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 Friday, 13 April 2018.


OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH & SAFETY

More than 30 hurt as chicken firm's staff bus overturns in Cape Town on Thursday

Timeslive reports that more than 30 people were injured on Thursday morning when a company’s staff bus overturned after colliding with a bakkie in Cape Town.  No one was seriously injured, but five staff members needed medical attention on the scene of the crash‚ in Old Paarl Road.  There were more than 50 people in the bus.  The risk manager for frozen chicken company County Fair‚ Danie Ras‚ indicated that the bus was transporting workers to a processing plant in Fisantekraal when the accident happened.

A short report by Petru Saal is at Timeslive. See too, Multiple injuries after staff bus overturns in Cape Town, at News24

Man fatally electrocuted at building site when tipper truck bay made contact with powerlines

ANA reports that a man died after being electrocuted at a construction site in Fourways in northern Johannesburg on Friday afternoon.  ER24 spokesperson Russel Meiring said:  “Upon arrival, paramedics found a large tipper truck parked beneath some powerlines.  The body of a man was found lying next to the vehicle.  Paramedics assessed the man and found that he had sustained serious burn wounds and showed no signs of life."  Meiring added:  "Unfortunately, nothing could be done for him and he was declared dead.  It is alleged that the loading bay of the truck made contact with the above powerlines, causing the man to be electrocuted when he apparently touched the vehicle's control unit."

A short report is at eNCA

Seven hurt in furnace blast at Fortune Steel, less than 24 hours after OHS protest by Numsa

ANA reports that the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) indicated on Monday that at least seven workers were injured when a furnace exploded at Fortune Steel in Nigel in Ekurhuleni.  According to Numsa, the incident occurred on Saturday during the night shift, less than 24 hours after the union marched and protested against the company on Friday.  Fortune Steel is part of Fortune Group, a steel company based in India.  Numsa has accused the company of flouting basic health and safety laws, as well as ignoring labour laws.  One of the workers who was injured in the blast is apparently in a critical condition in hospital after he sustained extensive injuries to the head, chest and arms.  Phakamile Hlubi-Majola, Numsa acting national spokesperson, claimed that the company management tried to cover up the incident.

Read this report in full at IOL News

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Two police officers shot, wounded in Tembisa, at EWN


MINING LABOUR

Eastern limb of platinum belt hit by over 400 social unrest incidents since 2016

Reuters reports that the eastern limb of SA’s platinum belt has been hit by over 400 incidents of social unrest impacting mining operations since the start of 2016.  This is according to data compiled by Anglo American Platinum (Amplats).  The restive region in the northeast has been a flashpoint of violence rooted in community grievances over jobs, revenue flows and conflict between rival unions that threaten platinum production.  Recently six workers were burnt to death in the area when the bus they were on was set alight by a petrol bomb.  It was transporting them to their shifts at the Modikwa platinum mine operated by African Rainbow Minerals and Amplats.  The compiled incidents range from roadblocks to wildcat strikes to physical assaults against miners.  On average over the period, either a roadblock, wildcat strike, march or act of violence took place in the region every second day, which affected a mining operation in some way.  The period also saw 40 wildcat strikes or work stoppages and there were at least 55 recorded acts of violence.  Much of the discontent stems from the stark juxtaposition of joblessness and grinding poverty atop some of the world’s richest platinum reserves.  Amplats said the unemployment in the area was close to 80%.

Read this report in full at EWN

Identities of mineworkers killed in petrol bomb attack on bus released

ANA reports that police forensics on Thursday released the names of the six mineworkers who were killed after a petrol bomb was set off inside the bus they were travelling in earlier this month.  The bus was en route to Limpopo's Modikwa Platinum Mine near Burgersfort transporting the workers for the night shift.  The deceased are Moniccah Mabilo, 57, from Ga Mahlokwane village, Johannes Malepe, 56, Ziphora Makuwa, 48, both from Driekop, Solomon Komana, 37, Simon Mahlokwane, 42, both from Ga Mahlokwane village and 58-year-old Pheta Ranku from Lesotho.  The assailants boarded the bus and set off the petrol bomb before fleeing the scene, leaving six workers burnt beyond recognition and 28 others severely injured.  Five people have since been arrested and made their second appearance in the Mecklenburg Magistrate's Court on Thursday charged with six counts of murder, attempted murder and malicious damage to property.  The case was postponed to 26 April for bail applications.

Read this report by Getrude Makhafola in full at IOL News

Four alleged illegal miners die in dump truck accident in Limpopo

ANA reports that four alleged illegal miners died when the “dump truck” mining vehicle they were using at a Limpopo site overturned.  Police at Driekop, near Burgersfort have opened a case of culpable homicide.  The incident happened at Mandagshoek, Mankgakganyane section on Saturday night.  Police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said:  “According to information, six alleged illegal miners were in the vehicle on the mountain when it suddenly swerved and overturned several times, instantly killing four males and seriously injuring two.  The police were called to the scene, reacted swiftly, and on arrival the victims were found between huge rocks and in the wreckage.  The injured were taken to hospital with serious injuries.”  Illegal mining has largely been brought under control since the launch of provincial operations in May 2017.  The police once again warned communities, especially those along the R37 road between Lebowakgomo and Burgersfort, to desist from illegal mining.

Read this report in full at The Citizen

No minutes taken at meeting planning to kill Amcu members, Brits court hears

ANA reports that the Brits Magistrates’ Court heard on Friday that no minutes were taken at meetings allegedly plotting to eliminate Association of Mineworkers and Construction (Amcu) members.  Investigating officer Warrant Officer Johannes Montsho told the court:  “Several meeting were held at different places, no minutes were taken at such meeting.  Several items were discussed including liquidating Amcu at Lonmin.  One meeting was held at the koppie where it was resolved that there should be work stoppage at Lonmin, so that Amcu should be blamed for the works stoppage.”  He was responding to questions during cross examination by defence lawyers who wanted to know whether minutes were taken and who were present at the meetings.  The state alleges that the accused were expelled from Amcu after the union appointed new leaders, and that the group plotted to remove them from office in a bid to weaken the union at Lonmin operations in Marikana.  Five Amcu leaders were identified to be eliminated.  Twelve people have been arrested in the case.  Two of them have been released on bail, while two were released on warning.  The bail hearing for the rest continues.

Read this report by Molaole Montsho in full at The Citizen

‘Pleasing’ turnaround at Kumba pays off for executives

Business Report writes that Kumba Iron Ore hiked the total salary of its directors and prescribed officers to R108m in the year to December 2017, following zero fatalities and an improved financial performance buoyed by firmer prices.  Kumba recorded zero fatalities in 2017.  The iron-ore producer, an Anglo American subsidiary, paid its four executive directors R47.1m, including share options and bonuses, up from R26.2m in 2016.  Chief executive Themba Mkhwanazi received a total salary of R21m, including R7.1m guaranteed pay and a long-term incentive plan award earned while he was chief executive at Anglo Coal.  His total salary was R5.3m in 2016.  Bothwell Mazarura, who joined the company as chief executive in September last year, earned R2.2m.  Former chief executive Norman Mbazima earned a R16.6m long-term incentive plan award last year, compared with R11.3m total salary in 2016.  Mkhwanazi commented:  “The pleasing turnaround of the business, delivered over a remarkably short time frame, required some tough decisions that had to be taken regarding the restructuring of our business following the collapse of iron-ore prices in 2014/15.  Although the process has been painful, the company is now much stronger, enabling us to deliver significant growth in value for our key stakeholders.”  The company last year signed a three-year wage deal with the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) that gave workers an annual pay rise ranging between 7% and 10%.

Read this report by Dineo Faku in full at Business Report

Other labour / community posting(s) relating to mining

  • Impala Platinum and North West government officially open three Rustenburg schools, at Impala Platinum News
  • Mining industry must improve human rights, says Responsible Mining Foundation, at Moneyweb

Postings on Mining Charter

  • Mantashe aims for new mining charter by May, at Moneyweb
  • Macua, Wamua reject DMR’s ‘sham’ community consultation process re mining charter at Mining Weekly
  • Economists predict amended Mining Charter will fuel investment boom in mining sector, at BusinessLive


FARMING LABOUR

Banker, Tokara farm workers together lose R1bn in Steinhoff share collapse

BusinessLive reports that one of SA’s most respected bankers, GT Ferreira who co-founded FirstRand, has seen more than R1bn of his wealth wiped out by the collapse of Steinhoff as his own direct investment in the retail group has collapsed to a fraction of its initial value.  In addition, workers on his wine farm, Tokara outside Stellenbosch, who were invested in Steinhoff have seen that investment shrink to just a few million rand.  In July 2015, Ferreira’s investment in Steinhoff was valued at R460m.  He still holds 5.96-million Steinhoff shares, but they are now worth R18m.  An entity called the Tokara BEE Trust and an entity called Tokara Employees Trust had 5.2-million and 4.9-million shares, respectively, in Steinhoff at the end of November 2017.  The total value of Tokara shares ahead of the December collapse was R714m.  They are now worth R34.4m. The collapse of Steinhoff has reduced the Ferreira/Tokara investment to R52m from R1.17bn.  The Tokara Workers Trust was set up by Ferreira shortly after he bought the farm in 1994.  The farm’s website says the trust was set up "for the entire workforce to look after their future individual needs".

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


COLLECTIVE BARGAINING / WAGE NEGOTIATIONS

State requests postponement of further public sector wage talks until 24 April

BusinessLive reports that government facilitators have requested to push back until 24 April the public servants wage talks in order to consult with their principals, who are the heads of government departments.  Public Service and Administration Minister Ayanda Dlodlo’s spokesman, Mava Scott, said the postponement was requested to allow time for talks.  Scott could, however, not explain how the state intended continuing with the talks after requesting a postponement.  The request came amid tension among parties at the Public Sector Co-ordinating Bargaining Council as leaders of labour unions grappled with what they said was the state’s bizarre handling of the talks.  The government has apparently tabled two different offers to employees at the council and changed negotiators when the talks were nearing an end in February.  The changes have placed the talks at the brink of collapse, with the Public Servants Association (PSA) threatening to strike, even if it does not have the support of the rest of the public unions.  On Wednesday, the union leaders held various meetings to discuss strategies on how to get the government to come to the table with a tangible offer.

Read this report by Theto Mahlakoana in full at BusinessLive. Read too, State tramples on public servants’ rights as talks face deadlock, at BL Premium (paywall access). And also, Public sector wage negotiations are deadlocked, at Business Report

UNTU negotiates 7.1% wage increase at Transnet, with no forced lay-offs in next three years

Engineering News reports that the United National Transport Union (UNTU) has signed a 7.1% wage increase agreement for its members at state-owned freight group Transnet for the next three years.  The agreement has been backdated to 1 April 2018 and the housing allowance and the medical aid allowance will also be increased by 7.1%.  The union indicated that Transnet had agreed that there would be no forced retrenchments in the next three years.  Wyndham Evans, President of UNTU, commented:  “UNTU believes this wage agreement is the best organised labour could reach, bearing in mind the difficult financial situation Transnet and the country finds itself in after the international rating agency, Standard & Poor’s, downgraded the State-owned enterprise rating to junk status in November last year.”

Read this report in full at Engineering News. Read the union’s press statement in this regard at UNTU News


INDUSTRIAL ACTION / STRIKES / LOCK-OUTS

National bus strike looms and could commence on 18 April

Cape Argus reports that Golden Arrow Bus Services (Gabs) as well as transport unions have warned of a looming national bus strike.  The warning follows a deadlock in annual wage negotiations, between the employers association and five transport unions, including the SA Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu), the Transport and Allied Workers Union of SA (Tawusa) and the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa).  The negotiations started at the SA Road Passenger Bargaining Council (SARPBAC) national bargaining forum in January.  The respective parties were issued with a certificate by the CCMA permitting a protected strike, but were also given a 30-day cooling-off period, which expires on April 16.  Gabs observed that “unless an agreement is concluded by April 16, it is likely that a 48-hour notice of pending strike action will be issued.  This means that a national bus industry strike could commence on April 18.”

Read this report by Zodidi Dano in full at Cape Argus

North West patients go home without chronic medicines due to ongoing Nehawu strike

Timeslive reports that patients in the North West are being turned back empty-handed due to shortages of medicine as a result of an ongoing strike‚ says the Doctors Without Borders organisation.  The Stop Stock Outs Project (SSP) has warned that several medicines and vaccines are already out of stock‚ and additional emergency measures must be taken to avoid a complete shortage in the province.  Patients with chronic diseases like HIV/Aids risk health deterioration because of the strike by the National Health Education and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu).  SSP project manager Glenda Muzenda indicated:  “The situation is not under control‚ and further interim solutions are needed as patients are going without chronic medication…  Thousands of lives are depending on an immediate solution to this crisis‚ and orders that have been placed for medicines need to be filled within the next 24 hours.  We must move rapidly to ensure access to essential medicines is not compromised.”  According to Seipati Moloi‚ spokesperson for Doctors Without Borders‚ no one is being allowed to gain entry to the pharmaceutical depot or access the stock ordering system.

Read this report by Kgaugelo Masweneng in full at Timeslive

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Baby dies in clinic queue while North West nurses are on strike, at SowetanLive


LABOUR AND POLITICS

Ramaphosa vows at Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's funeral to go visit Marikana widows

BusinessLive reports that during President Cyril Ramaphosa’s delivery of the eulogy at Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s official funeral on Saturday at the Orlando Stadium he vowed he would visit the widows of those killed during the Marikana shooting in 2012.  He related that Madikizela-Mandela had told him on her 80th birthday that she would take him and EFF leader Julius Malema to visit Marikana.  "We could not go because you were not well.  You are gone now.  I am left to go alone.  But I will be guided by your spirit.  And I know that Julius Malema will go with me so that we can go and heal the wounds of the Marikana widows," Ramaphosa said.  He was a non-executive director on the board of platinum producer Lonmin at the time of the tragedy in which 44 mineworkers were killed during a protest at the mine by the police.  His role in the tragedy has been highly criticized.

Read this report by Claudi Mailovich in full at BusinessLive. Read too, Ramaphosa vows to visit Marikana with Malema as per Winnie's wish, at eNCA. And also, Cyril Ramaphosa vows to honour Madikizela-Mandela's wish for unified SA, at BusinessLive

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Numsa condemns prosecution of Brazil’s Lula da Silva, at EWN
  • Cosatu’s Ntshalintshali slams leaders who turn away from difficult issues, at EWN


NATIONAL ECONOMICS / PRODUCTIVITY / FOURTH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION

Early spending on IT by SMEs shows economy should pick up strongly later this year

TechCentral writes that SA’s economy should pick up strongly later this year as early signs of spending on IT by small and medium enterprises, which is happening now, typically precedes corporations opening up their purse strings.  That is the view of Tim Humphreys-Davies, CEO of Pinnacle, the large technology distribution company in the Alviva Holdings stable.  According to Humphreys-Davies, 2017 was a tough year for distribution in SA, but since the end of last year — and particularly into the first quarter of 2018 — there have been signs of spring in the sector, and this should flow through soon into the broader economy.  He indicated that since October last year the retail sector has started to recover, with improved spending leading up to Christmas.  “And it happened quite quickly.  It was a prelude to the ANC elective conference, that something positive was going to come out of that.  The rand was strengthening, and the economy was recovering, so we saw early green-shoots recovery from retail.”  In the first quarter of 2018, the recovery extended to the SME sector, Humphreys-Davies noted.  Distribution tends to recover more quickly than any other sector, as happened after the 2008 recession following the global financial crisis.

Read this report by Duncan McLeod and listen to an interview with Humphreys-Davies at TechCentral

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Manufacturing output growth drops in February rather than expected increase, at BusinessLive
  • What you need to know about the Fourth Industrial revolution, at Business Report
  • Is the Fourth Industrial Revolution nothing more than a technical evolution? at BusinessLive
  • The Fourth Industrial Revolution is discriminating against Africans, on page 17 of The Sunday Independent of 15 April 2018


PRICES / TARIFFS

Solidarity worried about impact of US tariffs on South African steel industry

Engineering News reports that trade union Solidarity has expressed its concern about the possible impact of the import tariffs on steel and aluminium products recently announced by the US.  The 25% import tariff on steel and the 10% tariff on aluminium affects the SA steel industry directly as the industry exports around 330,000 t (about 5% of the local industry’s production) to the US.  According to Solidarity’s Marius Croucamp, there is major concern among local players in the industry.  “There is real concern among players that the tariffs imposed by the US on steel and aluminium products will hurt our local industry, resulting in possible job losses.  The South African steel and aluminium industry experienced severe contraction over the past few years and is still under pressure.  The local industry simply cannot afford any further setbacks,” he lamented.  Unfortunately as Solidarity has noted, the Department of Trade and Industry was unsuccessful in its first attempt at convincing the US to exempt SA from the tariffs imposed on steel and aluminium.  Last year, Solidarity launched a ‘Support Our Steel’ campaign in support of the domestic steel industry.

Read this report in full at Engineering News. Read Solidarity’s press statement in this regard at Solidarity News


LABOUR LAW REFORM / NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE

National minimum wage: Saftu rejects ‘apartheid pay structure’

BusinessLive reports that the SA Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) says the proposed National Minimum Wage (NMW) of R20 an hour or R3,500 a month will entrench "the apartheid wage structure", while amendments to the Labour Relations Act will limit the right of workers to strike.  It says a living wage should be about R12,500 a month.  Members of the federation marched to Parliament on Thursday to defend the "workers’ right to strike" and to "fight for a living wage".  Opposition was expressed to amendments to the Labour Relations Act that would require unions to ballot their members before a strike.  The proposed amendments should be sent back to the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) for review, while Saftu should be given a seat at the council, it said.  Saftu also expressed unhappiness about the value-added tax (VAT) increase and has resolved to embark on rolling mass action to “defend workers and communities from these neoliberal attacks."  Meantime, rival federation Cosatu also protested outside Parliament on Thursday to register its concern about corruption, the VAT increase, the water crisis in Cape Town, the poor public transport system and the delay in the implementation of the NMW.

Read this report by Bekezela Phakathi in full at BusinessLive

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • How will the minimum wage affect your household? at Fin24


VACANCIES / STAFFING / APPOINTMENTS / RECRUITMENT

Staff shortages due to surfeit of disciplinary hearings hamper services at Khayelitsha District Hospital

Parliamentary Services reported on Friday that staff shortages relating to the high number of disciplinary hearings and firing of senior staff members at the Khayelitsha District Hospital are some of the major issues hampering service delivery to the community of Khayelitsha.  Head nurses in various departments complain of the immense pressure faced by staff on a daily basis.  In the ante-natal clinic, the temp agency sends a different person on a daily basis, which means that nurses have to supervise and train new staff every day and this causes delays in the delivery of services.  In a walkabout, the Select Committee on Petitions and Executive Undertakings witnessed a number of patients lying on the floor and a large number of patients slumped up in chairs, having been there since 12 noon the previous day.  Committee chairperson Mr Dumisani Ximbi instructed CEO Dr Anwar Kharwa and the hospital board members present to provide the committee with a comprehensive report on the large number of cases relating to disciplinary hearings, firing of staff, and the various obstacles faced by the hospital.  HR managers, as well as several other senior managers, had not availed themselves for the oversight visit during which the Committee received a first-hand experience of the numerous challenges facing the hospital.

Read more at Parliament Online

Other internet posting(s) in this news category


REMUNERATION / OVERTIME / SALARY ADMINISTRATION

Gauteng doctors not paid for overtime as department “does not have money to pay them”

ANA reports that according to the Democratic Alliance’s (DA’s) Jack Bloom, many doctors at Gauteng state hospitals have not been paid for overtime and have been told that the Gauteng health department “does not have money to pay them” for overtime.  Bloom said he has received reports that overtime has not been paid to doctors at the Tembisa, Leratong, and Yusuf Dadoo hospitals “and probably other hospitals as well.”  He said the health department needed to explain urgently why doctors were being short-changed and rectify this as soon as possible.  Some doctors at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital had apparently also been short-paid this month, but were told that it was an administrative issue that would be sorted out.  However, Gauteng e-government department head Boy Ngobeni has confirmed in a letter that the health department had given instructions not to pay overtime to medical professionals.  Aggrieved doctors are now threatening to stop working at night, on weekends, and on public holidays.

Read this report in full at The Citizen


RESTRUCTURING / RETRENCHMENTS / COMPANY JOB REDUCTIONS

Unions distrustful of Eskom’s plan to reduce staff numbers by natural attrition

BusinessLive reports that, while Eskom has stuck to its plan of reducing its headcount through "natural attrition", there is distrust among trade unions about its intentions.  The National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) recently said the company needed to cut at least 6,000 posts.  This week, the power utility maintained it had no plans to cut staff numbers despite increased pressure to do so by the energy regulator and experts.  Instead, it has stuck to its strategy of managing the reduction of its headcount by "natural attrition" while retaining core and critical skills.  Eskom spokesman Khulu Phasiwe said the company’s plan to reduce its headcount to 36,746 by 2021-22 was dependent on the assumption it would lose 4% of its total staff due to resignations or retirement annually.  "By 2020, over 10,000 people would have left Eskom without resorting to retrenchments.  If people leave, we’ll fill the posts internally and the numbers will go down through natural attrition," Phasiwe indicated.  The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) complained that they were in the dark about the plans.  The NUM’s Paris Mashego said that past experience had shown that when the power utility embarked on a natural attrition process, workers often found themselves hauled before disciplinary hearings as that became a method of getting rid of workers.  “We fear this approach is what we will see again,” he said.

Read this report by Theto Mahlakoana in full at BusinessLive


SAA BUSINESS RESCUE

Only forced business rescue can save SAA, says Solidarity ahead of court application

The Citizen reports that Solidarity believes the only way to rescue the financially haemorrhaging SA Airways (SAA) is to have it placed under forced business rescue.  Yet the trade union expects fierce opposition from government against its historical court application.  If the application succeeds, SAA will become the first ever state enterprise to be placed under business rescue and it could have implications for other ailing state entities such as Prasa and Eskom.  Solidarity’s CE Dirk Hermann said court papers would be lodged next month and the union would in the coming month campaign to obtain mandates from thousands of taxpayers to become part of the lawsuit.  A number of civil organisations have already indicated they want to join the lawsuit as friends of the court.  “The purpose of business rescue is to bring stability and sustainability to the company and the workers…  It’s not just workers’ interests that are at stake, but public interest too,” Hermann said.  The head of the Solidarity Research Institute, Connie Mulder, pointed out that SAA has had nine CEOs in nine years and almost as many turnaround strategies, without any positive results.  He noted that SAA’s liabilities exceeded its assets by R17.8bn and it was totally dependent on government loans, which now totalled more than R30bn.

Read this report by Ilse de Lange in full at The Citizen. Read Solidarity’s press statement in this regard at Solidarity News

Other unions oppose Solidarity’s bid to have SAA placed in business rescue

BusinessLive reports that Solidarity announced on Thursday that it would apply to the high court for an order to have SA Airways (SAA) placed in business rescue under the Companies Act.  The trade union invited Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan and Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene to join its application.  Solidarity has 350 members at SAA, but is not recognised by the airline.  The recognised unions at SAA, namely the SA Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu), the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa), the SA Cabin Crew Association (Sacca), the National Transport Movement (NTM) and the Aviation Workers Union of SA, have all rejected Solidarity’s proposed court action.  The five unions said in a joint statement on Thursday that a business rescue process would not be in the best interests of the workers.  Instead, the unions indicated their support for CEO Vuyani Jarana, the board and the turnaround strategy under way at the national carrier.  The five unions said Jarana was engaging with unions.

Read this report by Neels Blom in full at BusinessLive. Read too, Solidarity believes business rescue essential to save SAA; other unions strongly disagree, at Engineering News. Read the joint statement from the five unions at Polity


SKILLS DEVELOPMENT / TRAINING

Solidarity threatens action over R1m Denel bursary to North West premier’s son

News24 reports that trade union Solidarity has warned that it would not hesitate to take action against any state owned enterprise that continued to squander tax-payers money.  This followed revelations that defence company Denel had paid a bursary of more than R1m to the son of North West premier Supra Mahumapelo.  Rapport reported on Sunday it had seen the bursary contract between Denel and Mahumapelo's twenty-year-old son for him to study to become a pilot.  Denel undertook to pay for his flight classes, accommodation, meals and even his laundry.  Denel released and then retracted a statement describing the bursary as ordinary, and saying that it was designed to contribute to the transformation of the aviation industry.  Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has ordered the newly appointed Denel board to begin an investigation into the matter.  Solidarity said on Sunday that the company’s bursaries usually applied to programmes in IT, engineering, finances, and business management.  Solidarity’s Deon Reyneke said they had sent a letter to the newly appointed chairperson of the Denel board, Monhla Hlahla, which called for an in-depth probe into the granting of the bursary.  "Solidarity will not hesitate to take action against state-owned enterprises that squander South African citizens’ tax money," he stated.

Read this report by Jan Bornman in full at News24. See too, Denel ‘bends rules’ to give Mahumapelo’s son a R1.1m bursary, at The Citizen. Read Solidarity’s press statement in this regard at Solidarity News

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Denel ‘bends rules’ to award Supra’s son R1.1m bursary, at Business Report


DISMISSALS / SUSPENSIONS / DISCIPLINARY PROCESSES

Eskom suspends senior official over Gupta-owned coal mine contract

Fin24 reports that state-owned power utility Eskom has suspended a senior general manager pending an investigation into irregular conduct in the supply of coal by a Gupta-owned mine.  Ayanda Nteta was suspended after she was accused of granting Optimum Col a three-month extension of temporary relief in coal quality without approval from the board.  The company supplies the Hendrina power station in Mpumalanga with coal.  Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe declined to give further details on the matter, saying an investigation against Nteta was still ongoing.  The Sunday Times reported on Sunday that Nteta had been accused of granting the extension between August and October last year.  The reprieve followed a previous extension apparently given to Optimum between June 2016 and March last year.

A short report is at Fin24. Read the original report on page 6 of The Sunday Times of 15 April 2018

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Seven senior SAA staff face suspension for misconduct, at Times Select
  • Nkandla scandal hearings 'finalised and settled', PSA reports, at News24
  • Twelve senior public works officials off the hook over Nkandla, at Timeslive

 


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