South Africa's unemployment rate dropped to 26.2 percent in September last year as compared to 27.9 percent in March 2004, Statistics South Africa reported.

Government has generated revenue of R68.1 million to the Unemployment Insurance Fund collected from domestic, seasonal and farm employers and employees.

The Higher Education Working Group will establish a task team to explore funding alternatives for the higher education sector.

Deputy President Jacob Zuma says as the country celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Charter, it is important to remember its pledge to open "the doors of learning and culture" to all.

Bloemfontein - Community members within the Mangaung Local Municipality are to be empowered through a learnership on emerging contractors, in line with the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP).

Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlana has welcomed the International Labour Organisation's (ILO) Governing Body discussions on budget proposals for the 2006-2007 biennium.

The Department of Social Development and the Umsobomvu Youth Fund (UYF) have signed an agreement to work together in the transformation of youth in the country.

Department of Labour inspectors have suspended some operations at one of Sasol plants in Secunda in Mpumalanga following the death of yet another worker.

Sasol will meet with unions and present the results of an
investigation into safety at the fuel producer, according to the company's management.

Nelspruit - Tourism and hospitality industries in Mpumalanga are set for new heights with the opening of a training tourism academy here.

The Commission for Injuries and Disease through its Compensation Fund paid out R2.8 billion to pharmacists, hospitals and doctors over the past three financial ending March 2005.

Government's multibillion job creation project, the Expanded Public Works Programme has so far created in access of 82 000 job opportunities for the unemployed.

The Minister of Labour has told parliament that the Labour Department has conducted an extensive review of Setas and has put systems in place to ensure they are monitored quarterly.

Some believe that the raising of the skills levy threshold to R500 000 will cause many hundreds of SDFs to lose their livelihood. However Jim Freeman writes that while one door is closing, a number of others are opening.

KwaZulu-Natal MEC Education MEC Ina Cronje has urged schools in the province to make their resources available for adult basic education and training (Abet).

Government is to review finance allocations to public tertiary institutions across the country, with specific attention to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme.

The Congress of SA Trade Unions has to intervene decisively in
the government's economic strategy to create jobs, says Cosatu president
Willie Madisha.

In what could be an impetus to the current economic boom, the International Investment Council (IIC)yesterday presented a glowing report on the various economic programme initiated by the government.

Telkom has told the Portfolio Committee on Communications that it will impose a moratorium on retrenchments, a move that could bring relief to thousands of the parastatal's employees.

Deputy President Jacob Zuma says unemployment is still a major challenge for South Africa and government needs to continue vigorously focusing on it.

In a bid to bridge the skills development gap in the agricultural sector, the Western Cape Department of Agriculture has welcomed 40 learners in their learnerships.

A new chapter has been opened in South Africa's job creation drive with the Minister of Labour, Membathisi Mdladlana, together with the National Skills Authority, launching the new National Skills Development Strategy.

The Labour Department says the Unemployment Insurance Fund is now financially viable after formulating reserves of up to R8.4 billion.

Finance Minister Trevor Manuel has rejected widespread
claims South Africa's unemployment rate is running at 40 percent.

Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlana has confirmed the suspension of Deputy Director-General responsible for the Employment and Skills Development Services and Human Resources Development, Adrienne Bird.


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