Today's Big Stories

Could E-Natis be on the brink of collapse?

E-Natis could be near to collapse

An ongoing legal battle between the company that was hired to run the traffic database, the Electronic National Administration Traffic Information System (eNaTiS) and the Department of Transport, is threatening to collapse the system. eNaTiS processes transactions such as vehicle licencing and driver’s licences and stores the data.

The disagreements of how the transfer should be done have led to allegations of unlawful conduct and referrals to the High Court. Tasima, is in the process of transferring the system to the department of transport.

Eye Witness News Bary Bateman reports:

This is a long ongoing matter, at least two years old between the department of Transport and Tasima which run the traffic database system. And what happened recently is that the system is in the process of being transferred over to the department of transport management but there’s difficulties that’s being coming up in last couple of years and it’s got to the point where the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) actually advertised posts to the TASIM employees. Tasima sees this action as unlawful that it is an attempt to take over the system without going through the proper transferring process

Numsa in Court with Cosatu

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) is now in the Johannesburg High Court filing for an urgent hearing in their application to overturn the decision of their expulsion from the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu).EWN Reporter, Govan Whittles on the latest:

The entire point of the application for an urgent hearing of their challenge to the expulsion is to have it heard before a special national congress by Cosatu in July. Numsa submitted its papers, contesting its expulsion from Cosatu, in January. But since then, their matter hasn’t been heard in the court. Since the court has ordered Cosatu to hold the special national congress in July, Numsa says it wants to contest its expulsion and hopefully win, so that it can take part in the national congress. If does that, of course, Numsa retains a lot of voting power in the congress, and it would possibly swing things in its favour. Remember, the eight other unions that have supported Numsa are co- applicants to have this matter heard urgently. Skeptics would argue that Cosatu wants to keep Numsa out and make sure that the special congress goes on with its newly accepted affiliate for metalworkers, Lemusa

Sadtu proposes to send "bullies" to special schools

South African teachers union (Sadtu) has proposed that pupils who show signs of being bullies or being aggressively violent should be moved from normal schools and be placed in special schools.

Professor Thulani Zengele researcher on Schools Management and Impact of Unions in Schools at UNISA shares his views:

I just went through this document and I think from an academic point of view it is not a good idea. With research that has been carried out throughout the world there’s been no success in isolating children classified as bullies. You must remember that using the word ‘bullies’ is an insult to an individual because we are all bullies by nature, so it would actually be negative to any program directed at people labelled as bullies. From the onset I don’t think the approach is proper.

Researchers claim to have dagga alternative

Researchers in London have this week claimed that it may soon be possible for people addicted to dagga to beat their addiction by using a cannabis-based substitute. Jan Chabalala, former president of the South African Society of Psychiatrists spoke to Stephen Grootes about this:

This has always been a controversial issue, in terms of what is the kind of addiction that dagga is. What we find clinically, is that those who smoke dagga, even heavy smokers, don’t really develop any physical symptoms after suspension of smoking. What we find is that there is a psychological craving of the substance that can stay with you three weeks, four weeks, four months in a hospital. And as soon as they get out, users start to smoke. But they do not have the physical addictions that we see in see with alcohol, cocaine and other hard drugs. So this alternative drug wouldn’t have much of an impact in my opinion, because the addiction is not physical as such. I’m fascinated by this new claim they will stop cannabis abusers because one has to look at the psychological dependency; which is far more difficult in my view

Bob Hewitt is sentenced to six year imprisonment

Former tennis champion and convicted rapist Bob Hewitt is in court today where he is expected to be sentenced in the North Gauteng High Court. Hewitt was found guilty in March of two counts of rape and one of sexual assault. Three women testified during his trial, saying he took advantage of them when he was their tennis coach during the 1980s and 1990s.

Eye Witness News reporter, Gia Niccolaides:

The judge says Bob Hewitt has been sentences to 6 years imprisonment and I think this is been an overwhelming trial for the victims that are sitting here. There are no emotions on Bob Hewitt’s face neither on his wife’s face seating in the gallery. She sobbed earlier begging the judge to allow him to go home and stay at his sister farm in the Eastern Cape but the judge was not convinced by this. He really went into such details of Bob Hewitt’s age, he is 75 years old. He took into consideration various health issues but ultimately justice must be served

Ongoing dispute in mining industry over BEE targets

The conflict in the mining industry between the Chamber of Mines and Mineral Recourses Minister, Advocate Ngoako Ramathlodi continues today, after Ramathlodi announced last week that the industry has not properly met the Black Economic Empowerment targets set in the 2014 Mining Charter. Business Day journalist Allan Seccombe:

This has been an issue going on since 2004, if not before then. It’s all to do with transformation of the industry, as governed in a document called the Mining Charter. The document stipulates what mining companies are required to do in transformation and to secure mining rights; there was a 10 year target, ending at the end of last year. If these companies are found not to have met those targets or to be in breach of the targets, they could stand to lose their mining rights – which is quite serious for the shareholders and the companies themselves

The use of drones to be regulated in South Africa

The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) announced the new regulations on the use of drones in the country. The regulations are to be introduced in July 2015.

One of the regulations is that drones may not be operated above 400 feet or flown over any person within a 50 metre distance to the ground.

The SACAA has said that the new regulations have been signed by Transport Minister Dipuo Peters.

CAA’s Subash Devkara:

What we have done is to develop regulations which would firstly allow the use of remotely piloted aircraft system, otherwise known as drones, to be operated in the South African airspace. Secondly, what we have allowed in these regulations is the growth and development of a very new sector of aviation and a much needed sector of aviation in South Africa. Unfortunately there are tremendous safety and security risks when operating one of these aircrafts …

Human attention span possibly on the decline because of digital devices

A study published in Canada yesterday suggest that the average attention span has dropped from 12 seconds in the year 2000 to just eight seconds now. Professor Girish Modi, Head of Neurology at Wits University spoke to Stephen Grootes about this:

It’s an interesting study, but they did use strange parameters. They used what we call the electroencephalogram (EEG) to measure attention. This method is very crude and it’s difficult to measure with just that to make that claim. I think the findings went on to say that the attention span was less than that of a goldfish; these are things that are very difficult to practically asses. Maybe they have ways of measuring this is the experiments they do. But practically, what one can say is that technology does create the drive for multi-tasking. Now if you’re multi-tasking, your attention on each task, will not be the same. Our brains are built to multi-task, but technology detractors are like doomsday prophets

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