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 Tuesday morning roundup, see
summaries of our selection of recent South African
labour-related reports.


Patient stabs Eastern Cape nurse – with knife stolen from security guard – for refusing him a cigarette

News24 reports that a patient, who apparently suffers from acute psychosis, stabbed a nurse with a knife at Bhisho Hospital because he refused to share a cigarette with him. The Okapi knife used to wound the employee was stolen from a security guard's lunch bag, which had been left unattended. These details are contained in a report compiled by the hospital's CEO. The 20-year-old patient stabbed Nkosinathi Maphukatha on the left side of the chest.   Maphukatha's right hand was also injured when he attempted to defend himself from the knife-wielding patient in the hospital’s courtyard. Doctors treated the wounds and sent him home to rest after their assessment found him clinically stable. According to the report, during the attack Maphukatha screamed for help and two security guards, who were not present at the courtyard as they were supposed to have been at the time, came running and handcuffed the "aggressive" patient. The incident has thrust the Eastern Cape health department and several health unions back onto a collision course over the dangers that psychiatric patients pose to hospital workers. Unions have long told the department that nurses were not trained to handle psychotic patients and the security measures in place were lax. This was not the first incident at the hospital.   A soldier being held for observation stabbed and wounded a patient at the hospital in March 2021.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Malibongwe Dayimani at News24

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Kwaai bye jaag Emfuleni munisipale werkers op hol, by Maroela Media
  • Security guard allegedly kills colleague then gets shot by colleague’s neighbour, at IOL News
  • Convicted cop killer drops sentence and conviction appeal, at Daily News


Sadtu picketed across KZN on Monday

The Witness reports that the SA Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) picketed across KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) in several districts and circuits on Monday. Sadtu KZN secretary Nomarashiha Caluza said union members had been called upon last week to participate in a non-disruptive picket due to the Department of Education’s inability to address its issues. She said examinations were protected during the pickets and matric examinations were not disturbed. The picket followed the union’s march on 13 October to highlight various issues, such as vacant teacher positions, the decentralisation of post level one appointments, the untimely appointment of substitute staff and those in senior management positions and teachers not getting paid their increases.   According to Sadtu, many schools in the province have still not received their annual budget allocations from the department. The union also claimed the department had not paid the 1.5% wage increase it agreed on.   According to Sadtu, 1,100 pupils were without teachers due to vacant positions not being filled. Caluza said they would be pushing their members to adopt a “work to rule” in which they would refrain from discussing work-related issues beyond seven hours.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Chanel George at The Witness


Sibanye-Stillwater signs five-year deal with Amcu and NUM at Kroondal platinum operations

BL Premium reports that precious metals producer Sibanye-Stillwater has concluded a five-year wage deal with labour unions at its Kroondal platinum mine. The agreement with the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) comes as mining houses are facing elevated cost pressures while average platinum group metals basket prices are a lot weaker than they were in recent times. The five-year wage agreement is similar to the terms and increases reached at the group’s Rustenburg and Marikana operations in 2022. It is inflation-linked, with lowest paid employees receiving a minimum-wage increase of 6% in each of five years.   Miners, artisans and officials will also receive an increase of 6% in each year of the five-year agreement.   The estimated average increase in the total wage bill, including all benefits, is 6.4% a year over the time horizon. “The agreement secures wage stability in the operations which will benefit all stakeholders,” CEO Neal Froneman said in a statement. Sibanye has taken heavy blows over the years from organised labour in an industry not immune to lengthy, costly and violent industrial action over wages.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Andries Mahlangu at BusinessLive (subscriber access only)

Defence force joins the fight against illegal miners, but expert says plan is flawed

BL Premium reports that the “imminent danger” posed by illegal miners has necessitated a multidisciplinary approach, with the muscle of a brigade from the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) soon kicking into gear.   The brigade of about 3,000 soldiers is in the final preparation stages at the defence force’s mobilisation centre at De Brug near Bloemfontein. Operations will probably start towards the middle of November. President Cyril Ramaphosa announced in a letter to the National Council of Provinces the extension of Operation Prosper, in which the SANDF supports the police in crime prevention or related operations.   The extension over the next six months will cost R110m for 880 soldiers and will be funded by the Treasury. The SANDF will have to foot the bill from its operational budget to support the rest of the huge deployment. At least three tactical headquarters and 13 sub-units (companies) of soldiers will assist in hotspots identified for intervention. During stages 1 and 2, operations will be concentrated in Gauteng, North West, Mpumalanga and Limpopo. The Free State and the Northern Cape will follow later. However, mine security specialist Louis Nel said the plan was flawed and he described it as “political grandstanding”. “It will not achieve any lasting results because the whole approach is wrong. They will mow the lawn, but it will grow again. For lasting success you need to root out those who buy the illegal minerals — not the foot soldiers operating underground,” Nel pointed out.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Erika Gibson at BusinessLive (subscriber access only)


Ramokgopa promises Eskom workers ‘a better Christmas’ if power cuts ease

TimesLIVE reports that Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa has promised that Eskom workers will enjoy a “better Christmas” if the power utility improves generation capacity. This is despite the ailing state-owned entity posting a net loss after tax of R24bn, up from R12bn the previous year, and the government recently announcing planned cost-cutting. It also comes as load-shedding alternated between stages 2 and 3 for most of last week after a nine-day reprieve. Ramokgopa made this promise during an oversight visit to the Arnot power station on Monday in a clip shared by Newzroom Afrika. “If you continue the good work [and] the better the performance, the better the incentive. You’ll see it in your pockets. Once you give us the kind of progress, the kind of improvement we want, you’ll see your families will be happy and you’re going to enjoy a better Christmas.   Let us undermine load-shedding,” he stated. Eskom presented its annual results for the year ended March 31 last Tuesday. Its debt burden increased from R396bn in the 2022 financial year to R423bn in 2023. Acting CEO Calib Cassim said the utility had had to implement load-shedding on 280 days during the year, compared with 65 days the previous year.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Khanyisile Ngcobo at BusinessLive

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Bates bevries ná familie glo miljoene by Eskom steel, by Maroela Media


Popcru holds its tenth national conference this week in Durban

EWN reports that the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) is holding its tenth national congress this week. ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa, Cosatu’s president Zingiswa Losi and the SA Communist Party’s general secretary Solly Mapaila are all expected to speak at the five-day event set to take place in Durban. Over 1,000 delegates representing the union’s various structures and the criminal justice cluster will be in attendance. Popcru last elected new leadership in 2019. Its spokesperson, Richard Mamabolo, said this would be an opportunity to report back on the work done since then. “This report will cover the state of the organisation. We’ll also present congress with a comprehensive activity report, which covers all the activities of the union’s structures, the different departments, and, of course, looking into some of the agreements we have signed with the different bargaining councils, and the kind of relationships we will be having with the departments,” he indicated.

Read the original of the short report in the above regard by Tshidi Madia at EWN. Read too, Ramaphosa promises to look into the issues affecting police and other civil servants, at The Star

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Popcru memorial lecture honours the union’s former deputy president, at The Star


Transnet needs to find a CEO without any ‘baggage’ or ‘scandals’, says Cosatu

EWN reports that according to the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), Transnet should find a CEO without any “scandals” or “baggage”. This as the state-owned entity searches for a new leader. The federation also maintained that a jobs bloodbath still loomed because of Transnet’s poor performance, particularly in its freight rail division. Last week, the Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises held an engagement with organised labour on Transnet’s governance, financial, and service delivery challenges. Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan indicated in October that Transnet and its sister state entity, Eskom, would be getting new CEOs by the end of 2023.   With the names of possible candidates to replace Transnet CEO Portia Derby being bandied about, Cosatu spokesperson Matthew Parks commented as follows: “We want somebody who does not have any scandals or baggage.   Somebody who is an expert on the issue because we just don't have time for delays or experimentation.”   According to Parks, the threats of a jobs bloodbath were very real and he noted that some three or four mining companies had already issued retrenchment notices. He estimated that up to 50,000 people, about 10% of the mining industry, could lose their jobs.

Read the original of the report in the above regard by Babalo Ndenze at EWN


Six months later, AECI ropes in immigration lawyers to support CEO’s critical skills visa application

BL Premium reports that multinational explosives and chemicals group AECI has roped in specialist lawyers to support its CEO Holger Riemensperger in obtaining a critical skills visa, more than six months after he was appointed in the role. This highlights hurdles companies face in bringing skills from overseas into the country. The Joburg-based group said on Monday that until his visa was granted, Riemensperger would continue to be based in his home country, Germany. “The required SAQA accreditation of his qualifications has recently been received. The critical skills visa application will be submitted to the department of home affairs for processing as soon as his professional registration, another requirement, which is currently under way, has been completed,” the company advised in an update to shareholders. It added:   “A critical skills visa will allow Holger to relocate to SA for work for five years. Until this is granted, Holger will continue to lead the business from his base in Germany, visiting the country as needed for critical meetings as is allowed by South African law.” Riemensperger was appointed to the role with effect from May. Reforming the visa regime to attract critical skills that businesses need to grow has been one of the key objectives of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Operation Vulindlela. It was reported last month that the Department of Home Affairs had invited corporate employers to submit an expression of interest to participate in the Trusted Employer Scheme (TES), six years after it was proposed in 2017. The scheme’s selection criteria include companies making an investment in the country or pledging to do so.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Kabelo Khumalo & Nico Gous at BusinessLive (subscriber access only). Read too, Skilled workers shortage hinders economic growth and investor confidence in SA, at BizNews


Retirement age comes under legal lens at ConCourt

Pretoria News reports that the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) is to cast a fresh eye on the issue of whether it is fair to fire employees working beyond their retirement age. The Labour Court (LC) and the Labour Appeal Court (LAC) earlier ruled in favour of two employers who at first agreed to allow some workers to work beyond their 60-year retirement age, but within a year or so terminated their contracts. The unions of the fired workers have turned to the ConCourt to have a final say on the matter. However, they have first had to ask the court to grant them leave to appeal the LC and LAC decisions that the dismissals were fair. The first application has been brought by the Motor Industry Staff Association (Misa), on behalf of Willem Landman who worked for Great South Africa Autobody. The second application has been brought by Solidarity against the State Information Technology Agency (Sita). Their members’ employment contracts provided that their retirement ages would be regulated by their pension fund rules. In Landman’s matter, it has been argued that by dismissing him after he was told he could stay on, the company unfairly discriminated against him on the basis of his age. His employer has argued that his dismissal was fair as an employer could retire an employee at any time after the employee reached the agreed retirement age.   In the Sita matter, the six axed employees fell under the Alexander Forbes Pension Fund while they were employed.   They have said that under the fund’s rules, they could remain employed until they reached 67. Solidarity has argued that Sita unilaterally imposed a retirement date and subsequently terminated their contracts. According to the union, that constituted an automatic and unfair dismissal on the basis of age. Sita, in turn, has argued that the fund’s rules had never been implemented in that there had been no consent from it in respect of any of its employees, including the applicants in the matter.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Zelda Venter at Pretoria News. Read too, Employees turn to the Constitutional Court to challenge retirement dismissals, at Cape Argus


Fraud and corruption cost Mpumalanga licensing department R28m in just four days

SowetanLive reports that in just four days in October, the Mpumalanga department of community safety, security and liaison lost R28m due to fraud and corruption in the licensing department. According to MEC Vusi Shongwe, between 6 and 9 October the department was defrauded of R28m in that employees colluded with individuals and trucking companies to log into the department’s systems to renew licences and to cancel traffic fines issued against them remotely.   Shongwe explained: “This they allegedly do by fraudulently obtaining credentials and logging in details of officials at the licensing department to access the entire system from outside the centres where these officials are based. Once these disks are renewed, they then print the disks at centres where they were not renewed. In many cases, these disks are registered outside the province. These syndicates also set aside due penalties and fines that vehicle owners are required to pay before the renewals of their vehicle licences.” He went on to indicate: “We are working with law enforcement agencies to arrest these people. We condemn fraud and corruption and we shall make sure that these officials are flushed out of the department’s system.   They are actually sellouts and greedy people who collude to steal from the public.”

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Mandla Khoza at SowetanLive

North West health department boss placed on leave amid R470m hospital graft scandal

News24 reports that North West health department boss Obakeng Mongale, who faces corruption charges for the irregular awarding of tenders, has been granted leave of absence, pending the finalisation of his court case. On Thursday, he appeared in the Mahikeng Magistrate's Court for allegedly contravening the Public Finance Management Act after he handed himself over to the police. Mongale was released on R50,000 bail. He allegedly led a corrupt R470 million hospital building project when he headed the North West Department of Public Works. On Monday, Health MEC Madoda Sambatha said giving Mongale special leave of absence would assist the department in seeking legal counsel.   He added: "Even though he (Mongale) handed himself over to the police, he has protested his innocence. It is only fair that he should be given space and time to deal with the allegations." Sambatha has appointed the chief director for corporate services, Dr Madipuo Tlhogane, as acting superintendent general. Meanwhile, the Democratic Nursing Organisation of SA (Denosa) in the North West said it was concerned that the head of the health department was implicated in a questionable tendering process. Denosa's Reuben Molete said: "While the matter is not related to the Department of Health in the province, and he is innocent until proven guilty by the court, Denosa is extremely concerned that a head of the department is implicated in a questionable tendering process."

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Yoliswa Sobuwa at News24


Union demands renewed suspension of senior Ekurhuleni manager accused of sexual harassment

GroundUp reports that the Municipal Employee and Civil Servants Union (MECSU) has called for the immediate suspension of a City of Ekurhuleni senior manager accused of sexually harassing a female employee.   The union has also questioned the municipality’s ability to adequately deal with employees who are accused of serious allegations such as sexual harassment. The City initially suspended the manager in June following recommendations emanating from its investigation into the complaint. But, without explanation to the woman employee or the union, the manager was back at work in September. Lefu Makhoba is accused of touching and making sexual advances towards a woman only identified as ‘Miss X’. She said her ordeal began in October 2022 when Makhoba greeted her in the parking lot outside the Benoni labour relations offices.   She claims that, without consent, he hugged her and kissed her neck while making unsettling comments. She then submitted a complaint to the divisional head of labour relations. The urgency of the matter, the impact on the victim and the message that the municipality’s inaction was sending to other victims was emphasised by MECSU general secretary Vukile Mlungwana. City of Ekurhuleni spokesperson Zweli Dlamini on Monday confirmed that the manager was back at work, despite an ongoing investigation into the allegations being held “to ensure “that no stone was left unturned”.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Tabelo Tsolo at GroundUp


Provision of proper security for Prasa passengers still unresolved

GroundUp reports that four years after the Western Cape High Court put Prasa on terms to provide proper security for rail commuters, the issue remains unresolved. Western Cape Acting Judge Michael Bishop has now granted a further supervisory order. Since Judge President John Hlophe (now suspended) granted an order in 2019, the dispute between Prasa and existing service providers has come before five other judges, which had prolonged the resolution of the dispute. Judge Bishop said he would now retain the file in the hope that the matter “reaches its final destination as soon as possible”.   He expressed the hope that the matter would be finalised by the end of this year. The case has its roots in a Constitutional Court ruling that Metrorail and the SA Rail Commuter Corporation (the predecessors to Prasa) had a constitutional obligation to ensure the safety of rail commuters.   This was at a time when there had been increased incidents of violent crime on Cape Town trains and at stations.   Judge Bishop noted that while Prasa’s conduct “left much to be desired”, he could not find that it had breached its constitutional obligations. He ordered Prasa to file reports on the status of the 2023 tender by the end of November, along with documents confirming the approval of the Railway Safety Regulator. The security companies will have until mid-December to file any affidavits in response.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Tania Broughton at GroundUp. Lees die GroundUp berig in Afrikaans by Maroela Media


  • Kommer oor geld stuit ‘werkersaktivisme’, by Maroela Media
  • R52m retail development east of Pretoria set to create jobs, at Pretoria News
  • Parties want a briefing on salary package of Secretary to Parliament, at Cape Times
  • CCMA orders farm owner to pay R81,000 in backpay to workers, at Cape Times


Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page