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


Sadtu calls off KZN picket, internal school exams can resume

News24 reports that the SA Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) called off a picket, which had disrupted examinations in some schools in KwaZulu-Nata (KZN). The union stopped all work this week, disrupting internal examinations for pupils from Grade 8 to 11. Matrics were not affected. On Wednesday evening, Sadtu told its members the picket had been called off after the education department agreed to most of its demands. Sadtu's KZN secretary, Noma Caluza, said the department had secured a guarantee from National Treasury relating to a 1.5% pay progression owed to employees. Increases for Grade R teachers was expected by the end of November, she said.     Caluza added: “The department has already started capturing and releasing payments for school allocations. Some schools are expected to start receiving these early next week.”   On Thursday, the department confirmed it was processing the pay progression of 1.5%. MEC for Education Mbali Frazer said she had met with unions and had tabled a plan "to address all these challenges, and unions had an opportunity to make contributions." She advised that a provisional allocation letter had been received from Treasury, which confirmed that the KZN education department "will be among those that will soon be getting the adjusted budget allocation from National Treasury." Frazer went on to advise: "This payment [1.5%] will be backdated from 1 July 2023. All eligible employees will receive their payments on 15 December."

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Kaveel Singh at News24. Read too, Sadtu picket comes to an end, at The Citizen


Thieves who stole firearms from Northern Cape cop shop on Tuesday still at large

News24 reports that thieves who broke into the Petrusville police station in the Northern Cape on Tuesday and made off with firearms have yet to be arrested. Police spokesperson Colonel Cherelle Ehlers indicated: "The circumstances surrounding the theft are under investigation. The 72-hour activation plan was activated, where all SAPS resources and specialised units were activated to apprehend the suspects and recover the stolen firearms." Four firearms were apparently stolen from the station. Ehlers said the case had been handed to the Hawks.

Read the original of the short report in the above regard by Cebelihle Bhengu at News24


SAPS death grant for cops killed on duty set to increase up to R300,000

IOL News reports that the SA Police Service (SAPS) is set to increase the death grant that is paid to the families of officers who die on duty to R300,000. Under the SAPS Educational Trust, discretionary payments towards primary, secondary, and tertiary education fees can be made by the trust to the children of police officers killed in the line of duty. The trust relies on donations. Addressing the tenth national congress of the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru), National Police Commissioner General Fannie Masemola announced the intention to increase the death grant. Popcru has been calling for an increase of the death grant, which is currently R250,000 per officer killed on duty.   General Masemola said the SAPS had remained at R250,000 “for far too long” and they were working towards finalising the matter soon. “Once it gets implemented, it will see the lowest ranking members’ death grants increase to R300,000 for junior members in Levels 1–7,” he advised. The grant for officers on Levels 8–10 will be increased up to R275,000, while that for officers on Level 12 and upwards will remain at R250,000. “These increases will be implemented at a date to be determined by the Ministry of Police in the not-too-distant future,” Masemola said.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Sihle Mlambo at IOL News


City of Tshwane confirms that it has paid employees docked salaries

Pretoria News reports that the City of Tshwane has paid employee salaries that were withheld due to the unprotected strike that has gripped the capital in recent months. The Labour Court ordered the municipality on 26 October to pay the more than 60 employees who had had their salaries docked. Members of the Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (Imatu) were initially only paid 75% of their salaries. Municipality spokesperson Selby Bokaba confirmed on Tuesday that the salaries had been paid and said: “Yes, the withheld salaries were paid on the day that the court set a deadline (October 27) for payments to be processed. The City reinstated the salaries docked for the period that the employees were on strike in one deduction. The Basic Conditions of Employment Act requires that the employer may not deduct more than 25% of an employee’s salary. The deductions affected were in excess of the 25% threshold, hence the reason for the reversal of the deductions.” The City had docked the workers’ salaries after the Labour Court granted it a permanent interdict against its employees who took part in the unprotected strike action. However, the urgent court interdict that was brought to the court by Imatu reversed that decision. The union’s Tshwane regional secretary, Lynette Burns-Coetzee, said the employees had missed 22 days of work because of the strike. She pointed out that the workers had clocked in at work but could not perform their duties due to intimidation from striking workers.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Mashudu Sadike at Pretoria News


Women farm workers march to parliament, demand meeting with minister of agriculture

GroundUp reports that about 100 women farm workers and people living on farms marched to parliament on Wednesday, calling for a meeting with Thoko Didiza, Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development. The march, organised by the Women on Farms Project (WFP), followed a three-day convention of the National Farm Worker Platform, where various parties discussed farming issues. Other organisations involved included the Rural Women’s Assembly, the Casual Workers Advice Office, and trade unions. WFP director Colette Solomon said the organisation had tried to organise a meeting with the minister, but Didiza had not responded to any invitation.   Last year, WFP had also marched to parliament and had handed over a memorandum to the minister. Solomon said Didiza responded to the memorandum, but much was deflected to other departments. On Wednesday, the women handed over another memorandum at parliament calling for a meeting with the minister, for equitable land redistribution that prioritised rural women, for ensuring the phasing out of hazardous pesticides, and for transformation of the food system toward more sustainable food production and access to quality food. The memorandum was received and signed for by a representative of the National Assembly, who said they would ensure it got to the minister. Department of Agriculture spokesperson Reggie Ngcobo denied that Didiza has received any invitation for a meeting with WFP.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Liezl Human at GroundUp


Gold One halts mining operations at Modder East after new protest threats

TimesLIVE reports that Gold One suspended mining operations at its Modder East facility in Springs, Ekurhuleni, on Thursday after threats of more protests. The mine’s management initially recalled 50 night shift employees on Wednesday night after hearing of a plan to stage a sit-in underground. A few hours after the morning shift started on Thursday, it was suspended and all workers were brought to the surface. “We have now suspended operations until Monday at the earliest. The aim is to stabilise and normalise the situation at the mine before we can call people back to work in a safe manner,” said Gold One’s Ziyad .Hassam.   He said the cause of the protest was about organisational rights at the mine, where the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has had a closed shop agreement with the company since 2012.   Two weeks ago, hundreds of employees refused to come up from underground for nearly three days in protest against the company’s failure to recognise the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), which wants organisational rights at the mine.   Hassam said the company had since received a petition from employees signalling their intent to end the closed shop agreement. “We have passed that on to NUM. As our current partner in the closed shop agreement, the responsibility lies with them to provide us with a plan and timing for when they would be prepared to hold a ballot. We have not agreed on a time for the ballot,” Hassam reported. He said Amcu was being kept abreast of these developments.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Ernest Mabuza at BusinessLive

Ramaphosa deploys army at expected cost of nearly half a billion rand to tackle illegal mining

Reuters reports that President Cyril Ramaphosa has authorised the deployment of 3,300 army personnel to help combat illegal mining activities. The deployment of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF), which was expected to cost about R492 million, was aimed at maintaining law and order under "Operation Prosper", the president's spokesperson Vincent Magwenya explained in a statement on Thursday. The SANDF was previously deployed to the Western Cape in 2019 to fight gang violence under the same operation. The Presidency said: "Members of the SANDF will, in cooperation with the South African Police Service, conduct an intensified anti-criminality operation against illegal mining across all provinces, from 28 October 2023 until 28 April 2024."   According to the Minerals Council SA (previously known as the Chamber of Mines), illegal mining takes place at both disused and active mines and has dimmed SA’s attractiveness as an investment destination. It said illegal mining cost operating mines as much as R7 billion a year, and the economy tens of billions of rand more in lost export earnings, taxes and royalties.

Read the original of the short report in the above regard at News24. Lees ook, Weermag moet nou zama-zamas takel, by Maroela Media

Other general posting(s) relating to mining

  • SA’s annual mining output slips almost 2% in September, at BusinessLive (subscriber access only)


Zimbabwean truckers head to court to stop unlawful ‘purging’ by SA employers

Moneyweb reports that several Zimbabwean truckers approached the Durban High Court this week seeking an urgent interdict to stop their employer from terminating their employment on the grounds that they were illegal immigrants. The respondents in the case are the employer, Image Freight Logistics, the ministers of transport, labour and home affairs, and the road freight bargaining council. The case was brought by the Zimbabwean Exemption Permit Holders Association (Zepha) and 11 truck drivers who said their employer advised them by WhatsApp notice that they were illegal immigrants without the necessary permits to work in SA. This was despite the fact they were all ZEP holders. Zepha reports that several trucking companies have started purging their staff of Zimbabwean truck drivers, most of them ZEP holders, on false allegations that they are undocumented foreign nationals. In a statement, Zepha indicated: “All ZEP holders are documented and have a lawful right to live and work in South Africa. The South African logistics companies that are letting go of Zimbabwean truck drivers are doing so under threat of criminal prosecution for hiring illegal migrants [by] the National Bargaining Council for Road Freight and Logistics Industry (NBCRFLI).” In a circular dated 24 October, the NBCRFLI called on employers to stop hiring foreign truck drivers because it was not a scarce skill. The circular claimed many in the industry had taken issue with companies employing foreign nationals as truckers rather than South Africans.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Ciaran Ryan at Moneyweb

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • HSF Aansoek oor Zim-permitte van die hand gewys, by Maroela Media


Bogus Gqeberha radiographer slapped with 2,000 hours of weekend jail time

The Citizen reports that the Commercial Crimes Court in Gqeberha has handed down 2,000 hours of weekend imprisonment to a woman who practised with a fraudulent radiographer qualification. Asisipho Mbekela, 27, was sentenced on Wednesday, and will have to report to Correctional Services every Friday at 16:00 and will be released on Sunday evenings. She was found guilty on three counts of fraud and two of forgery for lying about her qualifications and working at Livingstone Hospital for six months. During the trial, Mbekela claimed to have specialised in “Radiography Nuclear Med”.   However, the court found this was false and she was a threat to patients. The trial dragged on for almost five years, and in the meantime, Mbekela gave birth to a son, who was the main driving force behind Magistrate Lionel Lindoor's decision to hand down the periodic sentence. According to Lindoor, the sentence was in the best interest of the young child, who would not have to grow up without a mother.   Several cases of alleged bogus doctors have hit the headlines in recent weeks.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Shanice Naidoo at The Citizen. Read too, Bogus radiographer who worked in a Gqeberha hospital sentenced to weekends in jail, at News24


‘No whites’ letter cost Dis-Chem hundreds of millions in profit due to ‘negative publicity’

Moneyweb reports that Dis-Chem has, for the first time, disclosed the impact of a controversial internal memo penned in October 2022 by then-CEO Ivan Saltzman that prohibited the appointment and promotion of white people at the group. Buried in its financial results for the first half of FY2024, it noted that it saw “softer FY23 second half performance impacted by negative publicity, which was carried forward into the first quarter of FY24”. Profit before tax in the second half of FY2023 (September to February) was down 11% to R560 million (from R632 million).   Profits were up by 9.6% in the last financial year, but this was a far cry from the 30.4% increase in the previous year or the 31.9% jump in the first half of FY2023. Profits were approximately R500 million lower than they ‘ought’ to have been, certainly based on historical trading performance.   How much of this was due to the euphemistically named “negative publicity” is difficult to estimate, but the company certainly lost hundreds of millions of rands in profit in the last year due to the impact of the memo. The board in October 2022 issued a lengthy statement saying it regretted “the wording and tone of an internal memorandum that has been erroneously widely shared”. Strangely, Dis-Chem group did not address the memo or its contents in its 2023 annual report at all. It simply stated that 88.5% of its South African employees were black and 66.4% were female. It also said “the group continues to focus on its transformation journey, with an improvement on its B-BBEE Scorecard level expected for the financial year FY2023″.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard at Moneyweb. Lees ook, Dis-Chem erken ‘daai brief’ kom hom duur te staan, by Maroela Media


Pay whistle-blowers, Chief Justice urges government

TimesLIVE reports that Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has urged the government to pay whistle-blowers who provide information that exposes corruption and graft. Speaking at a National Anti-Corruption Advisory Council dialogue on Wednesday, Zondo said the depth of corruption in SA necessitated paying whistle-blowers. “Whistle-blowers helped to stop state capture. Everybody talks about the protection of whistle-blowers, but all of you would be aware the commission went beyond that, recommending we incentivise them to blow the whistle,” he said. In August, Justice Minister Ronald Lamola told parliament’s portfolio committee on justice and correctional services that the National Prosecuting Authority’s Investigating Directorate (ID) recovered R2.5bn in state capture cases alone. Zondo said whistle-blowers should receive a percentage of the money recovered when information they provided enabled investigators to crack cases. “I wish that everybody could make such disclosures because it is the right thing, but our levels of corruption are such that I do not think we in SA can afford the luxury of saying we do not want information that is disclosed by whistle-blowers who want money,” he argued

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Sinesipho Schrieber at BusinessLive


Fikile Mbalula denies UIF bribe claims, opens crimen injuria case against businessman who made the allegations

News24 reports that according to ANC secretary-general (SG) Fikile Mbalula, he cannot allow his name to be associated with corruption, so he has felt compelled to open a crimen injuria case against businessman Mthunzi Mdwaba over comments the latter made in an interview on Newzroom Afrika. Mdwaba alleged that several ANC officials, including Mbalula, Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi, and Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana, had demanded a R500-million share of a UIF employment scheme that his company, Thuja Capital Funds, had been expected to roll out. Mdwaba, who previously chaired Productivity SA, made the news recently when Nxesi scrutinised and halted the R5-billion job scheme that would have benefitted the company. Mbalula opened the crimen injuria case at the Sandton police station. He said that if Mdwaba had concerns about corruption, he should have approached law enforcement agencies for an investigation and not the media. Mbalula's lawyers have also written to Mdwaba to demand an apology or face a court order compelling him to apologise. Mbalula denied ever engaging Mdwaba on UIF matters. On Wednesday, Godongwana sent a legal letter to Mdwaba, demanding a retraction and an apology within seven days.   Commenting on the allegations, Nxesi said: "This is false and without foundation; not one iota of evidence is provided in what is clearly a self-seeking attempt to divert attention from the issues around the R5bn Thuja scheme."

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Zintle Mahlati at News24. Lees ook, Fikile lê klag oor omkoopbewerings teen hom en ministers, by Maroela Media

ActionSA says Ramaphosa must fire Nxesi and launch SIU probe into Godongwana, Nzimande over UIF bribe allegations

IOL News reports that ActionSA is set to write to President Cyril Ramaphosa to request that he task the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to probe allegations that three of his cabinet ministers have been implicated in a R5 billion Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) tender bribe. This after businessman Mthunzi Mdwaba made bombshell allegations against Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi, Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana and Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande, as well as the ANC secretary-general, Fikile Mbalula. Mdwaba alleged that Mbalula and the three ministers attempted to secure a bribe of R500 million from him. To prove that he was committed to the “renewal” process and accountability, ActionSA demanded that Ramaphosa fire Nxesi and suspend the other two ministers pending the outcome of a probe into their alleged involvement.   The party claimed that the resignation of the director-general in the Department of Employment and Labour, Thobile Lamati, in the wake of the revelation of the questionable multi billion rand jobs scheme underscored the shadow cast by this scandal. Mbalula, Nxesi and Godongwana have denied any involvement in the bribe allegations made against them. Mbalula laid crimen injuria charges against Mdwaba at the Sandton police station on Thursday.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Kamogelo Moichela at IOL News


  • Western Cape e-hailing drivers plan three-day strike next week, at Cape Argus
  • Twee wat teen polisie sou getuig voor hof doodgeskiet, by Maroela Media
  • No disclaimer, but UIF finances in a mess, at Cape Times
  • Looking for a job? eThekwini is hiring festive beach workers, at IOL News


Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page