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
Thursday, 29 November 2018.


OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH & SAFETY

Tshwane paramedics robbed at gunpoint while attending to patient in ambulance

News24 reports that three Tshwane Emergency Services paramedics were robbed at gunpoint while attending to a patient in the back of a City ambulance in Soshanguve (Block GG) over the weekend.  The City said in a statement:  "On Saturday, November 24, in the early hours of the morning, two armed persons forced our paramedics to hand over their cash, cellphones and personal belongings before fleeing the scene.  Fortunately, the paramedics sustained no injuries during the robbery.  The incident was reported to the Phuthanong Police Station and a case was opened to search and apprehend these criminals.”  Members of the community were urged to expose the perpetrators by reporting them to the nearest police station or Tshwane Metro Police station.  Member of the mayoral committee responsible for community safety, Councillor Derrick Kissoonduth, said this was not the first attack on emergency personnel whilst on duty.

Read the full original report by Riaan Grobler at News24


MINING LABOUR

Tribunal rules on dispute over business rescue practitioners at Guptas’ Shiva Uranium

BusinessLive reports that the Companies Tribunal on Tuesday ordered the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) to process the appointment of a business rescue practitioner for the Guptas’ embattled Shiva Uranium.  It also ordered the CIPC to withdraw a filing for two other practitioners, citing a clear misunderstanding of the commission’s own functions and powers.  The tribunal’s decision on a dispute over the appointments of rescue practitioners at Shiva means the business rescue — a provision in the Companies Act for the rehabilitation of distressed entities — can now continue.  Delays in proceeding with the rescue process have frustrated critical Shiva suppliers, such as the security services, as well as the workers who have not received any income from the mine since July 2018 when operations stopped.  In February 2018 Shiva and eight other Gupta-linked companies were placed under business rescue.  The details of how the dispute over the appointments of the rescue practitioners arose are set out in the full report at BusinessLive.

Read the full original report by Lisa Steyn at BusinessLive

Other labour / community posting(s) relating to mining

  • Sibanye accuses strikers of being in contempt of court interdict as violence at mines continues, on page 19 of Business Report of 29 November 2018
  • SA women make it on to mining industry Top 100 list, at The Star


INDUSTRIAL ACTION / STRIKES

Families told to contact autopsy hotline during Pietermaritzburg mortuary go-slow

TimesLive reports that grieving families can call a hotline to determine the progress of autopsies on the bodies of relatives while a go-slow continues at the Fort Napier medico legal mortuary in KwaZulu-Natal.  They will need to leave their details in order to be contacted with an update.  Bodies have been piling up, with forensic pathology services staff refusing to resume the normal pace of work until their grievances have been addressed.  A week ago, the provincial health department indicated that there was a backlog of 26 bodies to be processed at the facility.  "Normally, the mortuary performs between 10 and 12 autopsies per day.  However, since the go-slow began, the workers have been performing a maximum of two bodies per day.  On Tuesday afternoon, the department said it had begun implementing a contingency plan to minimise the impact of the go-slow, but for security reasons it did not reveal details.  The department plans to continue engaging with unions to resolve some of the issues such as the supply of equipment and repair of air conditioners.

Read the full original report by Nivashni Nair at TimesLive

IFP calls on Ramaphosa to intervene in KZN mortuary strike

ANA reports that the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) on Wednesday called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to urgently intervene in the ongoing mortuary strike in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), which has affected many families.  Staff at provincial government mortuaries have been on a go-slow for two weeks demanding a wage increase and protesting against "unbearable" working conditions such as broken air-conditioners, broken toilets, old uniforms and lack of cleaning equipment.  Ncamisile Nkwanyana, IFP spokesperson on health, blamed KZN Premier Willies Mchunu for the impasse, saying his failure to intervene in this matter was a clear indication that he was not concerned about the plight of the citizens of the province.  "As the IFP we would expect that the Premier will break his silence on the situation unfolding in KwaZulu-Natal and speak out against the actions of the KZN Department of Health.  Therefore, it is high time now that the President intervenes in this matter," Nkwanyana said.

Read the full original report at IOL News

HPCSA assures strikers that new business process engineering process won’t affect jobs

ANA reports that the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) on Wednesday said employees and unions had been consulted about the new business process engineering (BPR) process and they were assured the changes would not result in job losses.  Members of the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) have been on strike since 16 November in a bid to oppose the implementation of the new data capturing system that they believe might lead to job losses.  HPCSA president, Dr Kgosietsile Latlape said:  “I have addressed various meetings with all staff from the beginning of this process to where we are today….  We made a commitment that for the next three years when we embark on this process, nobody will lose their job and that commitment council has kept.”  He added that even unions had been consulted at every step of the way concerning the process, and that he had the meeting minutes to prove it.  Last week, Nehawu’s Nkululeko Ntloko said:  “There are processes that were supposed to have been undertaken under a signed accord between management of HPCSA and Nehawu.  There are processes that are being done secretly.  Management of the organisation has been involved in some processes that were not inclusive to us…”

Read the full original report at The Citizen

Overtime strike by Cape Town law enforcement officers threatens festive season

Cape Argus reports that City of Cape Town law enforcement officers have threatened to refuse to work overtime from 1 December, which could leave beaches, several public roads and parks open to lawlessness and antisocial behaviour during the festive season.  SA Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) provincial secretary Xolisi Diniso said more than 400 officers were to have been promoted from a T6 to T7 grade, with a higher salary attached to the latter grade.  He indicated:  “Our action has nothing to do with salary increases.  Salary increases we get once a year.  In 2016 we were told that our officers would receive a promotion, but the City has been dragging its feet.  The first engagements on this matter started in 2016.  On November 7 we took the matter to the city manager (Lungelo Mbandazayo).  It was then given to Richard Bosman, but until now we have not heard anything.”  But, Bosman’s job is hanging in the balance after the council resolved to appoint an investigator to investigate claims that he and Robbie Robberts were in cahoots with politicians to have Robberts appointed as the City’s enforcement and policy director.  Diniso said staff would still be active on the streets, but only for eight hours a day.  A City spokesperson said they were committed to addressing workers’ concerns, but contingency plans were in place.

Read the full original report by Jason Felix at Cape Argus


PROTESTS / MARCHES / CAMPAIGNS

Security guards protest at Parliament over working conditions

GroundUp reports that about 40 members of the Masibonisane Security and Cleaners’ Forum marched to Parliament on Wednesday.  They were attempting to hand over a memorandum about working conditions to President Cyril Ramaphosa.  Masibonisane was formed by employees of security companies throughout the country in 2016.  Joseph Lesetla, one of the organisers, said attempts to have their concerns addressed by the Department of Labour had not been successful.  So, they wanted the president to intervene on minimum wages for security guards and cleaners and in respect of working conditions.  The claim was made that the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA) was failing to address issues concerning security guards.  A Masibonisane spokesperson said guards worked in dangerous places without arms, but were expected not to run away and to call for backup instead.  She claimed some of the security companies did not give workers bonuses.  On arrival at Parliament, the protestors were joined by guards and cleaners from MyCiTi buses.  Makoti Sibongile Khawula from the Economic Freedom Fighters accepted the memorandum and promised to take the guards’ grievances to the Department of Labour.

Read the full original report by Bernard Chiguvare at GroundUp

Unisa gets interdict against student leader, former temporary workers to halt protests

The Citizen reports that the University of SA (Unisa) has obtained an urgent interdict to stop a student leader and former temporary workers from participating in protest action, carrying weapons of any kind, taking hostages or disrupting university activities.  The interdict was granted against student Mpho Morolane and 146 former temporary employees, restraining them from taking part in protest action within 150m of the entrance of any Unisa campus, study centre or exam centre, and from participating in protest action without the university’s prior approval.  The interdict also stopped them from damaging university property, or infringing the rights of staff members, students and visitors.  Unisa’s registrar, Dr Faroon Goolam, said in court papers they started a process in 2015 to appoint temporary seasonal staff needed in the exam and assignment department.  The temporary staff were recruited through labour brokers, but their contracts terminated at the end of September this year.  He said Morolane, who faced expulsion for his participation in violent protest action at Unisa in 2016, was the driving force behind protests in September and October by the former workers.

Read the full original report by Ilse de Lange at The Citizen


LABOUR MARKET / JOB CREATION

Master plan for clothing and textile retail chain will aim to create 60,000 new jobs

Business Report writes that Trade and Industry Minister confirmed this week that his department’s vision was to develop a master plan to create 60,000 additional jobs in the clothing and textile and footwear and leather retail value chain.  He said his department was working with Justin Barnes, the facilitator for the new automotive master plan announced last Friday, to produce a similar plan for the clothing and textile sector.  He said the plan would probably be announced early next year, but “certainly long before the election”.  Davies said they envisaged the same sort of concept for the clothing and textile sector as the motor industry, but admitted the challenges and issues confronting this sector were a bit more complicated because of the huge amount of illicit trading happening and new entrants and competitors.  Davies also observed that they had already seen the impact of incentives on the clothing and textile retail value chain a few years ago when the incentive was changed to be based on competitiveness from being earned on the basis of exports, with the duty credits sold to importers of new clothes.

Read the full original report by Roy Cokayne at Business Report

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • SA Breweries entrepreneurship Boost programme helped create 178 jobs in 2018, Business Report
  • Illicit cigarette industry threatens jobs, economy, on page 3 of The Star of 28 November 2018


REMUNERATION / SALARY INCREASES

Lowest and highest salary increases in SA's job sectors for 2018

Business Report writes that CareerJunction has released its 2018 salary review, which explores average salary offerings across South Africa’s top 10 sectors.  According to the results, salaries only grew by a sluggish 3% year-on-year, in line with predictions.  According to Statistics SA, this was more than 2 percentage points behind the annual consumer inflation rate for October 2018 of 5.1%.  Of the top 10 sectors analysed, the IT sector fell to the bottom of the list for annual wage increases.  Despite being the most sought-after skills set on CareerJunction, the sector experienced negative growth in wages of -3% year-on-year.  The finance and construction sectors saw a minimal growth in wages of only 1%, while the warehousing & logistics sector saw a wage increase of 4%.  According to the index, these four sectors alone made up over 50% of employment through the website.  The engineering, admin, sales, manufacturing and medical sectors saw moderate wage increases during 2018, while the marketing sector experienced a staggering increase in salary offerings of 20%.  The report goes on to indicate wage increases by occupation; highest earning professions; lowest earning professions; and regional differences.

Read the full original report at Business Report


DISMISSALS / SUSPENSIONS

Tshwane mayor to ask council again to suspend city manager as new allegations emerge

News24 reports that Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga was due on Thursday to ask the city's council to issue a notice of intention to suspend city manager Moeketsi Mosola.  This would not be in respect of the Glad Africa debacle, but for a new set of allegations of misconduct.  On Wednesday, Msimanga said that since news of the Glad Africa tender broke, Mosola had committed acts that raised the level of misconduct.  In August, allegations of tender irregularity that lead to engineering company GladAfrica securing a R12bn contract with the City of Tshwane emerged (further details of subsequent developments are set out in the News24 report).  Since Msimanga's unsuccessful attempt to have Mosola placed on suspension in September, the city manager has allegedly contravened the code of conduct for municipal staff members through several acts.  These alleged infractions include that Mosola failed to perform the functions of his office in good faith, diligently, honestly and in a transparent manner; prejudiced his office, the administration and its efficiency; and misused his position to prejudice the interests of political parties.  "In an effort to bring stability and focus back on service delivery, council must diligently apply its mind to my request and give effect to the intention to suspend if we are to get Tshwane back on track," Msimanga said.

Read the full original report by Alex Mitchley at News24. Read too, Tshwane's Mosola faces a suspension motion in council, at Pretoria News. And also, Gatvol Msimanga wants to suspend Mosola over ‘misconduct’, at The Citizen


WORKPLACE CRIME

Prasa guards accused of attempting to steal company cars claim 'simulated' robbery to test security

GroundUp reports on the case of 14 Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) security guards arrested late October for allegedly tying up fellow security guards and attempting to steal vehicles at the company's head office in Pretoria.  They were released last week on R2,000 bail each.  The accused guards claimed they were merely involved in a simulated robbery to test security at the Prasa premises after several previous robbery incidents.  They reported said they were carrying out the orders of Wilson Sebiloane, head of Prasa's business intelligence unit.  The 14 suspects were found with two firearms, including a toy weapon, after tying up and threatening three fellow guards.  Prasa staff later found knives and a toy gun in nearby shrubs, which may have been tossed away when the police appeared on the scene.  In court, the State prosecutor and police investigators said the "simulated robbery" claim was a convenient cover story.  They said it was a carefully planned heist that went wrong when police arrived on the scene to find fellow security guards tied up and the accused attempting to make off with several of the 200 new company vehicles held at the premises.  The state argued that if this had been a legitimate operation, the police would have been informed beforehand.  The case has been postponed to 21 January 2019.

Read the full original report by Ciaran Ryan at GroundUp

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • 'Greedy' Nelson Mandela Bay official pocketed R439k meant for poor litter-pickers, at TimesLive

 


Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page