Veld fire pre­ven­tion aware­ness

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business -

VELD fires have be­come a per­sis­tent en­vi­ron­men­tal chal­lenge in Zim­babwe de­stroy­ing nat­u­ral re­sources, prop­erty and life. Veld fires are char­ac­ter­is­tic dur­ing the dry sea­son and most preva­lent in the pe­riod July to Oc­to­ber be­cause of the dry veld and the pre­vail­ing hot-windy weather con­di­tions. Veld fire sta­tis­tics at a glance The cu­mu­la­tive area burnt since the on­set of the fire sea­son on 31st of July 2016 to the 23rd of Septem­ber is 612653.5 ha, a 27.9% de­crease com­pared to the 849758 ha burnt by the same pe­riod in the pre­vi­ous year, 2015.

The im­pact of these blazes has been loss of nat­u­ral re­sources, valu­able prop­erty and life. It is sad­den­ing to note that five (5) peo­ple have been killed by veld fires in the cur­rent 2016 fire sea­son.

Re­ports in­di­cate that most fires are a re­sult of the hu­man ac­tiv­i­ties such as; land clear­ing, cig­a­rette smok­ing, hunt­ing, bee smok­ing and fires made along road­sides by peo­ple while await­ing for trans­port or dur­ing break­downs.

How do com­mu­ni­ties par­tic­i­pate in fight­ing veld fires?

Man­ag­ing veld fires is a com­plex is­sue that re­quires a holis­tic and multi- stake­holder ap­proach. Com­mu­ni­ties are the land­lords, oc­cu­piers, users of land, and thus they are an im­por­tant stake­holder in pre­vent­ing veld fires.

All farm­ers must have bound­ary fire guards which are at least 9 me­tres wide and in­ter­nal one to which are at least 4.5 me­tres wide. The fire­guards must di­vide the farm into seg­ments so that if there is an ac­ci­den­tal fire it will not de­stroy the whole farm.

These fire­guards must be main­tained en­sur­ing that they are free of any flammable ma­te­rial. Tra­di­tional and Lo­cal Lead­ers Tra­di­tional and lo­cal lead­ers be­ing the cus­to­di­ans of our nat­u­ral re­sources are en­cour­aged to:

Spear­head the con­struc­tion of stan­dard fire­guards in their com­mu­ni­ties.

Es­tab­lish fire – fight­ing teams within the lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties who will lead the rest of the com­mu­nity in ex­tin­guish­ing veld fires.

Use tra­di­tional courts to sanc­tion veld fire of­fend­ers.

Keep a record of oc­cur­rences in their ar­eas

Hold fire aware­ness meet­ings cam­paigns through­out the fire sea­son.

Es­tab­lish a veld fire alert sys­tem in ev­ery vil­lage such as drum beat, bell/gong or whis­tle. Farm­ers Ac­cord­ing to the For­est Act (Chap­ter 19:05) as read with Statu­tory In­stru­ment 7 of 2007 En­vi­ron­men­tal Man­age­ment (En­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact As­sess­ment and Ecosys­tems Pro­tec­tion) Reg­u­la­tions; land own­ers or oc­cu­piers are to put take fire pre­ven­tive mea­sure be­fore the on­set of the fire sea­son. Farms are sup­posed to:

Make stan­dard fire­guards which are 9m wide on ei­ther side of the farm bound­aries and also in­ter­nal fire­guards which are 4,5m around valu­able re­sources/prop­erty

In­spect fire­guards reg­u­larly to make sure that they are free of any com­bustible ma­te­rial.

En­sure that fire- fight­ing equip­ment such as; wa­ter filled knap­sack sprayers and bowsers, fire beat­ers and sacks are at an ac­ces­si­ble point dur­ing the fire sea­son.

Re­port all fire in­ci­dences to the near­est ZRP or EMA of­fices within 7 days.

Have fire alert sys­tems such as drums, whis­tles and bells; all the veld fire and

Lis­ten to weather per­son­nel on the fire dan­ger in­dex so as to im­prove your state of pre­pared­ness. School Chil­dren This is a very im­por­tant stake­holder group and we are con­cerned with their safety which can be com­pro­mised by veld fires. School chil­dren should:

Not try to cross over veld fires as this may re­sult in fire re­lated fa­tal­i­ties.

Im­me­di­ately re­port fire in­ci­dences to adults such as par­ents or teach­ers be­fore the fires spread and should not in any way at­tempt to ex­tin­guish the fires in the ab­sence of adults.

Never climb trees in try­ing to flee from a veld fire as both the tree and the chil­dren could be burnt to death.

Bee Smok­ers, Cig­a­rette Motorists and Trav­ellers

Smok­ers can play their roles in veld fire man­age­ment by en­sur­ing that they ex­tin­guish their cig­a­rette stubs be­fore throw­ing them away to avoid veld fires.

Motorists should en­sure that car elec­tri­cal sys­tem­sare ser­viced and loose me­chan­i­cal parts such as the ex­haust must be tight­ened to avoid veld fires em­a­nat­ing from sparks so cre­ated af­ter get­ting in con­tact with the grass on the road servi­tude as you drive.

Do not drive through fire flames or ar­eas where your vi­sion is ob­scured by smoke from veld fires.

Trav­ellers board­ing early morn­ing buses should com­pletely ex­tin­guish road side fires used to keep warm whilst wait­ing for trans­port. This can be done us­ing wa­ter or moist soil. We are now in the fire sea­son- don’t start fires out­side your res­i­den­tial or com­mer­cial premises. Smok­ers, SEC­TION 80 of the In­come Tax Act [Chap­ter: 23:06] pro­vides for the de­duc­tion of 10% With­hold­ing Tax from all amounts payable to all per­sons who en­ter into con­tracts with the State or a statu­tory body, a quasi-gov­ern­ment in­sti­tu­tion and tax­pay­ers who are reg­is­tered with the Zim­babwe Rev­enue Author­ity (ZIMRA), un­less a payee fur­nishes the pay­ing of­fi­cer with a valid Tax Clear­ance Cer­tifi­cate. What does a “Con­tract” mean? “Con­tract” means an agree­ment in terms of which the State or a statu­tory body, quasigov­ern­men­tal in­sti­tu­tion or reg­is­tered tax­payer is obliged to pay one or more per­sons an amount or amounts to­tal­ing or ag­gre­gat­ing US$1 000 or more.

When is the amount with­held re­mit­ted to ZIMRA?

The amount with­held should be re­mit­ted to the Com­mis­sioner Gen­eral of ZIMRA on or be­fore the 10th day of the month fol­low­ing that in which the pay­ment was made. The pay­ment should be ac­com­pa­nied by a sched­ule show­ing all names of the per­sons from whom the 10% was de­ducted and at­tached to the pre­scribed form (Rev 5) and sub­mit­ted to ZIMRA. With­hold­ing Tax Cer­tifi­cates Any pay­ing of­fi­cer who has with­held any amount, should fur­nish the payee con­cerned with a With­hold­ing Tax Cer­tifi­cate.

The for­mat of the cer­tifi­cate should be in a form ap­proved by the Com­mis­sioner Gen­eral of ZIMRA, and should clearly show the gross amount with­held. Cred­it­ing of With­hold­ing Taxes The Com­mis­sioner Gen­eral of ZIMRA re­tains any with­hold­ing amount re­mit­ted to him un­til the In­come Tax payable by the payee for the year of as­sess­ment has been as­sessed.

The amount shall be al­lowed as a credit against the In­come Tax payable by the payee.

Where the amount ex­ceeds the In­come Tax so payable by the payee, the Com­mis­sioner Gen­eral of ZIMRA will re­fund the ex­cess to the payee or may be set off against other tax li­a­bil­i­ties. Fail­ure to With­hold 10% Tax If a statu­tory body, quasi-govern­men­tal in­sti­tu­tion or reg­is­tered tax­payer fails to with­hold or to pay the Com­mis­sioner Gen­eral of ZIMRA the amount re­quired to be with­held from a payee, the statu­tory body, quasi-govern­men­tal in­sti­tu­tion or reg­is­tered tax­payer will be li­able for the pay­ment not later than the date on which pay­ment should have been made if the amount had been with­held.

Where a statu­tory body, quasigov­ern­ment in­sti­tu­tion or reg­is­tered tax­payer pays to the Com­mis­sioner Gen­eral of ZIMRA the amount for fail­ure to pay any amount re­quired to be with­held from a payee, it shall have the right, within 24 months from the date on which pay­ment should have been made, if the amount had been with­held, to re­cover the amount from the payee.

The statu­tory, quasi –gov­ern­ment in­sti­tu­tion or reg­is­tered tax­payer con­cerned is not en­ti­tled to re­cover from the payee any penalty and in­ter­est charged for fail­ure to with­hold. Oc­cur­rences where 10% With­hold­ing Tax can­not be with­held:

Per­sons with a valid Tax Clear­ance Cer­tifi­cate;

Sale ef­fected in any shop in the or­di­nary course of the busi­ness of such shop, or any other con­sumer con­tract for the sale or sup­ply of goods or ser­vices or both in which the seller or sup­plier is deal­ing in the course of busi­ness and the pur­chaser or user is not;

Amount paid in terms of an em­ploy­ment con­tract

An agree­ment for the set­tle­ment of a delict­ual claim against the State or a statu­tory cor­po­ra­tion;

Pay­ments for the sup­ply pro­duce and live­stock by farm­ers. Re­minder for Pay­ment of Tax Our val­ued clients are re­minded that the PAYE for the month of Septem­ber 2016 is due on or be­fore 10th Oc­to­ber 2016.

Dis­claimer This ar­ti­cle was com­piled by the Zim­babwe Rev­enue Author­ity for in­for­ma­tion pur­poses only. ZIMRA shall not ac­cept re­spon­si­bil­ity for loss or dam­age aris­ing from use of ma­te­rial in this ar­ti­cle and no li­a­bil­ity will at­tach to the Zim­babwe Rev­enue Author­ity.

Please tune in to Zi-FM Stereo ev­ery Wednes­day from 1930 - 2030 hours for dis­cus­sions on Cus­toms and Tax mat­ters. of farm

ef­fec­tive­ness, cheap to main­tain and above all it must be easy to ex­plain to the or­di­nary work­ers.

There are many meth­ods of job eval­u­a­tion, how­ever over eighty per­cent of or­gan­i­sa­tions in sub-Sa­ha­ran Africa, Zim­babwe in­cluded, use the Paterson Job Eval­u­a­tion method.

There are oth­ers like Castel­lion which in my opin­ion is one of the most ex­pen­sive to in­stall and main­tain and is dif­fi­cult for work­ers to un­der­stand.

It used to have twelve grad­ing fac­tors and these have since been fused and re­duced to six.

Oth­ers like Hay method are more user friendly to man­age­rial po­si­tions and main­te­nance costs are gen­er­ally high.

This is a li­censed pack­age. Be­fore select­ing a job grad­ing method, the or­gan­i­sa­tion must eval­u­ate avail­able meth­ods and se­lect one that best meets busi­ness needs ca­pa­ble of adding value.

Com­mon ar­eas of con­flict that must be watched in­clude job de­scrip­tion writ­ing and con­fir­ma­tion.

The golden rule is that never grade a job whose job de­scrip­tion has not been signed by both the in­cum­bent and su­per­vi­sor con­firm­ing that it is cor­rect, more-so given the fact that the qual­ity of the job de­scrip­tion largely de­ter­mines the ac­cu­racy of the grade.

Fur­ther, never use a grad­ing method that has not been agreed and ac­cepted at NEC, or or­gan­i­sa­tion wide.

And above all, en­sure the grad­ing is as par­tic­i­pa­tory as pos­si­ble and those jobs to be graded by con­sul­tants with­out par­tic­i­pa­tion of em­ploy­ees must be pro­nounced at the on­set, these are usu­ally for se­nior man­agers.

The record­ing of the grades must be done soon af­ter the job has been graded with grad­ing score sheets be­ing kept as se­cu­rity doc­u­ments un­til the job eval­u­a­tion set­tles in and all re­lated queries at­tended to.

The rule book must be signed by all grades and kept per­ma­nently as se­cu­rity doc­u­ments as it helps keeps the his­tory of unique de­ci­sions that were made.

Above all the job eval­u­a­tion qual­ity check­ing process must be ex­plained to the work­ers and any changes to grades must be ac­com­pa­nied by notes as to why the grade changed at qual­ity check­ing stage.

Af­ter qual­ity check­ing all grades must sign to con­firm the ac­cu­racy of grad­ing and re­fer the ex­er­cise for con­fir­ma­tion as com­plete by works coun­cil.

Or­gan­i­sa­tions should also avoid un­der­tak­ing job eval­u­a­tion if they have no ca­pac­ity to carry re­lated costs as it leads to con­flict, more-so if the is­sue of af­ford­abil­ity was never dis­cussed and agreed be­fore em­bark­ing on the ex­er­cise. Re­lated prob­lems are a ma­jor source of con­flict. In con­clu­sion, there are many other things in­volved in job grad­ing and salary struc­tur­ing, which are the two ma­jor ac­tiv­i­ties that con­sti­tute job eval­u­a­tion.

The bot­tom-line is that the ex­er­cise must be pro­fes­sion­ally done un­der the guid­ance of ex­perts.

Davies Ndu­miso Sibanda can be con­tacted on: email: strat­waysmail@ya­hoo.com <mailto:strat­waysmail@ya­hoo.com> Or cell No: 0772 375 235

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