SA HR news roundup: SETA looks to future 4IR skills, Denel pays millions in salary arrears

Denel pays R4 million in salary arrears, prepares for the next Labour Court hearing.

The pandemic brings unexpected benefits to the ICT sector, while the MICT SETA develops 4IR future skills qualifications. State-owned arms manufacturer Denel makes a R4 million pay-out for employee salaries in arrears, and will be back in the Labour Court soon, while the Bojanala SEZ is expected to create 2,500 jobs.

Bojanala SEZ to create 2,500 jobs
The Bojanala Special Economic Zone (SEZ) is expected to create about 2,500 jobs and attract about R8 billion of investment.

High on the agenda is mineral beneficiation, the creation of an industrial zone and a logistics park, and investment in information and communications technology. The provincial government is seeking to tap into the region's vast mineral wealth to drive the socio-economic development of the province.

North West premier Bushy Maape says the project is expected to help the government overcome the socio-economic challenges in the province.

Pandemic benefits the ICT sector
The pandemic resulted in unexpected benefits for the ICT sector, including increased productivity and the potential for employers to reduce their operating costs.

This is one of the findings of the first South African ICT Skills Survey to be carried out since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, by Wits University’s Joburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE) in partnership with the Institute of Information Technology Professionals South Africa (IITPSA).

MICT SETA readies for 4IR skills revolution
The Media, Information and Communication Technologies Sector Education and Training Authority (MICT SETA) has developed 11 Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) future skills qualifications, including artificial intelligence, cloud computing, cyber security, data science, robotic processing automation, systems development and e-waste.

Matome Madibana, MICT SETA acting CEO, said, “As the MICT SETA we are excited about our partnership with the Higher Learning Institutions in launching and spearheading the provision of formal training for 4IR in South Africa. We are hopeful that with these 11 qualifications we are going to bridge the current shortage of skilled labour within the ICT and Digital industries and, ultimately, increase the employment rate and entrepreneurship in South Africa.”

Denel back in court over salary arrears
Denel has paid R4 million to cover the salary arrears of union members employed by Denel Dynamics and Denel Land Systems. This is according to trade union Solidarity, which had obtained a court order in March to seize some of the state-owned enterprise’s assets.

The amount covers the salary arrears for the period May 2020 to July 2020. However, Solidarity has again taken Denel to court, regarding the salary arrears of every member of the union who worked for the company from August 2020. This case is expected to be heard in the Johannesburg Labour Court on 7 October.