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, 7 January 2019.


OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH & SAFETY

Suspected killer of Mpumalanga cop and her husband nabbed

News24 reports that a 31-year-old alleged police killer has been arrested and is due to appear in court on charges of murder, armed robbery and possession of an unlicensed firearm.  The arrest followed the double murder of Detective Sergeant Thembisile Ndlovu and her husband Jabulani Khoza on 1 December in Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga.  The couple was awoken by a disruption inside the house and upon inspection, they were fired on by three intruders.  The late Sergeant Ndlovu from Calcutta SAPS retaliated and fatally wounded one suspect, but was outnumbered by the suspects who continued shooting.  They fled the scene with the family's vehicle, which was later found abandoned.  The Mpumalanga Serious Organised Crime Investigation Unit assisted by the Nelspruit Tactical Response Team (TRT) made the breakthrough on Saturday, and found the suspect at his hiding place at Mhluzi outside Middelburg.  The search for the third suspect is ongoing.

Read the original report by Pelane Phakgadi in full at News24


MINING LABOUR

Platinum belt retrenchments could cripple the Rustenburg economy

SABC News writes that according to the Rustenburg Chamber of Commerce, mass retrenchments on the platinum belt will cost the country’s economy more than one billion rand per month in the new year.  It has warned that the imminent massive retrenchments will have far reaching consequences for the Rustenburg communities and the country at large.  Impala Platinum has announced that it will be retrenching more 13,500 employees, while Lonmin will be cutting more than 10,000 workers from its workforce.  A robust approach was needed urgently to avoid the economic meltdown of Rustenburg, warned the chairperson of the Rustenburg Chamber Of Commerce, Pieter Malan.  He observed:  “I think the important thing is everybody must realise there is no simple answers.  This is a highly complex problem we have to diversify our city economy away from mining.  We have to reinvent Rustenburg for the day after mining and we have to start that planning now.”  However, the Rustenburg local municipality is hopeful that things could improve, with new businesses and new investors being attracted.

Read the original report in full at SABC News


MARIKANA DEATHS

Ruling on review application in respect of prosecution of sixteen Marikana mineworkers awaited

ANA reports that the High Court in Pretoria is expected to make a ruling soon on whether 16 Marikana mineworkers -- facing multiple charges relating to a violent strike at Lonmin mining operations in Marikana near Rustenburg six years ago -- should be prosecuted or discharged.  The group applied to the high court to review the decision by former National Director of Public Prosecutions, Shaun Abrahams, to prosecute them.  The charges relate to the murder of 10 people prior to the massacre of 34 mineworkers by the police on 16 August 2012 during a wildcat strike at Lonmin’s platinum mining operations.  In June 2018, their case was postponed to 4 February 2019 in the North West High Court in Mogwase, pending their review application to the North Gauteng High Court, Pretoria.  The high court date to hear the review application has not been set, but it is expected to take place before the case commences on 4 February 2019.

Read the original report in full at IOL News

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Former North West top cop to appear in court in February over Marikana shooting, at IOL News


APPOINTMENTS / STAFFING

Over 200 newly qualified nurses not afforded jobs at Gauteng hospitals, claims DA

ANA reports that the Democratic Alliance (DA) on Monday that more than 200 newly qualified nurses finishing their community service at state hospitals in Gauteng were not being absorbed into permanent posts as had happened previously.  The party cited a list of 16 out of 36 public hospitals in Gauteng where community service nurses had been told to find employment elsewhere.  This included Charlotte Maxeke hospital in Johannesburg where 62 jobs would be terminated at the end of February.  DA shadow member of the executive council for health in Gauteng Jack Bloom said:  “A total of 216 nurses face unemployment if they cannot get jobs in the private health sector, as the Gauteng health department has advised them to do.  It makes no sense to spend huge amounts of money on training nurses, but not employing them, even though there is a large shortage of nurses in public hospitals.”

Read the original report in this regard in full at The Citizen


BASIC EDUCATION

Saftu KZN slams celebration of ‘mediocre’ matric pass rate

EWN reports that according to the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) all the praise around the improvement in the matric results was a celebration of mediocrity.  The union federation said this was because the country’s education system, both in content and quality, was non-existent, lacked skills development and relevance and added no value to the country’s economy.  The matric pass rate improved by 3.1% to 78.2%, however, the federation argued that this was misleading as it did not take into account the number of learners who dropped out of school since registering for grade one.  Saftu’s provincial secretary Moses Mautsoe said the union would not celebrate the achievements of matric until the government took education seriously.

Read the original in full of this report by Michael Pedro at EWN

National Teachers' Union slams policy of progressing leaners barred from writing full matric exams

The Star reports that the National Teachers' Union (Natu) has questioned the ingenuity of progressing learners to matric if the majority of them were barred from writing the full final exam.  Out of 128,634 learners who failed Grade 11 in 2017 and were pushed to matric last year, only 33,412 sat for all their subjects.  Of these, some 20,122 passed and 2,676 obtained passes that allowed them to enrol at traditional universities.  A whopping 95,222 who progressed to matric did not sit for all their subjects, and they were unaccounted for in the national 78.2% pass rate.  Allen Thompson, deputy president of Natu, said the progression policy demoralised teachers because they spent the entire year on matriculants who were diverted from the exams.  He called for the scrapping of the policy that the Department of Basic Education started implementing in 2015.  The SA Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu) decried what it called the insufficient support provided by authorities.  “As a union we lament the fact that there is evidently inadequate support provided to progressed learners and teachers,” general secretary Mugwena Maluleke said.

Read the original report by Bongani Nkosi in full at The Star

Call by basic education DG for six out of 10 schools in SA to become technical schools

TimesLive reports that basic education director-general (DG) Mathanzima Mweli said on 3 January 2019 during a technical briefing ahead of the release of the 2018 matric results that six out of 10 schools in SA needed to become technical schools.  “We need to change, to move towards making sure that 60% of our schools offer technical, occupational as well as technical vocational skills … to create the skills and competencies that would afford economic growth in our country,” he stated.  There are 25,762 schools in the country - 23,796 public and 1,996 private – while there are 1,010 technical high schools.  According to Mweli, President Cyril Ramaphosa advised that the basic education department should transform some academic schools to technical schools.  Mwele also indicated that there had been a “major” drop in the number of learners enrolled for accounting and business studies.  “If we don’t arrest the situation in accounting and business studies, we might have to import chartered accounts from neighboring countries and from across the ocean,” he observed.

Read the original report by Nico Gous in full at TimesLive

Sadtu in Western Cape launches new communication app for teachers and pupils

Cape Argus reports that to ease the workload for teachers this year, the SA Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) has launched an app.  The Sadtu Western Cape communication app was created with labour federation Cosatu to provide teachers and pupils with materials to help their schooling.  Sadtu provincial secretary Jonavon Rustin indicated that the app has lesson plans for foundation phase classes, curriculum policy documents and information about music, arts and culture.  “We worked on an app for educators to access a number education resources to help learners in class.  It also has important information on LGBTQ+, violence against women and sexual harassment, which teachers can use in the classroom for lessons,” said Rustin.  Sadtu provincial education convener Faseega Solomon indicated that the first 10 weeks of CAPS-aligned lesson plans for this year were available for maths and English.  The innovation will hopefully save teachers plenty of time and improve the quality of education that pupils received, Solomon stated.  For more information on the app visit www.sadtu.org.za/

Read the original report by Athina May in full at Cape Argus


HIGHER EDUCATION / SKILLS DEVELOPMENT / TRAINING

Department of Higher Education to release its new audit of critical skills in April

SABC News reports that the Department of Higher Education and Training is due to release its new critical skills list in April this year.  Businesses, human resources (HR) professionals, recruiters and business owners have the opportunity to communicate to the department to indicate which skills they believe are in short supply.  The scarce skills cited in last year’s audit were wide-ranging and included highly skilled senior finance executives such as chief financial officers (CFO), teachers, plus persons with legal, ICT (information, communication and technology) and agricultural skills.  Department of Basic Education spokesperson, Elijah Mhlanga, indicated that they would change the curriculum to facilitate the teaching of subjects that were needed for the critical skills list.

Read the original report in full at SABC News

Higher Education Department warns about bogus colleges

The Citizen reports that the Department of Higher Education and Training posted a link on the SA Government Facebook page on Monday for 2018 matriculants to use to browse the list of registered private higher education institutions and the courses they were qualified to offer.  The list was updated in October last year.  The department also issued a warning to students and their parents, urging them to be aware of bogus colleges when applying at institutions of higher learning.  The department further encouraged all prospective students who had not been offered a place at the institution to which they have applied and still wished to study at universities or colleges this year to make use of the services of the central application clearinghouse.  Prospective students can contact the service’s contact centre on 0860 356 635, SMS their names and ID numbers to 49200, or visit the website <https://cach.dhet.gov.za/Applicant/UsingCACH> to seek university or college placement assistance.

Read this report in full at The Citizen

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • The rewards of building a career in traffic policing, at SowetanLive
  • Tech careers offers big opportunities for those who leave school, at Business Report


OTHER REPORTS

Humiliated Bronkhorstspruit guard kicked off premises after being stripped to his underwear

SowetanLive reports that a Bronkhorstspruit security guard was stripped down to his underwear and forced to walk 3km in the rain after his supervisor caught him sleeping on the job.  Charlie Mabuza, 36, a security guard at GEW Secure Security, was humiliated after his supervisor instructed him to take off his uniform before firing him and kicking him off the company's premises on New Year's Day.  Mabuza said this was after he was found to have been sleeping and smelling of liquor while on duty at a factory in Ekandustria.  Mabuza was breathalysed twice and was found to have been over the limit on both occasions.  After being told to leave, he pleaded with his supervisor that he did not have any clothes to change into and that it was raining heavily.  With his pleas falling on deaf ears, Mabuza had to step out onto the street in the rain.  In a video recorded after he was chased away, Mabuza is seen walking in the rain with nothing on but a yellow refuse bag wrapped around his waist.  Dewet Vermaak, the security company owner, said he was extremely sorry about the treatment Mabuza received at the hands of one of his employees.  He claimed the supervisor concerned resigned with after Vermaak attempted to institute disciplinary measures.  Mabuza is weighing up his options about an offer from Vermaak to return to work.

Read the original report by Tankiso Makhetha in full at SowetanLive


OTHER NEWS HEADLINES

  • Eskom seeking 45% tariff hike over next three years, at Cape Argus
  • Payments Association of SA trying to resolve high number of debit order scams, at EWN
  • Sasco vows to continue protesting until Unisa meets its demands, at News24

 


Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page