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, 11 June 2019.


TOP STORY – OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AT SCHOOLS

Teacher shot dead by gunman who walked into Durban school on Tuesday

TimesLIVE reports that a teacher died after multiple bullets were fired at him by a gunman during school hours on Tuesday morning.  The 48-year-old male teacher was walking down a passage at the Folweni school when the gunman entered the premises and fired multiple shots him.  Bullets struck the teacher in the head and abdomen, said Netcare 911's spokesperson Shawn Herbst.  Paramedics were called to the school at about 9am and assessed the man, but unfortunately his injuries were too severe and he was declared deceased.  Circumstances leading up to the shooting are being investigated by the police.

The original of this short report is at TimesLIVE. Read too, KZN MEC 'shocked' after teacher gunned down at school south of Durban, at News24

Teacher assaulted by pupil at KZN school says attacks on him have happened many times

The Star reports that as a video of a learner assaulting a teacher on school premises went viral, the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Department of Education admitted that school violence was getting deadlier.  The department is investigating the circumstances around the incident in Hammarsdale, outside Durban, where the educator can be seen defending himself while being assaulted by a learner with bare fists.  The incident occurred last week at Luthayi High School during mid-year exams.  Senior grade teacher in the assault video, Ajibabi Sunday, laid a charge against the 20-year-old Grade 11 learner over the weekend with the assistance of the Educators Union of SA.  He was injured in an eye and his glasses were damaged.  Sunday alleged that this wasn't his first assault at the school.  He indicated:  “I have been assaulted many times at the school.  I reported the incidents to the principal and the deputy principal before.  I think this job is not safe for me.”  Kwazi Mthethwa, KZN education spokesperson, said that once the facts surrounding the incident had been gathered, the department would decide on the future of both the teacher and the learner.  He observed:  “From the video it’s not clear who is assaulting whom.  To me it looks like they are fighting.  We are investigating the incident, and whoever will be found to be the perpetrator will be dealt with accordingly.”

Read the full original of the report by Sne Masuku and Tebogo Monama on this story at The Star

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • IFP calls for urgent action to address unruly behaviour in KZN schools, at Independent News
  • Teenager stabbed in 'gang brawl' at Mossel Bay school, at TimesLIVE
  • I killed in self-defence, says Forest High pupil accused of murder, at SowetanLive


TRUCKING INDUSTRY SAFETY

As deaths mount in trucking industry, transport union Satawu calls on government to intervene

EWN reports that the SA Transport and Allied Workers' Union (Satawu) on Monday called on government to take steps to put a stop to the alarming loss of life in the trucking industry.  Dozens of trucks have been attacked and torched on the N3 in KwaZulu-Natal in the past year, resulting in the deaths of 213 people, including drivers.  Satawu accused government of engaging with an illegitimate truck owner association, the Positive Freight Solution Forum, which allegedly hired undocumented foreign nationals over qualified South Africans, which it said was creating tensions in the industry.  Satawu spokesperson Zanele Sabela stated:  “The association is on record as saying South Africans do not possess the required skills to drive their trucks thereby justifying the employment of undocumented foreign nationals.  South African legislation is clear that a company cannot employ a foreign national unless he/she possesses a scarce skill.  Possessing a code 14 driver’s licence, however, is hardly a scarce skill.”  Satawu warned that, should government not heed the union's call to intervene, it would mobilise all employer associations nationally to stop operations and cease the movement of all goods until government took effective action.

Read the full original of Bonga Dlulane’s report in the above regard at EWN

Truck drivers threaten a nationwide strike on ‘Trucking Black Day’ on 18 July

TimesLIVE reports that a looming national strike by truck drivers on 18 July could spell further trouble for the already ailing trucking fraternity.  In a widely circulated WhatsApp message, truck owners were warned that no trucks should operate on the day, which has been billed "Trucking Black Day".  The strike is set to coincide with the appearance of leaders of the All Truck Drivers' Foundation (ATDF) in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on 18 July.  This after Positive Freight Solutions Forum (PFSF), an employers' association, obtained an urgent court interdict to prevent the looting of trucks, harming of drivers and the burning of trucks.  The interdict was granted against those believed to be responsible, including the ATDF.  The SA Transport and Allied Workers' Union (Satawu) in the meantime slammed the government for entering into talks with the PFSF, which they labelled as an "illegitimate association".  In a statement on Monday, the union said:  "We are extremely worried that government in the form of the department of labour, home affairs and SA police service enter into talks with an illegitimate association while excluding registered trade unions and employers that are party to the National Bargaining Council for the Road Freight and Logistics Industry."  Law enforcement personnel have been on high alert after a spate of attacks on trucks, particularly along the N3 highway.

Read the full original of the report by Orrin Singh and Dan Meyer in the above regard at TimesLIVE. Read Satawu’s press statement at Polity

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula concerned with unrest in KwaZulu-Natal’s trucking industry, at SA Govt News (press statement)


MINING LABOUR

National People’s Front wants Mantashe to attend to families of Lily Mine victims

SABC News reports that according to Bheki Gumbi, leader of the National People’s Front (NAPF), his party wants to meet with Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe on the situation at the Lily Mine near Barberton in Mpumalanga.  Gumbi recently visited former workers of the mine and family members of three miners, whose bodies were never retrieved after they were trapped underground when the mine caved in three years ago.  He advised that members have been camping outside the mine for more than a month.  “We are going to write a letter to Minister Mantashe.  We are also going to write to the Public Protector because it is very unfair for this community that has been camping here, trying to draw the attention of those who are in leadership, but nobody is responding, (not) even the local councillor,” said Gumbi.

Read the original of the above report at SABC News


MARIKANA DEATHS

Ex-North West cop in court for incident leading up to Marikana massacre

ANA reports that former North West deputy police commissioner William Mpembe, who is accused of several deaths in the lead-up to the Marikana massacre in 2012, and his three co-accused appeared in the North West High Court on Monday.  The charges cover contravening the Commission Act, contravening the Independent Police Investigative Directorate Act and defeating the ends of justice.  His defense accused the state of withholding documents in that it failed to disclose that mineworker Modisaotsile van Wyk Sagalala died in police custody on the premises of the Lonmin mine on 16 August 2012.  Advocate Jan Ellis, for Mpembe, launched an application asking that the state disclose the contents of two dockets relating to the two Marikana massacre crime scenes where 34 mineworkers were killed by police during violent protest action on 16 August 2012.  Scene one was at a koppie near Nkaneng informal settlement where striking mineworkers were shot, while scene two was a small koppie about 150m away where other mineworkers were killed.  Ellis also wanted certified copies of the diaries of one police officer, the names of paramedics who had helped the injured mineworkers and the names of mortuary workers who had assisted to transport the deceased mineworkers from the scene.  But, the prosecutor said the two dockets the defence requested were not relevant to the case the accused were on trial for.  Mpembe is involved in at least two other cases before the court involving the murders of Lonmin mineworkers.

Read the full original of Molaole Montsho’s report on the trial at Independent News

Police accountability demanded for 2012 Marikana massacre

ANA writes that rights' groups with interests in the 2012 Marikana massacre continue to ask why it took seven years to bring the police officers accused of killing mineworkers before the courts.  The Socio Economic Rights Institutions (SERI) and Right to Know (R2K) made the statements on Monday during a protest at the Mankwe Magistrate's Court as former North West deputy police commissioner, major-general William Mpembe, appeared.  Mpembe has been charged - along with three others - of contravening the Commission Act, the Ipid Act and defeating the ends of justice by lying about the death of 60-year-old mineworker Modisaotsile van Wyk Sagalala at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry.  R2K's national outreach organiser, Bongani Xezwa, commented that justice had to be served for the people of Marikana to find closure.  "We've been watching and it has taken so long.  We have heard from the court that the Independent Police Investigation Directorate was stopped from doing investigations for some time.  Someone by now needs to see that we have justice that needs to serve people," he said.  SERI's Nomzamo Zondo said the organisation was intent on seeing that justice prevailed.  She stated that the families wanted to see criminal accountability for the deaths of their family members.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard at Independent News

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Graphic details of Marikana death heard in North West court, at SABC News
  • R2K: We demand justice for Marikana - Mpembe must be convicted! at Polity (press statement)


INDUSTRIAL ACTION / STRIKES

Nehawu vows to continue with wage strike at VUT

SABC News reports that the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) has vowed to continue with its strike at the Vaal University of Technology (VUT) until management meets its demands.  VUT remains closed and exams have been postponed.  The two parties met on Monday morning to discuss the way forward.  Workers are demanding a 10% salary increase, while the university is offering 6.2%.  Nehawu spokesperson Khaya Xaba commented:  “The strike this morning (Monday) has entered its 4th day and will continue indefinitely until all our demands are met.  And our demands are 10% salary increase and the in-sourcing of cleaning and security services.  The management is currently at 6.2% while we are still at 10%.  So, we are hoping that they will come to their senses and increase their offer and meet our demands of 10%.”

The original of this report by Lehana Tsotetsi is at SABC News


PROTESTS / MARCHES / PICKETS

Numsa and Sacca picket major airports on Tuesday

TimesLIVE reports that the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) and the South African Cabin Crew Association (Sacca) were scheduled to picket at all major airports in protests of a “myriad of issues at SAA and SAA Technical" (Saat) on Tuesday.  Numsa spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola said on Monday that the issues included “the recent resignation of the GCEO Vuyani Jarana, corruption of Saat management, problems in the maintenance department, allegations of nepotism, tribalism and corruption of the HR manager at Saat”, as well as other issues.  The pickets were scheduled to take place from 11am to 1:30pm at OR Tambo, King Shaka, Cape Town and East London airports.  Zukisa Ramasia was appointed as interim CEO after Jarana unexpectedly resigned last Sunday, after less than two years in the job.  Jarana claimed that his turnaround strategy for the loss-making airline was being undermined by a lack of state funding and too much bureaucracy.  SAA (SA Airways) said on Friday it needed R4bn from the government to survive the current financial year and allow it to renegotiate loan terms with banks.

Read the original of the report by Nico Gous on this story at TimesLIVE. Read too, 'We want our CEO back, say unions at SAA, at Fin24


STAFFING

Companies cautious on hiring, with trend set to continue

Fin24 reports that according to the most recent ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey, SA employers report overall cautious hiring plans for the third quarter of 2019, with the trend set to continue.  There are also marked differences in hiring and payroll activity between five regions surveyed across the country, as well as across 10 sectors.  Just 8% of employers anticipate an increase in payrolls, 6% forecast a decrease and 85% expect no change.  Compared to the previous quarter, hiring prospects have remained fairly stable.  However, there has been a decline of 2 percentage points compared to this time one year ago.  "The trend of businesses remaining cautious around hiring activity continues into the third quarter of the year, with a large majority of respondents planning no changes to their hiring strategies and plans," said Lyndy van den Barselaar, MD of ManpowerGroup SA.  She added:  "The recently reported increased unemployment rate and turbulent economic environment further cement this sentiment and will more than likely mean the trend is set to continue for the medium-term."

Read the full original of Carin Smith’s report in the above regard at Fin24

SA companies having trouble retaining skilled staff

The Citizen reports that South African companies were having trouble retaining the already scarce skilled workforce in the country, a new survey recently revealed.  According to findings in the Most Attractive Employers 2019 survey by rankings firm Universum SA, the most attractive employers offered job safety and security.  Google, Investec and Discovery ranked in the top three, respectively, in the category of business and commerce employers.  The department of higher education and training, the department of health, as well as the department of justice were in the top three of their respective categories (humanities, health and law).  Universum SA country manager Keshia Serage said the negative effects of the current economic climate played a major role in why banks were beginning to capture the attention of local business talent to become the industry of choice, followed by the accounting, auditing and financial services industries.  The survey quizzed nearly 70,000 South Africans, including 45,000 students and, as Serge pointed out, surviving tough economic conditions trumped other employment factors in attracting employees.  She said one of the biggest demands by employees was the potential for personal development.  But South African companies were failing to hit the right chord for SA’s millennial workforce.  Over half of young South African professionals were unhappy in their jobs and looking to change employers within the next 12 months, the survey found.

Read the full original of Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni’s report in the above regard at The Citizen


RETIREMENT FUNDS

Ex-lecturer drowning in debt after waiting five months for GEPF pension payout

The Star reports that a lecturer from Ekurhuleni is under threat of his home being repossessed and is drowning in debt after waiting for five months for his pension to be paid out to him.  This comes after he resigned in December, with dreams of pursuing a small business and to settle his debts.  Daniel Ndlovu, 53, a former engineering science lecturer at Ekurhuleni East College in Benoni, started working at the college in 2013.  Before he resigned, he submitted his pension payout documentation.  “I filled in the forms in November and it is now June.  The last time I paid my bond was in December and they are now threatening to repossess my house,” Ndlovu indicated.  He has been relying on his wife, a teacher, to support the family.  When Ndlovu submitted his documentation to the human resources department at the college, he was told that it would take three months before his payout would be effected.  In April he was informed by a colleague at the college that the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), which was handling his matter, could not forward his documentation to the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) because the stamps on his paperwork had expired.  He then resubmitted his forms, but has yet to receive feedback.

Read the full original of Chulumanco Mahamba’s report on this story at The Star


OTHER REPORTS

Death of commander of the SANDF’s Waterkloof Air Force Base to be probed

Cape Times reports that Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has announced a probe into the circumstances leading to the death on 4 June of Brigadier-General Motlhokomedi Kenneth Petso, commander of the SANDF’s Waterkloof Air Force Base in Pretoria.  Mapisa-Nqakula said in a statement:  “The South African National Defence Force is saddened to announce the untimely passing of Brigadier-General Motlhokomedi Kenneth Petso, General Officer Commanding Air Force Base Waterkloof, on June 4.  Further investigations surrounding the circumstances of his death are under way.”  SAAF spokesperson Colonel Eugene Motati indicated that Petso’s body was found along the M17 national road near Soshanguve in Gauteng last Tuesday.  The police are also investigating the matter.  Petso’s memorial service will be held on Wednesday at the SAAF Memorial Site of Bays Hill outside Pretoria.

Read the full original of Raphael Wolf’s report on this story at Cape Times


OTHER NEWS HEADLINES AND PRESS STATEMENTS

  • Prasa must move to Public Enterprises and return to Transnet, says transport union Untu, at Engineering News
  • Popcru concerned about how private security industry conducts itself, at SABC News
  • President Cyril Ramaphosa arrives in Geneva for 2019 Centenary International Labour Conference, at SA Govt News (press statement)
  • Department of Labour and Employment: Imperial Logistics Construction Structural collapse inquiry to resume, at SA Govt News (press statement)
  • North West Provincial Consumer Court closes Rock of Springs SA College in Mahikeng, at SA Govt News (press statement)
  • DA submits proposals to MEC regarding safety at health facilities in the Free State, at Polity (press statement)
  • SAHRC to conduct a site inspection of Mamelodi Hospital following numerous complaints of ill-treatment of patients by medical staff, at SAHRC News (press statement)
  • SAPS: North West Provincial Commissioner welcomes life imprisonment term handed to duo who murdered a police officer, at SAPS News (press statement)

 


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