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Education & Skills Development News

Unisa SBL professor appointed Ghana PPA chairperson, to aid in supply chain management

By: Mia Breytenbach     14th August 2017 The University of South Africa (Unisa) Graduate School of Business Leadership’s (SBL’s) first-ever professor extraordinaire for supply and value chain management in Africa Professor Douglas Boateng has been appointed independent chairperson of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) by Ghana... 

Local manufacturer looks to bridge skills gap

By: Nadine James     11th August 2017 Sealing products manufacturer Klinger Mzansi has opened its training academy, which offers a learnership programme, joint integrity training as well as an introductory course on all of the company’s products. Klinger sales and marketing director Phillip Herbst notes that the academy opened on... 

Local manufacturer looks to bridge skills gap
KLINGER TRAINING ACADEMY The trainees have access to a fully equipped workshop, and gain both practical and theoretical knowledge

Small farms an economical option in South Africa

By: Robyn Wilkinson     11th August 2017 While many medium-sized farms have been unable to weather the challenges facing the South African agricultural industry and have consequently been absorbed by larger commercial farms, smaller farmers are proving that it is possible to generate a sustainable income from a modest operation through... 

Small farms an economical option in South Africa
MAXIMUM BENEFIT Hinomoto’s small-scale tractors ensure that farmland is used in the most efficient way possible, maximising yield sizes

Open Design festival to be held in Cape Town this month

By: Dylan Slater     11th August 2017 The yearly design and innovation gala the Open Design Cape Town Festival will be held in conjunction with a new symposium on the way in which art, design, mathematics, science and technology can collaborate to ignite innovation.  

Samwu to march on Midvaal Municipality

By: African News Agency      9th August 2017 The South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) has said that it would be marching to the Midvaal Municipal offices, south of Johannesburg, on Thursday in protest against working conditions and to deliver a memorandum of demands. Samwu’s spokesperson, Papikie Mohale, said the protest march... 

Samwu to march on Midvaal Municipality

Politics jeopardising employment in South Africa – Solidarity

By: Anine Kilian     8th August 2017 Trade union Solidarity on Tuesday expressed concern about South Africa’s persistent weak unemployment statistics.  This comes after Monday’s release, by Statistics South Africa, of its Quarterly Labour Force Survey, which showed that the expanded definition of unemployment had widened from 36.4%... 

City of Joburg to host open days to resolve billing crisis

By: Natasha Odendaal     8th August 2017 The City of Johannesburg (CoJ) is embarking on a series of highly concentrated “billing open days” over the next few months to resolve lingering billing issues, reduce the backlog of incorrect accounts and enable ratepayer interaction with frontline staff and senior management. The open days will... 

Forum to address rail maintenance and rehabilitation

     4th August 2017 A delegation of international rail maintenance and rehabilitation professionals, together with an “unbeatable” line-up of thought leaders in Africa’s transport sector will be in Durban, South Africa in October to address challenges faced by the rail fraternity in Africa. 

Station’s strategic location to improve corridor capacity

By: Simone Liedtke     4th August 2017 Rosmead station, in the Eastern Cape, was identified as strategic in improving operational capacity along the export corridor and forms part of Phase 1 of State-owned freight utility Transnet’s Port of Ngqura manganese export expansion project. 

Successful event to be held again next year

     4th August 2017 Following the success of the Africa Rail exhibition and conference in 2017, the event will be held again on June 12 to 13 next year at the Sandton Convention Centre, in South Africa. 

Harbour reconstruction project nearing completion

By: Marleny Arnoldi     4th August 2017 Construction companies Stefanutti Stocks Coastal and Axsys Projects have partnered for the Maydon Wharf reconstruction project in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, and they expect the project to be completed next month.  

Harbour reconstruction project nearing completion
ANCHORS OVERBOARD Despite major technological advances over past decades, it still remains a mammoth task to plan, manage and construct a marine infrastructure project

First delivery of locomotives expected in Q4

By: Simone Liedtke     4th August 2017 Rail technology provider Bombardier Transportation (BT) will hand over the first of 240 Bombardier Traxx Africa locomotives to State-owned freight utility Transnet, during the fourth quarter of this year. 

SMMEs need better access to markets, finance

By: Anine Kilian     2nd August 2017 The biggest challenge facing small, medium-sized and microenterprises (SMMEs) in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) is access to markets, says consulting firm Tutwa Consulting researcher Anna Ngarachu. Addressing delegates at the SADC Industrialisation Week Conference, in... 

Free higher education to be introduced – Mantashe 

By: African News Agency      31st July 2017 The governing African National Congress has resolved to introduce free higher education next year, secretary general Gwede Mantashe said on Monday. The party held its national executive committee lekgotla over the weekend. 

Numsa to consult its members over proposed engineering strike 

By: Natasha Odendaal     28th July 2017 The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) on Friday said “any way forward” on the looming labour strike in the engineering sector would be determined by its members through upcoming meetings. Following Numsa’s Central Committee meeting this week, the trade union had resolved to... 

Company to hold short courses and workshops this year

By: Simone Liedtke     28th July 2017 Environment solutions company I-CAT plans to hold a range of external, environment-oriented short courses and workshops at its Pretoria-based training facility by the last quarter of this year, as a means to keep the industry updated on legislation changes and the responsibility of industry players. 

Company to hold  short courses and workshops this year
Photo by Duane Daws
LOURENS JANSEN VAN RENSBURG I-CAT uses highly qualified and experienced facilitators to provide competency-based specialised training programmes

First red-seal toolmaker certificates handed over

By: Simone Liedtke     28th July 2017 The National Tooling Initiative Programme (NTIP) celebrated the milestone of handing over the first red-seal toolmaker occupational certificates to twelve graduates last month at the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation, in Pretoria. 

First red-seal toolmaker certificates handed over
SEAL OF APPROVAL The first cohort of graduates received their red-seal toolmaker occupational certificates last month

Outreach programme providing opportunities for participants

By: Simone Liedtke     28th July 2017 Engineering company Bosch’s Outreach Robotics Programme has provided participants the opportunity to compete in the 2017 World Robot Olympiad, in Costa Rica, in November this year. 

Outreach programme providing  opportunities for participants
MARKUS THILL The programme aims to ensure that children from various backgrounds have an opportunity to study robotics

Education institutions struggling with connectivity

By: Simone Liedtke     28th July 2017 Amid water, electricity and basic infrastructure challenges at various education institutions, the lack of Internet connectivity has also been a challenge, states wireless connectivity firm Ruckus sub-Saharan Africa sales director Riaan Graham. 

Education institutions  struggling with connectivity
RIAAN GRAHAM Connectivity to the Internet is essential and if it is available at a school, WiFi can be used to distribute access to the students

More engineers needed to support local projects

By: Robyn Wilkinson     28th July 2017 As part of its drive to promote and support the engineering profession at multiple levels, the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) is establishing an intervention programme that will focus on accrediting engineering academies for training candidates for the purposes of registration within... 

More engineers needed to support local projects
SIPHO MADONSELA Developing and sustaining a relevant, transformed, competent and internationally recognised engineering profession is critical in meeting South Africa’s socioeconomic goals

Not enough high school mathematics and science graduates

By: Simone Liedtke     28th July 2017 Irrespective of the considerable amount of money invested in the South African education system, engineering consultancy WSP Africa head of people, culture and engagement Elaine Porter, states that the number of high-school graduates with good results in higher-grade mathematics and science is... 

Not enough high school mathematics and science graduates
NECESSARY FOUNDATIONS Mathematics and science abilities cannot suddenly be learnt, without foundations in analytical skills

AfDB in $2bn project finance pact

By: Mia Breytenbach     28th July 2017 The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) have signed a landmark agreement to strengthen their partnership at country level and jointly contribute to $2-billion over the next three years to finance projects in agriculture, food security, renewable energy, small... 

AfDB in $2bn project finance pact
Photo by Duane Daws
JOINT CONTRIBUTION The banks’ contribution will finance projects in areas, such as agriculture, food security, renewable energy, small and medium enterprises and human development

US farm equipment maker looking to Africa for future growth

By: Dylan Slater     28th July 2017 US-based agricultural equipment manufacturer and supplier Agco is directing a large portion of its future growth potential into Africa, specifically South Africa, as a key market going forward.  

US farm equipment maker looking to Africa for future growth
FUTURE FARM One of Agco’s Future Farm’s responsibilities is to teach aspiring tractor technicians how to service Agco-distributed tractors

Training facility to improve skills deficit in artisan industry 

By: Simone Liedtke     28th July 2017 Industrial rope access specialist Skyriders Access Specialists aims to bridge the rope access skills deficit in the artisan industry through offering training at its Midrand-based facility, states Skyriders marketing manager Mike Zinn. 

Training facility to  improve skills deficit  in artisan industry
Skyriders marketing manager Mike Zinn gives a tour of their training facility, in Midrand. Camerawork and Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Software-defined storage allows schools to use commodity hardware to build storage pool

By: Simone Liedtke     28th July 2017 Enterprise open-source software company SUSE has released what it calls software-defined storage which supports schools using free open-source software (FOSS), says SUSE client executive Derek Rule. 

Software-defined storage allows schools to use commodity hardware to build storage pool
DEREK RULE The global community of open-source software users and developers provides a constant stream of updates and improvements

Coega IDZ preferred location for the gas to power programme

By: Nica Schreuder     28th July 2017 The Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) has initiated an environmental impact study for South Africa’s gas-to-power programme, and has strategically explored the IDZ’s full potential beyond its gas power plant’s current allocation of 1 000 MW. “The foundation of South Africa’s readiness... 

Coega IDZ preferred  location for the gas  to power programme
Photo by Duane Daws
EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY The construction and operation phases to accommodate a gas economy in South Africa will provide job opportunities and economic growth

Calls for more investment in science infrastructure in Africa

By: Creamer Media Reporter      25th July 2017 Researcher Professor Kelly Chibale has called for a deep commitment to investing in world-class infrastructure and skills for scientists to succeed on the continent. The founder and director of Africa’s only integrated drug discovery and development centre, H3D, at the University of Cape Town... 

Telkom injects R200m into educational programmes

By: Natasha Odendaal     21st July 2017 Telecommunications giant Telkom has pledged R200-million over the next five years towards a scalable three-phased strategy to deploy educational programmes in high schools in disadvantaged communities. Through the group’s Connected Schools Programme (CSP) and Supplementary Teaching Programme,... 

Majority of new Barloworld technician apprentices are women

By: Dylan Slater     21st July 2017 Women now represent more than 80% of apprentices enrolled for construction equipment manufacturer Barloworld Equipment’s rigorous apprentice training class of 2017.  

Majority of new Barloworld technician apprentices are women
CLASS OF 2017 Women constitute more than 80% of this year’s intake of Barloworld Equipment apprentice technicians

Illegal mining threatens infrastructure development in KwaZulu-Natal

By: Robyn Wilkinson     21st July 2017 Failure to adequately regulate illegal sand mining in KwaZulu-Natal is increasingly becoming a threat to the mining and construction sectors in the region, says Aggregate and Sand Producers Association of Southern Africa (Aspasa) director Nico Pienaar. 

Illegal mining threatens infrastructure development in KwaZulu-Natal
NICO PIENAAR Aspasa is taking steps to ensure a well-run and compliant aggregate and sand producing industry in KwaZulu-Natal

‘Durban’s best kept secret’ honoured for technical excellence  

By: Robyn Wilkinson     21st July 2017 Engineering and project management consultancy Royal HaskoningDHV South Africa was awarded the South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE) Durban branch’s prestigious technical excellence award last month for the design and construction of Main Road 577 (MR577), with SAICE calling it... 

‘Durban’s best kept  secret’ honoured for  technical excellence
Royal HaskoningDHV South Africa provide an overview of the MR577. Video courtesy: RoyalHaskoningDHV

Otis relaunches training academy to build skills, expertise in industry

By: Mia Breytenbach     21st July 2017 Elevator and escalator manufacturer Otis South Africa earlier this month relaunched its training academy in line with its skills development programme, which is designed to create technical and functional expertise in African markets. “Building skills and expertise through the Otis training... 

Otis relaunches training academy to build skills, expertise in industry
ESCALATED OFFERING The training academy will now offer programmes that include service and maintenance, installations, as well as quality, environment health and safety

Numsa has no desire to avoid strike action – Saefa

By: Anine Kilian     20th July 2017 Responding to the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa’s (Numsa’s) alleged intention to take industrial action to “shut down” the country’s engineering sector, the South African Engineers and Founders Association (Saefa) feels that the trade union has no desire to avoid strike action,... 

Solidarity seeks out govt collaboration on solution to high winter power rates

By: Creamer Media Reporter      14th July 2017 Trade union Solidarity has requested industry players, government and State-owned power utility Eskom to convene a solution-seeking roundtable to discuss winter’s high power rates and the negative impact it has on the steel and chrome industry. Under the Save Our Steel Campaign, Solidarity metal... 

Partnership formed to offer after-sales support for burgeoning drones industry

By: Dylan Slater     14th July 2017 To meet the needs of the rapidly expanding drones market, a new retail and aftersales support, repair and training network has been established through a partnership between technology support company weFix and drone training service provider Drone Racing Africa (DRA).  

Partnership formed to offer after-sales support for burgeoning drones industry
SCALING INDUSTRY A partnership between weFix and Drone Racing Africa aims to increase legal operations and improve after sales support

Solidarity ready to pursue bilateral talks to avoid metals sector strike

By: Terence Creamer     13th July 2017 Trade union Solidarity announced on Thursday that it would pursue bilateral talks with employer organisations in the metals and engineering sector in a bid to break a three-week deadlock in wage negotiations. Talks at the Metal and Engineering Industries Bargaining Council (MEIBC) broke down on... 

Solidarity ready to pursue bilateral talks to avoid metals sector strike

Seifsa and Neasa in war of words as metals sector strike looms

By: Terence Creamer     12th July 2017 The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) has described suggestions that it is only representing the interests of large employers in the metals and engineering sector as malicious “propaganda”, arguing that it “fights hard” to represent both small and big... 

Seifsa and Neasa in war of words as metals sector strike looms

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