Taking COSATU Today Forward
‘Whoever sides with the revolutionary people in deed as well as in word is a revolutionary in the full sense’-Maoo
Our side of the story
25 August 2021
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Minister Dlodlo invites public servants to sharpen their policy making skills through NSG Course
The Minister for the Public Service and Administration, Ms Ayanda Dlodlo, MP, invites public servants to enroll for a course aimed to sharpen their policy drafting skills, offered by the National School of Government, (The NSG).
The NSG has launched the Socio Economic Impact Assessment System (SEIAS) course which is designed to help improve the quality of policies developed by government in the three spheres - national, provincial and local. Policies and legislation brought before Cabinet need to go through a mandatory socio-economic impact assessment process to ascertain their socio-economic impact on the targeted population and the country at large.
Cabinet institutionalised the Socio Economic Impact Assessment System (SEIAS) on the 1st of October 2015. The NSG course is targeting government officials and public office bearers in the three spheres of government who are involved in policy making and the legislation development. These are officials and leaders who are involved in commissioning; writing; research and analysis; monitoring and evaluation; and stakeholder consultation
‘The SEIAS is an analysis tool aimed at determining the costs and benefits of a policy proposal including public policies, legislation, regulations and other regulatory instruments. As a quality assurance tool, it improves public policy through designing and selecting evidence-based policy options. The goal is to ensure policy coordination and coherence and for government to produce policies that are aligned with national strategic priorities. It is also aimed at minimising policies unintended consequences and reduce implementation risks. The NSG course will equip officials to undertake the SEIAS process meaningfully and efficiently,’ outlined Minister Dlodlo.
The course is spread over four weeks online and comprises the following four units:
· Conceptual understanding of the Socio Economic Impact Assessment System (SEIAS);
· Socio-economic context of policy implementation;
· Socio-economic impact assessment processes explained; and
Communicating the SEIAS findings and recommendations.
COSATU welcomes the opening of the UIF KZN and Gauteng violence TERS relief applications
Sizwe Pamla, COSATU National Spokesperson, 25 August 2021
The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) welcomes today’s opening of applications for the Unemployment Insurance Fund’s Temporary Employment Relief (TERS) relief for workers and companies who suffered losses due to the recent violence in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. This will provide badly needed relief to thousands of workers who have gone without pay during this period. It will also assist companies to retain and not retrench some of their employees, while trying to fix what was destroyed during the riots.
All those companies that suffered damages in KZN and Gauteng during the recent riots are encouraged to apply. They can apply online on behalf of their workers and all they need to provide are copies of their insurance claims if they have insurance.
They will also need to provide their South African Police Service case reference numbers. Workers whose employers refuse to apply, can contact the UIF at 0800 030 007 for assistance. The money will be paid directly into workers’ bank accounts.
COSATU is perturbed by the low rate of applications from businesses and workers affected by the Level 4 Disaster Management Restrictions (March 16 to July 25, 2021). These sectors include the liquor, tourism, hospitality, hotels, transport, entertainment, restaurants, sports, cinemas, and related value chains.
Whilst it is totally understandable that many companies and workers applying to the UIF for relief have grown despondent after dealing with some inexplicable delays. We encourage them to continue to apply and not give up. The Federation has been working hard to assist many workers and businesses to resolve these problems.
About R5.3 billion has been set aside for the Level 4, KZN and Gauteng violence relief. The Department of Employment and Labour and the UIF need to do more to minimise these delays to ensure that these funds are paid to workers as soon as possible.
Issued by COSATU
Mass vaccination could restart the economy and lead to increase in employment, says Minister Nxesi
It was important for all eligible people in South Africa to vaccinate at the earliest chance so as to allow the economy to fully open so that it can start to arrest the runaway train of unemployment.
This is the view of the Minister of Employment and Labour, Thulas Nxesi in response to the latest Stats SA Q2 Quarterly Labour Force Survey which shows a continued trend of jobs-shedding with figures showing that the official unemployment rate increased by 1.8 percentage points to 34.4% in the second quarter of 2021 compared with the first quarter of 2021 at 32.6%.
“The increase in the official unemployment rate was relatively expected because of the slow economic growth observed in the first quarter of 2021 and the decline in investment rate in the country.
“It should also be noted that the economy is has also been severely affected by the necessary lockdown restrictions that have mostly affected non-essentials activities because of the pandemic. It is for this reason that we urge all the people in South Africa to make themselves available for vaccination so that the lockdown could be lifted once we reach the necessary herd immunity. We believe that this is one of the ways that this country can arrest the shedding of jobs.
“However, the country stands on “solid ground” with various national infrastructure projects and the Presidential Employment stimulus packages. All these forms part of the Economic Reconstruction Plan that is currently in place. It will also require all social partners to work together and preserve the country economic development prospects that will reduce inequalities and poverty in the long-run,” said Minister Nxesi.
According to Statistics South Africa, an additional 587 000 individuals have reported to be unemployed between quarter one and two of 2021. However, the increase was more than 3.5 million individuals when compared to a year ago (April 2020).
This increase signifies the most vulnerable in our society the young people (15-34 years) and African women with insufficient skills could not easily be absorbed into sustainable decent employment. For example, out of 7 826 000 unemployed in June 2021, the youth (15-34) constituted almost 60% or 4 677 000 of the unemployed individuals. The unemployment rate among black African women was 41% during this period compared to 8.2% among white women, 22.4% among Indian/Asian women and 29.9% among coloured women.
“The recent figures of vaccination show that the youth is coming out in big numbers to be inoculated. The youth is again leading from the front in securing their future with this commitment because ultimately, this will be a difference to whether the economy kickstarts or not. We appreciate their commitment and resolve,” said Minister Nxesi.
Figures show that there were about 10.2 million of youth (15-24 years) in quarter two of 2021, of which 33% were not in employment, education or training (NEET). In this category, more females than males were counted over the years.
The country lost 54 000 jobs on quarter-to-quarter changes and gained 793 000 year-to-year changes. The quarterly variation in employment lost was mostly observed in the Finance and the community industries with 278 000 and 166 000 respectively. However, the construction (156 000), the community (156 000) and the Private households industries (189 000) were the engines of job creation.
“Given the fact that the economy has taken a hit over the last few years and has not recovered to be able to absorb young people in employment, our hope lies on the public employment and our infrastructure build program to provide employment opportunities and to keep the young people engaged. As government, we are working closer with our social partners to ensure that the economy reconstruction and recovery plan is being implemented as a matter of urgency. As government, we are optimistic that we will arrest this challenge of unemployment,” said Minister Nxesi.
25 August, 2021
Negotiations between IndustriALL, UNI and leading textile and garment brands signatories to the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh have yielded a tentative agreement that continues the parties’ legally binding commitments to workplace safety in Bangladesh and expands the programme to other countries.
The renewed agreement preserves and advances the fundamental elements that made the Accord successful, including: respect for freedom of association; shared governance between labour and brands; a high level of transparency; safety committee training and worker awareness program; and a credible, independent complaints mechanism.
Key new features of the International Accord include:
Valter Sanches, IndustriALL Global Union general secretary, says:
“This International Accord is an important victory towards making the textile and garment industry safe and sustainable. The agreement maintains the legally binding provision for companies and most importantly the scope has been expanded to other countries and other provisions, encompassing general health and safety .
“Now, the textile and garment companies must show their commitment and sign the renewed International Accord. We congratulate our affiliates in the sector, especially those from Bangladesh, that have campaigned for binding commitments for health and safety in the industry.”
The new agreement, called the International Accord for Health and Safety in the Textile and Garment Industry (International Accord), takes effect on 1 September 2021. The current agreement, a three-month extension of the Transition Accord, expires 31 August.
The Accord was first signed in 2013 following the industrial homicide that killed over 1’100 workers with the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Norman Mampane (Shopsteward Editor)
Congress of South African Trade Unions
110 Jorissen Cnr Simmonds Street, Braamfontein, 2017
P.O.Box 1019, Johannesburg, 2000, South Africa
Tel: +27 11 339-4911 Direct line: 010 219-1348