Joburg motorists to drive dry or face prosecution this silly season

With the festive season already in full swing and as the most dangerous month on South African roads commences, Drive Dry, in partnership with the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD), will be helping to keep Joburg’s roads safe from drink drivers.

At the JMPD awards ceremony attended by Mayor Herman Mashaba this last weekend, Drive Dry awarded the top performing JMPD Hero of 2018, Gerald Nxumalo, with a brand-new Volkswagen Polo for impeccable service and bringing to book those drivers who do not adhere to the rules of the road. The first and second runners up, Ismael Mgiba and Shumani Netshifume, were also rewarded with vouchers to the value of R15,000 and R5,000 respectively.

Drive Dry is a responsible drinking initiative by global alcohol beverage company Diageo and aims to combat the abuse of alcohol on South African roads. As such, it has sponsored the prizes for the top officers this season.

“The JMPD has delivered great results in their attempt to reduce crime and drink driving incidents in Johannesburg this last year and it is our wish to support them. Diageo sees this as the start of what we hope to be a long and fruitful partnership in our mutual quest to keep South African roads free of drink drivers,” says Sibani Mngadi, Diageo’s Corporate Relations Director.

With road safety as the number one priority for both the JMPD and Drive Dry, especially during the notorious “silly season”, the collaboration was put in place to ensure stringent law enforcement, by rewarding those officers who conduct themselves in a responsible and appropriate manner and who enforce the rules of the road and don’t take bribes.

“We cannot ensure the safety of our people on the roads by working alone. It is through partnerships with private stakeholders like Diageo’s Drive Dry that we will be able to keep our communities safe and reduce the high number of alcohol-related road fatalities,” says Chief of the JMPD, David Tembe.

Some of the criteria that was used to assess the winners inlcuded the number of alcohol screenings they conducted over the year which are used to determine if drivers are above the legal limit. Screenings include a breathalyzer test and the collection of blood samples used as evidence for prosecution.

Officers were also assessed based on their willingness to go beyond the call of duty, whether they show up professionally at all the times, conduct themselves in a good manner, respect their work and that of their colleagues, use the JMPD resources responsibly, and at no time or situation accept bribes from irresponsible road users and ensure that road users do not consume alcohol or behave in a way that will put other people’s lives in danger.

“The collaboration between private and public sector organisations is key to improving the safety and wellbeing of our Johannesburg residents. We look forward to seeing the results of this partnership and a tougher outcome for those drivers who have no regard for the law or for the safety of others,” says Meyer Herman Mashaba.

 

Government to abolish work experience for entry level posts

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

From 1 April 2019, work experience will no longer be a requirement for recruitment for entry level jobs in the public sector, the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) has announced.

This, the DPSA said in statement on Monday, is part of government’s efforts to address the country’s high youth unemployment rate.

The department is currently in the process of amending regulations in this regard that will take effect at the commencement of the 2019/20 financial year.

DPSA Minister Ayanda Dlodlo has taken the initiative to review the current legislative framework in order to facilitate the implementation of this new dispensation.

This initiative will enhance government’s human resource development capacity that will see the high levels of unemployment, especially among the youth, alleviated.

The process will also see the removal of unnecessary barriers to entry into the public service and provision of a platform for new graduates to acquire the required experience in their life long career paths. Additionally, the initiative will see new and innovative blood attracted into the public service.

In the statement, Dlodlo said the changes will not do away with the inherent requirements of professional fields.

“This exercise will be structured in such a way that it does not compromise the professional and technical requirements for various fields. All we want to do is streamline career paths and align skills, which will make the public service fit for purpose.”

DPSA spokesperson Mava Scott said the focus of recruitment will now be on minimum academic qualifications obtained from appropriately registered training institutions in terms of the National Qualifications Framework Act and the pre-employment verification, as specified in the Public Service Regulations of 2016.

Dlodlo has instructed the department to issue a circular to the public service mandating Heads of Departments in national and provincial spheres of government to ensure a state of readiness towards a phased implementation by 1 April 2019.

Meanwhile, the department will introduce a paperless administration across the public service and an e- recruitment system that will be rolled from next month.

“As government, we are concerned that we took long to evolve in this process, resulting in young people, who mostly are techno savvy, enduring the burden of incurring unnecessary costs when applying for positions in the public service. The world has moved on and the public service needs to keep up and embrace the digital age in all its processes,” said Dlodlo.

The Minister has instructed the department to introduce a digital Z83 application form as an additional platform for job seekers in the public service. Processes will be put in place to ensure compliance with the Public Service Act by formally introducing the digital Z83 form through notice in the Government Gazette.

The decision to create a digital Z83 form, Scott said, is a direct response to job seekers in South Africa, who have used various platforms, including social media, to inform the Minister about how cumbersome and unaffordable the paper Z83 application process is.

“The Minister has heard the voices of young people too and is committed to use innovative technologies to ensure that being poor does not become a barrier to employment in the public service.”

The Minister emphasized, however, that applications for jobs in the public service will still be accepted through the Z83 forms to accommodate those who do not have access to the internet.

“We understand the challenge of internet access for some of our communities, especially in the rural areas, so we will not close anyone out through this e-recruitment process,” Scott explained.

The department said it will be engaging local government authorities to expedite the infrastructure rollout for Wi-Fi hotspots across all municipalities. – SAnews.gov.za

SA investment climate is improving

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Foreign investment, if targeted and nurtured, can drive economic growth and in turn contribute to much-needed job creation and economic inclusion for all, says Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies.

The Minister was addressing the South African Investment Seminar on the margins of the first China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai.

The purpose of the investment seminar, which was organised jointly by the dti and China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products, was to expand on the investment opportunities that exist in South Africa, with a particular focus on the manufacturing sector.

Davies told Chinese investors that South Africa’s investment pitch is based on “active improvement of the investment climate, active solving of any problem that investors may have, active presentation of the opportunities that exist, and building partnerships with investors”.

Davies indicated that the country’s investment climate is also improving.

“We have made inroads to improving our investment environment. We have been working diligently towards ensuring policy certainty and consistency, improving the performance of State-owned enterprises and consolidating fiscal debt.

“South Africa is energised and government, together with its social partners, business, labour and civil society, are moving towards an inclusive economic growth path. The work of government, business, labour and civil society is progressing well,” the Minister said.

Currently, there are 58 Chinese companies that have invested in South Africa, with a capital expenditure of R69.4 billion between January 2003 and January 2018. These investments are mainly in the automotive, electronics, metals, building and construction and financial services sector.

China’s first major investment took place in October 2007 when China's largest bank, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), purchased a 20% stake in Standard Bank. The majority State-owned ICBC paid cash for the stake, estimated at R36.7 billion.

However, over the period, the trade surplus is in favour of China, the Davies said.

The trade deficit is due to the imbalances in the composition of trade between the two countries, where South Africa continues to export primary products and commodities to China, and import manufactured and high-tech products from China.

Davies said events such as the China International Import Expo will create opportunities to address the imbalance.

“Exhibitions like the China International Import Expo give us an advantage in that we can display products, goods and services that we can supply the Chinese market. We look forward and hope that our exhibitors will be able to find a way to enhance the relationship with procurers from China.”

The Minister is leading a delegation of 27 South African organisations, including provincial investment agencies, Special Economic Zones, export councils and private companies.

South Africa is participating in the three main platforms of the expo, namely the Country Pavilion for Trade and Investment, Enterprise and Business, as well as the International Fair Trade Forum.

The dti said these platforms will promote South Africa’s trade and investment capabilities. – SAnews.gov.za

 

President: We must act against those who destroyed VBS

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

President Cyril Ramaphosa says the fraud and corruption that took place at VBS was a tragedy against the most vulnerable in society, and that action must be taken against those responsible for the crime.

The President said this when responding to oral questions in the National Assembly on Tuesday.

“The real tragedy of VBS is that money was stolen from those in our society who could least afford it.

“It is a tragedy that has continued itself across several of our State-owned enterprises in municipalities and in respect to several private companies. For the sake of our people and our economy, I believe that we need to make a decisive break for those corrupt activities and build a new era of integrity and honesty in our public as well as private institutions.

“That is why we must act against those who are responsible for destroying VBS and for all those in private companies, in SOEs and other parts of the State who are trying to steal our country’s future,” he said.

The leader of the opposition, the Democratic Alliance’s Mmusi Maimane, had asked the President what he had done upon learning of the revelations that occurred at VBS Mutual Bank that led to it being placed under curatorship.

A few weeks ago, lead forensic investigator Advocate Terry Motau released a report titled the ‘Great Bank Heist’, which told a story of how several individuals colluded to loot the bank and also named the characters who were implicated in the saga.

Ramaphosa said shortly after becoming President, he received a briefing from National Treasury, where he was alerted to alleged corruption at VBS.

“I was informed that the SA Reserve Bank had initiated an investigation into this matter in response to my request for a comprehensive report on VBS.

“I received a briefing from National Treasury, as well as from the South African Reserve Bank, on the report that was submitted by Advocate Terry Motau just before its public release.

“The report presents a deeply disturbing picture of theft and corruption on a massive scale. It is essential that all those who are responsible for facilitating this fraud and this corruption and all those who have benefited from it must be held accountable.

“We call on all the relevant institutions, and in fact, we insist that all relevant institutions must act swiftly to prosecute those responsible, but also to move with greater speed to recover the funds that were stolen from the bank’s depositors because most of these depositors are pensioners, old men and women – who had put their life savings into VBS and there are also stokvels and burial societies, who are struggling as a result to bury their dead because their money is lost,” he said.

The President also called for action to be taken against those municipal officials, and in some cases “political officials”, who deposited municipal funds into the mutual bank knowing that it was not legal and that their actions could lead to significant financial losses to those individual municipalities.

“It is particularly disturbing that many of the people who have suffered losses (sic) as a result of these crimes are the poor rural residents of our country.

“It is critical that every effort is made to recover those monies to minimise losses suffered by the bank’s depositors. For much of its existence, VBS was a good bank for ordinary people and it gave loans and mortgages to people in rural areas and now through greed and deception and theft, that bank has been destroyed.

“We take a dim view of those who have been implicated in criminal activity rushing to court to try and hide their malfeasance and not make any effort to apologise to those who have lost money,” he said. – SAnews.gov.za

 

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