Alan Hammond


Alan HammondAlan Hammond is the CEO of Portal Publishing. Alan co-founded Portal Publishing with his mother Sylvia Hammond in 2003, with the launch of the Skills Portal website.  Before that Alan was an independent HR and skills development consultant.  Alan learned about online publishing while working for the online publishing company from 1996 to 2002.  He started as an entertainment industry writer and rose to the rank of Managing Editor.

Alan studied at the University of Cape Town and holds an Honours Degree in Workplace Change & Labour Law from the Humanities Faculty, as well as the Associate in Management Certificate from the Graduate School of Business

In his spare time Alan is a mountain biking enthusiast and a regular participant in his local parkrun.

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Articles by Alan:

Exactly two years after the State of Disaster was introduced in an attempt to control the Covid-19 outbreak, President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced some relaxations to the rules.

Important news for anyone wishing to study this year. NSFAS has just announced that the deadline for funding applications has been extended by two weeks.

South African icon Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has died aged 90. Details of the icon's passing were released on Sunday morning with President Ramaphosa describing him as, "a patriot without equal".

There was a return to the Sunday night ritual of the President's speech to the country as he warned South Africans to be wary of the new Covid-19 variant which is taking hold in Gauteng. The country will stay with the current restrictions but Ramaphosa has warned that if citizens refuse to get the Covid vaccine they might soon see their movement and activities limited. 

With the reduction in cases of Covid-19 in the country, the President has announced that there will be a relaxation in the national lockdown measures that are in place across the country. We have the details of the relaxed restrictions and the news lockdown level.

School shutdowns and rotational attendance has seen the amount of teaching time cut by a half over the last year. However research has now revealed that the amount of actual learning by pupils was more dramatically impacted, with one researcher commenting that there was hardly any learning.

For those who haven't got a job and can't find one with the restrictions of the lockdown, there was good news from the President in his latest speech to the country. The R350 Social Relief Of Distress grant paid out by SASSA is going to be coming back. This time it will also apply to more people.

With the number of cases of Covid-19 still at a high level in the country the President has announced that the stricter lockdown measures under the adjusted level 4 have been extended for another two weeks. The return to school for the third term has also been delayed.

In an unscheduled media briefing on Saturday afternoon, the Health Department and scientists presented their latest research to the public that demonstrates the unwelcome arrival of the Delta variant of Covid-19 in South Africa. They went on to explain the impact of this on the medical outlook and how this will influence the vaccine programme.  This may also impact the discussions about whether a harder lockdown will be coming.

Up to 582 000 teachers and other school staff will be vaccinated in an ambitious programme to by launched by the Basic Education Department this week. The Minister has given details of who will be vaccinated, and when.

Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande is trying to get Facebook to close down a fake account used to scam unsuspecting users who think they are helping the government leader support struggling students.

President Cyril Ramaphosa used his Youth Day speech for the official launch of a new government service to help battle the 46% youth unemployment rate.  He called on young people to register for the new SA Youth service to help them gain access to jobs and learning opportunities.

With the number of Covid-19 cases that need hospital treatment rising by 58% over the last two weeks the government has decided to increase restrictions and raise the lockdown level. There will be restrictions on the sale of alcohol and the evening curfew will be brought forward as a strategy that is intended bring down the number of infections that are spread during social gatherings.

Fears of a third wave of Covid-19 spreading across the country has lead the government to move the country back up to Level 2 of the national lockdown.  President Cyril Ramaphosa has addressed the country with another 'family meeting' where he has outlined the new restrictions that have been put in place to attempt to slow the spread of the disease.

26-year-old Yonwaba Manyanya passed away this week and on social media her tragic death was blamed on the  student funding body NSFAS. The organisation has released a statement to clarify the status of her studies.

It is a monthly event that Unisa students struggle to make ends meet while they wait for their NSFAS study allowances to be paid into their accounts.  While payments have started, social media accounts are still active with comments from those students who are further back in the queue and therefore still waiting for their turn.

After a raging wildfire spread through the university's campuses, UCT has announced that all academic activities are suspended for two days. The announcement came hours after all students and staff were evacuated from the university campuses on the slopes of Table Mountain.

UCT has evacuated all students and staff from the upper campus and middle campus as the fire that moved down from the mountain slopes continues to cause havoc at the university.  Students were seen walking down Main Road Rondebosch to find university transport to take them to safety.

A veld fire that started on Sunday morning on the slopes of Table Mountain has destroyed a local restaurant and spread to the UCT campus. Reports have come in of fires burning on upper campus, middle campus and medical campus.

UPDATE at 14:43 UCT SRC advises evacuated res students should meet at Mowbray bus terminal for transport to secure locations.

UPDATE at 13:42 Students evacuating all campuses as strong winds aid the spread of the fire. UCT Sports Centre reported to have caught alight.

First year university students have been left worrying about whether they can afford their courses this year after the funding decisions were delayed at the last minute.  The student finance body has now announced that they have finalised the funding decisions for first-time applicants.