Today's Labour News

newsThis news aggregator site highlights South African labour news from a wide range of internet and print sources. Each posting has a synopsis of the source article, together with a link or reference to the original. Postings cover the range of labour related matters from industrial relations to generalist human resources.

news shutterstockIn our Monday roundup, see summaries
of our selection of South African labour-
related stories that have appeared since
midday on Friday,28 October 2016.


OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH & SAFETY

Speeding suspected in deadly Kempton Park garbage truck accident

Sowetan reports that speeding is suspected in the fatal crash involving a rubbish truck in which two municipal employees died and four others were injured when the vehicle overturned on Saturday.  Drunken driving has also been suggested.  The crash happened around 3pm on Soutpansberg Road in Kempton Park, Ekurhuleni.  Two people died and two others were found trapped under the truck.  One of them had his leg severed by the truck's heavy steel bin.  Two more were found near the truck with moderate injuries.  Ekurhuleni metro police spokesman Wilfred Kgasago said the driver lost control of the vehicle and that the cause of the accident was being investigated.  However, witnesses said alcohol and speeding could have been the cause of the accident.

Read this report by Lindile Sifile in full on page 2 of Sowetan of 31 October 2016.  Read an extended summary of the report at SA Labour News.  Read too, Two killed when waste removal truck overturned in Kempton Park, at News24

Large part of printing factory in Maitland destroyed, no reported injuries

Netwerk24 writes that employees of Clifton Publications in Maitland, Cape Town, are facing an uncertain future after a large part of the company’s factory was destroyed in a fire on Saturday night.  The large fire was brought under control at about 0452 on Sunday morning, but by 0900 firefighters were still busy putting out smaller blazes.  According to Clifton’s website, the company, which focuses on printing and also manufactures paper products, employs up to 100 workers.  There is no indication in the report that anyone was injured. (Loosely translated from Afrikaans)

Read this report by Elmarine Anthony in full in Afrikaans at Netwerk24

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Police launch manhunts after attacks on officers in Atteridgeville and Tembisa, at EWN
  • Gauteng police appeal for info on attacks on cops, at IOL News


MINING LABOUR

Amcu ready to sign wage deals with Amplats, Implats and Lonmin

Reuters reports that the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) said on Sunday it was ready to sign three-year wage deals with SA’s three biggest platinum producers.  On Thursday, it indicated had agreed a pay rise deal with Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), but did not say whether it would agree to deals with Impala Platinum (Implats) and Lonmin.  Amcu wrote on its Twitter page on Sunday:  “Members have given the leadership the mandate to sign all three wage agreements with the platinum companies.”  The union is due to hold a media briefing on Monday to disclose details of the agreements.

Read this report in full at Business Report.  See too, Amcu secures wage deal with platinum mining companies, at SABC News.  And also, Amcu to sign platinum wage deals; press briefing on Monday, at EWN

NUM members at Sibanye Gold Cooke operations fear for their lives

TimesLive reports that the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is extremely distressed and concerned that the perpetrators responsible for attacks last month on two its members have not yet been brought to book.  One of the victims‚ Ranthimo Nkosi — who was a Jonrik contractor at Sibanye Gold Cooke 2 — was attacked and severely assaulted in October‚ which resulted in him dying.  The second victim‚ a NUM branch leader at Cooke‚ is in a critical condition at Milpark hospital after being attacked.  The union said its members were now living in fear of their lives and wanted the law enforcement agencies and government to intervene.  The union added:  “The situation is out of control at the Cooke operations.  Hooligans masquerading as workers are assaulting‚ attacking and killing our members."

Read this report by Neo Goba in full at TimesLive.  Read the NUM’s press statement in this regard at Cosatu Today

‘Zama Zamas’ also a problem for the big gold mining groups

Netwerk24 reports that according to Neal Froneman, CE of Sibanye Gold, illegal miners, or zama zamas as they are known, are a massive problem at SA’s big commercial gold mines.  He said:  “Our gold processing operation in Westonaria was attacked a while back by some 100 armed men and we often have problems underground with these illegal miners.  If you ask me how they get access into our tunnels, the answer is simple.  They force our own workers to let them use the mine’s infrastructure to go underground.  They steal ore and any other equipment for use in their own activities.”  Froneman also told Netwerk24 that employees recently found the bodies of three zama zamas in Sibanye sub shafts.  They had apparently been shot by an opposition group.  Sibanye has secured three armoured vehicles to support its safety teams.  Froneman also said that one of the big frustrations was that it did not seem the authorities were serious in resolving the problem.

Read this report by Elvira Wood in full in Afrikaans at Netwerk24

Platinum producers severing ties with Gupta mining services company JIC

Bloomberg reports that platinum producers are severing ties with a services firm that accounts for the biggest share of profit at the controversial Gupta family’s investment company.  The miners are ending, or not renewing, contracts with JIC Mining Services because it’s difficult to pay for their services after SA’s biggest banks closed accounts connected to Gupta-linked companies.  JIC has apparently lost a contract at Platinum Group Metals’ Maseve mine.  Also, Impala Platinum won’t consider JIC for future tenders if it can’t reinstate its banking facilities.  Spokesman Johan Theron said:  “We can’t pay people cash.  Service providers must have bank accounts.  If they want to tender for additional work without a bank account it would be problematic.”  Impala, which has worked with JIC for 20 years, has given the company time to resolve the issue.  JIC, which was bought by the Guptas in 2006, is still used by Royal Bafokeng Platinum, a spokesperson for the miner indicated.

Read this report by Loni Prinsloo and Kevin Crowley in full at Mineweb

NUM at odds with its investment arm MIC over sale of Primedia

Business Report reports that the Times Media Group (TMG) has emerged as the frontrunner to buy Primedia from its shareholders for an undisclosed amount.  But some have accused Primedia’s joint owners, one of whom is the Mineworkers Investment Company (MIC), of putting financial interests above media diversity.  The MIC refused to comment, but the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), which owns a 100% stake in MIC, blamed its investment arm for putting financial interests first.  NUM general secretary David Sipunzi said the union’s opposition to the MIC’s plans had fallen on deaf ears.  Sipunzi said the union, through MIC, decided in the first place to venture into the media space to promote media diversity.  “We were made to understand that Primedia was loss-making.  We could see that the MIC had the intention to offload its interest in Primedia.  We do not know why.  It may be to spite the NUM’s new leadership.  We are not even being informed who is the bidder and so we decided to stop opposing the MIC decision because we do not want to be seen as duly interfering in the MIC.  We are not businessmen, we are unionists,” he stated.

Read this report by Sechaba ka'Nkosi and Dineo Faku in full at Business Report

Other labour posting(s) in this news category

  • Mining for a CEO gem getting more difficult, at BusinessLive


RECRUITMENT / STAFFING

SANDF to increase intake of women

eNCA reports that the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) is undergoing voluntary military skills development training to increase its intake of women.  The Department of Defence and Military Veterans briefed the Joint Standing Committee on Defence in Parliament on Friday and MPs raised questions about the commitment of the armed forces to transformation, particularity about the low number of women in senior positions.  They comprise only 18% of senior ranks.  The Democratic Alliance (DA) said it was worried about recruitment methods.  "If the race or the gender factor becomes dominant in it do we really then employ the best?  If we do not employ the best, what measures have we put in place to develop the best," said DA MP Shahid Esau.

A short report is at eNCA


RETRENCHMENTS / COMPANY CLOSURES

Evraz “re-invents” its assets so as to repay creditors, ex-employees

Business Report writes that Evraz Highveld Steel and Vanadium, the steel producer which went bust last year, has “reinvented” its assets in a bid to generate revenue to pay its creditors and the 1,800 employees who have been retrenched.  Joint Business Rescue Practitioner, Piers Marsden, told Evraz creditors at an annual general meeting on Friday about plans to reignite economic activity in eMalahleni by converting assets into an industrial park.  Highveld owes employees R300 million in retrenchment packages.  Marsden said the company was prioritising retrenchment packages and so far had paid R30m to employees.  The industrial park would include the leasing of rail infrastructure as well as the company’s 44 offices and workshops.  Also, the heavy section steel mill, which closed down when the business was wound down, would be restarted in the next six months.  “We expect the creation of 400 jobs once the steel mill is up and running,” Marsden indicated.

Read this report by Dineo Faku in full at Business Report


EDUCATION / QUALIFICATIONS / SKILLS / TRAINING

Enrolments at TVET colleges plummet

City Press reports that enrolments at the government’s 50 technical and vocational education and training (TVET) colleges have seemingly plummeted this year.  In adjusted estimates of expenditure released last week, the higher education vote shows that TVET college enrolments stood at 580,719 at the end of September.  Last year at the end of August, this figure had already been 614,358 a month.  On a “full-time equivalent” basis, the colleges have done even worse, demonstrating that the enrolments achieved include too many short- or part-time courses.  The number of artisan learners and “work-based learning opportunities” also fell.  The policy statement simply notes that college enrolment targets are “unlikely to be achieved by the end of 2016/17”, pointing to a crisis for Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande’s plans to have the universities unseated as the core of the post-school system.

Read this report by Dewald Van Rensburg in full at City Press


COMMUTING

Railway Safety Regulator calls for fund for commuters hurt in train accidents

TimesLive reports that the Railway Safety Regulator has called for the establishment of a compensation fund for commuters who are hurt in train accidents.  The proposed railway accident fund - similar to the Road Accident Fund – would provide insurance cover to train passengers against injuries or death.  The proposal was announced at a summit hosted by the Gauteng legislature's portfolio committee on roads and transport last week, but it has yet to be ratified by the transport department.  One person was killed and 243 others injured when two trains collided head-on at the Kaalfontein station near Tembisa a week ago.

Read this report by Olebogeng Molatlhwa in full at TimesLive

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Railway safety tops agenda at Gauteng legislature committee summit, at EWN
  • Passenger attacks taxi driver leading to fatal KZN accident, at SABC News


WEB LINKS TO LABOUR NEWS ARTICLES ON SATURDAY, 29 OCTOBER AND SUNDAY, 30 OCTOBER 2016

See our listing of links to labour articles published on the internet on Saturday, 29 October and Sunday, 30 October 2016 at SA Labour News


WEB LINKS TO LABOUR NEWS ARTICLES ON FRIDAY, 28 OCTOBER 2016

See our listing of links to labour articles published on the internet on Friday, 28 October 2016 at SA Labour News

 

Get South African labour news reports at SA Labour News