaZulu-Natal economic development, tourism and environmental affairs MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube says her department  is in communication with the management of Spar KZN with the view of terminating contracts of franchise owners who are involved in price hiking. This follows consumer complaints that... 

KZN MEC says dept has adopted zero tolerance on price hiking amid lockdown
KZN MEC for EDTEA Nomusa Dube-Ncube

Company transforming amid difficulties

By: Mamaili Mamaila     27th March 2020 JSE-listed sugar producer Tongaat Hulett is striving to reconstruct its business to be innovative, resilient and cost effective. 

Company transforming  amid difficulties
TRANSFORMATION IN SIGHT The three main shareholders in Uzinzo hold 65%

Automotive industry transformation focused on future of mobility

By: Schalk Burger     27th March 2020 Automotive industry transformation initiatives, as captured in the Automotive Masterplan 2035, are aimed at radically transforming the industry to meet the future demands of human mobility, in addition to sustaining and growing the industry’s economic outputs and associated socioeconomic... 

Automotive industry transformation focused on future of mobility
MIKE MABASA There is significant scope for cooperation on skills development, value-chain transformation and supplier development to ensure the sustainability of the automotive industry

Exports can support greater local automotive development

By: Schalk Burger     27th March 2020 Local economic headwinds may potentially be offset by increasing exports under the African Continental Free Trade Area, says industry body National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA) CEO Mike Mabasa. The South African automotive industry currently exports to 155... 

Exports can support greater local automotive development
Photo by Donna Slater
QUALITY WORK Ensuring that buyers gain sufficient value and quality of components and services from the value chain drive demand and local manufacturing

SA automotive manufacturing long-term planning, growth supported by policy

By: Schalk Burger     27th March 2020 The National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers (NAACAM) has been part of the fabric of the South African automotive manufacturing landscape for over 40 years. In that time the sector has evolved from a highly protected, inward-focused production base that exclusively... 

UP professor seconded to Presidency to help track and fight Covid-19

By: Donna Slater     26th March 2020 A professor from the University of Pretoria (UP), Willem Fourie, has been seconded to the South African Presidency to support the government in its social and economic response to the Covid-19 pandemic. In partnership with the South African tech talent marketplace OfferZen, Fourie will assist... 

Motshekga says no date set yet for schools reopening 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     26th March 2020 Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga on March 26 assured South Africans that pupils would catch up on all lost work once schools reopen. Learners had not been in school since the President declared an emergency shutdown of schools, effective March 18.  

Motshekga says no date set yet for schools reopening
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga

Saice encourages students to take up free online classes from Khan Academy during lockdown

By: Donna Slater     26th March 2020 The South African Institute of Civil Engineers (Saice) encourages students to take up free online lessons from nonprofit educational organisation the Khan Academy, in light of many students being homebound for at least 21 days under the national lockdown regulations aimed at impeding the spread... 

Working from home can be just as productive – professor

By: Marleny Arnoldi     26th March 2020 As South Africans face the reality of a 21-day lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus, working from home has become the “new normal” overnight, and if its properly managed, people can be just as productive as being in the office. So says University of Stellenbosch Business School... 

Call for polymer, plastics industries to be declared essential as lockdown looms

By: Donna Slater     25th March 2020 South African plastics industry representative organisation Plastics SA has called on government to reclassify some sectors within the broader plastics industry as essential service providers owing to its contribution to packaging essential items during the upcoming 21-day national lockdown.... 

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