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
Monday, 28 May 2018.


OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH & SAFETY

Antiretrovirals a ‘major success story’ in cutting burden of HIV/AIDS on SA's economy

BusinessLive reports that lost earnings attributable to HIV and AIDS as a result of either death or inability to work have declined significantly globally as countries scale up antiretroviral therapy.  A study released by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) shows that the number of employees living with the virus and unable to work has fallen "dramatically" since 2005.  SA has the biggest HIV epidemic in the world — with more than 7-million people living with the virus in 2016 — and a stubbornly high rate of new infections.  The country also has the largest antiretroviral treatment programme, which has increased life expectancy from 61 years in 2010 to 67 in 2015.  The Employee Assistance Professionals Association’s Dr Dennis Cronson said there had been a great improvement in the effect of the virus on workers, especially in SA.  "Hundreds of thousands of people are on ARVs and corporate managed programmes, and it’s a major success story …. the impact on productivity and other factors have improved," Cronson said.  He added that stigmatisation remained an issue.  "People are still stigmatised, very scared to disclose their status and live in fear of being discovered by people in their lives and the workplace."

A brief report by Theto Mahlakoana is at BusinessLive

Multi-disciplinary team investigating killing in Bloemfontein of Hawks captain

SABC News reports that a multi-disciplinary team has been put in place to investigate the killing of a Hawks member in Bloemfontein last week while on duty.  Captain Xayiya Tshabalala was attending a complaint at a house in Phelindaba when two unknown man fired gunshots at him.  The suspects made off with his service pistol, official phones and a state vehicle, which was later discovered in Dewetsdorp.  The Hawks acting national head, Yolisa Matakata, condemned the killing.  “We are working around the clock.  It (the team) is comprised of investigators from detective services.  We have detectives from the Hawks.  We have intelligence.  We have a lot of other colleagues and disciplines that are in the police that are working around the clock.”

A brief report by Aaron Lewis is at SABC News

A year later, family of slain Eskom employee Thembisile Yende seek answers

SABC News reports that it has been a year since Thembisile Yen DE’s brutal murder, and the family of slain Eskom employee says it has yet to find closure.  They have accused the police of not pulling their weight in the course of investigations.  The decomposing body of the 30-year-old Eskom employee was found in an office at her work place – a Spring substation – two weeks after she went missing.  She had been beaten and her head covered with a plastic bag.  Her colleague has been charged with her murder.  The family believes Yende was murdered by her colleagues after she had planned to blow the whistle on a copper syndicate they were allegedly involved in.  Thembisile’s brother Mboneni Yende said:  ”We are running this investigation as the family.  There is information that we keep stumbling on and giving it to the police.  Not enough resources are put into this investigation and hence we decided that as a family let us stand up and do our ground work to help with information.”  The matter is due to return to court on Monday.  The Yende family plans a march commemorating their daughter’s life.

Read this report in full at SABC News


MINING LABOUR

Sibanye-Stillwater blasts Amcu for “agenda” to harm reputation

Miningmx reports that the often fraught relationship between Sibanye-Stillwater (Sibanye) and the Association of Mineworkers & Construction Union (Amcu) took a turn for the worse last week.  The precious metals producer accused its largest union of an agenda aimed at harming its reputation.  It said in a statement that Amcu was “… pursuing a clear agenda” by “… continually making mischievous allegations, and disseminating erroneous and clearly fake information to the media”, which was causing reputational damage for Sibanye-Stillwater.  The group reserved the right to take legal action.  This followed an Amcu statement in which it accused Sibanye of failing to take precautionary action after a seismic event at a section at its Kloof mine on 21 May injured two employees.  Another seismic event occurred at Kloof mine the next day injuring a further three employees.  Amcu’s contention was that Sibanye ought to have acted on the information provided by the first seismic event.  Neal Froneman, CEO of Sibanye, said the company had confidence in its seismic management systems.  But, speaking at the Minerals Council of SA’s AGM last week, mines minister, Gwede Mantashe, suggested that miners should withdraw miners as soon as seismic events occurred.  An industry-wide safety summit has been called for November.

Read this report by David McKay in full at Miningmx


PROTESTS / MARCHES / CAMPAIGNS

KZN premier must listen to protesting health workers and fire MEC Dhlomo, DA urges

ANA reports that the Democratic Alliance (DA) has urged KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) premier Willies Mchunu to heed the rising call of unions in the province to fire health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo without delay.  The appeal came after National Education Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) and Democratic Nursing Organisation of SA (Denosa) members marched last week over poor working conditions and dire staff shortages, while also calling for the MEC to be axed.  Earlier in the week, nurses from Osindisweni Hospital marched about the MEC’s lack of leadership within the department, DA KwaZulu-Natal MPL Imran Keeka said on Sunday.  The DA had been fighting for Dhlomo to be axed for several years as the province reeled from an unprecedented oncology crisis, he pointed out.  Keeka said that during two recent oversight inspections, the DA had witnessed first-hand just how badly nursing staff shortages were affecting patient care “with long queues, no care in casualty wards, and various complaints of rudeness by nurses.”  “There can be no doubt that many of these annoyances are the result of fatigued and burnt-out staff due to the reduced nurse to patient ratios,” he observed  In a recent response to a parliamentary question, the premier revealed that there were a staggering 5,926 vacancies for critical posts, including nurses, doctors, and other personnel in the province.

Read this report in full at IOL News


STAFFING / VACANCIES

Trim the fat, Dlodlo tells her fellow ministers as she calls for departmental organograms

BusinessLive reports that Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) Minister Ayanda Dlodlo says no cabinet minister should have more than two advisers.  Taking a hard line against bloated staff complements in the government, she has issued directives to ministers, heads of departments and directors-general, asking to be furnished with their staffing structures.  This was intended to ensure departmental organograms were in line with mandates.  The total number of advisers for the president, deputy president, ministers and premiers was now 70, according to the DPSA, with an average of two for each executive authority.  Dlodlo explained last week that deputy directors-general were, in fact, meant to act as advisers to ministers and no minster should have more than two advisers “because you should rely on what the department has, and even at a lower level in the department there are subject matter experts…”  Dlodlo said everyone, including ministers, had to reflect on how to save funds wherever possible.  Her predecessor, Faith Muthambi, had a total of 26 staff members in her office, attracting criticism from all quarters, with opposition politicians decrying the cost to the strained fiscus.  Dlodlo has nine people in her office.

Read this report by Theto Mahlakoana in full at BusinessLive. Read too, How Ayanda Dlodlo plans to rein in the government wage bill, at BusinessLive

Mangaung metro to employ 600 new metro police, in staggered phases

Afro Voice reports that a total of 600 metro police officers are set to be employed by the Mangaung metro to deal with law enforcement.  The mayor, Olly Mlamleli, announced last week that the metro would finally employ metro cops.  She was speaking at the handing over of new fleet vehicles to the municipality law enforcement wing.  Mlamleli said that after they had appointed a chief of metro police, they would have 600 new recruits in total, to be hired in tranches.  “In June we will take the first 100 to training and in January next year we will recruit 200 more and the number will be added with another 200 in June next year and it will go on and on until we reach 600 recruits.”  The mayor observed that they had bought the fleet to improve service delivery.  She also addressed rumours that the municipality did not have diesel, saying:  “In actual fact, we have never had any shortage of diesel, it was stolen by some of the municipal workers and we are dealing with them at the moment, we will not tolerate that.”

Read more of this report by Becker Semela at SA Labour News

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Health department offers placements to medical interns, community service doctors, at News24


EMPLOYEE SHARE SCHEMES

Solidarity gets CCMA go-ahead to strike over ‘black-only’ shareholding scheme at Sasol

Bloomberg reports that the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) has ruled that workers at Sasol are allowed to strike over the exclusion of white staff from an employee shareholding plan.  Trade union Solidarity, which represents skilled, mainly white workers, registered a dispute with the CCMA after Sasol introduced benefits which it said would exclude workers based on race.  "The commissioner ruled in our favour saying that this is a strikeable dispute," Deon Reyneke, the deputy general secretary at Solidarity, said.  The matter was referred back to the CCMA for conciliation before a certificate allowing permission to hold a strike was awarded, he indicated.  Sasol has struggled to improve its empowerment structure since the outgoing plan, known as Inzalo, failed to pay out to more than 250,000 black South Africans who participated in the transaction after the stock was battered by a slump in crude prices.

A brief report by Paul Burkhardt is at BusinessLive


EXECUTIVE PAY

Santam CEO Lizé Lambrechts’ R19m cash bonus in 2017 questioned

Moneyweb reports that a number of questions have been raised about a R19 million cash bonus paid to Santam chief executive Lizé Lambrechts in 2017.  It was paid under the group’s Outperformance Plan (OPP), one of its five long-term incentive plans.  Because of this payment, Lamprechts was the second best-paid executive among listed insurance companies – and the best-paid SA-based one – with remuneration totalling R36.077 million last year (inclusive of long-term incentives that vested in the year).  Shareholder activist Theo Botha is reported to be urging investors to vote against the insurer’s remuneration policy and implementation report at Wednesday’s annual general meeting.  He says the disclosure around the OPP has been opaque since its implementation and that the benefit awarded to the CEO and FD is “excessive”.  Santam has defended the OPP grant and payment and says its remuneration committee (HRRC) “extended the OPP to Ms Lambrechts to reward superior performance over a three year measurement period from 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2017.”  Botha has also been critical of Santam’s HRRC, saying it has “not been open, honest and direct with the shareholders in this year’s report, especially in regard to the OPP benefit”.  Last year, 13.1% of shareholders voted against Santam’s remuneration policy, which was significant given that Sanlam owns 58.94% of the short-term insurer.  Also, the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) has voted against the remuneration policy for the past two years.

Read this extensive and informative report by Hilton Tarrant in full at Moneyweb


SALARY ADMINISTRATION

Cash-strapped Modimolle-Mookgophong municipality in Limpopo unable to pay all workers

Sowetan reports workers at Modimolle-Mookgophong municipality in Limpopo are up in arms after their employer failed to pay all of them them this month, pleading poverty.  The municipality, known as Lim368, was formed following the merger between the Mookgophong and Modimolle municipalities after the 2016 local government elections.  It is led by the DA under the stewardship of mayor Marlene van Staden.  Some employees at the Modimolle offices were apparently paid their wages, while those in Mookgophong were told to be patient as the council had difficulty in collecting revenue.  Workers were given letters informing them that they would be paid before the end of the month.  Van Staden advised that the municipality had run out of funds, saying:  “I can confirm that our officials from Mookgophong did not receive their salaries because the municipality is bankrupt.  This is due to lack of revenue collection in the Mookgophong area.”  She indicated they were working hard to ensure that everybody got paid before the end of the month, claiming non-payment affected senior officials.  But shop steward Ernie Mbiza said it did not make sense their colleagues in Modimolle got paid while they did not receive their payments.  Provincial secretary of the SA Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) Patrick Aphane said they would call for the municipality to be placed under administration.

Read more of this report by Frank Maponya at SA Labour News


PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS

Hawks investigation reveals bogus doctor treating patients in his backyard

Timeslive reports that a Hawks investigation revealed that a retired auxiliary nurse allegedly stole a doctor’s identity and was treating patients in his backyard.  Masquerading as a qualified doctor, he charged patients R350 per “consultation”.  Police have appealed to any “patients” who may have been examined by Vusumuzi Jeremiah Dhlamini to come forward.  Hawks spokesperson Captain Ndivhuwo Mulamu indicated:  “Dhlamini was found at home (on 23 May)‚ and was slapped with a search warrant.  [Officials] seized documents‚ medical apparatus‚ a medical bed‚ a computer and patient’s files.  The team also seized a 9mm pistol with live rounds and [an] undisclosed amount of cash.”  Dhlamini appeared at the Heidelberg Magistrate's Court on Friday and was released on R5,000 bail.  He is expected back in court on 9 June to face charges under the Medical Health Act and sections of the Arms and Ammunition Act.  Acting Hawks head Lieutenant General Yolisa Matakata warned:  “We cannot allow this to go on and this is a warning to other so-called doctors across the country that we are coming after you.

Read this report by Petru Saal in full at Timeslive


COMMUTING / TRANSPORT SERVICES

Prasa board tours Joburg's Metrorail facilities to find out what commuters experience

EWN reports that the Passenger Rail Agency of SA’s (Prasa’s) new interim board hit the rails running when members toured Metrorail facilities in Johannesburg on Monday.  Prasa is just one state-owned enterprise that's been marred by maladministration.  The rail operator is also facing problems with ageing infrastructure, vandalism, and cable theft.  Prasa's Nana Zenani said the agency’s board members were on a fact-finding mission:  “[This tour is meant] to show them exactly what commuters and Prasa are seeing on the ground in terms of the challenges and so that we can work together in terms of how we resolve our issues and what is critical, and so on.  This is basically a fact-finding mission for the board.”

A brief report by Thando Kubheka is at EWN

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Western Cape Transport MEC threatens to shut down problematic taxi ranks, at EWN
  • Gautrain commuters hit by big delays on Monday, at eNCA

 


Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page