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A delegation of Labour Department employees from around the country will next Wednesday, 30 May jet out on a two-week skills empowerment programme to Cuba. The 10 Employment Services Practitioners (ESPs) will be accompanied by 10 managers and the Mpumalanga Provincial Executive Manager.

The Vice-Chair of the Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Elizabeth Mataka, has been appointed as the new United Nations (UN) Special Envoy for AIDS in Africa. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said special envoys assist to mobilise and strengthen responses by working with a wide range of partners, including governments and civil society.

Government is improving its Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure to deliver efficient services ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa. Public Service and Administration Minister Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi announced a Next Generation Network (NGN) would replace the current Government Common Core Network (GCCN).

Allan Gray has established ten annual scholarships worth a total of R1.25 million exclusively for full-time MBA students at the UCT Graduate School of Business (GSB). Allan Gray has been providing funding for previously disadvantaged students at the UCT GSB for a number of years, and the ten newly formed scholarships are a consolidation of the company's funding input to the business school.

A total of 674 Department of Labour inspectors are currently being trained to enforce compliance with the newly promulgated sectoral determination in the hospitality sector.

More than 6.3 million South Africans over the age of 15 years have hypertension also known as high blood pressure. This was revealed by the Southern African Hypertension Society. The occasion aims to raise awareness about high blood pressure and its consequences.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged policymakers and industry leaders to work with young people to give them access to Information and Communications Technology (ICT). In his message of support for World Telecommunication and Information Society Day Mr Ban said in many instances, young people were the driving force behind innovation in the development and use of new technologies.

Integ8 IT, South Africa?s largest privately-owned national Information Technology network integration and infrastructure management specialist, has sponsored IT infrastructure towards the Savoy Waverly Active Protection (SWAP) crime-fighting initiative.

Following this week's announcement by Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlana about the minimum wages for the hospitality industry workers, the Department of Labour wishes to point out that the information as reflected in the Cape Times is absolutely incorrect. The sectoral determination sets only two levels of wages.

The UCT Graduate School of Business (GSB) will run a powerful mentorship programme this June to give leaders and managers the tools to become high-impact mentors. The benefits of a mentoring environment, from an improved bottom line to informed and productive staff, have been recognised globally..

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has raised concerns about the rampant rate of discrimination in the workplace. "Although progress had been made at combating discrimination in the workplace, rising gender disparities in income and other forms of discrimination including age, sexual orientation and HIV and AIDS status were a cause for growing concern,' said ILO in a new report.

The Department of Labour calls on taxi operators to register with the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) before the month end deadline. The South African Revenue Service (SARS) is currently offering tax amnesty to small businesses including taxi operators with a turnover of R10 million. The amnesty is set to expire on 31 May 2007.

A number of nursing colleges in Gauteng that were closed are to be re-opened in an effort to produce more nurses. "I am pleased to announce that we have decided to reopen some of the colleges currently not in operation, this will allow us to produce more nurses in shorter periods,' Gauteng Health MEC Brian Hlongwa said.

A George employer in the Western Cape was this week fined R7 000 by the Small Claims Court for failing to comply with the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) Act regulations. The UIF Act stipulates the payment of benefits to all employees.

Tourism in South Africa has grown three times more than global tourism in 2006, the Chief Executive Officer of South Africa Tourism Moeketsi Mosola said at the Tourism Indaba in Durban Saturday. While globally, tourism grew by 4.5 percent, South Africa shot to 14 percent with African countries being the main influence.

Lifestyle diseases like, cancer, diabetes, heart disease and chronic pulmonary disease are challenging health systems in both developing and developed countries. According to Commonwealth Secretary-General Don McKinnon lifestyle diseases have been sweeping the entire globe.

The Department of Labour Director-General, Dr Vanguard Mkosana, has warned employers that the department is to intensify inspections of workplace law compliance throughout the year. According to the department, iron and steel, construction, agriculture, and the food/drink/beverage sectors were the four main contributors to the 47 percent of reported workplace injuries and fatalities country-wide.

The Department of Labour has cracked down on a leading tombstone manufacturing outlet, Capricorn Tombstones, because of non compliance with health and safety laws. The department?s inspectors issued a stern warning against the employer to comply with the provisions of the Occupational Health and safety Act, 85 of 1993 or face prosecution or a complete shut down.

The Minister of Labour will soon announce a Sectoral Determination for workers in the tourism and hospitality sector. The determination follows a five-year investigation by the Employment Conditions Commission which surveyed 900 employers and more than 1000 employees in the sector.

The DG in the Department of Health, Thami Mseleku, says the government?s AIDS communication campaign is to put more emphasis on treatment, care and support. He was addressing the media after the department awarded the Sizwe Ntsaluba Khomanani Team the tender to re-launch and run the Khomanani campaign worth R190 million over the next two years.

At a glittering gala dinner at the Johannesburg City Hall, KZN-based NGO, 'TREE: Training and Resources in Early Education', was awarded the first national ABSA/Sowetan/SA Congress ECD Award for Excellence in Early Childhood Development.

The UCT Graduate School of Business runs an innovative short course this June aimed at empowering businesses to revolutionise their marketing activities. The course will provide South African businesses with the knowledge and tools to achieve success through building strong relationships with customers and stakeholders, and to use the 21st century?s digital explosion to their advantage.

AstroTech, one of South Africa?s fastest growing training organisations will this year expand its base beyond Gauteng and offer courses in Durban and Cape Town.
It will also open a sister company, BizTech that will offer training to middle managers, administrators and supervisors - but finding good trainers is becoming a challenge.

The government has stuck to the six percent salary increase for the public sector during the wage negotiations as a result of urgent priority areas. "Government has taken account of all spending priorities including social development, addressing crime issues, infrastructure investment and better service delivery for the communities in the pursuit of a better life for all,' said the Minister for Public Service and Administration, Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi.

Cabinet has approved the recently-announced national strategic plan to combat HIV, AIDS and other sexually-transmitted diseases. Cabinet expressed "its unreserved appreciation' to all the stakeholders in SANAC, which has emerged with from its restructuring with a powerful consensus from all its members in the campaign against HIV and AIDS.

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