Today's Labour News

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lindiwesisuluNews24 reports that Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has lashed out at those who have questioned a skills transfer programme involving Cuban engineers.

On Thursday, Sisulu announced that 24 Cuban engineers would help with water infrastructure and maintenance "from source to tap". Most have been seconded to water and river "clusters" to provide training and to help local engineers and artisans with infrastructure problems. They will receive stipends and payment for goods and services. However, the programme has come under fire from organisations such as Solidarity and the Engineering Council of SA. Solidarity has threatened to apply for an interdict to stop the government from hiring Cuban engineers for water systems maintenance and repairs, saying local engineers and skills specialists could do the job instead. In a statement, Sisulu said she noted "with disappointment calls which seek to discourage or downplay the work of the Cuban engineers". She added that she had made a call for local engineers to assist in the skills transfer programme, but only five companies responded. "Responding to my call is their prerogative, however, whipping up negativity is not a way to a good working relationship,” Sisulu stated. She went on to insist: "I repeat, the Cubans are not in our country for employment. They are here to mentor our municipal workers so that we can create jobs for South Africa, both skilled and unskilled.” Sisulu said the Cuban engineers will also help to repair infrastructure because they had been dealing with ageing infrastructure.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Nicole McCain at News24
  • Read too, ‘They are now crying foul’, says Sisulu in lashing SA engineers who missed her call, at The Citizen

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