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Education & Skills Development News

Solidarity issues letter of demand to stop pension funds going to Eskom

By: Donna Slater     4th June 2020 With a letter of demand addressed to the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) and the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), labour union Solidarity instituted legal steps to stop the exchange of Eskom debt for Eskom shares, on June 4. In doing so, Solidarity demands that plans by the PIC to... 

WEF, Prince of Wales launch Great Reset initiative to drive global change  

By: Simone Liedtke     4th June 2020 With the Covid-19 pandemic having exposed various existing societal fault lines and laid bare a fundamental lack of social cohesion, fairness, inclusion and equality, the World Economic Forum (WEF) on June 3 announced the launch of its Great Reset initiative. Drawing from the vision and vast... 

Gauteng claims majority of UIF Covid-19 benefit

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     3rd June 2020 Of the R16.5-billion disbursed by the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) as part of the Covid-19 temporary employer/employee relief scheme (TERS) benefits payment, almost half has gone to Gauteng, benefitting 1.5-million of the 3.46-million workers who have been beneficiaries. In monetary terms,... 

Covid-19 hampers Wits platinum recycling laboratory

By: Donna Slater     3rd June 2020 The prevailing Covid-19 pandemic has brought research and innovations into recycling platinum-group metals (PGMs) from disused catalytic converts, led by two University of Witwatersrand (Wits) MSc graduates Collins Saguru and Muofhe Singo, to a near standstill. The duo have ventured into the... 

Covid-19 hampers Wits platinum recycling laboratory
Collins Saguru

SAHRC keeps close eye on fair school opening practices

By: Marleny Arnoldi     3rd June 2020 The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) plans to approach the High Court to interdict the Western Cape Education Department from continuing with teaching this week. This follows after schools in the province reopened for Grades 7 and 12 on June 1, despite an announcement by Basic... 

SA banks ready to assist distressed businesses amid Covid-19 pandemic

By: Sane Dhlamini     3rd June 2020 Global law firm DLA Piper, which has advised the Banking Association South Africa and South Africa’s biggest banks on the country’s loan guarantee scheme, has announced that the banks are ready to receive loan applications from businesses impacted by the coronavirus. The loan scheme, which was... 

SA banks ready to assist distressed businesses amid Covid-19 pandemic

United Steel condemns unnecessary protest at old Metso steel mill

By: Marleny Arnoldi     2nd June 2020 International metals and minerals company United Steel, a division of United Heavy Industries, has disassociated itself from allegations that jobs are up for sale at its steel mill, and condemned the protest action at the site, in Mandeni, KwaZulu-Natal, on June 1. The company recently acquired... 

Bowmans into Malawi, Zambia amid pandemic

By: Sane Dhlamini     1st June 2020 Law firm Bowmans has expanded its services to Malawi and Zambia despite the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic that is crippling the world economy. The announcement comes less than a year after it announced it was opening a new office in Mauritius and entering into an alliance with Assefa &... 

Bowmans into Malawi, Zambia amid pandemic

NPA gets two new deputy national directors   

By: Sane Dhlamini     1st June 2020 President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed Advocates Ouma Rasethaba and Rodney de Kock as Deputy National Directors of Public Prosecutions with effect from June 1. Advocate Mthunzi Mhaga has also been appointed Special Director of Public Prosecutions. The appointments come following consultations... 

NPA gets two new deputy national directors
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Coronavirus: Employees can refuse to return to work if they feel unsafe – labour minister

By: News24Wire      29th May 2020 Employees have a right to refuse to return to work next month if they have a "reasonable belief" their employers have not put in place required precautions against the spread of Covid-19 in the workplace, according to Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi. Nxesi was one of several ministers... 

 Coronavirus: Employees can refuse to return to work if they feel unsafe – labour minister
Photo by Creamer Media
Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi

Paediatric experts say kids are at low risk of contracting, spreading Covid-19

By: Marleny Arnoldi     29th May 2020 Paediatric experts, who serve on an advisory subcommittee to the Department of Basic Education, on May 29 discussed the risks for schoolgoing children to contract and spread Covid-19. A virtual seminar hosted by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) provided evidence-based information about... 

Paediatric experts say kids are at low risk of contracting, spreading Covid-19

Department commends UIF's efforts

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     29th May 2020 The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) is continuing to make a difference to the lives of many people in South Africa, with timely cash injections, despite the pandemic continuing to impact on many lives, the Department of Employment and Labour (DEL) said in a statement on May 29. Since the... 

Leasehold Programme can contribute to smallholder agricultural development after lockdown

By: Schalk Burger     29th May 2020 The Leasehold Programme – a collaborative partnership between the Jobs Fund, communities and sugar miller Tongaat Hulett – is expected to be able to support agricultural development of smallholder farmers. The 2014 Sugarcane Development Initiative, which is a public-private partnership between... 

Protocol to ensure safety on construction sites

By: Donna Slater     29th May 2020 The Construction Management Foundation (CMF) welcomes President Cyril Ramaphosa’s reopening of all construction and infrastructure works under Alert Level 3 on the Risk Adjusted Strategy that will commence on June 1 as a positive step in helping to reinvigorate the construction sector. The... 

PRASA administrator announces new permanent executive appointments

By: Simone Liedtke     29th May 2020 Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) administrator Bongisizwe Mpondo on May 29 announced new permanent executive appointments to the State-owned rail entity. The appointments are the culmination of a rigorous process, overseen by external recruitment agencies, as well as experts in... 

Agility needed in sector transformation

By: Darren Parker     29th May 2020 The world is rapidly changing, with the onslaught of Covid-19 catalysing and concentrating the drivers behind this change. Consequently, manufacturers need to be agile in adapting their systems and processes, remain lean and use digital enablers in a digital transformation to remain relevant and... 

Agility needed in  sector transformation
CONNECTING THE DOTS Digitalisation leads to connected plants and connected supply chains, which provides immediate benefits of reliability, stability, immediacy and agility

Health and safety burden shifts onto firms as Level 3 opens way for big resumption of economic activity 

By: Terence Creamer     28th May 2020 The nationwide transition from lockdown Level 4 to Level 3 on June 1 would facilitate the return-to-work of almost eight-million more South Africans than had hitherto been allowed to do so, Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel said on Thursday. He cautioned, however, that the... 

Health and safety burden shifts onto firms as Level 3 opens way for big resumption of economic activity
Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel

Africa's debt burden to rise from Covid-19 capital disinvestments

By: Donna Slater     28th May 2020 As a result of the economic impact of Covid-19, there have been significant outflows of capital from emerging markets, many in Africa, thus far this year, as risk appetite weakens significantly and capital is redirected into safe haven assets, like gold, reports insurance company Alexander Forbes... 

Barloworld warns of group-wide retrenchments

By: Marleny Arnoldi     28th May 2020 JSE-listed industrial group Barloworld has decided to institute group-wide retrenchments, in light of foreseeable Covid-19 challenges on its operations. The company expects the retrenchment processes to be completed by the end of the current financial year, with significant staff complement... 

Barloworld warns of group-wide retrenchments

Entries for Sasol Business Accelerator programme now open

By: Donna Slater     28th May 2020 Petrochemicals and chemicals manufacturer Sasol reports that it has opened entries for small, medium-sized and microenterprises (SMMEs) in the manufacturing, engineering services and recyclables sectors to join its Sasol Business Accelerator (SBA) programme. Interested companies must be based in... 

Engineering training hub supports undergraduates to develop community-focused solutions

By: Schalk Burger     28th May 2020 A community of enthusiastic hobbyists want to assist in creating solutions to help flatten the Covid-19 infection curve and the University of Johannesburg electrical and mechanical engineering training hub Resolution Circle is focusing on harnessing this and giving local hobbyists a platform to... 

UIF apologises for delay in capturing May claims

By: Simone Liedtke     27th May 2020 The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) has apologised for the break in its network which has affected plans to capture the May Covid-19 Temporary Employer-Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) online applications. The system, which has been undergoing test runs since last week, was scheduled to go live on... 

More than one in six youth out of work owing to Covid-19 − ILO

By: Simone Liedtke     27th May 2020 More than one in six young people have stopped working since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, while those who remain employed have seen their working hours cut by, on average, 23%, says the International Labour Organisation (ILO). According to a report, titled 'ILO Monitor: Covid-19 and the... 

More than one in six youth out of work owing to Covid-19 − ILO

NWU comes up with creative solution to screen pupils for Covid-19 using cellphones

By: News24Wire      27th May 2020 In the times in which we currently find ourselves, adequate healthcare and accompanying screening are of the utmost importance to limit the spread of the coronavirus. As the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, announced that Grade 7 and Grade 12 pupils will be able to return to schools... 

NWU comes up with creative solution to screen pupils for Covid-19 using cellphones

SA schools make progress in getting ready to reopen on June 1 - education department

By: African News Agency      26th May 2020 South African schools are making progress in preparations to reopen on June 1 after shutting down due to the Covid-19 outbreak, although some have not yet received their safety material, the department of education said on Tuesday. In a statement, the department said the council of education... 

 SA schools make progress in getting ready to reopen on June 1 - education department
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga

Alcohol industry submits safety protocol proposals to govt

By: Simone Liedtke     25th May 2020 The South African alcohol industry, which employes more than one-million people across the value chain, has submitted various proposals, including safety protocols for the manufacturing, distribution and trading of alcohol, to the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC). South... 

AMCU calls for testing of all employees at affiliated workplaces 

By: Donna Slater     25th May 2020 The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) has again called on employers to test all employees for Covid-19 as the pandemic continues to spread across South Africa. AMCU notes that while it has consistently called for the testing of all workers, the official stance of... 

Regenesys pledges R100m to lower tuition fees during lockdown

By: Donna Slater     22nd May 2020 Regenesys Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Regenesys Business School, on May 22 launched a Covid-19 lockdown education initiative with a R100-million pledge, which will be used to reduce course fees by 60%. Regenesys Foundation enabled Regenesys Business School to make the pledge.  

University of Pretoria appoints interim dean for GIBS

By: Marleny Arnoldi     22nd May 2020 The University of Pretoria (UP) has appointed senior lecturer and executive director of faculty Dr Morris Mthombeni as interim dean of the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS), effective July 1. Mthombeni will fulfil this role until such time that a permanent dean is appointed following... 

University of Pretoria appoints interim dean for GIBS
University of Pretoria executive director of faculty Dr Morris Mthombeni

Construction sector survival requires fresh approach

By: Mamaili Mamaila     22nd May 2020 The survival of the construction industry will depend on the willingness and ability of individuals and organisations to adapt to a new way of working, as well government’s commitment to address the threats highlighted by the sector, University of Pretoria (UP) Graduate School of Technology... 

Construction sector survival requires fresh approach
DECISIVE ACTION For the construction industry to thrive, opportunism will need to be dealt with immediately and decisively

Pandemic, economic challenges to shape industry direction

By: Mamaili Mamaila     22nd May 2020 Industry trends are likely to take a new direction because of the global Covid-19 pandemic and a severely constrained local economy, says steel and value-added steel products merchandiser and distributor Macsteel. 

Pandemic, economic challenges to shape industry direction
MIKE BENFIELD The construction and steel sectors – including the larger manufacturing industry – are “hand-in-glove”

Built-environment growth a focus for regulator

By: Mamaili Mamaila     22nd May 2020 The National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS) has its sights set on accelerating growth in and strengthening its partnerships with the construction sector. 

Built-environment growth a focus for regulator
TOWING THE LINE The National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications’ National Building Regulations division assists with the upkeep of the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act

Expert enhances skills

By: Mamaili Mamaila     22nd May 2020 Demolition expert Jet Demolition has made a significant investment in developing and retaining an exclusive skills base through the retention of full-time, long-term employees. 

Expert enhances skills
KIND OF A BIG DEAL The Bank of Lisbon building implosion on November 24 2019 is the tallest reinforced concrete-frame building ever imploded by Jet Demolition

Pandemic heightens existing construction sector woes

By: Mamaili Mamaila     22nd May 2020 Challenges in the construction sector will continue to prevail if construction sites remain closed, owing to South Africa’s national lockdown, says Association of South African Quantity Surveyors (ASAQS) president Christelle Bown. 

Pandemic heightens existing construction sector woes
CHRISTELLE BOWN It is important to address the difficulties caused by the onerous conditions prescribed when tendering for professional services

Lifting of cigarette sale prohibition will improve tobacco farming economics

By: Donna Slater     21st May 2020 If the ban on cigarette sales is lifted, tobacco farmers supported by the Emerging Farmer Initiative will benefit enormously, enabling them to sell and duly process crops that have already been harvested, says agricultural services company Afgri. The organisation notes that permitting cigarettes... 

CFOs in Africa take steps to provide safe working environments for their employees

By: Donna Slater     21st May 2020 As governments in Africa ease lockdown restrictions and reopen local economies, CFOs are focusing on plans to provide a safe working environment for their employees and ensure that this safety can be sustained throughout the Covid-19 crisis and recovery. This deduction comes from the latest 'the... 

CFOs in Africa take steps to provide safe working environments for their employees
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
PwC Africa CEO Dion Shango

Masondo reiterates projections of economic downturn, increased demand on health services

By: Simone Liedtke     21st May 2020 While difficult to predict what the South African economy will look like post-Covid-19, Deputy Finance Minister Dr David Masondo has warned that citizens can expect a 6% contraction in economic growth this year, alongside an increased demand on health services and infrastructure. Speaking during... 

Masondo reiterates projections of economic downturn, increased demand on health services
Photo by Screenshot taken during webinar by Creamer Media's Simone Liedtke
Deputy Finance Minister Dr David Masondo
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