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, 1 October 2018.


TOP STORY – JOBS SUMMIT

Project to train and employ 50,000 new nurses to be presented to Jobs Summit

Sunday Times Business Times reports that a proposal to train and employ 50,000 new nurses will be one of the flagship projects on the table at the government's Jobs Summit which will be held in Midrand this week.  The two-day initiative will be looking for solutions to SA's high unemployment rate, which is near the 30% mark.  The proposal to train and employ new nurses emanates from private hospital group Netcare, which this week confirmed that the concept would be tabled at the summit convened by President Cyril Ramaphosa.  The private sector will provide on-the-job training over eight years if the project is pursued.  SA is short of 47,000 nurses.  Ramaphosa announced last week that he had instructed health minister Aaron Motsoaledi to urgently fill 2,200 nursing vacancies as part of the government's R50bn economic recovery package.  Netcare's project was developed in 2016 as part of the CEO Initiative.  "The proposal is based on a collaborative approach between government, organised labour, community and the private sector, with all regulatory bodies working together to achieve this much-needed outcome.  It is envisaged that, once funding has been secured, this initiative will be provided at the cost of delivering such training, with no profit or margin built in," Netcare indicated in a statement.  The Democratic Nursing Organisation of SA (Denosa) said it had been disappointed by former president Jacob Zuma's undertaking to fill nursing vacancies and hoped Ramaphosa's efforts would come to fruition.

Read more of this Sunday Times Business Times report by Asha Speckman & Penelope Mashego at SA Labour News

Employment of young people to be key focus at this week’s Jobs Summit

BusinessLive reports that the long-awaited national jobs summit, which will bring together business, labour and the government on Thursday and Friday, is expected to come up with proposals on how to create jobs and address the unemployment crisis.  The proposals are expected to include detailed projects and programmes.  The various stakeholders — in particular those represented on the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) — have been working for months on the proposals they will take to the summit, which is part of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s drive to build a social compact.  The summit will look at what is needed to ensure that the economy grows and becomes more productive and attracts greater investment.  A key focus will be on youth unemployment.

This short report by Linda Ensor is at BusinessLive

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Bleak manufacturing outlook as PMI keeps on falling, at BusinessLive
  • The YES programme, an unsung hero of youth job creation, at BusinessLive


OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH & SAFETY

Government workers continue to work in street in protest about 'unsafe' Civitas building

EWN reports that Department of Health employees in Pretoria have entered their second month working on the street and there is still no indication whether government will arrange an alternative venue for them.  Workers affiliated to the Public Servants Association (PSA) stopped working in the Civitas Building after it emerged it was only 21% compliant with safety requirements.  The matter has now reached the labour court.  The PSA’s Tahir Maepa observed:  “We went to the extent of even going out ourselves to look at available office spaces.  We found three buildings where we could be accommodated temporary, but the Department of Public Works basically refused to give the Department of Health an alternative accommodation.”

This short report by Kgomotso Modise is at EWN

Snake farm manager dies from black mamba bite to the finger

News24 reports that a 26-year-old snake farm manager died doing what he loved most when he was bitten by a black mamba.  The snake's fang punctured Ryan Soobramany's finger while he was trying to extract its venom on Saturday, a statement from his employers at African Reptiles and Venom indicated.  "He had a severe anaphylactic reaction from the mamba venom.  His untimely demise was not due to the bite but as a result of anaphylaxis," the statement indicated  Johan Marais of the African Snakebite Institute, explained that it usually took between three and 16 hours to die from a black mamba snakebite.  "You need to get to hospital as quickly as possible because black mambas have neurotoxic venom, which affects the breathing," Marais said.  Symptoms include a numbness of the lips, slurred speech and progressive weakness.  Large quantities of antivenom are required to treat the snake bite.  The black mamba is known to be the largest venomous snake in Africa and grows to the maximum length of 4.5m.  It has a reputation for being shy, but will not hesitate to strike repeatedly if threatened.

Read this report by Christina Pitt in full at News24


MINING LABOUR

NUM staffers transferred to other regions allege ‘purge’ for having supported ex president

Sowetan reports that several employees of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) have accused their bosses of purging them for not supporting the union’s current leaders at the previous conference.  In July, some 10 employees received letters from NUM’s general secretary David Sipunzi informing them that they were being moved to other regions “for the benefit of the organisation”.  In the letter, Sipunzi informed the workers, who are mostly line managers in the NUM regions, that the transfer “will not have any effect” on their salaries, and it was effective from 3 September.  But the workers are fuming as they say they are being purged because they supported Piet Matosa, who lost the president’s position to his former deputy, Joseph Montisetse, at the NUM conference held in June.  One of the workers has since resigned.  “We just received letters without any consultation.  We received the letters on July 26 and then lodged a grievance.  We escalated the matter to the national committee.  Before we even got response from the committee, we were locked out of our offices,” said one worker.  But Sipunzi rejected the allegations by the workers and said he was not aware of any employee who had supported a particular leader during the conference.  The workers have taken the NUM to the CCMA and the matter will be heard this week.

Read more of this Sowetan report by Penwell Dlamini at SA Labour News

Final horse-trading over mining charter gets under way with crafting of ‘implementation guidelines’

BL PREMIUM reports that mining companies face more anxiety over the development of the third iteration of the Mining Charter as haggling and horse-trading continue over the next 60 days on creating guidelines for the document.  While the responses to the charter gazetted on 27 September have been generally positive, albeit with some reservations, it is clear that mineral resources minister Gwede Mantashe, caught between an electorate demanding a radical overhaul of the charter and the business imperatives of attracting and retaining investment in mining, has delivered a compromise document that is workable.  However, the next phase is to develop the guidelines of what is expected from mining companies in their compliance with the third version of the charter, as the evolution of the document has delivered increasing layers of complexity and demands.  "While the fact that we at last have a greater degree of certainty in regard to the policy framework, it is regrettable that the concept of ‘implementation guidelines’ has been introduced.  It is not known what these guidelines will cover or what their legal status will be," said Allan Reid of Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr.  But, it is said to be unlikely that this charter will be dragged into court, despite the industry’s concerns that the renewal of mining rights under the new charter will have to comply with the 30% ownership target and other elements of the document.

Read this report by Allan Seccombe in full at BL Premium (paywall access)


BASIC EDUCATION

Teachers quit in droves for high paying posts in Gulf States

Sunday Times reports that the prospect of earning the equivalent of five years' salary in one year is luring South African teachers to classrooms in the Gulf.  In the main, they are ending up in Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates.  A study by University of KwaZulu-Natal master's student Tatum Niemack cites financial, religious, social and political reasons for the exodus.  Apart from the possibility of earning between R50,000 and R78,000 a month, teachers are also being driven from SA by the high crime rate, religious intolerance, race-based policies, burgeoning class sizes and workloads and an ineffective curriculum.  There are no statistics readily available for the number of teachers who have left, but the SA Council of Educators (Sace), which issues teachers with the letters of professional standing needed to teach abroad, expressed "grave concern".  The National Professional Teachers' Organisation of SA (Naptosa) also expressed concern about the teacher exodus.  The study found Abu Dhabi's salary packages were more lucrative than those in the UK, which used to attract many SA teachers with incentives such as "discount shopping cards, free internet and gift vouchers".  As well as top-notch salaries, teachers are provided with housing, medical insurance and flight allowances for the teacher, spouse and up to three children.  A month's salary is offered as a bonus for every year of service, received at the end of the contract period.

Read this report by Suthentira Govender in full at Sunday Times. See too, No need to worry about number of teachers leaving SA, says education department, at EWN. And also, ‘Laat onnies oorsee gaan, daar’s volop hier’, at Maroela Media


RETIREMENT AND OTHER EMPLOYEE FUNDS

PIC tops R2-trillion in assets, but with growth of less than 1% in year to March

BusinessLive reports that the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) grew its assets under management by less than 1% to R2.08-trillion in the year to end-March 2018, from R1.928-trillion the previous year.  Assets under management grew 0.75%, which represented a compound annual growth rate of 8.6%, CEO Dan Matjila said in the annual report tabled in Parliament on Friday.  The PIC invests on behalf of the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) — its major client, which makes up 87.12% of the funds under management — as well as the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), the Compensation Fund and other funds.  "The GEPF listed portfolio [combined] achieved an overall outperformance of 0.09% over a 24-month rolling period and 0.18% over a 36-month rolling period," Matjila said.  Of the assets under management, 46.33% were in listed equities, 33.2% in bonds, 5.38% in cash and money markets and 2.93% in properties.  Unlisted investments included 1.02% in private equity, 2.35% in impact investing and 2.26% in properties.  Global listed equities made up 4.38% of the total portfolio, international listed bonds 0.99%, listed investments in Africa 0.92% and unlisted investments in Africa 0.24%.  The PIC had to write down R82.3m of its investment in the Bophelo Insurance Group, which was placed under curatorship when it was unable to meet its obligations.

Read this report by Linda Ensor in full at BusinessLive


DISMISSALS / SUSPENSIONS

EFF claims Transnet's plan to fire Gama part of a race-based purge at parastatals

ANA reports that the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) on Friday objected strongly to Transnet's stated intention to fire group CE Siyabonga Gama and suggested it was part of a purge by Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan of African executives at parastatals.  "The purging of African Executives in state-owned companies border on unlawfulness and disregard of acceptable governance principles.  Since their appointment, the Board of Transnet has made several allegations against its GCEO and other executives and yet do not have the courage to subject them to a due process, which will procedurally and fairly determine whether they are guilty of maladministration and corruption," EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said.  The EFF urged President Cyril Ramaphosa and the Transnet board "to stop the purging crusade" and focus on improving the performance of SA’s state-owned companies.  Ndlozi claimed Transnet was one of the country's best performing parastatals and, unlike many others, did not rely on bailouts from National Treasury.  Transnet chairperson Popo Molefe confirmed on Thursday that the board had informed Gama of its intention to terminate his contract and had given him ten days to submit reasons as to why it should not do so.  Ndlozi urged Gama to seek a court interdict preventing his firing.

Read this report in full at Polity. Read too, Transnet wants former bosses to pay back the money in controversial locomotives tender, at City Press


MISCONDUCT / DISCIPLINARY ACTION

Moyane to approach ConCourt in bid to block either Sars disciplinary hearing or Nugent inquiry

EWN reports that suspended SA Revenue Services (Sars) Commissioner Tom Moyane intends to approach the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) to put a stop to either the Nugent Commission of Inquiry into governance at Sars or his disciplinary hearing.  The disciplinary hearing is scheduled to start later this week when he will be facing misconduct charges related to a Financial Intelligence Centre report which implicated his former deputy, Jonas Makwakwa, in alleged unlawful conduct.  The commission meantime has heard testimony from several Sars officials who have blamed the crisis at the revenue service on Moyane’s decision to radically restructure the organisation.  Moyane tried and failed to stop both the Nugent inquiry and his disciplinary hearing by making submissions to the respective presiding officers.  His attorney, Eric Mabuza, confirmed that they are now approaching the ConCourt, but said he would only comment once they have filed their papers later on Monday.  It is understood that Moyane wants one of either of the processes stopped.  He has previously argued that his rights were being violated by having allegations and claims made against him at two concurrent forums.

This short report by Barry Bateman is at EWN. Read too, Tom Moyane: I was the best Sars commissioner in democratic history, at Timeslive

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Hlengani Mathebula says Tom Moyane had a hit-list of Sars staff, at BusinessLive


SEXUAL HARASSMENT / ABUSE

PAC leader and Bcawu general secretary, Narius Moloto, accused of being a ‘sex pest’

City Press reports Pan African Congress (PAC) and union leader Narius Moloto is at the centre of a sexual harassment scandal after a 23-year-old woman alleged that he sent her pornographic messages and solicited sex from her in exchange for a permanent job.  The woman works at the Building Construction and Allied Workers’ Union (Bcawu), where Moloto is the general secretary.  The graduate started working at the union two years ago as a gender coordinator.  She is apparently a distant relative of Moloto’s and a job was created for her at the union after her grandmother called in a favour from him.  Within two months of starting work, the source alleges, Moloto began making “inappropriate advances” and sexual overtures to her, and when she reported this to the union’s national executive committee earlier this year, it was she who was suspended.  Now she has lodged a case of sexual harassment and unfair dismissal with the CCMA.  She has also lodged a complaint against Moloto with the Commission for Gender Equality.  Last week Moloto “strongly denied” the allegations that he demanded sexual favours in exchange for a permanent contract.  Asked about the pornographic texts, he said his phone had a “virus that sent embarrassing messages to a lot of people”.  Moloto also said his accuser had a personal vendetta against him, had vowed to “destroy” him, and was making false allegations because she was bitter about not being chosen to go on a trip to Kenya.  In an official statement, the union said there was no evidence to support the woman’s allegations.

Read this report by Vuyo Mkize in full at City Press


COMMUTING / TRANSPORT TO WORK

Delays of more than an hour for Cape Town commuters after three arson attacks on Friday

Cape Times reports that thousands of Metrorail commuters were faced with delays of one hour or more on routes from Paarl, Firgrove and Cape Town station after six coaches were damaged and destroyed in arson attacks at these stations on Friday.  Metrorail spokesperson Zinobulali Mihi said:  “Delays of up to 60-plus minutes can be expected on most of the lines that were affected in the attacks.  However, the service has operations running.  All the affected coaches have been cleared out of the respective stations and moved to the depot.  So lines are cleared and operational.  The delays are because we are operating with fewer coaches.”  On Friday, six coaches were damaged or destroyed in three incidents in which trains were set alight.  The first fire started after midday at Mbekweni station near Paarl and two further incidents followed at Firgrove and Cape Town stations.  One person was reportedly shot and killed during a robbery in the Paarl incident.  These incidents brought the number of coaches lost as a result of fires to 47 this year.  More than 150 coaches have been lost due to fires since 2015.

Read this report by Nicola Daniels in full at Cape Times

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

MPs call on police to prioritise investigations into torching of Cape Town trains, at EWN

Costly ride for SA motorists as petrol price reaches all-time high, at Timeslive


NEWS BRIEFS

Bloemfontein man read for his master’s degree while he was a security guard, at News24

Dros staff are traumatised following rape of child in toilet at restaurant, at SowetanLive

ANC Gauteng chief whip Hlongwa still in office despite release of damming SIU report 101 days ago, at IOL News

 


Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page