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, 26 November 2018.


OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH & SAFETY

JMPD officer shot, suspect killed in attempted robbery at Marlboro Drive onramp

Sandton Chronicle reports that a suspect was fatally wounded in a shootout with Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) officers on Saturday night on the M1 North at the Marlboro Drive onramp in Sandton.  Two JMPD officers were setting up a speed camera when they were approached by the suspect and two accomplices who attempted to rob one of the officers of his service pistol.  The suspect shot the male officer in the arm and both legs, and the female officer returned fire, shooting the male suspect multiple times.  JMPD Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said both of the officers were taken to the Milpark Hospital and the suspect was taken to Tembisa Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.  He went on to indicate:  “An illegal firearm was also recovered from the crime scene and the injured officer is in serious but stable condition.  There is a search for the other two suspects.”

Read the full original at The Citizen

Two in custody for kidnapping and gang rape of Limpopo teacher who had taught some of the suspects

ANA reports that a joint operation in the Lephalale policing cluster has led to the arrest of two suspects, aged 18 and 20, in connection with the kidnapping and rape of a teacher in the area last week.  She taught at a high school near Marken.  The officers worked around the clock since Friday morning and eventually tracked the suspects down in two separate areas outside Lephalale.  During the arrests, one of the suspects was found in possession of the ignition keys of the victim’s car, which was later found abandoned in bushes near Marken.  The arrests came after suspects broke into the 28-year-old victim’s rented home where she was sleeping in the early hours of Friday morning.  They bound her with ropes, loaded her inside the boot of her car, and drove away with her.  She was later found dumped in the bush alongside the road to Bakenburg outside Mokopane.  Preliminary police investigations revealed that two of the suspects were well known to the victim, as she had previously taught them at the same school.  Police have opened cases of housebreaking with intent to commit crime, kidnapping, armed robbery, and rape.  Investigations are continuing

Read the full original at The Citizen

Staff at Letaba Hospital in Limpopo stage protest after attack by robbers in doctors’ residence

SowetanLive reports that employees at Letaba Hospital outside Tzaneen, Limpopo, have asked for the services of the institution's security company to be terminated.  This follows an incident in which robbers entered the premises at night and attacked doctors in their residence, injuring them before robbing them of their valuables.  Sammy Shipalane, a porter who has been working at the facility for 27 years, said it was pointless to have the security guards when robbers could gain easy access and he went on to state:  "No one is safe at this hospital, even in the presence of the security guards."  He was among a group of employees who protested during a visit by health minister Aaron Motsoaledi and his police counterpart Bheki Cele on Friday.  The two were assessing the circumstances under which the robbers had entered the hospital's premises and shot and injured two doctors, as well the wife of one of them, before robbing them.  According to Shipalane, an unknown man had entered the institution "without being searched" and stabbed a cleaner earlier this year.  Ward attendant Stone Gayisa said it was demoralising to work under unsafe conditions at the hospital.  The National, Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) in Limpopo said there was a need to insource security in all health facilities.

Read the full original of the report by Frank Maponya at SowetanLive

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Suspect shot dead during car chase after robbery at Limpopo clinic, at TimesLive


MINING LABOUR

'No significant violence' at Sibanye-Stillwater gold operations, but attendance low on Monday

TimesLive reports that Sibanye-Stillwater confirmed on Monday that attendance at its gold operations was low as a wage strike continued.  The strike for higher wages was launched by the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) last Wednesday.  The trade union has rejected a three-year wage agreement between Sibanye and three other representative unions, namely the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), Solidarity and Uasa.  Sibanye-Stillwater employs about 32,200 people at its SA gold operations, with Amcu representing about 43% of employees in the bargaining unit.  On Monday, the company stated that "attendance at the operations has improved relative to last week, but remains low".  The situation remained relatively stable at the weekend, with visible intimidation limited to the Beatrix operations in the Free State, the company said.  A peace pact between the unions was discussed on Friday following violence on Wednesday night, during which one miner was killed and a number of employees were seriously injured at Beatrix.

Read the short original report TimesLive. Read too, Sibanye-Stillwater suspends night shifts over safety reasons amid strike, at The Citizen. And also, Sibanye-Stillwater calls on striking staff to do so 'peacefully', at EWN

Shiva Uranium on edge as it awaits outcome of dispute over business rescue practitioners

BusinessLive reports that patience is wearing thin among workers and suppliers at the embattled Shiva Uranium, which has been plunged into limbo as it awaits a decision by the Companies Tribunal.  In October, a dispute arose over the appointment of two new business rescue practitioners to Shiva.  Christopher Monyela, who had been appointed as a practitioner in June, raised the matter with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC), and the matter was taken to the Companies Tribunal where it was heard on 25 October.  Shiva and eight other Gupta-associated entities were put into business rescue in February, when they lost their banking facilities.  In July, Shiva operations were closed and workers have received no income since.  Workers are growing frustrated.  Shiva worker Tumi Matosela said:  “We still haven’t been paid, we are worried will we ever be paid, or what?  Mr Monyela is taking this to court and its delaying the process.”  Monyela said informal talks had begun over retrenching the workforce as an interim solution so that they could claim from the Unemployment Insurance Fund.  Once Shiva is sold, the employees would have first right of refusal to work for the new owner.  But, this cannot be enacted until the tribunal process is concluded.

Read the full original report by Lisa Steyn at BusinessLive

Coal dumped on road outside Hendrina power station as Optimum miners demand their pay

TimesLive reports that protests erupted outside the Hendrina power station in Mpumalanga on Monday morning, as Optimum colliery workers demanded their salaries.  Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe tweeted:  "Workers of Optimum Coal Mine (OCM) are currently protesting at the entrance of the mine and also along the route to the Hendrina power station.  OCM employees are demanding to be paid their monthly salaries.  Hendrina is one of the 10 stations with low stockpiles."  This came after Eskom announced on 16 November that it was moving coal from its Medupi power station in Limpopo by road to Mpumalanga, where 10 power stations have coal stockpile shortages.  The affected Mpumalanga power stations are Arnot, Camden, Duvha, Hendrina, Komati, Kriel, Kendal, Majuba, Matla and Tutuka.  At a media briefing on 16 November, Eskom said it had a recovery plan in place, but "loadshedding cannot be ruled out for the remainder of 2018".

Read the full original report by Nico Gous at TimesLive. See too, Optimum Coal mine workers protest over unpaid wages, at EWN

Illegal mining poses massive threat to Joburg, but government doesn’t want to know

Sunday Times reports that experts have sounded the alarm that illegal miners are blasting to within metres of highly flammable gas and fuel lines under Johannesburg.  Despite warnings that the city is on the brink of an unprecedented disaster, the government has shrugged off desperate calls by city officials to step in and avert the potential catastrophe.  Should one of those lines be damaged, experts say, everything within a 300m radius will be “incinerated”.  Key parts of the city are also under imminent threat of collapse because of illegal miners digging and blasting through a 140km labyrinth of underground tunnels beneath Johannesburg.  These include the M1 double-decker highway and the M2, sections of Soweto and the 94,000-seat FNB Stadium.  “The city faces a disaster beyond imagination,” said Johannesburg’s Infrastructure Protection Unit head Conel Mackay, who sits on the Gauteng Illegal Mining Stakeholders Forum.  Mayor Herman Mashaba said the national departments of mineral resources (DMR) and co-operative governance & traditional affairs (Cogta) had ignored his letters asking for help.  The DMR failed to respond to specific questions about the issue last week, while Cogta said the minister would soon meet with the Minerals Council SA (previously known as the Chamber of Mines)..

This summary of the full report by Graeme Hosken at TimesLive. Read the original full report on page 1 of Sunday Times of 25 November 2018

Other labour / community posting(s) relating to mining

  • Bench Marks Foundation: Gwede Mantashe and the misery of mining’s effect on communities, at BusinessLive
  • Lily Mine liquidator under fire, at City Press


ECONOMIC POLICY / INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT

New masterplan for vehicle manufacturing industry to boost local content, double jobs by 2035

Business Report writes that employment in SA’s automotive manufacturing industry is envisaged to double to about 240,000 by 2035, vehicle production to increase from 600,000 to almost 1.4 million units, and local content to improve from 39% to 60%.  This is in terms of a new master plan agreed between the industry and the government.  The plan has also set a challenging empowerment target for the industry to achieve, namely at least a Level 4 broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE) status from 2021 to qualify for certain government incentives.  Trade and industry minister Rob Davies on Friday highlighted the importance of the automotive industry through its 6.9% contribution to GDP.  It accounts for 30.1% of manufacturing output and 13.9% of total exports, the employment of 110,000 people in vehicle and component production and R8.2 billion in annual investments.  Davies said the automotive masterplan would build on and would have a huge amount of continuity with the existing Automotive Production and Development Programme that runs to 2020.  No change in import tariffs are envisaged.  Andrew Kirby, president of the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of SA, welcomed the announcement of the new plan.

Read the full original report by Roy Cokayne at Business Report. Read too, SA realigns auto incentives as it seeks to raise local content to 60% by 2035, at Engineering News


NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE

Pressure by Cosatu led to Ramaphosa signing minimum wage bill on Friday rather than later

BusinessLive writes that President Cyril Ramaphosa caved to political pressure from labour federation Cosatu on Friday when he signed four labour bills, including the National Minimum Wage Bill.  The Presidency was apparently planning to enact the bills at a signing ceremony in Kliptown later in November, but only after the contentious process under way to appoint the national minimum wage commission had been completed.  However, Cosatu wanted the bills signed without delay to ensure that employers were given the required 30 days to adjust to the new wage system before it comes into effect on 1 January 2019, failing which the system would have been postponed for an even longer period.  Cosatu, which is in an alliance with the ANC, backed Ramaphosa’s presidency bid and has resolved to support his return to power in 2019.  Another hurdle for Ramaphosa was deadlock over ideal candidates to serve on the minimum wage commission, which will be responsible for the annual review of the national minimum wage.  It seems that the business constituency at Nedlac was against the government’s proposal to appoint senior economist at Trade & Industrial Policy Strategies Dr Neva Makgetla and associate professor of sociology at Wits University Sarah Mosoetsa to the commission.  Meanwhile, the SA Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) has rejected the signing of the minimum wage bill.

Read the full original report by Theto Mahlakoana at BusinessLive. Read too, National minimum wage will protect workers on bottom rung from exploitation, at BusinessLive


EMPLOYEE HOUSING

Durban cops living in deteriorating police flats fear eviction before Christmas

Independent on Saturday reports that a bleak festive season awaits a community of police and others who live in a deteriorating 17-storey block of police flats in Durban.  The building is located between North Beach and the railway tracks leading out of the station and the officers fear being evicted on Christmas Eve.  The SA Policing Union (Sapu) has taken up the plight of its members involved because police management has not offered them alternative accommodation.  Provincial secretary Nurse Mdletshe claimed that police management has not been willing to enter discussions so the union has told its members “to just stay there.”  According to management, the flats need to be renovated, but Mdletshe suspects there is an agenda to change the building into a provincial headquarters.  At least 35 tenants are police officers, although over the years, other tenants have apparently “filtered” into the building through “gaps” in the system.  Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane said not even residents who were active members of the service were allowed to live at Natalia Court and that the building was not in a suitable condition for human occupation and was a danger to all who lived there.  He added:  “The state is under no obligation to provide them with housing and the onus of provision of housing remains the responsibility of each member.”

Read the full original of the report by Duncan Guy at Independent on Saturday


RESTRUCTURING / RETRENCHMENTS / COMPANY JOB LOSSES

SABC board chair sticks to retrenchment and cost-cutting plan

Sunday Times reports that SA Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) board chairperson, Bongumusa Makhathini, has vowed to push ahead with cost-saving measures at the public broadcaster, including retrenchments.  This would be even if the move should cost him his job.  He revealed that the board was under tremendous pressure from what he called “political and commercial interests” that were opposed to the board’s plan to turn around the struggling broadcaster, but did not say which politicians were exerting the pressure, or how they were doing this.  The SABC is fast running out of cash and unless it gets a R3bn government guarantee, it will not be able to pay salaries or honour financial obligations by March.  Makhathini defended plans to retrench 981 permanent staff and not to renew the contracts of 1,200 freelancers.  He indicated that one of the reasons for the cash crisis at the broadcaster was the arbitrary manner in which salary increases and promotions were made under the previous SABC board and executive team.  Former communications minister Nomvula Mokonyane publicly slammed the board for the planned job cuts.

Read a summary of the original report by Caiphus Kgosana at TimesLive


QUALIFICATIONS

Pandor reveals shock increase in fake credentials over past five years

The Star reports that according to Higher Education Minister Naledi Pandor, there has been an increase of fraudulent qualifications reported to regulatory bodies over the past five years.  Responding to a parliamentary question about the role of the SA Qualifications Authority (SAQA) in safeguarding the integrity of the national qualifications framework, Pandor indicated that a marked upward trend in the number of misrepresented qualifications had been detected.  Pandor said that in 2010/11 there had been 47 reported fraudulent qualifications, 37 in 2011/12, 76 the following year and 62 in 2013/14.  The number grew to 106 in 2014/15, only to drop to 92 in 2015/16, then 24 in 2016/17, 982 in 2017/18 and 385 since April 2018.  Despite the relatively high number of fraudulent qualifications detected in 2017/18, it was still less than 1% of the qualifications that were verified by SAQA and the Quality Council for Trade and Occupations.  Pandor also revealed that the total number of fraudulent foreign qualifications and forged SAQA certificates of evaluation had been 2,263 over the past five years.  Asked whether the government had taken the necessary steps to verify qualifications before appointing public servants, Pandor said all provincial and national departments were required to verify the qualifications with SAQA.

Read the full original report at IOL News

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • DA’s Steenhuisen: 'I should be allowed to serve SA irrespective of qualifications', at EWN


NEWS HEADLINES

  • PIC’s Dan Matjila resigns with immediate effect, at BusinessLive
  • Matshepo More takes over at the PIC, at Business Report
  • Tshwane mayor Msimanga wants city manager Mosola out, at SowetanLive
  • Why women are more at risk than men of having their job replaced by a robot, at EWN

 


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