SA HR news roundup: Investec to pay for exec security, healthcare back on critical skills list

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Human capital needed in science, technology and innovation.

Rising crime levels in the country prompt Investec AGM decision to pay up to R2 million to cover personal security costs for each of its executive directors in the country. An update to the critical skills list sees healthcare back in the spotlight, while the 2022 South African Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators Report highlights lack of human capital in science, technology and innovation. Meanwhile, Prasa plans to stay on track with its investigation into 3,000 ghost workers.

Investec to carry personal security costs for execs

Investec will pay up to £100,000 (R2.02 million) to cover the personal security costs of each of its executive directors in South Africa due to concerns about the country’s rising crime levels, reports Business Day.

The resolution was approved by 99.79 percent of shareholders during the AGM vote.

“Investec takes the safety and security of all our people seriously,” the bank said. “Our executives, in particular, have relatively high public profiles. As an unintended consequence this potentially makes them more vulnerable and increases their personal risk. The remuneration committee consulted extensively with shareholders on this resolution and received near unanimous support from them.”

Healthcare workers on critical skills list

Minister of Home Affairs Aaron Motsoaledi has updated the critical skills list to include 41 professional codes in the healthcare sector, according to a notice in the government gazette. Chemists, specialist nurse educators, anaesthetists and dentists, among others, are now considered critical skills.

The move comes amid growing concerns about a shortage of healthcare workers in both the public and private sectors.

Motor industry workers ready for strike

A two-day Motor Industry Bargaining Council (Mibco) meeting with unions and employers has not resulted in a new agreement, increasing the risk of strike action.

The motor retail, fuel and automotive component manufacturing sectors fall under the Mibco.

National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) general secretary Irvin Jim said the union will be organising national shop stewards council meetings to mobilise members.

The current collective agreement expires on 31 August.

Prasa tackles ‘ghost’ employees

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula says that the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) has started Operation Ziveze to physically verify employees, as the state-owned entity looks into 3,000 unverified employees on its payroll.

Mbalula said that the salaries of unverified employees had been frozen.

“Since the freezing of salaries, more employees from those previously not verified came forward. A forensic investigation is under way. Operation Ziveze – headcount – must be completed and identified ghost workers must be terminated from the payroll, and culpable officials disciplined,” he said.

Human capital needed in science, tech and innovation

South Africa needs to increase the number of researchers and technicians if it wants to remain globally competitive in innovation, according to the 2022 South African Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators Report, published by the Department of Higher Education, Science and Innovation.

According to Minister Blade Nzimande, the number of researchers and technicians employed in research and development (R&D) has been on the decline since 2018.

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