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 afternoon roundup, see summaries
of our selection of South African labour-
related stories that appeared thus far on
Wednesday, 14 February 2018.


OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH & SAFETY

JMPD cop shot in the head by hijackers dies

ANA reports that the Johannesburg metro police officer who was shot in the head by hjackers in Booysens has passed away at the Milpark Hospital.  He died in the early hours of Wednesday morning.  Councillor and Member of the Mayoral Committee for public safety in Johannesburg, Michael Sun, identified the slain officer as D.A. Ratshikhopha and thanked all for their prayers and messages of support.  On Tuesday, the day of the shooting, the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD), indicated that no arrests had yet been made.

This short report is at The Citizen


MINING LABOUR

Solidary joins forces with Chamber of Mines in Mining Charter court battle

Mail & Guardian reports that with the court process between the Chamber of Mines of SA (COM) and Minister of Mineral Resources, Mosebenzi Zwane, set to be heard next week, Solidarity on Wednesday disclosed the court papers it has filed to have the latest iteration of the Charter set aside and abolished.  The trade union will act as friend of the court in support of the COM in the court action the latter is taking against the Charter.   Explaining the union’s support for the COM’s action, Anton Van der Bijl, Head of Solidarity’s Centre for Fair Labour Practices, said their role was “to provide information to the court and to support the Chamber of Mines by way of its expertise.”  He went on to state that the latest Charter was “discriminatory, unlawful and unconstitutional and for those reasons, it needs to be revised and set aside”.  He added that the consequences and impact the Charter would have on the South African economy as a whole and the mining industry in particular were counterproductive given the Charter’s declared objectives.  As a result, the Charter would see more people lose their jobs, Van der Bijl told the Mail & Guardian.

Read this report by Thulebona Mhlanga in full at Mail & Guardian. Read Solidarity’s press statement at Solidarity online

Arrests in platinum belt killings due to Amcu investigators, claims Mathunjwa

ANA reports that the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) said on Tuesday that the arrests of six men linked to the killing of mineworkers in Marikana last year was made through the help of the union.  “These arrests were made at the behest of Amcu private investigators who traced these ‘trigger man’ and ‘collaborators’.  The impetus by Amcu was an act of good citizenry, in pursuance of law and order, without seeking personal glory,” said Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa.  He also pointed out that the union had offered a reward of up to R200,000 for credible information that assisted investigators with leads and went on to state:  “It is important to place it on record that contrary to the non-statement issued by the Minister of Police [Fikile Mbalula] and his generals, the police acted on details, names, addresses and evidence collated by our private investigators which led to the expeditious arresting of the suspects.”  Mathunjwa said Mbalula had further cast aspersions on Amcu through suggestive remarks that the source of the conflict was an outcome of rivalry within the union.  “This painted a picture of a union at war with itself.  We take great exception to this and dismiss these claims as baseless.”  Eleven cases of murder and attempted murder were reported in the North West platinum belt between May and October last year.

Read this report in full at The Citizen

Pan African Resources considering more layoffs and closures as rand hurts high cost shafts

Miningmx reports that Pan African Resources (PAR) is staring down the barrel at further retrenchments and possible shaft or mine closures should the dollar price of gold stay at current levels and the rand strengthens further against the US dollar.  That message became obvious from Tuesday’s presentation of the PAR interim results by CEO, Cobus Loots, who made a clear distinction between PAR’s lower cost and higher cost operations.  If the rand should go to R10 to the US dollar, then PAR will have to rely overwhelmingly on its low cost dump retreatment operations to survive, but its Evander underground operations and the Consort mine near Barberton, in particular, look seriously at risk.  Asked whether the Consort mine could be closed, Loots replied:  “We have to be very careful in terms of commenting.  What we have said is that we are engaging in terms of Section 189 with employees in both Evander and Barberton.  We are not ruling out any initiative, but we have to work as a group with our labour, with the unions and with the government and get to where we need to be in terms of sustainable business.  We are not unique.  I can assure you the other South African gold producers are having similar discussions.”

Read this report by Brendan Ryan in full at Miningmx


INDUSTRIAL ACTION / STRIKES / LOCK-OUTS

Nehawu, Sol Plaatje University reach wage agreement ending three week strike

SABC News reports that members of the National Education Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) at Sol Plaatje University in Kimberley have reached a settlement with the higher learning institution after being on strike for three weeks.  Union chairperson Keeme Mongale said they would be meeting with the university on Wednesday to sign the agreed settlement.  The members had been demanding a 10% salary hike, an annual 100% bonus and a 13th salary cheque.  “We agreed on a 100% bonus on the low earners and the rest is followed by 80% on those who earn from R470,000 and upwards.  So, others they only remain on 70% bonus.  Others remain on 7% salary increment.  But we managed to say based on the sliding scale let the low earners at least get a upward movement in terms of salary remuneration,” Mongale indicated.

This short report by Refilwe Gaeswe is at SABC News


LABOUR AND POLITICS

Union federations, business organisations welcome Zuma recall

Engineering News reports that the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), the SA Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) and the Federation of Unions of SA (Fedusa) on Tuesday all welcomed the decision by the ANC’s national executive committee to recall President Jacob Zuma.  The move was also praised by Business Leadership SA and the SA Chamber of Commerce and Industry, amongst others.  Noting that Zuma has since refused to abide by the decision of the NEC and resign, Cosatu commented that it was “not at all surprised by this level of intransigence and total inebriation with power by President Jacob Zuma”.  It went on to comment that Zuma “divided and humiliated the ANC on a number of occasions and weakened and almost dismantled the Alliance.”  Saftu said that ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa must immediately appoint a new National Director of Public Prosecutions, who would urgently bring Zuma to court.  “If found guilty, Zuma, together with criminals who have stolen billions of rands from the people in the public service, State-owned enterprises and private companies, must be punished severely,” Saftu stated.  Fedusa also welcomed the ANC’s decision said it wanted want Zuma to resign immediately.

Read this report in full at Engineering News. Read Cosatu’s press statement at Cosatu Today. Read Saftu’s press statement at Saftu online. Read Fedusa’s press statement at SA Labour News

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Saftu: Gupta raids a victory for groups who called for action, at EWN


VACANCIES / RECRUITMENT / STAFFING

Eastern Cape gives cash injection to 26 hospitals to fill over 1,800 critical positions

BusinessLive reports that the Eastern Cape provincial health department has set aside R300m to fill more than 1‚800 critical posts.  The positions include doctors and nurses‚ as well as specialists for maternity sections, in 26 identified hospitals‚ including the Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital in Mthatha‚ Frere Hospital and Cecilia Makiwane in East London‚ and Livingstone Hospital in Port Elizabeth.  Provincial health spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo said the "R300m was allocated to the department to assist with human resource improvements in order to assist about 26 hospitals across the province, which were soft targets of medico-legal claims".  The recruitment process for the hundreds of health workers has already begun.

Read this report by Zine George in full at BusinessLive


EXECUTIVE PAY

Shareholder activist Theo Botha calls for details on Coronation R604.5m bonus

BusinessLive reports that shareholder activist Theo Botha is insisting on Coronation Fund Managers disclosing details ahead of its annual general meeting next week of the awarding of R604.5m in bonuses to its employees.  While the bonus — equivalent to 30% of taxed profit — is distributed among all the employees, Botha maintains that a handful of executives get the lion’s share.  In his view, it is unacceptable that the identity of these key individuals is not disclosed.  Executive directors Anton Pillay and John Snalam are the only two executives whose remuneration is disclosed.  The lack of transparency was particularly inappropriate, given Coronation’s role in monitoring corporate governance adherence at companies in its portfolio, Botha said.  He has again called on shareholders to vote against the remuneration policy.  In 2017, the policy was put to a shareholder vote for the first time, but in terms of the King code it was nonbinding.  A little more than 15% of shareholders voted against the policy, with the Public Investment Corporation’s 9.53% accounting for more than half of that vote.

Read this report by Ann Crotty in full at BusinessLive (paywall access)


RETIREMENT AND OTHER EMPLOYEE BENEFIT FUNDS

ConCourt hears argument on leave to appeal over FSB’s dormant pension fund cancellation project

BusinessLive reports that the Constitutional Court hearing on former deputy pension funds registrar Rosemary Hunter’s battle for a review of the Financial Services Board’s (FSB’s) dormant retirement-fund cancellations project concluded on Tuesday.  Hunter asked the court for leave to appeal against an earlier judgment of the High Court in Pretoria, which dismissed her application to obtain a wider investigation into the cancellations project, with the investigator reporting to the court.  Hunter had also sought to compel the Minister of Finance to look into two notices of noncompliance against FSB head Dube Tshidi.  Counsel for Hunter, Tshidi, Hunter’s predecessor Jurgen Boyd and the minister each had a short time to plead over one day before the Constitutional Court in regard to whether Hunter should be granted leave to appeal.  "It is very hard to tell at this stage [how the Constitutional Court will rule]," Hunter commented on Tuesday.  "We will be in a position to comment only once the court has taken a decision on the matter," said FSB spokesman Tembisa Marele.  This report goes on to detail the complex background to this dispute.

Read this report in full at BusinessLive

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • PIC concerned by false information over R5bn Eskom loan, at EWN


DISMISSALS / SUSPENSIONS

Three shop stewards who protested racism at Gupta wedding fail to get jobs back

Timeslive reports that three shop stewards who were fired after going on strike over allegations of racism at the Gupta family’s controversial wedding at Sun City in 2013 have lost their appeal to get their jobs back.  Sam Botlhale‚ Clifford Ramontle and Koki Khojane went to the Labour Court after their dismissal for going on an unprotected strike.  The three were among a group of workers from the SA Commercial‚ Catering and Allied Workers Union (Saccawu) who went on strike on 11 May 2013‚ despite being interdicted from doing so.  The strike came after the trio said they believed that Sun City had failed to deal with the alleged racist conduct at the Gupta wedding.  The trio pleaded before the Labour Court that, although the strike was unprotected‚ their dismissal was undeserved because the protest was in response to unjustified conduct by Sun City.  But in October last year the court upheld their dismissals.  The three workers then lodged an application for leave to appeal against the decision.  Noting that the applicants’ submissions were a repetition of the evidence and arguments at trial, the appeal judge indicated:  “The grounds for leave to appeal as set out by the applicants have no merit and I see no reason why the Labour Appeal Court should be burdened with this appeal.”

Read this report by Matthew Savides in full at Timeslive

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • CCMA hearing on the suspension of Eskom head Daniels wraps up, Business Report


COMMUTING / TRANSPORT SERVICES

Transport union welcomes that Metrorail’s Cape Town central line to be reopened next week

Cape Argus reports that the United National Transport Union (UNTU) has welcomed the announcement by the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) that operations on Cape Town’s busiest rail route - the central line - would be restored next week.  The service ground to a halt last month when the union refused to let its members work after a security guard was shot dead.  The line was due to be opened later in January, but plans were stymied when vandalism crippled the route, leaving thousands of commuters frustrated as they had to use alternative transport for five weeks.  Acting Prasa CEO Cromet Molepo said a technical team from Johannesburg would collaborate with the Cape Town team to get the line running again.  “The team has been given about six days to complete the repairs.  We have announced that safety and security plans are being beefed up.  We’ll have armoured vehicles which will protect the area,” he indicated.  UNTU spokesperson Sonja Carstens said they were still awaiting official notification from Prasa about the matter, but were ready to resume duties as long as Prasa adhered to an agreement signed on 16 January to make specific safety improvements to protect employees working on the line.

Read this report by Okuhle Hlati in full at Cape Argus. See too, Prasa to reopen Cape Town central line within six days, at EWN. And also, Parly portfolio committee calls on Prasa to reopen crime-ridden Khayelitsha railway line, at Timeslive


OTHER REPORTS

SIU issues summons against Motsoeneng over R21m owed to SABC

Business Report writes that the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) confirmed on Tuesday that it had issued summons against the former SA Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) chief operations officer, Hlaudi Motsoeneng, for more than R21m owed to the public broadcaster.  Democratic Alliance (DA) MP and shadow minister for communications, Phumzile Van Damme, said in a statement:  "Today (Tuesday) in Parliament’s Communications Committee, the SIU confirmed that the R21 million includes an R11.4 million "success fee" Motsoeneng received for the so-called MultiChoice "archives deal" and an additional R10.5 million in damages related to the irregular appointment and dismissal of staff".  In August 2017, President Jacob Zuma signed a proclamation which gave the SIU the go ahead on investigating questionable contracts at the state broadcaster.  Van Damme said further:  "It cannot be that individuals like Motsoeneng loot public institutions, resign or are dismissed and there is no further action.  All stolen money must be returned to the public purse.  We, therefore, welcome the SIU’s action in this regard".  According to an EWN report, Motsoeneng plans to defend the SIU claims in court.

Read this report in full at Business Report. And also, Special Investigating Unit delivers R21m blow to Hlaudi Motsoeneng, at BusinessLive

 


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