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South Africa results to retrenchment amidst economic crisis

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The South African government has taken to appeals to forestall retrenchment of worker by the private sector which suffers the economic down turn currently ravaging the country.

The panicky government appealed to employers to see retrenchment as the last resort to the economic crisis.

According to report, the Cabinet again appealed to employers across industries in the country, especially mining and media, to avoid job losses.

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“We reiterate our appeal to business to consider retrenchment only as a last resort, and to explore other available and innovative ways to sustain jobs.

“Government continues to partner with business and labour, and remains convinced that working together, we can grow our economy and create new jobs,” Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane said at a post-Cabinet media briefing held in Cape Town.

Earlier this month, the retrenchment of 14,000 Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) mineworkers was put on hold for at least two months.

This came after government, Amplats and organised labour reached an agreement to postpone the retrenchment in efforts to identify a solution to avoiding the move.

Prior to this, Amplats had announced that it would retrench about 14,000 workers due to the strikes that resulted in the mining company failing to generating profits.

The tripartite members recommitted to engage constructively for the benefit of all stakeholders and will communicate progress updates as and when appropriate.

On Wednesday, Mokonyane expressed concern at the potential loss of 300 jobs at Afro World View News Channel after MultiChoice South Africa did not renew its contract on Monday.

While noting that these are commercial agreements between private parties, Mokonyane said she was concerned about how young, mostly black people, were affected by this development, as their employment is a source of income for their immediate and extended families.

“We have been informed by MultiChoice SA of their intention to make an announcement on a new 24-hour news channel by Tuesday, 28 August 2018, whose conditions, among others, is to consider the future employability of the no less than 300 workers affected by the Afro World View contractual termination.

“We are pleased that there will be consideration given to these skills and that they will not be lost to the sector,” she said.

On Thursday, the South African reported a Reuters poll of economists predicting that there is a one-in-three chance that South Africa will go into a recession this year.

“The last two quarters of 2018 have been one of the toughest the country’s economy has had to endure. Around 30 economists polled predicted a 1.4% in growth for South Africa’s economy in 2018, following up with 1.9% in 2019.

“Although sluggish, it was still a more positive outlook than the South African Reserve Bank’s (SARB) expectation of a growth of 1.2%.

“In a monetary policy meeting held in July, SARB reduced its expectation by 0.5 percentage points from what it had put forward in May, a predicted growth of 1.7%.’’

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Nigeria General Elections postponement not politically influenced – INEC

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Nigeria’s electoral body, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has cleared the air, saying its decision to postpone the general elections a few hours to the commencement was not politically influenced.



INEC chairman Mahmoud Yakubu said at a press conference that “The decision has nothing to do with security, nothing to do with political influence and nothing to do with lack of resources.”

The postponement heightens the political tensions in the country, especially between the ruling All Progressives Congress and the main opposition People’s Democratic Party.

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The parties have accused INEC of kowtowing down to the political influence exerted by either party to postpone the elections which ought to begin the presidential and National Assembly elections on Saturday, February 16 2019.

PDP and APC faulted INEC’s decision to reschedule the presidential and National Assembly elections will hold on February 23 while the governorship and state houses of assembly elections will take place on March 9.

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Nigeria: Reactions trail INEC Postponement of 2019 General Elections

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Reactions have trailed the decision of The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to postpone the Presidential and National Assembly elections earlier slated for today by a week, citing operational difficulties.



Prior to the postponement of the election, the PDP accused INEC of hoarding the presidential and senatorial elections result sheets for undisclosed reasons.

The party also revealed that its monitoring and intelligence showed that INEC had been distributing sensitive election materials in most states of the federation without the Presidential and Senatorial elections results sheets.

The National Publicity Secretary of the Party, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement said that the party’s agents were being denied the INEC accreditation and identification cards, ostensibly to shut them out of the election monitoring process and allow the APC a field day to manipulate the process.

According to him, “The development is already heightening tension and suspicion of underhand method by the commission to open the elections for manipulations and allow the APC to enter fictitious results for onward transmission to collation centres.”

The PDP also rejected alleged substitution of the already trained INEC adhoc staff in various states of the federation with members of the APC.
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The party said that PDP would never allow “this unscrupulous attempt at power hijack to stand.”

He stated, “This surreptitious ploy to use APC members as polling staff is a direct template by the APC in collusion with some INEC officials, to rig the elections for the APC.

“This affront to the collective quest by the people for a credible election is akin to sitting our nation on a keg of gunpowder.”

A renowned political analyst in Lagos state, Isaac Abiola on his part expressed displeasure at the postponement, citing the electoral body’s insincerity the worrisome part.

Mr Abiola said “I am disappointed with INEC. It is obvious that they are not sincere with us. INEC till 11:30pm yesterday claimed to have been ready and even tweeted that their situation room was ready. It is not a must to conduct elections when you are not fully ready. But the decision to postponed should have been reached and announced at least 24hrs before election. Why announce 2:30am when people were sleeping. I feel there is an arrangement somewhere.”

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Also Reacting to the postponement, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Ahmed Raji, noted that if the postponement was towards achieving a credible, free and acceptable election, it is in order. According to him, if the reason for the postponment is actually on logistics as it is being said, it is okay instead of the Commission to go ahead and conduct an election that would put it to ridicule both locally and internationally.

Raji, while stating that it is high time Nigerians begin to see election as a process, observed that budgetary allocation for the elections came a little bit late.

According to him election materials are not things people just pick from the shop, hence the commission needs adequate time to plan and arrange for some of this materials.

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On the ruling party’s side, Arc Waziri Bulama, the deputy director general of APC presidential campaign council disclosed the party’s readiness for the forthcoming general elections dismissing claims that the APC was looking for a postponement of the polls. Bulama who disclosed this on Wednesday, February 13, stated that the council had carried its campaign all over the country. He said the responsibilities of leaders was to deliver good governance, secure the lives of Nigerians, ensure that they promote justice, rule of law, peace and freedom through their actions.



Meanwhile, the opposition People’s Democratic Party presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar said the postponement of the general election by Independent National Electoral Commission is “obviously a case of the hand of Esau but the voice of Jacob.”

“The Buhari administration has had more than enough time and money to prepare for these elections and the Nigerian people were poised and ready to perform their civic responsibility by voting in the elections earlier scheduled for Saturday, 16 February, 2019,” Atiku said in a stateemnt on Saturday.

“By instigating this postponement, the Buhari administration hopes to disenfranchise the Nigerian electorate in order to ensure that turn out is low on the rescheduled date,” he added.

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