JOHANNESBURG – The SOUTH AFRICAN Broadcasting Corporation says it plans to invoke the Labour Relations Act to retrench hundreds of workers to cut costs.
However, SABC News says an urgent request by the National Assembly Communications Committee has secured approval to call the SABC Board before Parliament.
It says the Chairperson of Committees, CEDRIC FROLICK, has confirmed the meeting will take place next week.
It quotes him as saying he has agreed to the request of the Communications Committee to call the SABC Board for an urgent meeting this coming TUESDAY.
Mr FROLICK says the only outstanding thing is the approval of the Chief Whip, because lawmakers are currently in their constituencies for the next TWO weeks.
The proposed talks come after the public broadcaster revealed intentions to use Section 189 of the Labour Relations Act to lay off a large number of employees as a cost cutting measure.
Communications Committee Chairperson HUMPHREY MAXEGWANA says they want the SABC Board to present the turnaround strategy for the public broadcaster.
Yet, he says the Committee only learnt about the retrenchments through the media – while the Board has not even presented its turnaround strategy as demanded.
ONE news report says Communications Minister NOMVULA MOKONYANE has already condemned the SABC planned retrenchments, despite its cash-flow problems.
The SOUTH AFRICAN national broadcaster, employing FOUR-THOUSAND workers and an annual salary bill of THREE-POINT-ONE-BILLION rand, reportedly recorded a loss of 622-MILLION rand last year./Sabanews/cam
EASTERN CAPE – President CYRIL RAMAPHOSA of SOUTH AFRICA has paid a glowing tribute to the late founding democratic President NELSON MANDELA.
He says MADIBA understood pure militancy was not enough to achieve liberation in SOUTH AFRICA, but good organisation and discipline was also required.
President RAMAPHOSA says the late former Head of State was a true revolutionary who would be highly aggrieved to see racism rearing its ugly head in the SADC country and the world over.
SABC News says he has addressed delegates to the 100TH Anniversary Commemoration of the late MANDELA’s birthday today (WEDNESDAY) at MVEZO, in the EASTERN CAPE.
It quotes President RAMAPHOSA as saying MADIBA, who would have turned 100 today, would be happy to see no AFRICAN child is denied tertiary education due to lack of fees.
Celebrations have been taking place around the country, with the main event at MVEZO where former presidents KGALEMA MOTLANTHE and JACOB ZUMA also sent messages of support.
SABC News also quotes President RAMAPHOSA as saying the late MANDELA further understood the need for introspection and reflection, while acknowledging his own failings.
He says SOUTH AFRICANS should speak against the degeneration of MADIBA’s values of non-racialism and selflessness; because had he lived to see today, the late icon would have been worried at the incidents of racism characterising the country.
President RAMAPHOSA has also strongly condemned people who often call the late former Head of State a sell-out, like in the past when some in the ANC and others including EFF Leader JULIUS MALEMA said MADIBA sold out in the revolution.
Meanwhile, former UNITED STATES President BARACK OBAMA has hosted a youth leadership project as Archbishop DESMOND TUTU led emotional tributes to the late anti-apartheid icon.
The world community celebrates the birthday of the late MANDELA on 18 JULY each year with charitable works, and the NELSON MANDELA Foundation has called for people to take action and inspire change in his name on the centenary year.
SABC News says Former President OBAMA has addressed the 200 young people attending the leadership course he has arranged in the commercial capital, JOHANNESBURG.
Mr OBAMA says the late MANDELA had been a key inspiration in his life; and while most people around the world think of MADIBA as a white-haired old man, they do not recall he started as a very young man trying to liberate his country.
SABC News says the former AMERICAN Leader on TUESDAY addressed a crowd of 15-THOUSAND at a cricket stadium, recalling the wave of hope that washed through hearts worldwide when MADIBA left prison in 1990.
Mr OBAMA says through his sacrifice and unwavering leadership and, perhaps most of all, through his moral example, the late MANDELA came to embody the universal aspirations of dispossessed people.
Retired Archbishop DESMOND TUTU, 86 this year, has also recalled fond memories of his fellow campaigner against white minority rule and fellow NOBEL Peace Prize winner.
He says the most extraordinary thing about MADIBA was his ordinariness, just a particularly fine example of humanity.
SABC News says Retired Archbishop TUTU has sent a video message saying the principles on which the late MANDELA led his life are universal principles of love, fairness, and respect of others – built on the understanding of the weaknesses that all people share.
It says he has recalled MADIBA’s willingness to apologise when wrong, and laughed as he remembered the TWO used to tease each other over MANDELA’s famous colourful shirts and TUTU’s purple clerical robes.
The national broadcaster says the current SOUTH AFRICAN President, a trainee of the late MANDELA who took office this year, has pledged to mark MANDELA 100 by donating HALF his salary to charity, and calls on others to do the same./Sabanews/cam
RANDBURG – The BLACK FIRST LAND FIRST, BLF Party in SOUTH AFRICA is at loggerheads with a powerful AFRIKANER minority group in the country, AFRI-FORUM.
The BLF is described as a Pan-AFRICANIST and revolutionary socialist political party founded in 2015 by ANDILE MNGXITAMA after his expulsion from the ECONOMIC FREEDOM FIGHTERS, also a breakaway from the ruling ANC.
On the other hand, AFRI-FORUM is a group linked to the SOLIDARITY trade union and set up in 2006 to encourage engagement of AFRIKANERS as well as other minorities with the rest of the public.
Available information says SOLIDARITY is a trade union within the CHRISTIAN tradition of unionism, unlike the majority of other SOUTH AFRICAN trade unions with socialist ideologies.
The group, set up in 1902, has reportedly union positioned itself as a vehicle for minorities in the country to have their voices heard, with its membership being mainly, but not exclusively, AFRIKANERS.
SABC says the BLACK FIRST LAND FIRST has launched a fierce attack on AFRIFORUM for reviving a culpable homicide case against son of former President JACOB ZUMA, DUDUZANE.
The broadcaster says Mr ZUMA has made a brief appearance this week at the RANDBURG Magistrate’s Court on the case linked to a collision between his luxury vehicle and a minibus taxi in 2014.
It says the National Prosecuting Authority in 2015 decided not to prosecute the young ZUMA, but AFRI-FORUM and Former Prosecutor GERRIE NEL had other thoughts.
SABC News says he announced his group intended to pursue a private prosecution against DUDUZANE ZUMA, and the Prosecuting Authority reversed that decision.
It quotes BLF Party Deputy President ZANELE LWANE as alleging a group of extremists, which he says should be banned in the democratic SOUTH AFRICA, has revived the case.
She also accuses AFRI-FORUM of fighting to see black people fighting, saying they have never seen a single case where AFRI-FORUM holds other white people who kill blacks day and night to account.
Mr LWANE says just because DUDUZANE ZUMA happens to be the son of a former black president, then he should be demonized, and his dignity should be stripped off.
The SOUTH AFRICAN politician says such view is really unfair and they are demonstrating in solidarity because when AFRI-FORUM are done with Mr ZUMA, the rest of them are next./Sabanews/cam
CAPE TOWN – The MUSLIM Judicial Council in SOUTH AFRICA says it is concerned about what seems to be the targeting of MUSLIM businessmen in the coastal city of CAPE TOWN.
SABC News says the group has called for an urgent meeting to discuss the issue following the alleged abduction of a prominent trader, LIYAQAT PARKER.
It says the founding member of the FOODPROP Group” was allegedly snatched outside his business premises this MONDAY in PAROW.
Suspected assailants allegedly abducted the 65-year-old dealer at gunpoint at N-ONE City GOODWOOD, and Police say they believe he was driving into the basement parking when it happened.
The suspects forced a security guard into a toilet at gunpoint when they snatched Mr PARKER, the founding member of the FOODPROP Group that owns the FOODWORLD chain of supermarkets.
SABC News says the CAPE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE has condemned what it says appears to be a developing trend, after another prominent businessman was kidnapped outside his business ONE year ago in WOODSTOCK.
It says the CAPE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE has called on business people to be more vigilant.
Chamber President JANINE MYBURGH says an increase in such incidents may deter investments.
The MUSLIM Judicial Council has appealed for the safe return of Mr PARKER, while Council Sheikh RIAD FATAAR wants to meet with the Police to discuss the matter.
He says there is a feeling that MUSLIM businessmen are targeted and generally in SOUTH AFRICA they all feel scared for what is happening in terms of the violence out there.
The national broadcaster says the PARKER family has declined an interview, but it has appealed to the alleged captors to release him unharmed.
SOUTH AFRICAN Police say their investigations into the suspected abduction of the MUSLIM businessman are at a sensitive stage and they cannot comment at the moment.
The Global Peace Index says SOUTH AFRICA ranks number 123 out of 163 most peaceful countries and districts measured in the world, which is at the lower-end of the scale but still far from war-torn regions like IRAQ and SYRIA./Sabanews/cam
JOHANNESBURG – The World Health Organisation says viral hepatitis is increasingly becoming the leading cause of death in the world.
SABC News quotes the TB-HIV Care Association Strategic Advisor as saying hepatitis is a silent killer because patients often do not know they are infected until it is too late.
DR ANDREW SCHEIBE says they will hold events ahead of World Hepatitis Day later this month in order to assess SOUTH AFRICA’s response to the disease.
He says because things are not on the agenda or spoken about often, there is not a lot of emphasis on doing research and getting an understanding of the numbers.
DR SCHEIBE says their study aimed to try and get a sense of what the picture is in the SOUTH AFRICAN context, for people they know could be at risk of getting hepatitis.
He says his team looks specifically at hepatitis B and C to get a sense of whether or not there is a problem and, if so, to inform the services the government and stakeholders should provide to move towards the illumination of the disease.
SABC News says DR SCHEIBE has called on people born before 1994 to test for hepatitis, because vaccines were not available by then.
He also says they are experiencing some problems with hepatitis C because the medication is yet to be registered in SOUTH AFRICA.
DR SCHEIBE says in terms of hepatitis C, it is a bit more challenging because many of the people who are at risk or living with the disease are marginalised from society.
Many of them may be living on the streets, and it is particularly people who use drugs and others who inject drugs, who often fail to get treatment for hepatitis C.
The medications available for hepatitis C are still waiting to be registered by the SOUTH AFRICAN regulatory authorities.
However, DR SCHEIBE says the medicine will be available in certain sectors once it becomes registered, but cost is still a major factor.
Medical experts say hepatitis is inflammation of the liver tissue, a condition where some people have no symptoms and others develop yellow discoloration of the skin and whites of the eyes, poor appetite, vomiting, tiredness, abdominal pain, or diarrhoea.
They say the disease may be temporary, which is acute, or long term, which is chronic, depending on whether it lasts for less than or more than SIX months.
Acute hepatitis can sometimes resolve on its own, progress to chronic hepatitis, or rarely result in acute liver failure; while the chronic form may progress to scarring of the liver, liver failure, or liver cancer over time.
Viruses are the most common cause of hepatitis worldwide, but others include heavy alcohol use, certain medications, toxins, other infections, autoimmune diseases, and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis./Sabanews/cam
SOUTH AFRICA: FUEL/SABC/4/7/18 SABANews 1
JOHANNESBURG – Motorist in SOUTH AFRICA have expressed mixed feelings after the increase in fuel prices today (WEDNESDAY).
SABC News says the development brings to FIVE the number of times prices at the pumps have risen since the beginning of the year.
It says the cost of petrol and diesel has increased by around 26 SOUTH AFRICAN cents a litre, paraffin by 22 cents a litre and LP-Gas by 37 cents a kilogram.
Market figures show the SOUTH AFRICAN currency is trading at 13 rand 70 cents per US dollar.
SABC News says times are tough for most SOUTH AFRICANS, but not everyone is willing to change their lifestyle; not even the increased fuel prices can deter them from driving their cars.
The national broadcaster quotes ONE driver as saying he bought his vehicle and he wants to use to go to work and other things, even if it is costing him.
It further quotes fuel retailers as saying they have seen more motorists spending smaller amounts to refill their tanks, but the volume of fuel sold has not changed.
Some say they will have to persevere and hope the State will eventually do something, amid fears the hike may hit small business hard after failing to pass on the increases to customers.
On the other hand, taxi drivers say the increase will make it difficult to keep up with the high maintenance of their vehicles.
Meanwhile, the opposition INKATHA FREEDOM PARTY says it has written to National Assembly Speaker BALEKA MBETE to request an urgent debate on fuel price hikes.
Party Spokesperson MKHULEKO HLENGWA says they will also write to the Ministers Finance, NHLANHLA NENE, and Energy, JEFF RADEBE.
He says they want to request the Cabinet members to suspend the General Fuel and Road Accident levies on the petrol price per litre.
The SOUTH AFRICAN politician says his party believes such measures can reduce the cost to about 11 rand per litre and stabilise the monthly adjustments to the fuel prices./Sabanews/cam
CAPE FLATS – Traditional leaders at the CAPE FLATS area of SOUTH AFRICA have called on the authorities to make available tracts of land suitable for initiation schools.
The CAPE FLATS is a sizeable, low-lying, flat area to the southeast of the central business district of CAPE TOWN.
SABC News says residents of KHAYELITSHA say they are scrambling for land to use for this winter’s initiation ceremonies.
It says their call comes after the City of CAPE TOWN began clearing bushes near MEW WAY for a 73-MILLION-rand MY CITI Bus Depot.
The national broadcaster quotes Chief Commander of MDUMISENI Diverse United Kingdom, King ZANOMTHETHO GAWULANA, as saying they have identified land in DELFT, a township on the outskirts of the city.
He says the government should leave the area for the communities and help them identify even more space for their initiations in the WESTERN CAPE Province.
A Mayoral Committee member, ANDA NTSODO, says they are working with communities and traditional leaders to resolve the issue.
In another development, the KHOISAN leaders in the EASTERN CAPE have welcomed the theatre production on the life of their icon SARAH BAARTMAN.
She is recorded as the most famous of TWO SOUTH AFRICAN KHOIKHOI women who, due to their large buttocks, were exhibited as fanatic show attractions in the 19TH Century in EUROPE under the offensive name HOTTENTOT VENUS.
SABC News says the new theatre production, titled RETURN OF THE MOON – A Glimpse of SARAH BAARTMAN, by ROBERT LOURENS, started on WEDNESDAY and will end on SATURDAY at the PORT ELIZABETH Opera House.
KHOISAN activist and member of the Provincial Legislature says it is about the prejudices of EUROPE, and he regards the event as an exciting moment in the history of the indigenous community.
CHRISTIAN MARTIN says he has told the DAWID STUURMAN KHOISAN Movement there is need to support this drama.
He says ONE day they walked to the SABC to complain about the lack of enough viewing of the KHOISAN activities, but they now have ONE that deserves their full support.
A KHOISAN Leader in the NELSON MANDELA Bay, CRAWFORD FRAISER, has also supported the production, saying he will welcome any production that reveals the truth – because the truth will set the people free.
SARAH BAARTMAN was born in 1789 in the CAMDEBOO Valley of the then CAPE Colony and went to ENGLAND in 1810 with her employer, a slave descended who sought to show her for money on the LONDON Stage.
She spent FOUR years on stage in ENGLAND and IRELAND before the employer dumped her into the hands of another man who continued to display her in country fairs.
The new man died man called Henry Taylor brought SARAH to FRANCE and sold her to an animal trainer who made her amuse onlookers at the PALAIS-ROYAL.
Records show GEORGES CUVIER, founder and professor of comparative anatomy at the Museum of Natural History, examined her as he searched for proof of a so-called missing link between animals and human beings.
Her body was exploited for scientific racism and she lived in poverty before dying in PARIS of an undetermined inflammatory disease in DECEMBER 1815, after which they dissected her body and displayed her remains.
For more than 150 years, visitors to the MUSEUM OF MAN in PARIS could view her brain, skeleton and genitalia as well as a plaster cast of her body.
The remains of SARAH BAARTMAN returned to SOUTH AFRICA in 2002, and was buried in the EASTERN CAPE on the SOUTH AFRICAN National Women’s Day; and today a theatre production is showing in her honour./Sabanews/cam
MIDRAND – Some former liberation war activists in SOUTH AFRICA have embarked on a project to enlighten young children about events that brought independence to the country.
Sub-SAHARAN AFRICA has a number of such people, most of whom have been frustrated by politicians after fighting colonialism and left to roam the streets of their still impoverished homes.
However, in SOUTH AFRICA there is a non-profit group calling itself the PAN AFRICAN GENESIS, fighting to uplift the lives of military veterans and their families.
Organisation Chairperson SIBONGILE KHUMALO says they have taken it upon themselves to teach the youth about the truth of 16 JUNE 1976 SOWETO Uprising and the national history.
She says youngsters should know exactly where they come from not just the facts like the killing of the young boy HECTOR PETERSON on the day. People do not hear about how such information penetrates the young minds.
Ms KHUMALO, a military veteran who went into exile when she was just 14 and half years old, says the authorities are not telling them the truth of what happened on 16 JUNE and the experiences of people who left the country.
The former liberation war fighter and some of her peers have this week brought together pupils from different schools around the MIDRAND area of SOUTH AFRICA.
They sat with them around a fire and told them about the truth of SOUTH AFRICAN history, a gathering Ms KHUMALO says used to be called a braai site chat.
She says such events are like in the olden days when their great great grandfathers used to sit them outside to tell them stories that had value, not what you people see in movies.
The elders would tell them real accounts about how things were done and shared their indigenous knowledge.
Another veteran, THANDI MONARENG, has shared with the pupils the story of their FIRST few days in exile, and how apartheid regime agents had caught them earlier at the border with SWAZILAND.
She says they went to jail for some time before they were eventually released from custody and fled to neighbouring MOZAMBIQUE.
However, life was hard in the host country – because the authorities took them to a camp where many of the people did not have legs and used wheel chairs after having walked on land mines.
The story reminds Ms KHUMALO of how she had her FIRST monthly periods after seeing the sea in MOZAMBIQUE. As someone from SOWETO, she had never seen so much water.
She says the shock of seeing an endless water body for the FIRST time proved to be too much for an already traumatised 14-year-old girl.
Yet, there was no mother to walk you through the experience. She had legless people around her, went to jail at some stage, and ate worm-infested oats from RUSSIA. And this became the beginning of years of pain and hardship.
Ms KHUMALO says being a young person in exile was hard, and being a young woman made it even worse, as she was later raped in ONE of the camps. Rape and other sexual abuses occurred to many young women.
The end of apartheid brought a lot of expectations to Ms KHUMALO and her comrades, but what they see in the country now is not what they thought they would see.
She says she came back with a lot of anger. But she has overcome the feeling and only remains with the annoyance about how the governments are treating young people after independence.
SABA News says some of the pupils at the braai side chat are from DR MATHOLE MOTSHEKGA Primary School, but when asked who the person is, they do not know.
Ms KHUMALO says such things make her angry because it is a clear indication the government is failing to educate learners properly.
She says veterans know the people after whom the streets are named, because they took care of them in exile. Yet these kids have no idea who it is.
Her daughter, popular TV and radio host MASECHABA NDLOVU has also spoken at the event, describing how it is to be born in exile and not knowing home until she was much older.
Ms NDLOVE has urged youths to live their lives with the courage their 1976 peers had, saying that was the most important thing they can get.
She says crossing the border aware such a move is a recipe for death needs bravery, enough to say I will be part of the change, I have a voice, I can make a difference, I have power.
ONE of the pupils, KHODANI MULAUDZI, says the event has opened her eyes to the realities of being in exile and just how many people fought for freedom but are never spoken about.
She says she has learned that there are so many who fought for national freedom but are not recognised because people only know of NELSON MANDELA and WALTER SISULU.
KHODANI says the TWO icons worked with many other persons closely; but when ONE goes deeper, ONE discovers there are many who actually did more than the celebrated ones.
The SOUTH AFRICAN student says she has decided to do her own research of the national history instead of depending on what she learns at school and in the media./Sabanews/cam
JOHANNESBURG – The standoff between the SOUTH AFRICAN power utility, ESKOM, and its workers continues amid no indications of a compromise.
However, the organisation has assured consumers it will monitor the situation overnight to see if SOUTH AFRICANS need to brace themselves for another bash of load shedding tomorrow (FRIDAY).
SABC News says the power company had earlier implemented load shedding nationwide from just before SIX up to EIGHT O’clock in the evening.
It quotes ESKOM Spokesperson KHULU PHASIWE as saying the national grid capacity is constrained due to acts of sabotage and intimidation earlier today by members of the trade unions.
He says the power stations that are worst-affected by the industrial action are HENDRINA, CAMDEN, KENDAL and ARNOT, and ESKOM has asked SOUTH AFRICANS to lower power consumption.
SABC News also says in MPUMALANGA, members of the NATIONAL UNION OF MINEWORKERS and the NATIONAL UNION OF METALWORKERS OF SOUTH AFRICA have demonstrated at the DUVHA Power Station in EMALAHLENI.
It says they have blockaded the main gate demanding a salary increase from the employer, and they have vowed not to return to work until management meets their demands.
The NATIONAL UNION OF METALWORKERS OF SOUTH AFRICA is the biggest single trade union in the country, with more than 338-THOUSAND members.
It has united with the NATIONAL UNION OF MINEWORKERS, which has a membership of 300-THOUSAND and is the largest affiliate of the CONGRESS OF SOUTH AFRICAN TRADE UNIONS.
The national broadcaster says members of the TWO groups have come together to press for their demand of a no less than 10 percent wage increases, a FIRST of its kind by the rival trade unions.
It says ESKOM Chief Executive Officer PHAKAMANI HADEBE has braved a hail of insults to come and receive the memorandum by the demonstrators, whom he told the company is now willing to make them an offer.
Meanwhile the JOHANNESBURG City Power, in the SOUTH AFRICAN commercial capital, says it is currently not load shedding but will do so if ESKOM directs it to do so; but any of its customers without electricity should call./Sabanews/cam
JOHANNESBURG – The NATIONAL UNION OF MINEWORKERS in SOUTH AFRICA says there will not be a total shutdown at the national power utility, ESKOM, tomorrow (THURSDAY).
However, the group says its members will still march in a mass demonstration to the company headquarters in the commercial capital, JOHANNESBURG, to hand over a memorandum.
SABC News says the Union and the NATIONAL UNION OF METALWORKERS OF SOUTH AFRICA will hold a ONE-day-long strike against ESKOM’s refusal to increase salaries this year.
The national broadcaster says ESKOM has also appealed to its employees to return to work while the company tries to find a solution to the salary crisis.
ESKOM Chief Executive Officer PHAKAMANI HADEBE says his organisation will take the necessary steps to ensure the safety of its workers.
He says they have activated their emergencies and currently all power stations are operating to ensure they continue to keep the lights on.
Furthermore, they will also consider a court interdict if necessary to protect the interests of the employees and assets, as well as to further ensure the security of supply.
Mr HADEBE says he is humbly appealing to the organised labour, to ESKOM employees to return to work while the company tries to find an amicable solution to the challenge.
Meanwhile, SABC News says ESKOM cannot guarantee the lights are going to stay on in the country.
The groups representing mine workers and metal workers at ESKOM this TUESDAY said they were preparing to go the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration for arbitration on the ZERO percent wage impasse with ESKOM.
The SOUTH AFRICAN public power utility, set up in 1923 as the Electricity Supply Commission by the apartheid government, was by 2016 employing some 47-THOUSAND-978 workers./Sabanews/cam