Daily Archives: February 16, 2017

Cabinet welcomes fourth quarter job increases

Pretoria – Cabinet on Thursday welcomed an increase in jobs in the fourth quarter, saying unemployment remains a top government priority.

In a statement following the Cabinet meeting held on Wednesday, Cabinet welcomed the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) results released by Statistics South Africa on Tuesday.

“Cabinet welcomes the increase in jobs in the economy over the fourth quarter of 2016 when 235 000 jobs were created, according to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey. The increase was largely driven by employment in the country’s services sector, followed by transport and manufacturing,” said Cabinet.

According to the QLFS, 16.1 million people were employed in the fourth quarter of 2016. The Quarterly Labour Force Survey collects data on the labour market activities of individuals aged 15 years and above.

The survey showed that unemployment decreased by 0.6% quarter-on-quarter, with 5.8 million being unemployed in the fourth quarter of 2016.

“The unemployment challenge remains a top government priority and all programmes and interventions are geared towards turning the situation around, especially in this tough economic environment,” Cabinet said.

The growth in jobs over the quarter resulted in a slight decrease in the unemployment rate to 26.5%.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Warning ahead of “Dineo” – stay safe!

Pretoria – The South African government has called on communities to be on high alert and take precautions ahead of tropical cyclone “Dineo’s” arrival in the country later today.

This after the South African Weather Service issued a warning of the anticipated Dineo which hit the coast of Mozambique (Gaza and Inhambane Provinces) on Wednesday accompanied by high seas, strong winds, storms and heavy rain.

The tropical storm is expected to reach Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the extreme northern parts of KZN.

The Department of Cooperative Governance (CoGTA) has urged parents and guardians to ensure safety of their children as South Africa is set to experience severe storms and heavy rains starting from today until the weekend.

The department said it is important to ensure that children are safe and do not cross flooded roads, bridges and rivers in case of going to school.

“By Friday, Dineo will continue accompanied by strong rains and winds. South Africa will not be immune or spared from the wrath of this cyclone. This will mostly affect Kruger National Park, Enhlanzeni, Vhembe, Mopani and Waterberg district Municipalities,” the department said.

The tropical storm will lead to flooding that might cut off many communities, displace others, lead to loss of life, destruction of infrastructure and property.

“It is important to note that the amount of rain and the speed of wind expected will have disastrous impact on communities and areas in which the cyclone will pass through.

“Even though Limpopo Province will be the worst affected, the impact of the storms and heavy rains might also be experienced in other provinces and areas as the rivers flowing from affected areas might lead to flooding somewhere else.”

Contingency plans

The department said government across the three spheres is working on contingency plans to ensure a coherent, integrated and coordinated response.

This multi-sectoral plan will assist where need arises to ensure safety of communities and to minimise the impact.

Even though plans are in place to mitigate the impact of the disastrous conditions caused by the cyclone, government has appealed to all communities in the affected areas to take extra care ahead of the coming cyclone.

Preferably, communities should try at all cost to stay home during this period to avoid injuries as it is envisaged that there will be debris flying around and due to heavy rains and storms, visibility will also be poor.

It is expected that this storms might negatively affect normal life as power and water supply might be interrupted, roads flooded and bridges washed away.

“We urge communities to recognise the danger that this cyclone brings and urge them to take necessary precautions.”

Communities are requested not to cross flooded roads, low lying bridges and rivers. It is also important for people not to underestimate the power of moving water, especially flooded rivers.

“Be especially cautious at night when it’s harder to recognize flood dangers. If walking outdoors, avoid crossing rivers and swollen streams where water is above your ankles.

“Just six inches of fast-moving flood water can knock a person off their feet, and a depth of 2 feet is enough to float a car. Never try to walk, swim or drive through fast-moving flood water. Stop, turn around and go another way,” said the department.

Special warnings

Members of the public have been advised to listen to the special warnings on radio and/or television; abandon their home immediately guided by relevant authorities if evacuation is recommended, before access is cut off by flood water.

“In cases where other people are displaced, we request community members to assist one another guided by the principles of Ubuntu, especially those that would have been displaced by the sheer force of the cyclone.

The South African Weather Service and all other teams dealing with disaster management will continue to monitor any further developments relating to this weather system.

“Updates will be issued as and when necessary through various communication channels. Government urges communities to regularly follow developments through Radio, TV and other communication channels as this will assist to keep them safe.”

Source: South African Government News Agency

Cabinet welcomes minimum wage agreement

Pretoria – Cabinet has applauded all social partners at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC) on the historic agreement on the introduction of a national minimum wage.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa recently announced that the national minimum wage has been set at R20 per hour or R3500 per month for those that work a 40-hour week.

Those who work a 45-hour week will have their minimum wage set at R3900. The minimum wage of R20 an hour comes into effect from no later than May 2018.

In a statement issued on Thursday, Cabinet said the agreement on a national minimum wage and other measures to strengthen labour stability and collective bargaining, is an important step in creating a more equal, just and prosperous society as envisaged in the National Development Plan (NDP).

“The national minimum wage, which is a floor below which no worker may be paid, will significantly improve the lives of millions of low paid workers and begin to address the challenge of wage inequality,” Cabinet said.

Cabinet added that the wage has been set at an initial level that will make a real difference in the lives of ordinary South Africans, while minimising any adverse effects on employment.

Businesses that are unable to afford the national minimum wage may apply for a temporary exemption, while measures are being considered to assist fragile sectors of the economy.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Take heed of warnings about Dineo

Pretoria – Cabinet has encouraged all communities who will be affected by Tropical Cyclone Dineo to listen to warnings and information about the cyclone that is being broadcast across all local radio stations.

“Government is appealing to all affected communities to take extra care ahead of this coming cyclone. Communities are discouraged from crossing flooded roads, bridges and rivers,” said a Cabinet statement issued by the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) on Thursday.

The statement was issued following the ordinary Cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

Cabinet’s call to South Africans comes after the South African Weather Service issued a warning of the anticipated Dineo which hit the coast of Mozambique on Wednesday accompanied by high seas, strong winds, storms and heavy rain.

The tropical storm is expected to reach Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the extreme northern parts of KwaZulu-Natal later today.

“We also urge parents, care givers and guardians to ensure the safety of their children during the storms,” the statement said on Thursday.

The National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC) and the National Joint Operations Centre (NATJOC) comprising various government departments and institutions have assessed the situation and activated three Provincial Joint Operations Centres (PROVJOC) in Limpopo, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal.

The multi-sectoral approach will assist where the need arises to ensure the safety of communities and to minimise the impact.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Civil aviation safety to be improved

Pretoria – Cabinet has approved the White Paper on a National Civil Aviation Policy that enhances civil aviation safety.

“The White Paper on National Civil Aviation Policy, which promotes and enhances civil aviation safety, security and environmental compliance, was approved. It also promotes the national interest of South Africa and facilitates the expansion of trade and tourism,” Cabinet said in a statement on Thursday.

The White Paper further promotes the development of an efficient and productive aviation industry, which is capable of competing both locally and internationally.

In the Government Gazette of 11 September 2015, the Department of Transport called for public comments on the draft White Paper on National Civil Aviation Policy.

In the draft White Paper, Transport Minister Dipuo Peters said the document recognises the strategic role entrusted upon South Africa’s aviation infrastructure and operations to support economic development and to serve as a catalyst for increased trade, tourism and job creation.

At the time, the Minister said the policy recognises both the direct contribution of aviation and the wider economic potential of airport precincts, including through the development of aerotropolises.

The White Paper also provides, for the first time in the history of civil aviation in South Africa, comprehensive policy on aircraft noise and engine emissions, in line with the constitutional obligations and international standards regarding environmental matters.

National Airports Development Plan

At its meeting held on Wednesday, Cabinet also approved the National Airports Development Plan which was initiated by the White Paper on National Civil Aviation Policy.

The aim of the plan is to address the gaps between the current airport network and the future desired state.

The National Airports Development Plan will guide and support both overall network planning and the development of individual airports integrated within their broader spatial and transport contexts, in consultation with key airport stakeholders.

“Airport infrastructure is an integral part of the South African transport system and contributes to the socio-economic development of the country by facilitating domestic and international tourism and trade,” said Cabinet.

Source: South African Government News Agency