Quick reads for this week

PF highlights some quick reads for this week. Picture: Independent Newspapers.

PF highlights some quick reads for this week. Picture: Independent Newspapers.

Published Feb 25, 2024


Tribunal conditionally approves Life Healthcare Group and Fresenius Medical Care South Africa merger

The Competition Tribunal has announced that it has approved, subject to conditions, the merger in which Life Healthcare Group intends to acquire the dialysis services business of Fresenius Medical Care South Africa.

According to the tribunal, the acquiring group (all firms directly and indirectly controlled by Life) provides acute hospital care through a national network of hospitals. Its provision of dialysis services is of relevance to this transaction.

“The target business is a dialysis service provider in South Africa, Namibia, and eSwatini which operates from hospitals, medical centres, and standalone dialysis centres. In South Africa, the target business comprises freestanding units which serve severe chronically ill out-patients and mobile units which provide services to acutely ill in-patients,” it said.

Unemployment rate increased in the fourth quarter of 2023

Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) has revealed that South Africa’s unemployment rate increased to 32.10% in the fourth quarter of 2023, up from the previous period’s one-year low of 31.90%.

According to Stats SA, this increase was accompanied by a rise in the number of unemployed people, which grew by 46 000 to reach 7.9 million.

“During the same period, employment declined by 22 000 to 16.7 million, following eight consecutive quarters of growth. Additionally, the labour force expanded by 25 000 to reach 24.6 million,” it said.

According to Stats South Africa, the expanded definition of unemployment, which includes those discouraged from seeking work, was recorded at 41.10%, slightly lower than the 41.20% seen in 3Q23.

“Community and social services accounted for 171 thousand job losses, with construction coming in second at -36 000, agriculture at -35 000, trade at -28 000, and manufacturing at -1 000. However, there was an increase in employment in the mining (+37 000), transportation (+57 000), and banking (+128 000) sectors,” it said.

Shell invites applications for its 2024 bursary programme

Shell Downstream South Africa (SDSA) has announced the expansion of its bursary programme which provides educational opportunities for registered South African students aspiring to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and maths but may not have funding for their academic requirements to obtain a tertiary qualification.

Speaking on behalf of Shell, Kefilwe Maseko said: “Successful bursary recipients will have access to mentorship programmes, networking opportunities, and potential employment prospects within Shell’s extensive network of partners and affiliates”.

To be eligible, applicants must meet the below criteria:

  • Learners must be South African citizens.
  • Learners from disadvantaged/underprivileged backgrounds will be considered for the bursary programme.
  • Academic pass in Grade12 for the following subjects: English, maths and physical science above 70% depending on the field of study.
  • Learners in possession of a matric certificate.
  • Learners who have proof that they have registered and been accepted at a tertiary institution.
  • The awarding of bursaries will consider principles of diversity and inclusion.
  • The course of study must be relevant to the energy sector.