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 Thursday roundup, see summaries
of our selection of South African labour-
related stories that have appeared since
midday on Wednesday, 23 November 2016.


TOP STORY

Cosatu officially wants Cyril Ramaphosa as president of the ANC

BusinessLive reports that trade union federation Cosatu on Thursday resolved to support Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa in his bid to become the next president of the African National Congress (ANC).  This makes Cosatu the first member of the governing alliance, which also includes the ANC and the SACP, to pronounce on its preference.  The endorsement of Ramaphosa has been a long time coming with most Cosatu unions lobbying for the federation to take a position and publicly announce it.  Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali, speaking after Cosatu’s central executive committee, said that in coming to their decision, the federation’s leaders had reflected on the “political gridlock” currently in the ANC.  Cosatu is now set to lobby and influence ANC structures to support Ramaphosa.

Read this report by Natasha Marrian in full at BusinessLive.  See too, Cosatu endorses Cyril Ramaphosa as next ANC leader, at News24


OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH & SAFETY

Cops hot on the heels of further suspects in killing of Philippi East officer

EWN reports that Western Cape Police Commissioner Khombinkosi Jula says investigators are hot on the heels of two suspects wanted in connection with the murder of an officer in Philippi East.  Constable Amanda Ladlokova was shot and killed while responding to a complaint on Tuesday night.  Her colleague was also wounded and an arrest has since been made.  Jula indicated:  “Those who remain at large, we'll be working around the clock until they've also been apprehended.”

A short report by Lauren Isaacs is at EWN.  See too, Offisier doodgeskiet, een gewond in Philippi-Oos, at Netwerk24 (limited access)


MINING LABOUR

Revised Mining Charter’s ‘unrealistic targets’ greatly concern mining bosses

Business Report writes that a showdown is looming between the Chamber of Mines (COM) and the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) over the draft of the reviewed Mining Charter.  The industry has warned that it would challenge the draft with all means at its disposal.  The COM’s CE Roger Baxter on Wednesday tore down the draft that DMR director general Mosa Mabuza outlined in Parliament last week.  Baxter said the Chamber was concerned that the industry was being set up for failure, because the document contained unrealistic targets.  Among a number of issues identified by Baxter, he said the Chamber had been caught off guard by the requirement that it should transfer 40% of the R5bn in its skills fund (presumably a reference to the industry’s Seta known as the Mining Qualification Authority) to a new Mining Transformation and Development Agency that would be run by the DMR.  A new annual levy of 0.5% on revenue will also go towards funding the agency, which will direct money to local communities and education.

Read this report by Dineo Faku in full at Business Report.  Read too, Chamber of Mines takes aim at government over Mining Charter, at Fin24

Unions march to demand that AEL Mining Services halt grading ‘discrimination’

The New Age reports that three unions on Wednesday demanded that AEL Mining Services put to an end to what they claimed were practices of "exploitation, discrimination and oppression".  AEL is a subsidiary of the AECI Group.  Close to a 1,000 members of the General Industries Workers’ Union of SA (Giwusa), the SA Chemical Workers’ Union (Sacwu) and Ceppwawu marched to the AEL head office and handed over their demands to management.  Union representative John Appolis said:  "Workers are fed up with the exploitation, discrimination and oppression at the hands of AEL management.  One of the main sources of this exploitation and discrimination is the grading system."  He said workers were demanding the scrapping of all grades below grade 28 and went on to state:  "Black and white employees can do the same job but not earn the same.  Racism is especially alive in places like Kuruman and Witbank."  AECI's Fulvia Putero said the company “has, and will continue to have, an open door policy in dealing with its workers' legitimate concerns.  This includes allegations of racism."

Based on a report by Samuel Mungadze on page 15 of The New Age of 24 November 2016.  Read the report in full at SA Labour News.  See too, Unions threaten strike at AEL Mining Services over grading, at Business Report

Bokoni Platinum Mines concludes two-year wage agreement with unions

Mining Review reports that Atlatsa Resources has announced that its Bokoni Platinum Mines has concluded a two-year wage agreement with three unions, effective from 1 July 2016.  The agreement with the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), Togetherness Amalgamated Workers Union of SA (Tawusa) and the United Association of SA (Uasa) includes an increase in basic pay of R850 per month in 2016 and R1,000 per month in 2017 for workers with job gradings of A1 to B7.  There will be a 6% increase in 2016 and 6.5% increase in 2017 for workers in jobs graded from C1 to D1.  Various allowances will also be increased.  Harold Motaung, CEO of Atlatsa, commented:  “The finalisation of the wage agreement supports labour stability at the mine and bodes well for our on-going working relationship with our employees, unions and broader stakeholder groups.”

Read this report in full at Mining Review.  Read Atlatsa’s press statement at Sharenet

Veteran unionist warns that issue of unmarked miners’ graves is a time-bomb

Sowetan reports that a veteran trade unionist has warned the mining industry and the government that failure to urgently address the issue of thousands of mineworkers who were buried in unmarked graves during apartheid could lead to anarchy.  James Motlatsi, former president of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and now recruitment agency Teba’s nonexecutive chairman, was commenting on Sowetan’s recent exposé about unmarked graves of mineworkers who died on duty and were buried by their employers without the consent of their families.  He said:  “Government and the [mining] industry must act now before things get out of hand.  Many people lost their lives in mines during apartheid.  Their families are angry.  Anything can happen.”  SA Destitute Ex-Miners Forum is currently assisting about 18,000 families to trace the remains of their relatives buried at mines across the country.  The forum also wants to force the Chamber of Mines (COM) and government to repatriate the remains for dignified burials.  COM spokeswoman Memory Johnstone said they were willing to assist to trace unmarked graves, but were yet to be approached on this.

The original of this report by Lindile Sifile is on page 14 of Sowetan of 24 November 2016.  Read the report in full at SA Labour News

Other general mining internet posting(s)

  • Exxaro scheme will result in 30% BEE ownership of firm, at Business Report


UNION STRUCTURES / UNION ORGANISATIONAL REPORTS

Disgruntled Alberton members accuse Numsa of tribalism

The Citizen reports that the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) has been rocked by a tribal fight that is threatening to tear the union apart ahead of its national congress next month.  The local branch in Alberton, Ekurhuleni, was disbanded this week by the regional executive committee – apparently for differing from the national leadership.  In July, branch chairperson Thomas Langa and secretary Nkonkhelo Mncwango were suspended amid allegations of corruption.  A group of disgruntled members from the Alberton branch are now planning to march on Friday to Numsa’s headquarters in Johannesburg to demand that the national leadership resolve the tribalism crisis.  On Wednesday, Langa launched a scathing attack on Numsa Ekurhuleni regional secretary Jacob Xilongo, accusing him of tribalism.  He said:  “The regional secretary reserves leadership positions for Xhosa-speakers.  Our suspension has to do with tribalism because we are Zulus.  We were suspended because we have been vocal about what is happening within Numsa.”  Xilongo described as “nonsense” claims of tribalism.  Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim also denied accusations of tribalism.

Read this report by Ngwako Modjadji in full at The Citizen.  Read too, Disillusion with Numsa’s national leadership, at The New Age


NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE

Treasury supports national minimum wage recommendation

Reuters reports that National Treasury on Wednesday supported the report by a Nedlac advisory panel that suggested a national minimum wage of R3,500, thereby throwing its political weight behind the initiative.  “The report represents ... an important milestone in our government's efforts over the years in this regard,” Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan was quoted as saying in a statement.

A short report is at Business Report.  See too, Treasury supports national minimum wage report, at Engineering News

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • The minimum wage: global context and possible impact, at Moneyweb


EMPLOYEE MISCONDUCT / CORRUPTION / DISCIPLINARY ACTION

Court hears of Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s ‘dishonesty’ at SABC

BusinessLive reports that the High Court in Cape Town on Wednesday heard an application brought by the Democratic Alliance (DA) A to have Hlaudi Motsoeneng removed from the SA Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).  The Office of the Public Protector argued in court that Motsoeneng should not hold any position of influence that requires honesty and integrity at the SABC because he was found to have been dishonest.  In her report, Thuli Madonsela found he had fabricated his matric qualification and had raised his salary irregularly, from R1.5m to R2.4m in one year.  A disciplinary hearing cleared him of wrongdoing, but the DA claims the process was a "sham and a charade".  The DA’s lawyer argued in court on Wednesday that Motsoeneng was a "toxic cancer that needs to be cut from the body [the SABC]".  The case continues on Thursday.

Read this report by Bekezela Phakati in full at Business Live

DA has not proved Motsoeneng is bad for the SABC, court hears

News24 reports that the lawyer representing former SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng said in the Western Cape High Court on Wednesday that the Democratic Alliance (DA) had not provided any facts to prove that his client was a danger to the state broadcaster.  "There is a lot of speculation, but no fact," Adv. Andy Bester argued in Motsoeneng's personal capacity against the application to have him kicked out of the SABC.  He said that, contrary to popular belief, former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela did not recommend that Motsoeneng be forced out of his job, or any other job at the SABC, which the DA wanted the court to order.  He noted that nowhere in Madonsela's report did it say he must not be employed at the SABC in any capacity.  Moreover, Madonsela's report did not specifically say he could not be appointed, or should be sacked.  The application was adjourned to Thursday.

Read this report in full at News24

Motshekga denies power to act against Sadtu in jobs-for-cash scandal

ANA reports that Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga on Wednesday said it was unfair and offensive to accuse her of failing to act against the SA Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) after a report pointed to the union’s strangle-hold on six provincial departments.  Motshekga told the portfolio committee on basic education she was offended by the charge by the DA’s Gavin Davis as legally she did not have the right to interfere in provincial education departments.  Davis challenged the minister’s response to the ministerial task team report released in May in that she planned to tell provincial departments to call in the police to investigate evidence of the sale of teaching posts.  He said:  “The minister cannot hand responsibility back to provinces when they have been found by the report to have been captured by Sadtu.  There is a clear conflict of interest.”  Earlier this week, the SA Council of Educators (SACE) released its own report on the scandal, concluding that no evidence of wrongdoing could be found at 13 schools in KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and North-West where complaints were probed.

Read this report by Emsie Ferreira in full at IOL News


OTHER REPORTS AND ISSUES

Cosatu welcomes release of discussion paper on comprehensive social security

ANA reports that trade union federation Cosatu on Wednesday welcomed the release of the long awaited Comprehensive Social Security Discussion Paper by the Department of Social Development.  Cosatu spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said:  “This is long overdue and it is an indictment on government that the paper is only released now after a relentless battle by Cosatu, demanding its release, when the Taylor Commission report and its recommendations on this issue were released in 2002.”  Pamla said Cosatu would study the paper, respond and engage with it at Nedlac to make sure that it helped workers and the country deal with poverty eradication and also put a comprehensive social security system in place.  The paper will be discussed at Nedlac on Friday.

Read this report in full at Business Report.  Read Cosatu’s press statement in this regard at Cosatu Today

 

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