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    South Africa:Cabinet Concerned About Economy, Welcomes Passing of Minimum Wage Bill


    Cabinet says it has mandated the economic cluster ministers to discuss the latest gross domestic product (GDP) figures, which declined by 2.2% in the first quarter of 2018.

    "The GDP results bring into sharp focus the need for all sectors of the country to work together to support South Africa's local economy. Business and labour need to continue to work with government in support of initiatives such as the Nine-Point Plan to stimulate economic growth and create much-needed jobs," read a statement issued after the Cabinet met on Wednesday at the Union Buildings.

    Cabinet has also welcomed the passing of the National Minimum Wage Bill by Parliament. Cabinet expressed its appreciation to all stakeholders at the National Economic Development and Labour Council for the role played in reaching an agreement.

    However, it acknowledged that more work needed to be done to close "the wage disparities that still exist in the country".

    The bill will see almost 6.4 million South African workers benefiting from it.

    North West crisis

    Cabinet says it has also received the third report from the Inter-Ministerial Task Team on the North West province.

    "Cabinet is satisfied with the progress made to operationalise the invoked Section 100(1) (a) and (b) in the North West provincial departments. It was further approved that the IMTT will onwards report to Cabinet once a month to enable the teams deployed in the province to continue with the work."

    It also endorsed the task team briefing the executive, provincial legislature and the external auditors responsible for the province this past Thursday.

    President Cyril Ramaphosa announced in May that he was placing the North West health department under the administration of the national government.

    He appointed a team, under the leadership of Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, to get to the bottom of the crisis that was exacerbated by protests calling for the removal of then-premier Supra Mahumapelo.

    Mahumapelo bowed to pressure and resigned last month.

    Charlotte Maxeke protests

    The statement also noted the recent protest action at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital. Cabinet condemned it, saying it maintained that protesters who exercised their rights to protest should do so without violating the rights of others.

    About a week ago, hospital equipment was damaged and operations were disrupted after staff protested over overtime pay.

    "No amount of grievance justifies violence and the threatening behaviour seen in the past week," Cabinet said.

    National Health Insurance Bill

    The statement said that the National Health Insurance(NHI) Bill of 2018 had been approved to be published in the Government Gazette for public comment.

    The bill will seek to establish the NHI Fund of South Africa as a public entity and provide a framework for the active purchasing of healthcare services by the fund on behalf of users.

    Source: News24

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