Operation Phakisa to fast-track NDP deliverables

President Jacob Zuma says government will next month launch Operation Phakisa – an initiative aimed at fast-tracking the delivery of the priorities outlined in the National Development Plan.
He said government had been in discussions regarding the launch of an adaptation of the Big Fast Results methodology with the government of Malaysia.
Earlier this week, Minister in the Presidency, Jeff Radebe, explained that the Big Fast Results methodology involved bringing key stakeholders together in a “laboratory” for intensive planning at a practical and detailed level, setting targets which are made public, rigorous monitoring of progress with implementation and making the results public.
Minister Radebe said using this methodology, the government of Malaysia was able to register impressive results within a short period.
President Zuma, responding to the debate of the State of the Nation Address in the National Assembly on Friday, said the Malaysian approach had been renamed to Operation Phakisa in South Africa.
This would emphasise its critical role in fast-tracking delivery on the priorities included in the National Development Plan 2030.
“We want to find methods that work that will deliver results and we believe Operation Phakisa may provide the key,” said the President.
The first implementation of Operation Phakisa will be led by the Department of Environmental Affairs, focussing on unlocking the economic potential of South Africa's oceans.
According to President Zuma, the country’s oceans are estimated to have the potential to contribute up to R177 billion to GDP by 2033 compared to R54 billion in 2010.
Minister Radebe, speaking during the State of the Nation Debate, said there was massive untapped economic potential related to the oceans, in the areas of marine transport and manufacturing, offshore oil and gas exploration, aquaculture and marine protection services and governance.
He added that the sector had the potential to employ one million people by 2033 compared with 316 000 in 2010.
President Zuma said government will also pilot this methodology to improve service delivery in clinics nationwide and promote Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi's “ideal clinic” initiative.
The health sector laboratory will be undertaken in collaboration with provinces, districts and clinic managers with the aim of producing a detailed plan for improving service delivery in public sector clinics in all provinces, including indicators, targets and timeframes; and a guideline for clinic managers to develop and sustain these improvements.
This is one of the many reforms government is implementing as part of the National Health Insurance initiative. – SAnews.gov.za

Picketing to support a strike – the legal requirements

BY Ivan Israelstam

Strikes in South Africa appear to have become the norm. Strikes are normally accompanied by picketing which easily develops into violence and blockades. In order to avoid this many employers have sought to enter into picketing rules with unions. However, these agreements are often flawed and ignored.
An official Code of Good Practice: Picketing has been issued in terms of section 203 of the LRA. Parties are warned that they will deviate from this code at their peril.

The code requires that:

• The picket must be authorised by a registered trade union;
• Only members and supporters of the trade union may participate in the picket;
• The purpose of the picket must be to demonstrate peacefully in support of a strike or in opposition to any lock-out;
• The picket may only be held in a public place outside the premises of the employer or, with the permission of the employer, inside its premises. Such permission may not be unreasonably withheld.
• The purpose of the picket may be to:
• Encourage non-striking workers to support the strike or oppose the lock-out;
• Influence members of the public not to do business with the employer;
• Dissuade replacement employees from working.

Where the picket is in support of a strike, that strike must be a protected strike in order for the picket itself to be protected.
The code states that the trade union and the employer should seek to agree to picketing rules before the commencement of the strike or picket. This is normal done via a collective agreement which needs to be very expertly worded to cover all eventualities and to comply with the provisions of the LRA and code of good practice.
The registered trade union must appoint a convenor and marshals to oversee the picket. The convenor must be an official or member of the union who should have a copy of the picketing regulations in his/her possession at all times in order to ensure that the picket is conducted peacefully.
The convenor must notify the employer of the details of the picket and the employer must notify the convenor of the person who will represent the employer as regards the picket.
Due to the fact that picketing is legal and proving union non-compliance is problematic employers should not react to picketing hastily but should instead obtain expert legal advice before taking any action.

The new Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Sheer attraction

The all-new C-Class heralds a new chapter in the C-Class success story and sets new standards in the premium medium-luxury segment. Thanks to an intelligent lightweight-design concept boasting weight savings of up to 100 kilograms, excellent aerodynamics and new economical engines, the C-Class establishes new efficiency benchmarks in its segment. A host of new assistance systems offers safety of the highest standard, while a new optional air-sprung suspension provides for exemplary ride and driving comfort as well as nimble and agile handling. In terms of appearance the new C-Class adopts a progressive approach with its clear yet emotional design and its high-class interior. Many other innovations and equipment features underscore the sedan's energising comfort and refined sportiness. The high-class appeal of the new C-Class is an "upgrade to a higher class of vehicle".
"The C-Class is a best seller that has always been a trendsetter in the mid-size luxury segment. This is also true for the new C-Class as it comes with qualities usually reserved for higher-class vehicles - environmentally responsible, technologically advanced and high levels of comfort and driving enjoyment," says Florian Seidler, Vice President, Mercedes-Benz Cars South Africa.
With a sensuous and clear design and a host of technical innovations, the new C-Class offers a comprehensive scope of standard equipment and exemplary emissions and fuel consumption figures. This all adds up to substantial added value and long-term fuel savings.
"Our new C-Class embodies what we understand modern automotive luxury to be and showcases automotive passion by way of a contemporary design idiom. We are confident that our new C-Class will be a huge success," adds Seidler.
The C-Class has grown to take account of people's increasing average height. With an 80-millimetre increase in the wheelbase (2840 millimetres) compared with the previous model, the vehicle is 95 millimetres longer (4686 milli¬metres) and 40 millimetres wider (1810 millimetres). The result is a more spacious interior. At 480 litres the new C-Class also surpasses its predecessor in terms of boot capacity (in accordance with ISO 3832).

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