23 May 2013Trade union leaders should engage with their members to avert unnecessary labour action, President Jacob Zuma said on Thursday, adding that illegal or “wildcat” strikes were no way to advance the interests of marginalised South Africans.Addressing the National House of Traditional Leaders in Cape Town, Zuma, himself once a trade unionist, said workers were free to ask for higher salaries, but were not free in the process of asking for better wages to undermine the economy.“If we say we need more jobs … and in the process those that are working are engaged in strikes that cause some of either the mines or factories to close, it’s a contradiction,” he said, adding that the role of trade unions was to protect workers, not to contribute to job losses.“We could impoverish our country without realising, when we think we are trying to correct the situation.”He said such was the tension in the market at present that recently when traders at the JSE heard about police shooting at strikers, they immediately began selling off the rand, when in the end it materialised that the police were in fact using rubber bullets.Turning to the National Development Plan (NDP), Zuma said the vision encapsulated in the plan called on all South Africans to help fulfill the vision.Traditional leaders had a vital role to play by working with the government to create strong institutions and to help tackle the various challenges that faced South Africa, particularly in developing rural areas.Zuma also called for closer co-operation between traditional leaders and local councillors, pointing out that this could help unlock the potential of rural development.“You are put there to help the people, whether by birth or by election. There is not a single one is better or more important than the other,” he said.Before his speech, Zuma took copious notes as traditional leaders related several problems that those living in traditional areas continue to face, including poverty and unemployment, deaths during initiation ceremonies, and a decline in moral values.Zuma said the government had an initiation programme that community members could use, adding that the government would continue to root out rogue initiation schools.Senior traditional leaders should be present all the time during initiation ceremonies, he said, adding that if the initiation ceremony was not conducted properly, the risk was that it would draw further criticism of the custom itself.Source: SAnews.gov.za
Start Free Trial Already a member? Log in This article is only available to GBA Prime Members Donald Wulfinghoff is an energy consultant who works in Maryland. In 2015, he published Super House, a 700-page book that explains how an ordinary person without architectural training can design a superinsulated home that (he claims) will use only 10% to 20% as much energy for heating and cooling as a conventional home.The book is lavishly illustrated and comprehensive. Right off the bat, the author shares his lack of respect for architects: on the first page, he writes, “Is it really possible for a person with no prior experience to design a home that is far ahead of contemporary residential architecture? It certainly is.”Even for readers who are put off by Wulfinghoff’s exaggerated energy savings predication or his architect-bashing, the book (at first glance) shows a lot of promise. Wulfinghoff is a big believer in superinsulation. Much of his advice aligns with recommendations from energy-efficiency researchers and experienced builders. For example:BOOK REVIEWS BY MARTIN HOLLADAYCarbon Emissions By the Construction IndustryHenry Gifford Publishes a BookIn Search of a DIY Guide to Rooftop PVBuilding Science Information for BuildersRural Construction Methods in Tropical CountriesBooks for Homeowners Interested in Saving EnergyNew Books on Green BuildingCarl and Abe Write a TextbookBooks on Insulation and Energy-Efficient BuildingThe Uncertain Future of Phoenix and Las VegasSo far, so good. The advice quoted above resembles advice from many experienced builders of high-performance homes.But once readers dig a little deeper into the book, they start to notice that much of Wulfinghoff’s advice is idiosyncratic. He’s like a cranky uncle with firmly held but arbitrary opinions:Some of these opinions are defensible, of course. But after a while, readers get the impression that Wulfinghoff’s personality is a little — how shall I put it? — inflexible.So… Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details.