Medical & Health

Ernst and Young tables SAA report

Pretoria: Ernst and Young forensics has tabled a report on the South African Airways (SAA) procurement investigation.

“This week Ernst and Young forensics tabled with the SAA Board its draft report in respect of the procurement investigation at SAA.

“This report is the first of a number of investigations that will examine specific areas of the business that will identify reasons for the company’s unprofitable trading,” said the national carrier in a statement on Tuesday.

Ernst and Young selected a total of 48 contracts across SAA, Air Chefs, Mango and SAA Technical.

“The purpose was to identify and if applicable quantify the losses caused by failings in either the procurement/contracting phase or implementation phase of the identified contracts,” said SAA.

The report that is currently being studied by the board will be followed by specific action plans to address identified weaknesses. The airline said that the report and the action plans will be placed before the Minister of Finance, Nhlanhla Nene.

The 48 contracts represent a significant portion of the largest contracts with SAA. The report shows that 28 of these 48 contracts (60%) are improperly negotiated, poorly contracted or weakly managed.

“A logical deduction must be that if these (many of which are the largest contracts awarded) suffer these weaknesses then the bulk of the smaller contracts will be at least if not worse,” said SAA.

Potentially 60% of SAA’s total procurement could be in one way or another subject to weak business controls.

“This must lend itself to some idea as to why the airline makes such large losses. The board has asked the question of management (particularly the financial executives) how it takes an external Ernst and Young investigation to identify these whilst management does not.”

SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIAL NEWS

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MEC Debbie Schafer wishes learners and educators safe and happy holiday

The 2015 school year will end for more than one million learners in the Western Cape tomorrow (Wednesday, 9 December).

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all learners, educators, school administration staff, officials and their families a very happy, safe and well-deserved holiday.

I would also like to appeal to communities to be aware that the schools in their communities are vulnerable to burglary and vandalism during the holidays.

We remind all schools that have alarm systems to test their systems to ensure that they are in working order before they close their schools.

In order to protect our schools, as far as possible, from burglary and vandalism over the holiday period, the WCED’s Safe Schools directorate has arranged increased security at some of our high risk identified schools.

Schools are safest where local communities play an active role in helping to look after schools. We also ask every community member to help their schools by participating in neighbourhood watches and reporting any suspicious behaviour in and around our schools immediately to the police.

Schools will reopen on the 11th January 2016 for educators and on the 13th January 2016 for learners.

In 2016, teaching and learning will take place for 199 days. Learners are expected to be at school for the full 199 days in accordance with the National Learner Attendance Policy.

I would like to urge all parents who are travelling over the holiday period to ensure that their children are back in time and present on the first day of the school year.

In preparation for the new school year, we urge parents to note the following:

To consider uniform and stationery expenses for the 2016 school year.

Parents must plan ahead to pay school fees at schools that charge fees unless they intend applying for fee exemption, and qualify for same.

In closing, I would like to wish all our educators, learners and staff a happy and safe holiday. Thank you for your support and dedication throughout the year.

2015 has been a challenging year but one in which I believe that we managed to achieve great things against the odds.

I look forward to 2016 and what we as a department can achieve in education.

Media enquiries:

Jessica Shelver

Cell: 076 175 0663

Email: Jessica.Shelver@westerncape.gov.za

SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIAL NEWS

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Home Affairs to extend working hours at ports of entry

Pretoria: The Department of Home Affairs will extend operating hours at selected ports of entry, deploy additional personnel and extra resources to boost service delivery during the festive season.

This is according to the department’s Director-General, Mkuseli Apleni, who briefed media in Pretoria on Wednesday on operational and contingency plans that the department has put in place this festive season.

Apleni said the plans are meant to ensure smooth facilitation of travellers and goods.

He said selected ports of entry will operate on extended hours between 10 December 2015 and 14 January 2016.

“This will cater for the pre-festive season movement, the post-festive season period and the re-opening of schools in the New Year,” said Apleni.

He said the number of workstations will also be increased over this period to ensure that the ports of entry are not affected by the increase in traveller volumes.

He said the past festive season was one of the most successful periods as only a few incidents were reported.

Apleni said statistics showed an increase of movement of travellers on arrival at Maseru Bridge, Ficksburg, Oshoek and Kopfontein, while Beitbridge and Lebombo figures showed a decrease in comparison with the previous season.

“Two major land ports of entry, Beitbridge and Lebombo, continue to receive the majority of travellers during the festive period.

“We encourage people to travel gradually over the entire period rather than in a single day, so that we can all be and feel safe,” said Apleni.

Unabridged birth certificate requirement

Apleni said regulations specific to travelling with children have not changed and this is to protect children, ensuring that “we know who is taking them out of the country, lawfully and with permission”.

He said an unabridged birth certificate is still required for all children under the age of 18 years, including unaccompanied minors.

This is in addition to the requirement for valid passports, visas where applicable, as well as affidavits confirming parental consent to such travel in the event that one parent is not travelling.

He said it takes about eight weeks to apply and be issued with an unabridged birth certificate, which would be required for each travelling child.

“Those whose applications have exceeded eight weeks, and have not received certificates, are advised to visit Home Affairs offices where they will be given a letter to use in the place of the certificate in the event that they need to travel.

“I encourage our people when applying for a child’s passport to also apply for birth certificates. Details of parents will be printed in the passport so that parents, whose particulars are printed, will therefore not be required to carry birth certificates when travelling with their children,” he said.

He also said the department has been able to successfully carry out Live Capture System upgrades as announced last week. Full services are expected to be provided from Thursday.

SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIAL NEWS

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Deputy Minister Thabang Makwetla visits Mthatha as part of Imbizo Focus week, 3 Dec

As part of National Imbizo Focus Week from 30th November to 6th December 2015, the Deputy Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Mr Thabang Makwetla, will engage with offenders, community members and other stakeholders in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape on Thursday (3 December 2015).

Details of the Imbizo are as follows:

Date: Thursday, 3 December 2015

Venue: Mthatha Correctional Centre, Eastern Cape

Time: 09h30 for 10h00

Over the years, Mthatha has seen a record number of crimes reported to police. One of the major challenges in the area is criminal offences committed by street youth. It is reported that many street youth participate in various criminal activities including pickpocketing, shoplifting, burglary especially from business and public premises, theft from parked motor vehicles, rape and attempted rape, possession of dagga (marijuana), vandalism and assault.

Mthatha falls under the King Sabata Dalindyebo Municipality, which was formed before the local government elections in the year 2000 when the Mqanduli and Mthatha Transitional and Rural Councils were merged. It is one of the five local municipalities located within the OR Tambo District Municipality. The majority population of the municipality resides in rural areas, where they still practice cultural tradition. King Sabata Dalindyebo Municipality still retains many of the earliest buildings of the neoclassical style that was popular during the colonial times. The main economic sectors include community services (48%), finance (21%) and trade (18%).

Izimbizo are two-way unmediated, and interactive, information sharing platforms; a dialogue between government and people giving credence to participatory democracy. Under the theme: “Together we move South Africa forward”, Deputy Minister Makwetla, together with senior government officials, will interact with citizens. Through such platforms, community members also have an opportunity to engage with government in order to address various challenges they are facing.

We wish to request media attending to please confirm attendance by sending their full name, ID or passport number and mobile number to Zama Feni at sivu.matanga@gmail.com, siyat02@gmail.com or 082 5583 369.

Enquiries:

Ntime Skhosana

Office of the Deputy Minister of Justice and Correctional Services

Cell: 082 496 6875

SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIAL NEWS

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