Archive for August 5th, 2007

source: allAfrica
Zimbabwe Standard (Harare)

5 August 2007
Posted to the web 5 August 2007

Lungile Zulu
Bulawayo

Zimbabwe’s cement manufacturing giant, Portland Holdings Limited, has slashed workers’ salaries by about 40%, apparently due to declining profits against production costs.

It has been reported this is a direct consequence of the government’s price blitz, which came into effect last month.

The workers in Bulawayo and the PHL subsidiariy in Colleen Bawn in Matabeleland South, were shocked last week to find their salaries had been slashed.

They said most of them were normally paid between $6 million and $7 million: this time they were shocked to receive between $3 million and $4 millio, respectively.

Standardbusiness established that company profits had declined after the government ordered the price of a bag of cement to be cut from $1.5 million to $170 000.

“Life has become tough for us after our salaries were cut this month, without notice,” said one employee. “There are indications the salaries might be cut further if we fail to meet the targets set by the company,”

Workers’ committee members who refused to be named confirmed the development.

“The company has registered losses and is operating at a loss, with the management saying it [continue reading]

Advertisements

source: IOL
Jani Meyer
August 05 2007 at 05:24PM

Turn on the “bluetooth” application on your cellphone in a crowded room, scan for anyone who is active and send a message to someone with the same make of phone.

Whip out your laptop and look up the cellphone brand’s website, use the call divert application on your phone and tap in some codes – in a few simple steps you have “hijacked” someone’s cellphone to use and abuse until the owner discovers that he or she has become a victim of technology.

And you do not have to be a whiz kid to be a hacker – the information is available in cyberspace and a quick Google will give you the information needed to become a hacker.

The ease with which cyber crime can be committed was highlighted at a Tip Offs Anonymous seminar at Deloitte in Durban this week.

Dominique White, a consultant at Enterprise Risk Services based at Deloitte, demonstrated how easy it was to hijack a cellphone number.

Apart from lost airtime, information stored on a cellphone can also be hacked or [continue reading]

source: IOL
August 05 2007 at 12:19PM

By Lerato Matsaneng

Motorists whose cars have run out of petrol or have broken down can call metro police to assist them before contacting their roadside assistance service provider.

Metro Police say a freeway patrol unit or traffic department vehicle will be sent to the scene, secure the vehicle and prevent accidents or a disruption to traffic. If motorists aren’t able to contact their service providers, Metro Police will contact the providers on their behalf. If motorists don’t have a roadside service provider, police will put them in contact with tow-truck and other service providers contracted to the department.

The Metro Police announcement comes after a motorist was killed in Ekurhuleni after his friend called him to assist him with his vehicle.

He parked his car on the opposite side of [continue reading]

source: IOL
August 05 2007 at 12:15PM

By Michael Schmidt

The controversial “vigilante” farmers along the Limpopo/Zimbabwe border have transformed themselves into media-savvy operators.

Marie Helm, the northern general manager of the Transvaal Agricultural Union (TAU), said the TAU had hosted 15 different news crews, including The Times of London, this week.

The rush was started by a Sky News report of the TAU farm-watch patrols “hunting” refugees as if they were game, arresting the hungry and bedraggled Zimbabweans and handing them over to the police.

Jody Kollapen, of the South African Human Rights Commission, said this week that the farm-watch was a “paramilitary” organisation acting in a racist fashion against black Zimbabweans.

But in interviews, the farmers expressed not only their concern about stock theft and fence-cutting, which they attributed to the influx of refugees, but also emphasised that a humanitarian crisis was snowballing in the region.

South Africa’s borderland with its imploding neighbour is a place where the hated Zimbabwean police patrol the N1 highway with their SAPS colleagues, on the lookout for defectors from President Robert Mugabe’s grave new world.

It is a place where potential asylum seekers, exhausted after lengthy treks to the haven of South Africa, have to run a gauntlet of panga-wielding thieves, extortionist “guides” and remnants of the notorious old Commandos.

The Commandos are being transformed into the new South African National Defence Force’s reserve force, but [continue reading]

source: News24
05/08/2007 08:31  – (SA)

Johannesburg – Talks to resolve a pay strike which led to countrywide fuel shortages and panic buying will resume on Sunday as both Ceppwawu and the employers failed to reach an agreement on Saturday night.

Chemical, Energy, Paper, Printing, Wood, and Allied Workers’ Union (Ceppwawu) spokesperson Keith Jacobs said he could not reveal the details of the negotiations – which went on until about 22:00 on Saturday.

Ceppwawu and the National Petroleum Employers Association spent some of Saturday split into caucus meetings, after negotiations resumed at the Chamber of Mines in Johannesburg earlier that morning.

Earlier, Jacobs said Ceppwawu remained “very confident” and “happy” at the way talks were going.

He said “first prize” would still be a 9.5% increase but a national bottom-line of 8.5% had been established.

Other issues on [continue reading]

source: IOL
Sibusiso Ngalwa
August 04 2007 at 04:14PM

Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni has hinted that Zimbabwe might be excluded from the common monetary union planned for southern African countries.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) aims to have a single currency by 2016 to promote regional trade.

Speaking during an interaction with parliament’s finance committee in Cape Town on Friday, Mboweni said inflation figures in the SADC region were encouraging, with the exception of Zimbabwe.

He said the idea that including Zimbabwe in the common monetary area would help that country’s economy was far-fetched.

South Africa currently shares a common monetary area with Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland.

“Zimbabwe is out of the question for now.

“The question should rather be: When the SADC countries reach the point of monetary union, what happens to those countries that don’t fulfil the convergence criteria? The interesting view that is emerging is that the (SADC monetary union) may not have to include everybody,” said Mboweni.

Those countries that did not comply with the criteria would be expelled.

Zimbabwe’s economy has [continue reading]

source: News24
04/08/2007 21:17  – (SA)

Johannesburg – Ceppwawu and the National Petroleum Employers Association negotiators were still locked behind closed doors at 21:00 on Saturday.

“All I can say is that we are still talking,” said Chemical, Energy, Paper, Printing, Wood, and Allied Workers’ Union (Ceppwawu) spokesperson Keith Jacobs.

Ceppwawu and the National Petroleum Employers Association spent some of Saturday split into caucus meetings, after negotiations resumed at the Chamber of Mines in Johannesburg earlier that morning.

Ceppwawu remained “very confident” and “happy” at the way talks were going, Jacobs said.

Earlier, Jacobs said “first prize” would still be a 9.5% increase, but a national bottom-line of 8.5% had been established.

Other issues on the table were a proposed increase in maternity leave from four to six months and the establishment of a standardised 40 hour working week.

Drivers ready to take to the road

Jacobs said drivers had told him they would be willing to go out and deliver petrol the minute a settlement was reached.

He said drivers told him: “We are willing to get into the trucks now.”

Meanwhile, oil companies felt the effects of the strike on their distribution and supply capacities.

“We are feeling the impact of the [continue reading]