With the ongoing strike President Mbeki has wisely decided to send his recommended +50% hike in salaray back to the * deep breath * Independent Commission for the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers. I guess it’s hard to justify offering workers a 7.25% raise when you’re giving yourself an extra 500K a year.
Once the strike is over I assume the offer (or one close to it) will be sneaked back in quietly.
And speaking of strikes it seems workers at Eskom may soon be going on strike as well. But that is alright because Eskom has been running so smooth lately that I’m sure it will have no effect. Right? Right
When I saw this headline I initially thought it was (yet another) typo on IOL: The workers want their liver back!. I assumed they had meant ‘lives’ for ‘liver’, but on clicking the link it became clear that striking hospital workers were in fact demanding the return of Minister of Health Manto Tshabala-Msimang’s new transplanted liver.
“The workers want their liver back!” “Dr Beetroot, Garlic we gave yo our liver with love, now you we demand it back by force,” read some of the placards on show from the marchers who included municipal workers and other Cosatu affiliates.
“Manto rose from grave to talk sh*t”, read yet another poster.
Western Cape Transport and Public Works MEC Marius Fransman has proposed a moratorium on employment equity in order to lure back skilled white expats to the Western Cape. While I’m sure many will applaud this proposal the fact is that it’s not going to work.
Most skilled South Africans who leave don’t do it because of employment equity, they do so either to earn more money, for better employment opportunities in their field or for travel. The growing number of black South Africans seeking work opportunities out of the country is a testament to the lure of working overseas. Other countries, especially Commonwealth countries, face the same difficulty of losing skilled workers to London and Europe. There are probably as many Australians as South Africans in the UK but I don’t think they left Australia due to employment equity back home.Update: Manual stands firm in equity debate
Finance Minister Trevor Manuel on Thursday poured cold water on calls for a change to affirmative action and the country’s employment equity law.
However he does admit that current law is not being implemented correctly
It is there. In its practice it frequently is very poorly used. It is sadly abused, but it is there and the intent of the Act is abundantly clear.
China is pursuing a mutually beneficial relationship with Africa, in contrast to the West’s colonial exploitation of the continent
It’s tough to take that at face value when cheap Chinese imports made with near slave labour has already put at a minimum 40 000 South African textile workers out of job.
Let’s be clear here. If China could they would strip mine Africa bare. Every country on this planet makes sure their own interests are taken care of first and in China’s case it’s interests are getting cheap resources so they can continue to produce cheap goods and then sell them back to us.
You read that headline right, I almost spat out my mid-morning sarmie on reading this story:Affirmative action will decline, predicts ANC
Affirmative action is not here to stay – that is if the African National Congress is to be believed.
Although the party does not moot a sunset clause for the policy, it does acknowledge in its draft strategy and tactics document that the need for affirmative action “will decline in the same measure as all centres of power and influence become broadly representative of the country’s demographics”.
I was getting all excited till I got to that last sentence. So basically as the representation of people in the formal economy begins to represent the makeup of the population the need for affirmative action will disappear. Which is basically a statement saying nothing much is going to change at the moment considering some areas of the formal economy. How many black CA’s do we have in SA? More than 500?. It seems AA will be around for a while longer.
Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlana suggested a unique solution to the crime problem. Conscript the youth!
The worrying trend whereby our youths are involved in the current spate of armed robberies and other related violent crimes that are ravaging our country could be reversed once they join the army.
Only one small problem. Once the youth leave their 2 years learning to kill (which is the primary aim of the army right?) and go back to their impoverished homes what exactly are they going to do? The military execution and usage of assault weapons during cash-in-transit heists have shown that ex-soldiers/cadres aren’t exactly averse to returning to a crime.Update: Claims against SANDF set to cost taxpayers
Hundreds of South African soldiers have been accused of killing, torturing and assaulting the very people they are supposed to protect – and taxpayers might have to fork out almost a billion rands in civil claims.
Although I’ve never publicised it here, one of my pet theories about BEE is that it will actually turn out to be beneficial for whites because it will force them to be more entrepeneurial and ultimately result in whites owning and running even more businesses in SA. And it looks like that is what could be happening. According to recently released reports the number of white males who are self employed has increased from 21.1% in 2001 to 25.5% today. For white woman the number is even better going from 8.8% to 14.7%.
It’s ironic that the scheme designed to improve the financial and economic participation of a sector of society winds up promoting participation of a completely different sector. The fact is that this should have been expected. History is rife with examples of a certain group of people being excluded from some economic activity only for them to go and become highly successful in another area.As is the rule of small business not every attempt to start a small business is successful however the more people you have from a particular sector attempting to be entrepeneurs the more people from that sector will eventually succeed. Economist Sampie Terreblanche (author of ‘A History of Inequality in South Africa’) says that for white males:
I wonder if the past 12 years have not been the best in their entire history.
In January we wrote that government was considering having a look at the country’s labour laws, in order to try and make the country more competitive with cheap manufacturers like China and so prevent China from almost demolishing other industries of ours besides the clothing and textile sector. Since then we haven’t heard much about it and with the government having successfully negotiated with China to curb textile imports into SA it looked like it might be on the back burner.
However two new reports released this week have highlighted the fact that SA is still not the easiest place in the world to do business. Despite being the only African country in the top 30 of the World Bank ‘Doing Business 2007’ report, SA slipped a place to 29th since last year. While SA’s rigid labour laws had good intentions, namely to protect vulnerable workers who under the Apartheid government were ritually abused, the consequences have meant that employers are now hesitant to hire new workers out of fear that they may never be able to get rid of them.
The report also noted that the red tape and regulations for small business are quiet onerous. SMME has long been seen as the true engine of economic growth in SA, and any limit on the growth of of small business can have negative consequences for the economy.
The report by the world bank also listed African countries that have made progress in making it easier for it’s citizens to create and operate businesses. South Africa was not mentioned.
You read that headline right. The entire current labour court system may be ruled unconstitutional. It seems that the manner in which judges are appointed to the labour court, specifcally the input of NEDLAC and the fact that unlike other judges labour court judges only receive their assignments for 10 years, intereferes with the independence of the judiciary.
The issue of labour has always been a delicate issue in South Africa. Which is why there should be some concern that every single judgement passed in the labour court is now in question and could be legally challenged throwing the labour courts into complete chaos. While I’m sure that the Justice Dept and the Constitutional Court won’t allow every ruling to be challenged the uncertainty this creates can not be good, for workers and for business.
I wonder if anyone in government is feeling a little bit embarassed that they had to kindly ask China to stop kicking our behind in the textile industry. China has now promised to limit it’s textile exports to South Africa.
To me this is a stop gap measure that probably won’t do much to help our industry. While this agreement limits imports into South Africa it does not help local textile producers who wish to export to other countries and who will have to compete against China in foreign markets. Industry and unions say this provides a chance for SA to upgrade it’s textile factories and provide better training for it’s workers, except that China is probably doing the exact same thing.
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