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
Tuesday, 26 June 2018.


MINING LABOUR

Mineworker killed in accident at Sibanye-Stillwater’s Khomanani mine

Mining Weekly reports that an employee has been killed in an accident at Sibanye-Stillwater's Khomanani mine, at its Driefontein operation.  For reasons still to be determined, he apparently entered a scraper path and was caught by the scraper.  An investigation into the incident will be carried out by management, together with the Department of Mineral Resources and other stakeholders.  “This is another sad incident and all efforts are being focussed on addressing this perplexing increase in safety incidents," the company said in a statement on Tuesday.  Twenty-one employees have been killed at Sibanye's SA operations this year.  Sibanye will on Friday host a second safety summit in an effort to deal with safety incidents, prevent the loss of lives at its operations and re-establish its safety record.  The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) on Tuesday said it saw the spate of mine accidents and fatalities at Sibanye's operations as a crime against humanity.

Read this report in full at Mining Weekly

NUM announces names of new leaders elected at last week’s congress

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has announced the names of the leaders elected at its 16th national congress held last week in Boksburg.  General secretary David Sipunzi retained his post, while Joseph Montisetse was elected as the new president.  Duncan Luvuno was elected as health and safety chairperson, while Sipho Mungwe was elected as health and safety secretary.

Read the full list of names at Cosatu News

Postings on Mining Charter

  • Minerals Council (Chamber of Mines) said to be planning Mining Charter free-carry challenge, at Mining Weekly


OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH & SAFETY

Durban man accused of setting alight his father's employee granted bail

News24 reports that a Durban man, who allegedly set alight his father's employee, appeared in the Durban Magistrate's Court on Friday and was released on R7,000 bail  The case of attempted murder was postponed for further investigation and Dustin Govender is expected back in the dock on Tuesday.  The incident occurred at his father's garage in Durban on 21 May, where Zinhle Mchunu works as a cleaner.  He allegedly poured liquid, which smelt like petrol, at her feet and told her he would burn her.  He then allegedly took out his lighter and threw it at the liquid on the floor, resulting in Mchunu's leg catching fire.  She was admitted to Addington Hospital, where she stayed for a week.

Read this report by Mxolisi Mngadi in full at News24


INDUSTRIAL ACTION / STRIKES / LOCK-OUTS

Satfu urges Higher Education Minister to intervene in Walter Sisulu University wage dispute

EWN reports that the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) has called on Higher Education Minister Naledi Pandor to immediately intervene in the dispute between staff and management at the Walter Sisulu University (WSU).  Workers have been on strike since 29 May demanding an 8% wage increase.  The impasse has resulted in mid-year term assessments, including final examinations, not being written.  Saftu's Patrick Craven claimed university management had been negotiating in bad faith throughout the process.  “Management, in particular, the leadership is just being intransigent and this has very serious effects on students at the university, many of whom may not be able to complete the courses that they are doing,” he noted.

This short report by Pelane Phakgadi is at EWN


COLLECTIVE BARGAINING / WAGE NEGOTIATIONS

Starting wage talks at 0% may have been 'tactically wrong', says Eskom chairperson

ANA reports that on Monday Eskom Chairperson Jabu Mabuza said it might have been “tactically wrong” to start wage negotiations with unions representing employees at the power utility at zero per cent.  Mabuza, who also chairs Business Leadership SA (BLSA), made the comments at a BLSA function.  “When you deal with the issues of wages, I think we could have handled this issue better as Eskom.  It was perhaps tactically wrong to go in the negotiation chamber and say we are going to have a zero per cent increase.  I think that was a bit wrong,” Mabuza opined.  He added that the decision of a zero per cent wage increase had unfortunately come as Eskom CEO, Phakamani Hadebe, announced that the company needed to look at cost cutting areas such as freezing posts, freezing salary increases and forfeiting bonuses and it had rightfully been seen by the unions as arrogant.  The company’s insistence on zero per cent saw employee protests throughout the country and take part in alleged acts of sabotage that led to sporadic loadshedding nationwide.  Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan had to step in to bring both parties back to the negotiating table last week.  Eskom wage negotiations would resume on Wednesday, Mabuza indicated.

Read this report in full at Engineering News. Read too, Eskom management to hold meetings over wage dispute with unions, at EWN

Denel’s 3% pay rise offer ridiculous, says engineering union Limusa

BusinessLive reports that arms manufacturer Denel is the latest state-owned company to head for a clash with its employees over wages after it offered wage increases of 3% to 3.8%.  Cosatu affiliate the Liberated Metalworkers Union of SA (Limusa) said on Monday that it found it "ridiculous and provocative that the management will consider offers which are below the inflation rate".  The union has asked for increases of 8% to 12%, saying it would not allow "the Thuma Mina brigade" — a reference to President Cyril Ramaphosa — to bring about changes at the expense of workers.  Denel is one of several state-owned companies that is experiencing financial and immediate liquidity problems.  The company has debt of R3bn and has utilised all its available loan guarantees from the Treasury.  In April, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan appointed a new board with former chairwoman of Airports Company SA Monhla Hlahla as chair.

Read this report by Carol Paton in full at BusinessLive. Read Limusa’s press statement at Cosatu News


PROTESTS / MARCHES / CAMPAIGNS

Sadtu slams FF Plus bill to ban protests outside schools

Pretoria News reports that the SA Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) has slammed proposed legislation aimed at banning protests outside schools and institutions of learning and care for minor children.  General secretary Mugwena Maluleke said on Sunday:  “The problem is that it is informed by racial intention to keep (Afrikaans-medium) schools lily white and stop South Africa from achieving transformation.  That is the weakness of political parties protecting white privilege.”  He was reacting to a notice Parliament published inviting the public to make written submissions on a proposed bill aimed at prohibiting public gatherings near schools and other institutions for minor children.  The private member’s bill is to be introduced by Anton Alberts of the Freedom Front Plus.  The bill was apparently sparked by protests at Overvaal High School, Gauteng, earlier this year.  Alberts said:  “As things stand at present, the rights of peace-loving citizens, and in particular learners, are being disregarded as their safety is jeopardised by the nature of protests actions.”

Read this report by Mayibongwe Maqhina in full at Pretoria News


UNION NEWS / STRUCTURES / ORGANISATIONAL REPORTS

Cosatu elects new Western Cape leader to replace Tony Ehrenreich

Cape Argus reports that clothing sector unionist Malvern de Bruyn has taken over from Tony Ehrenreich as the new provincial secretary of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) in the Western Cape.  De Bruyn was elected at Cosatu’s provincial elective congress that ended on Sunday alongside provincial chairperson Mohlatse Tsobane, deputy chairperson Andile Ngqabeka and treasurer Ingrid Bukes.  “My most important goal is to grow our ground structures.  We will be more visible in communities as well as in rural areas.  Our presence on farms needs to be boosted with more people so that workers can take their concerns directly to the ground structures we have there,” De Bruyn said.  Ehrenreich, who delivered his last address to Cosatu members, said the trade union federation’s biggest threat was policies that were driven by apartheid structured elites.

Read this report by Jason Felix in full at Cape Argus. Read too, Changing of the guard for Cosatu in Western Cape, at Weekend Argus


LABOUR MARKET / JOB CREATION

Western Cape takes the lead in creating jobs, followed by Limpopo

The Citizen reports that Statistics SA’s Quarterly Labour Force Survey for the first quarter of 2018 (Q1: 2018) showed that, compared to the same period last year, employment increased by 165 000, or 1%, while unemployment declined by 234,000, or 3.8%.  Yet, the report indicated that between Q1: 2017 and Q1: 2018, the number of discouraged work seekers grew by 510,000 (or 22.4%) to 2.8 million people.  The Western Cape led the charge in job creation with 123,000 jobs, followed by Limpopo at 83,000 and KwaZulu-Natal with 62,000.  During the same period, employment losses were recorded in Gauteng (124,000), Eastern Cape (45,000) and Mpumalanga (20,000).  Alan Winde, minister of economic opportunities in the Western Cape, commented:  “The growth in the numbers of jobs in trade, which includes accommodation, the food and beverage industries, and retail, are a reflection of our sustained efforts at boosting jobs in tourism and its related industries.”  But, the impact of the sustained drought was seen in the numbers of job losses in agriculture, where 7,000 job losses were recorded, year-on-year.  According to Stats SA, Limpopo saw increases in employment in the manufacturing, finance and trade sectors.

Read this report by Amanda Watson in full at The Citizen


APPOINTMENTS / RESIGNATIONS / STAFFING

Mwasa welcomes top SABC appointments, but Bemawu has reservations

SABC News reports that according to the Media Workers’ Association of SA (Mwasa), the new group executive appointments made at the SA Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) should be welcomed.  The SABC has appointed Madoda Mxakwe as Group CEO and Yolande Van Biljon as Chief Financial Officer.  Van Biljon started work on Monday and Mxakwe will start in July.  But, Mwasa’s Tuwani Gumani said they were concerned that the corporation’s board itself remained with vacancies.  Meanwhile the Broadcasting, Electronic, Media & Allied Workers Union (Bemawu) said that, while the new executive appointments would bring stability, it had reservations about the new CEO’s ability to manage a big corporation like the public broadcaster.

Read this report by Mercedes Besent in full at SABC News. Read too, New appointments at SABC an encouraging sign, says Outa, at Timeslive

Probe into exodus of senior SARS staff to commence on Tuesday

BusinessLive reports that the enormous exodus of senior staff at the SA Revenue Service (SARS) since 2014 will dominate the first leg of public hearings into the administration of the tax agency.  The probe by Judge Robert Nugent is set to start on Tuesday.   The brief of the inquiry is to investigate the reasons for the departure of senior or experienced employees, whether they were "coerced in any manner into resigning", whether any severance benefits were paid to them, whether there was an obligation to inform the minister of finance of these resignations, and whether that obligation was in fact discharged.  The highly anticipated inquiry into tax administration and governance at SARS will also focus on restructuring at the agency during the term of suspended commissioner Tom Moyane.  The restructuring is linked to the exodus of senior or experienced employees.  Moyane is facing a separate disciplinary process.  An interim report is expected by end-September and a final one by end-November.

Read this report by Natasha Marrian in full at BusinessLive

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • EMPD talks staff shortages and what they’re doing about it, at The Citizen


NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE / LIVING WAGE

National minimum wage (NMW) implementation date to be announced in 'due course'

EWN reports that Deputy President David Mabuza told Parliament on Monday that the national minimum wage (NMW) implementation date would be announced and publicised in “due course”.  In a written parliamentary reply, Mabuza said that a select committee of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) would be considering three labour matters, inclusive of the National Minimum Wage Bill which will provide for a minimum wage of R20 an hour or R3,500 a month.  On concerns and objections to the bill, Mabuza said these had been considered and dealt with by the portfolio committee on labour and that further concerns would have to be dealt with by the NCOP select committee.  Only once the select committee had concluded its work would it be possible to consider a date for promulgation of the bill as well as a date for the implementation of the NMW.

A short report by Babalo Ndenze is at EWN


RESTRUCTURING / BUSINESS RESCUE

Solidarity to go ahead with SAA business rescue application

Business Report writes that Solidarity has not shelved its plans to have SA Airways (SAA) placed under business rescue, the trade union’s deputy chief operating officer, Werner Human, said on Monday.  The union initially wanted the matter to be heard in the High Court in May, but changed its plans when the troubled airline received a R5bn bailout from the government in order to cover its immediate costs.  Human indicated:  “The application is ready.  We are finalising a few things.  It is definitely not off the table.  We will make an announcement soon.”  He added that any plan that did not involve a strategic partner would be unlikely to work.”  Commenting on possible job cuts, Human said the priority should be to set the company on a sound financial footing.  “We would like to see a sustainable SAA,” he stated.

Read this report by Siseko Njobeni in full at Business Report


NATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE (NHI) / MEDICAL SCHEMES

NHI capped fees could see mass exodus of doctors, expert warns

The Citizen reports that an industry expert has warned that the capped doctors’ fees to be imposed by the national health insurance (NHI) legislation could see a mass exodus of doctors from the system.  Dr Nicholas Burger, healthcare analyst at Frost & Sullivan, warned that this and the existing dearth of healthcare practitioners in the country were looming threats to public healthcare and the NHI.  Meantime, over the weekend the SA Private Practitioner’s Forum announced its approximately 3,000 doctors would opt out of the NHI and would seek legal action should they be forced to work at fixed rates.  Burger warned that while it was not clear how the NHI would affect employment rates in the healthcare sector, there were fears that it could result in an exodus of doctors who were not willing to comply with new capped fees, which would result in them not being accredited by the NHI.  “The NHI will need to work proactively towards retaining talent and building an accomplished workforce to address the needs of a growing population and a subsequent rise in disease burden and incidence,” suggested Burger.  “Performance-linked incentives may offer one method with which to grow the current underpowered public healthcare workforce.”

Read this report by Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni in full at The Citizen

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • “NHI won’t happen, bill infringes people’s rights”, on page 11 of Sowetan of 26 June 2018


COMMUTING / TRANSPORT SERVICES

Respond to our demands in seven days or face formal strike, taxi bosses tell JMPD

The Star reports that the Alexandra Taxi Association has given the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) seven days to respond to its demands, or face a “formal strike”.  Two associations, the Alexandra, Randburg, Midrand and Sandton Taxi Association (Armsta), and the Alexandra Taxi Association (ATA), issued a notice last week informing the public about a planned “one-day shutdown” on Monday.  The notice read:  “Due to impoundment of our vehicles/Petrol Hike/Removal of roadworthy discs/a mark on vehicles.  We are embarking on a one-day shutdown on the 25/06/2018.”  ATA spokesperson Jabulani Ntshangase said they had handed a memorandum to the JMPD, and they expected a response, with their demands met, in the next seven days.  A representative from the Eastern Taxi Liaison Committee said JMPD officers must stop treating them unfairly and went on to claim:  “They impounded 500 cars.  They stop us on the freeway and take our taxis.  It costs R3400 per car.”  JMPD spokesperson, chief superintendent Wayne Minnaar, said they had impounded the taxis to ensure commuters were safe and that only roadworthy vehicles transported commuters.

Read this report by Sthembiso Sithole in full at The Star. Read too, Joburg taxi bosses vow to intensify strike if concerns not taken seriously, at EWN. And also, Joburg public safety MMC slams taxi strike, at The Citizen. As well as, JMPD chief denies claims officers targeting taxi industry, at EWN

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

 


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