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Saving for higher learning was given a major boost this week with the launch of Fundisa Fund, an educational savings account to assist students to gain access to institutions of higher learning.
The savings account, a specially designed unit trust to encourage parents to save for their children's education, was launched on Monday by the Education Department and the Association of Collective Investments (ACI) as a pilot project for the next three years.
About R34million - R20million from government and R14million from the private sectors that include Coronation Fund Managers, Stanlib, Absa Bank, Allan Gray, Nedbank, Cadiz and Investec - will be put aside for this purpose.
Those who save will be rewarded at the end of every year by being paid an extra 25percent of the value of the accumulated savings into their accounts.
The bonus - to a maximum of R600 a year - is provided by government subsidy with a partial sponsorship from the investment industry.
If clients close their accounts and take back their money, accrued bonuses are returned to the state, said Education Minister Naledi Pandor during the launch.
Di Turpin, chief executive of ACI, said anyone with a South African ID who wanted to save for their children's education could approach most of the big banks or the Post Office to open a Fundisa account.
For as little as R40 a month or a maximum of R200 a month, any South African citizen may open a Fundisa account for the benefit of any child, she said. Fundisa application forms will shortly be available at every major bank.