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.


West Rand mineworker in court for allegedly fatally stabbing colleague

News24 reports that Boinehelo Lefefa, 43, appeared in the Westonaria Magistrate's Court on Monday in connection with the fatal stabbing of a work colleague. Lefefa, a mineworker at precious metals producer Sibanye-Stillwater, is accused of attacking his colleague at the Leseding Hostel on the West Rand on Thursday.   At the weekend, a photo circulated on social media that appeared to show Lefefa posing next to the lifeless body of another man. A spokesperson for Sibanye-Stillwater, James Wellsted, said they were deeply shocked by the tragic incident between the two employees at its Kloof operation.   "Our immediate concern is for the families of the employees and the people who witnessed this tragic event," Wellsted said. Lefefa’s legal representative told the court that he had "no previous convictions, no pending cases, and no outstanding warrants of arrest."   The matter was postponed for Lefefa to seek further legal counsel ahead of his bail application.

Read the original of the short report in the above regard by Alfonso Nqunjana at News24. Read too, Man filmed in Stillwater mine’s gruesome murder makes first appearance, at The Citizen

Situation tense at Gold One mine on Monday as police fire rubber bullets at protesting Amcu members

News24 reports that the situation remained tense on Monday at Gold One’s mine in Springs, with police firing rubber bullets and teargas at protesting Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) members. Workers affiliated with AMCU had been gathering at the mine since Sunday night, demanding a date for their union to be officially recognised as the majority union. Police confiscated cars belonging to some protesters, and it is alleged that workers threw a petrol bomb in the direction of police, but it did not explode.   Earlier on Monday morning, police had fired rubber bullets at protesters. The workers fled to the nearby Skoonplaas informal settlement, but later regrouped and chanted AMCU slogans near the main entrance to the mine, where police formed a human shield to keep them out. According to AMCU, it has more members at the mine than its rival, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM). Last month, the mine was embroiled in a three-day hostage drama in which more than 500 workers failed to resurface after their shift.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Ntwaagae Seleka at News24. Read too, Police monitoring protest at Gold One mine in Springs, at EWN. And also, Recognition status drama continues at Gold One mine, at IOL News

NUM shop steward at Gold One mine fears for his life after his car was torched, allegedly by rival union members

News24 reports that tensions have escalated at the embattled Gold One Mine after a vehicle belonging to a National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) member was torched. "I watched helplessly as a group of Association for Mine Workers Union (AMCU) members torched my car," an emotional NUM shop steward at the mine in Springs alleged. He broke down in tears as he recounted how he miraculously escaped death. His Hyundai car was burnt about 100m from the mine's main entrance. Prince Radebe said he was worried about his safety and did not plan to return to work soon. AMCU regional secretary Tladi Mokwena denied allegations that the union’s members had torched Radebe's car. Meantime, the mine's head of legal affairs, Ziyaad Hassam, advised that underground work had been suspended and only care and maintenance workers were allowed to report for duty. He reported that they were awaiting a Labour Court's ruling on an urgent application launched by AMCU challenging a closed shop arrangement between the NUM and mine management. The case is expected to be heard this week. Three weeks ago, a group of workers who had reported for duty were allegedly taken hostage underground for three days without food. AMCU claimed those workers were on a sit-in, venting their disapproval of the NUM and wanting AMCU to be officially recognised. But, the mine, the NUM and police claimed the group, including security guards and paramedics, were held hostage.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Ntwaagae Seleka at News24

Fight against illegal mining is seeing results, claims Ramaphosa

The Citizen reports that writing in his weekly newsletter on Monday, President Cyril Ramaphosa claimed that gains were being seen in the battle against illegal mining and zama zamas. Last week, the Justice Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) cluster stressed that the government was dealing with the issue of zama zamas and illegal mining. According to the cluster, more than 4,000 arrests had been made for various offences related to illegal mining, and between April and August more than 7,000 suspects involved in illegal mining were arrested for contravening immigration regulations. Recently, the president gave the go-ahead for the deployment of 3,300 SA National Defence Forces (SANDF) soldiers for a six-month period to assist the operations of the SA Police Service (SAPS) against illicit mining. Ramaphosa said the SAPS, the State Security Agency, the recently-established Border Management Authority, the departments of Mineral Resources and Energy, Home Affairs, Justice and Constitutional Development, Environmental Affairs, and others were all involved in a multi-sectoral effort, which would be supported by the deployment of the SANDF. “Everyone must contribute to the fight against illegal mining if we are to win this battle,” Ramaphosa urged.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Chulumanco Mahamba at The Citizen. See too, Teams fighting illegal mining are showing results, says Ramaphosa, at BusinessLive

Other labour / community posting(s) relating to mining

  • Onwettige mynbedrywighede: Grootkoppe moet ook aan pen ry, by Maroela Media


Job security must be centre of just energy transition, trade union federations insist

EWN reports that SA’s trade union federations have highlighted that job security should be at the centre of the Just Energy Transition.   To that end, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), the Federation of Unions of SA (Fedusa), the National Council of Trade Unions (Nactu) and the SA Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) have launched the Just Transition Research Centre. The centre is set to provide technical expertise on the country's transition from fossils to renewables. The centre will be housed at the Research Institute for Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies. The director at the institute, Saul Levin, said the transition to a low-carbon society also offered the government and private businesses an opportunity to re-skill workers. "Part of the reason why the unions have gotten involved in this is to better understand what the risks and where the opportunities are, and also to make sure there is an evidence base so that going into negotiations with employers or government, there is a base where worker representatives can start negotiating from," he explained.

Read the original of the short report in the above regard by Thabiso Goba at EWN


Off-duty police officer shot dead in road rage incident in Pietermaritzburg on Monday

The Witness reports that a police officer was killed in an alleged road rage incident in Oribi Road, Pietermaritzburg at around 8am on Monday. The officer, who cannot be named until his next of kin has been informed, was apparently off-duty at the time of the incident. He allegedly had an altercation with the suspect and they both drew firearms. A community member said she heard several gunshots being fired outside her house.   “At first I thought it was fireworks up until my child called me to come outside as someone had been shot.   They were overtaking each other.   Someone was wrong between both of them. This incident has left us in shock as a community. It’s the first time we have witnessed such a thing,” she stated.   Another person pointed out that it was fortunate that the incident occurred when children were already in school.

Read the original of the report in the above regard by Ntombizethu Ngcobo at The Witness

Fear and anxiety stalk eThekwini’s managers in water and sanitation unit

Sunday Tribune reports that the killing of three senior eThekwini municipal managers in the city’s water and sanitation unit has struck fear among workers, with claims that their deaths were related to lucrative water delivery tankers and plant hiring tenders. The killing of Emmanuel Ntuli last week, his colleague Khumbulani Khumalo in September and Phumzile Qatha in April last year are suspected to be linked to their work in the unit, although the police would not confirm this. Three days after Ntuli’s killing, water and sanitation’s support services acting deputy head Mthunzi Gumede submitted his resignation letter, citing concerns for his safety. According to Themba Mvubu, chairperson of the human settlements and infrastructure service committee, which has an oversight role over the water and sanitation unit, the assassinations could be linked to the recent purchase of water tankers. The new City-owned fleet was meant to cut down on multimillion-rand tenders awarded to private companies. But the purchase of 55 tankers at a cost of R138 million did not negate the life-threatening situation of workers and instead might have made things worse, said Mvubu. Nhlanhla Kweyama, SA Municipal Workers’ Union shop steward in the water and sanitation unit, said they had submitted a memorandum to the municipality complaining about the law enforcement’s lack of action against the killers.   Addressing mourners at Ntuli’s memorial service on Thursday, Ednick Msweli, head of the water and sanitation unit, said: “There is a lot of fear and anxiety. They do not know who is next as we have heard of hit lists.”

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Bongani Hans & Zama Ngcoya at Sunday Tribune


SA bids to put zebra, crocs on global menus – and government says the plan could create over 200,000 jobs

Bloomberg News reports that SA has published a strategy document designed to tap the potential of the country’s vast wildlife industry to export more zebra, crocodile and other meat, as well as boost local consumption of the animals. The meat is comparatively lean when compared with beef and lamb.   The proposal aims to formalise the industry in a country where 80% of wild animals are on private land and deemed the property of the landholders, a legal quirk that has boosted game numbers by giving the animals monetary value. Until now little game meat has been sold formally, the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment indicated in a statement on Friday.   "The growing market of consumers who are health-conscious, looking for sustainably sourced products that contribute to biodiversity conservation, community development and pose less risk to the environment is evident," the department pointed out, adding that the SA game meat industry was “well placed to service this growing market domestically, regionally and internationally." The strategy, if implemented correctly, could create 202,000 jobs by 2030, the department said. A shift away from hunting to commercial production will be encouraged and abattoirs will be set up.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard at Fin24


Expelled NUMSA members start MMAWUSA as rival union

GroundUp reports that a new union, the Metal Mining and Allied Workers Unions of SA (MMAWUSA), had its inaugural press briefing on Friday.   The union includes expelled and suspended members of the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (NUMSA).   According to its press statement, MMAWUSA pledged “to build a democratic and worker-controlled trade union based on active membership participation in policy and decision making”, and to build a trade union “free of discrimination” and inequality.   Nyaniso Siyana is National Convenor and Teboho Motloung is the National Co-ordinator. The union indicated that it would convene its Inaugural National Congress within 12 months. It said that a national MMAWUSA policy conference would be held to debate draft documents, such as the draft constitution, the MMAWUSA policy book, and the union’s collective bargaining strategy. MMAWUSA made numerous allegations against NUMSA.

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

Popcru national treasurer retains position despite graft probe

Daily News reports that the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) approved a recommendation to reappoint its national treasurer despite corruption and money-laundering allegations that are being investigated against him. Thulani Nsele was among the seven newly elected national leadership officials announced on Friday at the Durban ICC during the union’s 10th-year anniversary conference. The officials included Mosadiwamaje Veronica Mokokong as first deputy president, Zamikhaya Skade as second deputy president, Jeffrey Dladla as general secretary, Chakale Amelia Mahlatsi as first general secretary, Boitumelo Pheleo as second general secretary and Nsele as national treasurer. When contacted to comment, Popcru spokesperson Richard Mamabolo said the delegates elected members whom they were comfortable with. According to reports, Nsele and a former prisons boss are under investigation for corruption and money laundering allegations that are being investigated by the Hawks. The investigation arose from a criminal complaint lodged by Willem Petrus Venter in his capacity as the operational co-ordinator at the Financial Intelligence Centre. The allegations emerged publicly in relation to a preservation order for R1.15 million obtained in the Mbombela High Court.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Mbali Khanyile at Daily News


217 foreign-trained doctors wrote HPCSA board exams in October

Cape Times reports that Health Minister Joe Phaahla has advised that 217 foreign-qualified doctors wrote their board examination with the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) last month.   He was responding to parliamentary questions from EFF MP Nqobile Mhlongo, who asked about the total number of South African doctors who have trained abroad since January 2020 and were waiting to write the board examination in order to be admitted as doctors in the country. “There were 405 foreign-qualified doctors eligible to write the HPCSA board examination, which includes both South Africans as well as foreign nationals.   The eligible foreign-qualified doctors were invited to write the HPCSA examinations, however, only 217 applicants confirmed that they would write the examination,” Phaahla replied. The HPCSA examinations were conducted through medical schools. Explaining the delays in conducting the board examinations, Phaahla said the National Department of Health was not involved in the contracting process of the HPCSA. He explained that the processes for the registration of foreign qualified students were lengthy and might sometimes take several months, especially if applicants did not provide all the documentary evidence as required timeously.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Mayibongwe Maqhina at Cape Times


Detective shortage stands at more than 8,000

The Mercury reports that while the police are engaged in recalling detectives who have either retired or moved on, the investigative capacity of the SAPS remains severely affected due to a shortage of more than 8,000 detectives, resulting in delays in investigations. In response to a question about the capacitation of the detective services during a Peace and Security National Assembly parliamentary meeting last week, Deputy Police Minister Cassel Mathale said the government was in the process of enlisting detectives. “We have come to the realisation that the number of dockets that our detectives have at hand are more than what they are supposed to do,” he said. “As a country we have committed a mistake by allowing the weakening of this sector,” Mathale added, saying that that President Cyril Ramaphosa was rectifying the situation. In the past financial year, 10,000 new police officers had been trained, out of whom 2,880 were going to go into the detective space. Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) spokesperson Richard Mamabolo said the issue of detectives retiring or leaving detective services for other reasons represented a major challenge. As a result, case dockets had to be redistributed among the remaining detectives who were already overstretched. “A lack of detectives is having a severe impact on the investigative capacity of SAPS, resulting in growing backlogs and delays in investigations. This harms the public’s confidence and trust in SAPS and gives rise to complaints about cases dragging on for a long time without being finalised,” Mamabolo pointed out.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Karen Singh at The Mercury


  • Major immigration law overhaul amid rising unemployment and xenophobic tensions in South Africa, at BizNews
  • Agterstand met visumaansoeke knou ekonomie, by Maroela Media
  • Transnet responds to viral video of workers using makeshift tools and a bucket to remove rainwater, at Daily News
  • Axed Postbank board member fights to be reinstated after ‘grossly unfounded’ allegations, at News24
  • Summer jobs students can get into to make some cash, at Business Report


Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page