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 roundup of weekend news, see summaries of our
selection of South African labour-related stories
that appeared since Thursday, 29 March 2018.


Labour Department to probe fatal collapse of Durban building under construction

Timeslive reports that the Department of Labour (DOL) has launched an investigation into a building collapse in Jacobs‚ south of Durban‚ which claimed the lives of three construction workers on Wednesday.  Part of a building‚ which had been under construction‚ collapsed onto the site as well as a truck parked nearby.  Several others were injured in the incident.  Initial reports from the scene indicate that three people‚ understood to be construction workers‚ were killed when they were crushed under tons of concrete.  By 6pm on Wednesday evening‚ police search and rescue unit members had recovered all three bodies trapped under the rubble.  The DOL has dispatched a team of occupational health and safety inspectors to investigate the cause of the incident.

Read this report by Jeff Wicks in full at Timeslive. Read too, Cosatu demands answers following Durban building collapse, at eNCA

Killers of two Joburg cops sentenced to 125 years behind bars

Saturday Star reports that two of the men responsible for the 2015 shooting on the N3 highway that claimed the lives of two police officers are set to spend the rest of their lives in prison.  Sandile Nyathikazi and Lucky Nzama were sentenced to 125 years and two life sentences after being convicted of murder, attempted murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances, among other charges.  They were members of a gang that tried to rob a truck transporting cellphones and cellphone parts from OR Tambo International Airport to a logistics company in Edenvale.  The trial revealed eight other conspirators.  On 29 March 2015, three police officers from Sandringham noticed a BMW driving recklessly.  They gave chase and managed to stop the car.  However, before the officers could get out of their vehicle, a Mercedes-Benz which had been hijacked previously to be used in the robbery stopped behind them and men from both vehicles opened fire.  The police officers and their vehicle were riddled with bullets and two officers were killed.

Read this report by Shain Germaner in full at Saturday Star. See too, Top cop hails killers’ hefty jail terms, at The New Age

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Police officer wounded in Strand shopping centre shootout, at News24
  • Man back in court for killing two JMPD officers at roadblock, at SABC News
  • Pre-exposure prophylaxis (Prep) pill to save sex workers from Hiv/Aids, at Sunday Tribune
  • Assault case against Nehawu shop steward after altercation at Klerksdorp old age home, at News24
  • Saftu calls for complete ban on child labour following StatsSA report, at Timeslive


SA mine deaths rise to 22 so far this year

Bloomberg reports that the number of people killed in South African mines has reached 22 this year, as mining companies struggle to improve on their safety record in 2017, when deaths increased for the first time in a decade.  Mining deaths increased to 88 last year, compared with 73 in 2016, the Department of Mineral Resources advised.  South Africa operates some of the world’s deepest and most dangerous mines.  The country has been mined commercially for over a century and many operators still rely on older, labour-intensive mining methods such as hand drilling.

A short report by Paul Burkhardt is at Fin24

Mantashe calls for increased vigilance on health, safety

Mining Weekly reports that Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe has called for increased vigilance on health and safety in the mining sector, after three fatalities were reported last week.  Two employees died in a seismic-related fall-of-ground incident at Harmony Gold’s Joel mine, near Welkom, in the Free State, on Tuesday.  The third fatality occurred at Sibanye-Stillwater’s Khuseleka operation, in Rustenburg, North West, earlier in the week.  The three fatalities brought to 22 the number of fatalities recorded in the first quarter of this year.  Five of the 22 fatalities have occurred at Sibanye-Stillwater’s operations.  “Turning the tide on fatalities in the sector is the responsibility of all social partners – government, labour and business – and is critical for the sustainability of the mining industry in the long term,” the Department of Mineral Resources stated on Wednesday.

A sort report is at Mining Weekly

Amcu leader Mathunjwa protects corrupt union leaders, Brits court hears

ANA reports that the Brits Magistrate's Court heard on Thursday that Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) president Joseph Mathunjwa protected members implicated in corruption.  Amcu's internal conflicts were revealed at the bail hearing of former and current union members accused of plotting to kill union leaders in what appears to be infighting for leadership positions.  Zamelekhaya Mboxela, a former Amcu vice chairperson at Lonmin’s Rowland shaft, told the court he believed Mathunjwa was protecting leaders implicated in corrupt activities, because he never acted on the basis of evidence of corruption presented to him.  "We took evidence of corruption to [the] head office, they promised to investigate and come back to us, instead we were expelled from the union," Mboxela claimed.  When prosecutor Cassius Mona asked him whether he was aggrieved by his expulsion from Amcu, Mboxela responded by saying:  "The expulsion came from head office, I was scared to challenge it."  He went on to testify that as a result of non-resolution of workers problems, divisions were created within Amcu.  Mona charged that Mboxela resigned from Lonmin and fled to the Eastern Cape after he realised that the plot to kill Amcu leaders had been discovered.  The case was postponed to 11 April for further hearing on the bail application.

Read this report in full at eNCA. See too, Court told there was tension between Lonmin Amcu leadership, at EWN

IDC loan of R190m to local firm will enable Lily and Barbrook mines to be reopened

City Press reports that a local minerals and investments company has signed a R190m loan with the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) to acquire a 74% stake in the cash-strapped Vantage Goldfields SA to reopen two Mpumalanga mines.  Siyakhula Sonke Empowerment Corporation (SSC) Flaming Silver signed the loan deal on Thursday afternoon.  This agreement will enable SSC to reopen the Lily and Barbrook mines in Mpumalanga, which were shut down and later placed under business rescue in 2016.  Vantage Goldfields was forced to close down Lily Mine when the entrance to its shaft collapsed in February 2016.  Three workers – Yvonne Mnisi, Pretty Nkambule and Solomon Nyerende – who were working in a container office, were buried underground.  Lily Mine employed 900 workers and Barbrook employed 100 before operations were mothballed.  According to the business rescue plan, Vantage Goldfields needs R310m to reopen the two mines.  Business rescue practitioner Rob Devereux said SSC would contribute the difference of R120m and get the gold mines back into operation.  The SSC breakthrough comes after two previous deals failed, placing the mines under business rescue.  But the deal has not yet prompted creditors to withdraw their application to liquidate Vantage Goldfields.

Read this report by Sizwe Sama Yende in full at Fin24

Other labour / community posting(s) relating to mining

  • Concerted effort needed to combat South Africa’s illegal mining scourge, at Mining Weekly

Postings on Mining Charter

  • Mining Charter should not have gone to court, says Mantashe, at SABC News
  • Mantashe’s snubbing of key interest groups digs a deeper hole for party, at BusinessLive


Act 'facilitates smooth eviction of farm workers and dwellers' rather than protecting them

The Star reports that Human Rights Commissioner and former ANC Western Cape chairperson Chris Nissen last week slammed the Extension of Security of Tenure Act (Esta).  The SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) was holding a public exploratory hearing into land and the impact of rural land use and ownership patterns in SA.  Nissen, who chaired the hearing, said Esta, which gave occupiers ownership rights to their residences which they occupied on farms, was not working to protect farm workers and dwellers.  “Esta is not helping people.  It is facilitating the smooth eviction of farm dwellers,” he stated.  Nissen claimed that even police officers did not protect people unlawfully evicted from farms, but in some cases assisted security companies hired to assist in farm expulsions in the illegal eviction of farm workers and dwellers.  Nissen told the hearing that little had been done to improve living conditions of farm workers and dwellers despite the existence of laws to protect them.  Ahmed Mayet from the Foundation for Human Rights, told the hearing that the government should consider amending labour laws to cater for seasonal farm workers.

Read this report by Loyiso Sidimba in full at The Star

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Cape farmers lose 25% of orchards, vineyards as result of drought, at News24
  • Confidence and optimism buoy SA’s agriculture, at BusinessLive
  • Sowing seeds of change for farmworkers, at News24
  • Vroue-plaaswerkers ‘trek aan kortste ent’, at Netwerk24 (paywall access)
  • The 26-year-old female farmer shattering stereotypes, at News24
  • Free State farmer gives workers land, at HuffPost


Public sector unions apprehensive that wage talks delay will mean lower offer

Mail & Guardian reports that public sector unions are bracing themselves for a stand-off with the government because they fear Ayanda Dlodlo, the new minister of public service and administration, will present a lower wage offer than the one put on the table by her predecessor, Faith Muthambi.  Muthambi offered a three-year wage deal, with CPI plus 1.5% in the first year, and CPI plus 1% in both years two and three.  Tempers flared when a meeting meant to finalise the agreement was postponed last week, pending the treasury’s CPI projections for the next two years.  The offer was moreover made before the recent announcement of a 1% increase in value-added tax (VAT).  Union representatives say there are rumours that the offer of the consumer price index (CPI) plus 1.5% will be dropped to CPI plus 1%.  The parties are due to meet again on 4 and 5 April and a new agreement will now have to be backdated to 31 March once it is concluded.  Cosatu’s joint mandating committee chairperson Mike Shingange warned of the potential consequences of a lower offer, saying:  “That will be an indication of negotiation in bad faith and we don’t think they would like to see the reaction of workers.”  Azar Jammine of Econometrix commented that the new Ramaphosa administration would be careful not to upset the workers before an election.  “It’s quite clear from the budget in February that the government is going to award a fairly generous pay offer to public servants, presumably to ward off the possibility of a strike,” Jammine said.

Read more of this report by Govan Whittles at SA Labour News

Transport union UNTU declares wage dispute with Prasa, train strike looms

GroundUp reports that on Wednesday the United National Transport Union (UNTU) declared a dispute with Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) over a deadlock reached in the 2018 wage negotiations.  In a statement, UNTU said a dispute had been declared with the CCMA after the employer refused to increase its wage offer of 7.3% and refused to include a no retrenchment clause for the next financial year in the wage agreement.  The union is demanding a 13% salary increase.  “A date for the CCMA conciliation has not been set.  But if the CCMA is unable to resolve the dispute, the union will be issued with a certificate that will allow the union to embark on a protected strike in Prasa within 48 hours,” UNTU said.  The union’s Steve Harris said Prasa was not able to plead poverty after leaked documents revealed billions in allegedly corrupt transactions.  “The employer wants its employees to pay the brunt for certain individuals who robbed Prasa of its money.  That is not our problem,” said Harris.  He said the cost of living was taking its toll on UNTU members.

Read this report by Tariro Washinyira in full at GroundUp


Two-day strike by Shoprite employees over work conditions

News24 reports that Shoprite employees nationwide embarked on a two-day protest on Wednesday and Thursday to demand better working hours, permanent jobs and provision of late-night transport.  Small groups of staff protested outside their respective supermarkets to voice their frustrations.  The SA Commercial‚ Catering and Allied Workers’ Union (Saccawu) said workers were demanding a guaranteed 40-hour work week and transport for employees who worked late shifts, also for part-time employees to be employed permanently after at least five years.  In a statement, the union said it had engaged with Shoprite regarding the workers' needs, but had failed to reach an agreement.  Shoprite stores remained open for business, despite the small groups of employees picketing outside.  Shoprite Group Holdings said in a statement that the company respected the rights of the employees to protest.  It noted that resolving the matter was a priority.

Read this report by Chanté Schatz in full at News24


Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene orders review of VAT zero-rated items

BusinessLive reports that Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene has requested the chair of the Davis Tax Committee‚ Judge Dennis Davis‚ to appoint a panel of independent experts to review the current list of zero-rated items.  It must consider the most effective way to mitigate the impact of the increase in the VAT rate on poor and low-income households.  A statement from the National Treasury on Thursday stated that the review would consider expanding the list of basic food items that were VAT zero-rated.  It would also consider how specific expenditure programmes such as the National School Nutrition Programme and food stamps among others could be improved to better target poor and low-income households.  The panel is expected to deliver an initial report with all the options and recommendations by 30 June 2018.

Read this report in full at BusinessLive

Vavi catches flak on Twitter for correctly noting that the VAT ‘rate’ has increased by 7%

Timeslive reports that confusion over the difference between a percentage increase and a percentage point increase was shown in some of the responses Zwelinzima Vavi received when he tweeted that everything would go up from Sunday due to a 7% increase in VAT.  VAT increased on Sunday by one percentage point from 14% to 15%.  “Today the poor will start feeling the real meaning of the ‘new dawn’!  The price of everything is going up due to a 7% increase of VAT!,” Vavi tweeted.  The union leader immediately came under flak‚ with some accusing him of lying while others accused him of ‘political point scoring”.  Vavi, in good humour‚ responded:  “Hahahaha please don’t expose your ignorance but then accuse me of lying!  Go calculate the percentage of an increase from 14% to 15%.”  Chartered financial analyst Nerina Visser explained:  “Let's get this #VAThike right: it has increased by 1 percentage POINT from 14% to 15%‚ which is an increase of 7.1% in the VAT RATE.  The impact is an increase of 0.877% on what you PAY (from R114 to R115 on something that costs R100 excl. VAT).

Read this report in full at Timeslive. Read too, Vavi raises concerns over VAT increase, at SABC News


Over 11% of government posts still vacant, says Public Service Commission

The Star reports that the Public Service Commission (PSC) has urged the government to urgently fill critical posts in various departments.  Gauteng Commissioner Mike Seloane made the call last week when the PSC released a report on the state of human resources in the public service at national and provincial level for the period between 1 October 2017 and 31 December 2017.  According to the PSC, the public service had more than 1.3 million posts, of which more than 1.1 million were filled, while 148,775 (11.4%) were vacant.  “During the period October 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017, the vacancy rate at national level was 7.6% and the province with the highest vacancy rate was the Eastern Cape, with 23.4%,” Seloane indicated.  He reported that the highest vacancy rate of 76,918 posts (52%) was at administrative or operational level, while the second highest vacancy rate (47%) was at junior and middle management level.  Yet, the total number of appointments during the last quarter was higher than the total number of terminations across the public service.  Seloane also announced that the PSC had started looking at financial disclosure forms to determine the full disclosures of registrable interest and prevalence of conflict of interest among senior managers.  The process was due to be finalised by Saturday, 31 March 2018.

Read this report by Baldwin Ndaba in full in The Star of 28 March 2018

CSIR warns of jobs-for-sex scam using its name

News24 reports that the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) on Thursday warned that two individuals were scamming young people by promising them fake jobs at the organisation.  The individuals, who called themselves Stephen and Sherinne, claim they are working for the CSIR recruitment office.  Spokesperson David Mandaha explained:  "According to the information we have, Stephen finds young, job-seeking ladies on social media platforms.  Then Sherinne contacts them for a 'telephonic interview.  After the interview, Stephen asks to meet with the 'candidate' at a certain location, where he demands sex in order to secure the 'job'."  The CSIR is aware of one university student who had come forward after being scammed.  The CSIR only advertised its jobs in mainstream newspapers, on its official social media platforms, and on its website,

Read this report by Jenna Etheridge in full at News24

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • SA companies are now looking to hire employees who can play ‘politics’, at BusinessTech
  • Cele rings in the changes with new top cop appointments, at City Press
  • Sitole sticks to his guns over SAPS appointments, at eNCA


High Court rules against Numsa urgent bid to stop signing of IPP electricity deals

ANA reports the National Union of Metalworkers of SA’s (Numsa’s) legal bid to prevent the Minister of Energy Jeff Radebe and Eskom from concluding agreements with independent power producers (IPPs) has been struck off the roll as the application was found to be not urgent.  Numsa appeared before the North Gauteng High Court on Tuesday, asking it to block the signing of the deals until the court had heard an application by the Coal Transporters’ Forum, which has argued that a switch to renewable energy from coal-fired electricity will lead to job losses in linked sectors.  Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim argued that the deal would plunge Mpumalanga into a crisis because the majority of the industries depended on the existence of coal-fired power stations in the area.  The closure of five Eskom power stations in Mpumalanga would cause at least 30,000 job losses, the union said.  Numsa said it did not oppose renewable energy or an energy mix, but wanted a sector which is controlled and owned by workers and the community.

Read this report by ANA and The Citizen in full at The Citizen. See too, Numsa loses bid to halt Energy Department’s deal with IPPs, at EWN. And also, Numsa disappointed after court rules against them on IPPs, at The Citizen


Strife looms in parliament after managers ‘renege’ on deal to forfeit pay hikes

The Sunday Times reports that Parliament’s executive managers have received more than R2m in salary increases backdated to April last year.  This has raised the ire of staff who say their bosses had previously agreed to forfeit such hikes because there was no money.  Last week 18 of parliament’s division managers, who earn between R1.5m and R1.8m a year, each took home at least R100,000 in back pay.  Last year the managers agreed to forego the increases as part of measures to persuade ordinary staff and the National Health Education and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) to accept lower pay hikes.  But the managers pocketed a payout last week after persuading National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete and National Council of Provinces chairwoman Thandi Modise that funds were now available in parliament’s salary budget owing to resignations and vacancies that had not been filled.  They argued that they had not had a salary increase for the past three years.  Parliament’s spokesman, Moloto Mothapo, said the understanding had always been that the increases would kick in as soon as additional money was found in the budget.  A staffer, who believes that the managers have clearly reneged on an undertaking, commented:  “So this means us as staff, we won’t be compromising on anything in this year’s negotiation.”

This more of this report by Thabo Makone, which appeared on page 2 of The Sunday Times of 1 April 2018, at SA Labour News


Parliament calls on Steinhoff to block executives’ bonuses

Business Report writes that Parliament on Wednesday called on global retailer Steinhoff to block any bonuses to its executives.  The call came in the wake of reports that the Steinhoff board wanted to pay the head of the audit and risk committee Steve Booysen R2.9m in bonuses and acting chairperson Heather Sonn another R2.9m.  Another executive, Johan van Zyl, was eyed for a R1.5m payment, while former directors Len Konar and Theunie Lategan were due to be paid R500,000 each.  Steinhoff is to hold an AGM on 20 April at which the shareholders intend to make the final decision.  The joint committees of Parliament described the move as unseemly, given the giant's recent auditing scandal.  Themba Godi, chairperson of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, commented:  “It feels so odd that here is a company facing such a massive scandal and it is paying bonuses.”  In its annual report, Steinhoff Africa Retail advised that former Steinhoff International chief executive Markus Jooste was paid a total of R121.8m in earnings in 2017, 35% more than he received in 2016.  This included a R39.9m annual bonus, R8.3m in a strategic bonus and R36.7m in a deferred bonus.  Non-executive director Heather Sonn was paid R1.52m, up from the R548,000 she received in 2016.

Read this report by Siyabonga Mkhwanazi in full at Business Report


Nedlac slams labour department’s bungling of minimum wage draft legislation

BusinessLive reports that Madoda Vilakazi, executive director of the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac), has said that the Department of Labour’s bungling of draft policy agreements reached at the institution undermines its work.  The department had no legal right to alter agreements such as those reached on the national minimum wage (NMW) when drafting bills, Vilakazi stated.  This came after labour federations and community constituencies represented at Nedlac slated the manner in which the department has handled the three interlinked bills designed to give effect to the NMW, with some sections of the draft legislation changed from what is in the policy agreement.  The department bungled a key definition of "worker" in the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA), thereby excluding independent contractors from the category of employees to be covered by the NMW.  It promised to correct this, but the bill before Parliament still contains the same botched definition, as well as other sections that are equally problematic.  The bills also introduced new provisions that were not discussed at Nedlac.  Vilakazi said that when such mistakes were made, "it does undermine the work of Nedlac".  While Vilakazi admitted the department’s blunders were harming Nedlac, he maintained that the institution’s detractors were wrong to suggest it had lost its effectiveness.

Read this report by Theto Mahlakoana in full at BusinessLive

Other internet posting(s) in this news category


Hundreds of permanent employees at Telkom Direct stores outsourced on contract basis

The Sunday Independent reports on a “unilateral” restructuring process undertaken by Telkom that resulted in hundreds of permanent employees being outsourced on short-term contracts.  Consultants at Telkom Direct stores throughout the country were outsourced from 1 April to two international companies, Perx and Smollan.  Reportedly, some employees were offered one-year contracts and others three-year contracts.  However, some of the employees have raised concerns about the manner in which the move was conducted.  Apparently there was a lack of consultation with the employees during the restructuring process and allegations have been made that only black staff were affected by the outsourcing process.  The employees were also allegedly denied the option of taking severance packages, having been told their skills and expertise were still required.  Telkom confirmed that 220 employees, currently working in the Telkom stores, would be transferred to Smollan and Perx with effect from 1 April.  A spokesperson was adamant that the company conducted the restructuring process in line with the applicable laws and prescripts and that terms and conditions would be no less favourable than previously.  This is the second recent outsourcing project.  The Sunday Independent reported last weekend that Telkom had awarded a R755m security contract to three companies and two of them outsourced Telkom’s investigators.

Read this detailed report by Karabo Ngoepe in full at Sunday Independent


Two justice department officials suspended for calling black co-worker a ‘monkey’

EWN reports that two employees from the Department of Justice have been suspended for referring to a black co-worker as a monkey and a baboon on social media.  In several work-related posts, the two workers referred to senior accounting clerk Wisani Mkhari in derogatory terms.  Departmental spokesperson Steven Mahlangu said they only recently became aware of the Facebook statements, which were allegedly posted last year.  “As soon as we became aware of those allegations the department took the initiative to take that matter further so that we can root out the racism within the department,” Mahlangu indicated.  Mkhari is still an employee of the department.  Mahlangu added that the department had employed an independent body to assess the cell phone that was used and that, after everything had been assessed, a decision would be taken.  The posts have since been deleted.

A short report by Ahmed Kajee is at EWN. See too, Justice department suspends two employees over racism allegations, at SABC News. And also, Black justice official target of racist Facebook posts, at Sunday Times (paywall access)

Education department welcomes resignation of alleged racist Parktown Boys High School teacher

EWN reports that the Department of Education says it is satisfied with the resignation of an alleged racist teacher at Parktown Boys High School in Johannesburg.  The teacher apparently went on a 45-minute rant in which he called an Indian pupil "Isis" and others monkeys.  This followed reports that an art teacher labeled pupils who reported the school's former polo coach for alleged abuse and rape as “evil snitches”.  Education spokesperson Steve Mabona says the department took the actions of the two teachers seriously.  The department also said its MEC was studying a report into nine other teachers who were investigated for secondary victimisation following the sexual abuse case.  “You can’t take the situation where learners were traumatized, to be traumatized further,” Mabona stated.

Read this report by Hitekani Magwedze in full at EWN

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Sapu hopes Momberg jail sentence will set precedence for racists, at EWN


Sex pest controversy results in apology from Grant Thornton Johannesburg

Timeslive reports that business consulting firm Grant Thornton Johannesburg announced on Friday that it had cut all ties with a former director accused of making sexual advances towards a female employee.  He allegedly also touched her inappropriately at the workplace.  Speaking on the Eusebius McKaiser 702 radio show earlier this month‚ the employee described how Gillian Saunders, deputy CEO and head of advisory services, as well as other company executives, had let her down when she reported a case of sexual harassment against senior partner Vernon Naidoo.  She said her contract was not renewed after she laid a complaint against him.  Another former employee, who claimed that during a “business trip” Naidoo had forced her to share a hotel room with her to save costs, also said she received very little support from Saunders and the HR department.   CEO Paul Badrick on Friday publicly apologised and conveyed his regrets to the two former employees involved.  He said the firm has undertaken a review of the way it handled the sexual harassment allegations and added:  "The grievances and the culture of Grant Thornton Johannesburg need to be investigated by independent third parties.  Grant Thornton International will also investigate the allegations and our firm’s response."  Badrick said in addition‚ he would welcome an investigation by the Commission for Gender Equality.

Read this report in full at Timeslive. See too, Former Grant Thornton employee ‘living in fear’ after alleged sexual harassment, at EWN. And also, How Grant Thornton SA allegedly covered up sexual harassment, at 702. As well as, Grant Thornton retracts offer to employee who discussed sexual harassment on 702, at The Citizen

Sexual harassment plagues academia, conference hears

Lefatshe Moagi, lecturer in the department of political sciences at the University of SA, writes that at a recent Dreaming Feminist Futures conference hosted by the African Gender Institute at UCT, women spoke out about abuse within higher learning institutions.  The abuse includes intimidation and harassment by males who are in positions of authority, as well as sexual violence in the workplace.  Moagi notes that, on the face of it, a lay person who pays little attention to issues of gender-based abuse would be forgiven for doubting that such high-profile and learned women would be the subject of abuse.  Sadly, academia, an integral part of our society, suffers from this scourge too.  Stories of harassment of women in academia abound and some institutions are seen as hostile to women.  In some instances, exposure of harassment has led to positive developments.  Wits University is one example in that it has pioneered a policy that deals with what is termed Gender-Based Harm (GBH).  The wide-ranging policy was developed after Wits was dogged by headlines over so-called “sex-pest” scandals on its campus.  But notwithstanding the progressive steps such as those taken by Wits, there is still more that needs to be done to transform institutional cultures fundamentally, Moagi says.

Read this article in full at News24. Read too, We do not tolerate sex abuse, says Unisa, at The New Age

Other internet posting(s) in this news category


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