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, 2 October 2018.


TOP STORY – JOBS SUMMIT

Saftu declines invitation to attend Jobs Summit, saying it won’t reduce unemployment

ANA reports that the SA Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) said on Tuesday that the upcoming Jobs Summit would not do anything to reduce unemployment.  The trade union federation said it had turned down an invitation from government to attend the summit this week in Johannesburg, and published its letter to National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) executive director Madoda Vilakazi declining the invitation.  ''Saftu has however decided to decline your invitation, as we do not believe that the summit will contribute anything to the reduction of unemployment, alleviation of poverty or narrowing of inequality.  We are also concerned that our participation might be simply a way to swell numbers, and give the appearance of inclusivity when agreements being presented to the Summit have already been fixed by the three constituencies of government, business and labour,'' read the letter.  Saftu said government and businesses were unable to come up with solutions, and would try to persuade labour federations at the summit to ''sign a vague and hollow declaration in support of business as usual''.'  It called on members of other union federations to demand that their leaders refuse to put their names to any such declaration, “which will reflect only the employers’ interests.”

Read this report by Getrude Makhafola in full at IOL News. Read Saftu’s open letter to Nedlac at Saftu News

Biggest employer, DPSA, not invited to attend Jobs Summit

eNCA reports that the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) will not be at the jobs summit to be held later this week.  The department said it has not been invited despite it being the biggest employer in the country.  It added, however, that it was open to suggestions that come out of the two-day summit.  Minister Ayanda Dlodlo spoke further to eNCA's Uveka Rangappa on Monday.

View the interview with Minister Dlodlo at eNCA

Subdued business activity constrains employment levels

Business Report writes that business activity in SA stagnated in September, with the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) hitting a 14-month low at 43.2 index points in September from 43.4 points in August.  The Bureau for Economic Research (BER), which compiles the data for Absa, indicated that the PMI averaged 46 points in the third quarter.  It noted that the slide was underpinned by three of the five sub-indices, with new sales orders declining to 39.6 points from 39.9 points in August.  The employment index fell 3.5% to 42 points, while sales orders and inventories deteriorated 2.2% and 0.3 points respectively.  While business activity edged up slightly by 1.5 points, it remained subdued at 38.7 points, “indicating that manufacturing output is under significant pressure.”  Gerrit van Rooyen of NKC Economics said the employment sub-index fell to its weakest level in more than four years, which would dash any hopes of improved employment in the manufacturing sector in the third quarter.  He added that that was troubling, given that employment in the sector has declined by about 55,000 over the past year.  The PMI is a reliable gauge of where production numbers are headed.

Read this report by Banele Ginindza in full at Business Report

Other internet posting(s) in this news category


OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH & SAFETY

Tragedy with soldier falling to his death from helicopter on Saturday

ANA reports that a South African soldier fell to his death from a helicopter, the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) advised on Tuesday.  The fatal incident happened on Saturday, during the Special Forces Celebrations in Phalaborwa.  "Sergeant Goodwill Kabelo Moagi, 35, accidentally fell from an SA Air Force (SAAF) Oryx helicopter during a hot extraction demonstration.  A formal investigation has been launched to determine the sequence of events that led to the fatal incident," a statement from the SANDF indicated.  The statement added that the chief of the SANDF, General Solly Shoke, was "saddened by the tragic passing away of an SANDF member stationed at 7 Medical Battalion during a roping demonstration in Phalaborwa".  Sergeant Moagi had been the team leader when the tragic incident happened.

Read this report in full at IOL News

Popcru members and other staffers refuse to enter ‘unsafe’ Poyntons Building in Pretoria

The Citizen reports that Department of Correctional Services (DCS) staff and members of the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) have vowed to sit outside Poyntons Building in Pretoria as they refuse to believe it is safe to work there.  A small group of Popcru members and some DCS staffers on Monday indicated that they would remain sitting outside the department’s head office until the matter was heard by the Labour Court on Thursday.  City of Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga shut down the property due to a “serious breach” in fire and emergency evacuation regulations earlier last month.  A week later, the department declared the building safe and ordered all staff to return to work.  But workers are refusing to enter the building.  Popcru spokesperson Richard Mamabolo said:  “There has not been any proof or certificates from experts to declare the building is safe.  When we spoke to [the chief fire officer], he denied that [he declared the building safe] and has not issued a certificate.”

A short report by Rorisang Kgosana is at The Citizen. Read too, Popcru pickets‚ citing safety issues at Correctional Services head office, at Timeslive


MINING LABOUR

Miner killed in underground accident on Sunday at Lonmin shaft

News24 reports that a 46-year-old miner has died following an underground accident at Lonmin's K3 shaft on Sunday.  According to a statement by the platinum producer, Tembelani Manyana, who had been a team leader, died in a "fall-of-ground accident".  "Mr Manyana succumbed to head injuries while being evacuated from underground.  This fatality is sad and disappointing as it ends a successful 15-month fatality-free period at Lonmin," said the group’s head of communications Wendy Tlou.  She said that a delegation visited Manyana's wife and extended family in Elliotdale, in the Eastern Cape, to inform them about the accident.

A short report by Alex Mitchley is at News24. Lonmin’s press statement is at SA Labour News

NUM reports death of mineworker at Samancor operations in Limpopo

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) issued a statement on Monday advising that it had learned with shock of the death of a mineworker at Samancor’s operations near Steelpoort in Limpopo Province.  The incident apparently happened at around 9 am on Sunday morning.  The union said:  “One death is one death too many.  This is unacceptable as we don't sell our lives, limbs or lungs to the industry but our labour to provide for our families.”  The union reiterated its call for the Mine Health and Safety Act to be amended so that those found to be responsible for fatalities in the mining industry were given harsher sentences or long imprisonment in jail.  The NUM expressed its strong feelings that currently the sentences were not sufficiently harsh.

The NUM’s full statement is at Polity

Latest bid to halt sale of Optimum mine dismissed by court

BusinessLive reports that the Pretoria High Court has dismissed a bid by Swiss shell company Charles King to halt the sale of Optimum Coal mine.  The application to interdict the sale of Optimum was dismissed with costs by the court on Friday and represents the 44th unsuccessful legal bid to scupper the work of the business rescue practitioners who took over the running of the mine, and other Gupta-owned assets, in February 2018.  Optimum Coal mine has been at the centre of state capture allegations.  Eskom officials forced the sale of Optimum by Glencore and then helped the politically connected Gupta family to buy it.  Charles King’s legal bid now joins the long list of unsuccessful ones against the practitioners, much of it from Gupta affiliates.  The company, registered in Switzerland and a subsidiary of an Abu Dhabi company, asked the court to urgently interdict the sale of the Optimum Coal mine, Optimum Terminal and Koornfontein Mines while a dispute between itself and the business rescue practitioners underwent arbitration.  The judge ruled that the matter was not urgent and struck the matter off the roll.

Read this report by Lisa Steyn in full at BusinessLive

Postings on mining charter / transformation

  • Latest mining charter: What’s new and who wins, at Moneyweb


EXECUTIVE PAY

Companies Amendment Bill specifies what’s to be covered in AGM remuneration reports

BusinessLive reports that Trade & Industry Minister Rob Davies has gazetted the Companies Amendment Bill which proposes a number of changes including steps that companies must take in the development of remuneration policies.  The bill proposes that directors of a public company should prepare a directors’ remuneration report for presentation to shareholders at the firm’s annual general meeting (AGM) for each financial year.  The report should entail a background statement, an overview of the main provisions of the company’s policy on remuneration and an implementation report with details of remuneration and benefits awarded to individual directors.  Shareholder activist Theo Botha said on Monday that provisions required the board to take ownership and accountability for the policy.  The bill also makes it mandatory for a public or state-owned company to appoint a social and ethics committee at each AGM.  It gives the minister of public enterprises authority to prescribe the minimum qualification needed for members of a social and ethics committee.

Read this report by Siseko Njobeni in full at BusinessLive


DISCRIMINATION / RACISM / SEXISM

Gauteng radio station fires Sasha Martinengo for referring on air to Julius Malema as a 'monkey'

BusinessLive reports that Gauteng radio station Hot 91.9FM has fired presenter Sasha Martinengo after he referred to EFF leader Julius Malema as a “monkey” on air.  The station's MD, Lloyd Madurai, said in a statement:  "This morning an unfortunate and completely unacceptable incident took place during the breakfast show whereby, during the course of the broadcast, a reference was made by anchor presenter Sasha Martinengo, who said: ‘And people still listen to this monkey’, referring to Mr Julius Malema."  He said Martinengo had been removed from the station with immediate effect.  He added:  "Notwithstanding the presenter’s immediate and unreserved apology, the station has forthwith elected to remove him from all involvement with the radio station with immediate effect.  Furthermore, the station hereby issues a public apology to Mr Malema and deeply regrets any adverse inference that the conduct of the presenter has had."  Martinengo said on his official Twitter account:  "I’m sorry if I offended anyone, but I stand by what I said.  Anyone, irrespective of their race, colour, creed, religion, gender who disrespects a woman is a monkey."

This short report is at BusinessLive


DISMISSALS / SUSPENSIONS

Axed Alexander Forbes CEO Andrew Darfoor challenges his dismissal

BusinessLive reports that just as Alexander Forbes announced the appointment of a new CEO with links to Sanlam and Patrice Motsepe’s African Rainbow Capital (ARC), axed CEO Andrew Darfoor launched a challenge to his dismissal.  Darfoor, who was axed last week after the board lost "confidence and trust" in him, indicated on Monday that he had taken legal steps against Alexander Forbes by serving and lodging a CCMA labour dispute.  The company announced the appointment of Dawie de Villiers, a former Sanlam executive, as the new CEO, less than a week after firing Darfoor.  De Villiers, who has led Sanlam’s employee-benefits division since 2013, will start as the CEO of the country’s largest pension-fund administrator on 1 November 2018.  Labour lawyer Andrew Levy commented that the swift appointment of De Villiers was not likely to strengthen Darfoor’s case.  "There is nothing wrong in law with running the processes of dismissing a person and looking for their replacement simultaneously, provided that the dismissal is lawful,” said Levy.  But another labour law expert, a senior partner at Cowan Harper Madikizela Attorneys, Rod Harper, said the speed at which this replacement happened was unusual.  Alexander Forbes has meanwhile not elaborated on its reasons for losing confidence in Darfoor.

Read this report by Londiwe Buthelezi in full at BusinessLive. Read too, Meet Alexander Forbes new chief executive, at Business Report


MISCONDUCT / DISCIPLINARY ACTION

Fuming Tom Moyane wants ConCourt to halt Sars inquiry and his disciplinary hearing

The Citizen reports that according to suspended SA Revenue Services (Sars) commissioner Tom Moyane, President Cyril Ramaphosa’s appointments, decisions, and conduct around the Sars judicial inquiry were in violation of the constitution and were thus unlawful and invalid.  And he wants the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) to suspend either the inquiry or his pending disciplinary, or both, and to declare Ramaphosa had breached his oath of office.  Moyane also wants the court to declare “the impugned involvement and participation” of Minister Pravin Gordhan “in any one or both of the relevant inquiries to be unlawful, irrational, unconstitutional” and in breach of “the principle of legality”.  This, and more, were contained in papers handed in at the ConCourt on Monday.  Gordhan – mentioned 88 times in the documents – was apparently very mean to Moyane upon his return as minister of finance, “following an ominous and bizarre twist of political events”, namely President Jacob Zuma’s Cabinet reshuffle in 2015.  Moyane noted that he had a recording of Gordhan accusing him of being “cheeky”.

Read this report by Amanda Watson in full at The Citizen. Read too, Moaning Moyane: Gordhan's got it in for me because he's jealous, at Timeslive


COMMUTING / TRANSPORT TO WORK

Transport minister says no to Western Cape rail state of emergency, slams DA

ANA reports that Transport Minister Blade Nzimande on Monday slammed a call by the Democratic Alliance (DA) to declare a state of emergency with regard to rail transport in the Western Cape.  Insisting that national government was “seized with work to restore Metrorail services in the province”, he went on to say:  “This call by the DA is dishonest, opportunistic and political manoeuvering that seeks to exploit the dire situation confronting rail services in the Western Cape.  I rebut this political posturing in the strongest terms.”  Nzimande urged the DA, which governs in Cape Town and the Western Cape, to deal with service delivery, including providing housing, electricity, and improved social infrastructure, which would “go a long way to deal with the state of vagrancy and crimes targeted at the rail network.”  He added government was investing billions of rands in reviving ailing rail infrastructure and services in the province, which has been hit hard by arsonists and armed gangs in recent months.  Nzimande also said additional security measures were being deployed.

Read this report in full at The Citizen

Golden Arrow Bus Service warns of possible fare increase if fuel prices continue to rise

EWN reports that the Golden Arrow Bus Service's Bronwen Dyke-Beyer has warned that the company might have to review fares if fuel prices continued to rise.  She said the increase was possible - if the crude oil price continued its upward trajectory and the rand to dollar exchange rate remained weak.  “Fuel constitutes one of the main costs of our business, and rising fuel costs, unfortunately, do have a negative impact on our ability to keep our prices down.  Golden Arrow would, however, like to assure passengers and stakeholders that a price increase is not currently being considered.”

This short report by Kaylynn Palm is at EWN

Another taxi fare increase on the cards

The Citizen reports that taxi commuters might have to dig even deeper into their pockets as another taxi fare increase is on the cards.  The National Taxi Alliance has, according to an eNCA report, said the petrol price increase meant that they too would be forced to up their fares.  The fuel price will rocket to a record R17 a litre from Tuesday night.  Both grades of petrol, 93 and 95, will increase by 99c and 100c a litre respectively from midnight.  The Automobile Association (AA) said the increases were catastrophic for road users:  “They are the biggest in South African history.  The major culprit is South Africa’s chaotic economic policy which has left us defenceless against upticks in international oil prices.  The cost of doing business will go up and consumer disposable income will shrink.  We don’t believe the economy could grow meaningfully under such conditions,” the AA stated.

A short report is at The Citizen

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Woman killed after being hit by train at Oosterzee station in Parow, at News24
  • No takers yet for R100 000 reward for Cape train arson information, at News24

 


Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page