INDUSTRIAL ACTION

Shoprite/Checkers strike action

On Friday, thousands of Shoprite/Checkers workers, belonging to Cosatu affiliate Saccawu, went on a nationwide strike over working conditions. Many however returned for work today. The reason for the strike relates to demands for a guaranteed minimum number of working hours for part-time workers and the provision of safe and reliable transport for late-shift workers. Instances of workers being attacked, raped and assaulted when coming to work and leaving work were cited.

Barberton mine

Workers at Pan African Resource’s Barberton gold mine have ended an unprotected strike that started last Sunday. About 1 800 mine workers participated in the strike over allowances and the dismissal of two union leaders. The issues have not been resolved but the workers agreed to return to work while their grievances are being reviewed.

EMPLOYMENT AND LABOUR ECONOMICS MATTERS

International recognition for Automotive Industry Development Centre (AIDC) in Rosslyn

The international, UK-based Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) last Monday reported that the Automotive Industry Development Centre (AIDC) in Rosslyn has successfully met the training criteria to become an IMI-approved international centre in South Africa. After successfully completing a three-day assessment, the AIDC’s two automotive learning centres in Rosslyn are now able to grant IMI international qualifications to its learners. The IMI’s Quality Assessment process enables the AIDC students to study and gain new skills in the automotive industry.

South Africa’s score on The Knowledge Project’s Global Knowledge Index

South Africa has scored 42 points on The Knowledge Project’s first Global Knowledge 100-point Index, against a world average of 47. The index identifies knowledge as an integral part of human life, affecting its social, economic and cultural aspects, as well as an engine for comprehensive and sustainable human development. The Global Knowledge Index is based on a combination of six sectoral indices including pre-university education; technical vocational education and training (TVET); higher education; information and communications technology; research, development and innovation (RDI); and, finally, economy, in addition to a general sub-index on the general enabling environment.

South Africa scored 38.1 for its pre-university education index, 42.4 for TVET, 40.7 for higher education and a low 25.7 for RDI. However, in the indices of information and communications technology and a general enabling environment, the country scored 50.2 and 59.8 respectively. The index is calculated through 133 variables covering various vital sectors in the country, such as enrolment, graduation and drop-out rates in schools; literacy; unemployment; life expectancy at birth; e-government; political stability; regulatory and legal frameworks; patents; private-sector indicators; quality and availability of human resources (students, teachers, professionals and researchers), among other criteria.

The country further ranked eighty-first on the overall global index of 131 countries, between Tunisia and India. Switzerland took first place with 71,8 points out of 100, closely followed by Singapore (69,5), Finland (68,5), Sweden (68,3), Netherlands (68), the USA (67,2), Luxemburg (66,2), the United Kingdom (65,6), Denmark (65,2) and Norway (64,3).

COMMUNITY

Canyon Coal connected employee families to mine electricity grid

Mid-tier coal mining and exploration group Canyon Coal, which has operations and projects in Mpumalanga and Gauteng, connected families who live next its Phalanndwa colliery in Delmas, to its electricity grid. Phalanndwa GM Alan Mabbett noted the company was “excited” to provide free electricity connections to the community as it would radically improve their lives. “We are committed to joining hands with our communities to improve their lives. Community development is an integral part of our business and we see it as a norm than an exception.”

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