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SA Labour News

Pandor: Not enough practicing engineers in SA

artisan2Despite the high number of students enrolling in engineering each year not enough of them went on to work in the industry, Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor said on Monday.  Around 1,500 BSc Eng and B Eng students graduated from the country's universities yearly, but only half practised as engineers.  "A lot of them go on to work in banks and other financial institutes.  In any case, we need to quadruple the number of graduates, so that we have a larger pool to draw from," Pandor indicated.  She was speaking at the launch of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation Africa engineering week at the University of Johannesburg.  "The lack of engineering capacity hampers South African development, resulting in a decline in the labour market, a decrease in the contribution of the agriculture and mining sectors to [the gross domestic product], and an increase in demand on the engineers with manufacturing and services-related technologies," she said.  Pandor pointed out that there was a link between engineering infrastructure and economic growth.

  • Based on a report at Fin24

Public Protector must stop 'attacking ANC': Sadtu

sadtu90Public Protector Thuli Madonsela must stop using her office to "attack the ANC", the SA Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu) said on Monday.  "The actions of advocate Thuli Madonsela are clear systematic signs planned to create anarchy and divisions within our society and the ANC in particular.  We have continued to observe leakages coming from her office including calling press conferences to engage with government when guidelines are clear as to where she needs to account to," Sadtu's national executive committee (NEC) said in a statement.  Last week, Madonsela called for the end to the mudslinging between her office and the ANC.  She was responding to a barrage of criticism emanating from the ANC, following the leaking of a letter she had written to President Jacob Zuma last week about the R246 million spent on upgrades at his private Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal.  Thereafter, ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe publicly criticised her and suggested she was working with Julius Malema's Economic Freedom Fighters.

  • Based on a report at Times Live
  • Read Sadtu’s statement on the outcomes of its NEC meeting at Times Live

Post Office sacks 473 casual workers on strike

postoffice thumb100 Govan Whittles reports that the South African Post Office (Sapo) has confirmed that it has dismissed 473 casual workers who have been on strike for three weeks.  The employees have been calling on management to employ them permanently and they were sacked after what Sapo says was a campaign of violence and intimidation.  Sapo indicated that it was currently in the process of permanently employing 900 casual workers, but was forced to dismiss the 473 casuals due to escalating incidents of violence.  The entrance to the Tshwane Distribution Centre was blocked during the strike action and other employees have been intimidated.  The strike has caused severe delays in the delivery of mail from the Tshwane and East Rand distribution centres.  Seemingly, the workers are not represented by any union and it is unclear whether or not they will appeal their dismissals.  Sapo says postal delays are likely to continue until the workers are replaced.

  • This short report is at EWN

Western Cape MEC calls on Parliament to suspend ‘impractical’ immigration laws for a year

westerncape thumb medium80 80Bekezela Phakathi reports that Western Cape economic opportunities MEC, Alan Winde, has called on Parliament to suspend the new immigration regulations for a period of 12 months until a regulatory impact assessment has been conducted.  On Monday, at the start of Tourism Month, he handed over a petition to Parliament, asking it to suspend the controversial regulations, which he said would hurt the economy, especially the tourism sector.  Tourism contributes about 10% to the Western Cape’s gross domestic product.  Winde said the regulations were impractical, irrational and unlawful.  Issued earlier this year, they provide, among other things, that visa applications need to be made by applicants in person.  They also stipulate that people needing to change the status of their visa from short-stay to long-stay will not be able to do so in South Africa, but only at embassies abroad.  The City of Cape Town has also been lobbying the Home Affairs Department to relax the regulations, saying that a more open and free visa regime was integral to securing investment.  But these bids to convince the government to reconsider the new regulations look unlikely to succeed.  Last week, Deputy Home Affairs Minister Fatima Chohan told Parliament that the new visa regime was necessary to protect the country’s borders, and the department had no plans to review them.  DA home affairs spokesman Haniff Hoosen said on Monday that at their core the regulations conveyed an unfriendly, unwelcoming message to foreigners who wished to live here, do business here or move here to live with South Africans they might love.

  • Read more at BDLive
  • See too, 'New visa laws disastrous', at EWN

Tembisa Hospital unsafe for staff

healthcareNomaswazi Nkosi writes that the kind of violent behaviour that doctors and nurses at Tembisa Hospital encounter daily from rude and unruly patients are death threats, being attacked with chairs and being slapped.  Some (unnamed) health workers at the hospital said they feared going to work because of the treatment and threats they received from patients and their relatives.  Things are so bad that some even carry peppers sprays to work.  This article details how a nurse was assaulted by a woman who had brought her child in for a checkup.  Last year, a doctor was hit with a chair by a patient and he sustained severe shoulder injuries and was away from work for several months.  Recently, a male health worker was slapped repeatedly by a patient, but nothing was done.  A nurse, who has since resigned, was allegedly threatened by a male patient who did not want to follow instructions.  The nurse was later diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.  The health workers at Tembisa said the least management could do was to improve safety.  A hospital spokesperson said security personnel were deployed at all hospital entrances and exits as well as in other critical areas.  He said incidents have declined drastically since security was strengthened and that the hospital was working closely with the police.  A spokesperson for the Democratic Nursing Association of SA (Denosa) said hospital safety was a problem across the country and needed to be addressed.

  • Based on a report on page 2 of Sowetan of 1 September 2014