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 roundup of weekend news, see
summaries of our selection of South African
labour-related stories that appeared since
Friday, 17 November 2023.


Whistleblower who made allegations against Nxesi threatened with death in anonymous e-mails

Sunday World reports that a high-ranking official who has blown the whistle on alleged corruption and also frustrated the approval of payments worth R3-billion in the Department of Employment and Labour (DEL) is fearing for her life after receiving death threats. The official has made allegations of theft, fraud and racketeering against DEL Minister Thulas Nxesi in an explosive affidavit to the Special Investigating Unit (SIU). The official, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has also pointed Nxesi out as the mastermind behind the fresh scheme to siphon public funds meant to train unemployed people. In the sworn affidavit, drafted in June under oath and on conditions of immunity from prosecution, the official attached copies of text messages from an anonymous writer threatening to kill her for spilling the beans. “If you continue stopping adjudication with your stupid tricks, bullets are coming for you. You’ll play your tricks in the graveyard,” a message reads. In the affidavit, the official mentioned Nxesi, former director-general Thobile Lamati, ten department officials and seven service providers among those involved in the alleged scheme. Among the other prominent figures allegedly implicated are UIF chief operating officer Marsha Bronkhorst, former board chairperson Thulani Tshefuta, communications chief director Tebogo Thejane and chief financial officer Fizile Puzi. The Labour Activation Programme unit oversees more than 247 projects with a budget of R3.2-billion, including an employability budget of R2.8-billion and a jobs savings budget of R412-million. The budget is sourced from the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), which invests in UIF funds.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Setumo Stone at Sunday World


Police officer dies after gunmen rob jewellery stores at Durban's Pavilion Mall

News24 reports that a policeman was shot dead outside the Pavilion Shopping Centre in Westville on Sunday and two others were injured inside the mall following a robbery at two jewellery stores.   According to reports, some five gunmen stormed into the centre and opened fire while targeting the American Swiss and Premjis stores. ALS Paramedics spokesperson Garrith Jamieson reported: "On arrival, paramedics found two separate active crime scenes. The first was at the robots before the mall where a police member was shot. He was in a critical condition and rushed to a nearby hospital. Unfortunately, due to his injuries, he passed away a short while later."   Jamieson said the second scene was inside the mall at the two stores. “ALS Paramedics treated and transported two females, one pregnant, who were assaulted during the alleged robbery. Both patients were stabilized on scene by Advanced Life Support Paramedics before being transported to a nearby hospital for the further care that they required,” he indicated.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Marvin Charles at News24. Read too, Cop killed in brazen jewellery heist at Pavilion shopping centre, pregnant woman injured, at IOL News

N3 thugs took R37,000 from Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga’s bodyguard

Sunday Times reports that as detectives dig for leads in the brazen armed robbery of Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga on the N3 two weeks ago, it has emerged that the assailants got away with at least R37,000.   The cash was taken from one of Chikunga’s two police bodyguards, who apparently intended to use it to pay for repairs to the roof of his home. This information is in a statement the bodyguard made to police investigating the robbery, which took place at about 4am on 6 November. A police spokesperson said investigations were “at a delicate and advanced stage.” Chikunga and her police protectors were accosted by three armed men and robbed after stopping on the N3 near Heidelburg. VIP protection officers had stopped to change a tyre that was punctured by spikes laid across the road. Sources close to the minister said she had been to her constituency office in Pietermaritzburg in her role as a member of the ANC’s national elections team. They said she had travelled via her home in Estcourt and her government commitments forced her to travel at night. Chikunga was travelling in two rented vehicles, which did not have blue lights.   This was because her official vehicles had been retired after doing more than 300,000km and she had not yet been issued with new state vehicles. The robbers took off with the cash, cellphones and the bodyguards’ service pistols.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Thanduxolo Jika at Sunday Times (subscriber access only)

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Gunmen shoot, rob off-duty police officer and speed off with his car in Diepsloot, at News24
  • Truck catches alight on M7 in Durban on Sunday morning, driver allegedly flees scene, at IOL News


Blyvoor gold mine threatens to fire 240 miners following illegal sit-in

EWN reports that the Blyvoor Gold mine has reportedly threatened to sack more than 240 mineworkers following an illegal sit-in staged last week. The 36-hour demonstration underground ended on Thursday when hundreds of workers resurfaced from the Peter Skeat shaft on the West Rand. Almost 800 workers were estimated to have taken part. The employees were apparently disgruntled over the non-payment of incentives, including Christmas bonuses and profit sharing. The company cited financial difficulties for not being able to honour its agreement with workers. Shop stewards, elected during the labour impasse, delivered the bad news to striking workers outside the mine on Friday. Five shop stewards were sent in to negotiate with mine management amid a strained relationship between workers and the in-house Blyvoor Workers Union. The striking workers waited almost six hours in the blistering heat only to be dealt a heavy blow. Sandile Nojoko, who was at the negotiation table with management, confirmed the company’s dismissal decision to workers.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Nokukhanya Mntambo at EWN. Listen as well to ‘Blyvoor gold mine to sack 240 employees’ at EWN

Other labour / community posting(s) relating to mining

  • Safety and efficiency - why South African mines need to embrace 5G technology, at News24


Labour Court declares prohibition on municipal employees holding public office unconstitutional

BL Premium reports that labour federation Cosatu has welcomed a ruling by the Labour Court which has found the prohibition on all municipal employees from holding political office to be unconstitutional.   The ruling came after the SA Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) challenged the constitutional validity of the Municipal Systems Amendment Act, which introduced a blanket ban on all municipal employees from holding office at any level in a political party.   It argued that the Act, signed into law by President Cyril Ramaphosa in 2022, was in contravention of clauses in the bill of rights, which stated that every citizen was free to make political choices, including the right to participate in the activities of, or recruit members for, a political party, and to campaign for a political party or cause. In a statement on Friday, Cosatu said: “The labour court has found the prohibition of all municipal employees from holding office in a political party to be unconstitutional and has awarded costs against government. This judgment is backdated to November 2022.   Instructions by municipalities to employees to resign from any political office-bearer positions they may hold or be dismissed, have been declared invalid.”

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


Sasol appoints insider Simon Baloyi as new CEO

BL Premium reports that chemicals and energy group Sasol has appointed insider Simon Baloyi as its new CEO. He will take over from current CEO Fleetwood Grobler in April next year. The company said in a brief announcement on Friday that Grobler would remain at the company as an executive adviser until the end of next year to ensure a smooth transition. Baloyi, who joined the group in 2002, is the executive vice-president of energy operations and technology at Sasol, and studied chemical engineering at Wits before completing a master’s degree at the same university and later at the University of Pretoria. He also completed a management programme at INSEAD. “In January 2024, Fleetwood will celebrate his 40th service anniversary with Sasol and we are extremely thankful for his dedication and commitment to Sasol over his illustrious career. In addition, the board has full confidence in Simon's ability to lead Sasol,” chair Stephen Westwell said.

Read the original of the short report in the above regard by Nico Gouws at BusinessLive (subscriber access only). Read too, Sasol cancels AGM as climate change activists storm stage, at Moneyweb


Cast and crew of soapie Muvhango not paid again

City Press reports that non-payment has become the norm for the actors and crew members of Muvhango, the popular SABC2 Tshivenda soapie, and it does not look as if the ongoing financial issues will end anytime soon. The soapie is currently on a production break, but no one has allegedly been paid for the work done before the start of the production break. A source revealed that by now the cast and crew should have signed new contracts and started with the next season shoot, but no one knew what was going on. Another insider confirmed that they had not been paid, and that the producers of the show were not communicating. The source added that this was becoming an unbearable norm: “This thing of not being paid happens a lot… It is culture now, and people cannot do anything about it.” Muvhango’s line producer Yeshica Naidoo said they were waiting on the SABC to give them a new contract. “Contracts have ended. We are waiting for the SABC to give us a new Muvhango contract. No one gets paid out of contract in any line of business.   It is very weird [that they say they are not paid]. It is obviously being sensationalised because you can’t get paid if your contract is over,” commented Naidoo. The show’s cast and crew have more than once since 2022 downed tools as a result of financial issues faced by the production.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Nompumelelo Magagula at City Press (subscriber access only)


Blade Nzimande withdraws notice to place Unisa under administration

TimesLIVE reports that Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation Blade Nzimande on Friday announced he was withdrawing the notice to place the troubled University of SA (Unisa) under administration. A government gazette published on Thursday read: “I, Dr BE Nzimande, MP, the minister of higher education, science and innovation, hereby withdraw Government Notice No 4015 published in Government Gazette No 49582 Vol 700 on October 27 2023, that announced the decision to appoint an administrator for the University of SA.” Nzimande's move to abort this action came after the institution filed an urgent application to oppose this in the Pretoria High Court. The court ordered Nzimande to retract the government gazette notice issued wherein he announced the appointment of an administrator for Unisa. Nzimande had appointed the former vice-chancellor of the University of Johannesburg, Prof Ihron Rensburg, to act as administrator for two years after dissolving Unisa’s council.

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


Aviation transformation stalled, with white men making up 72% of pilots and African men just 10%

Business Times reports that SA’s aviation industry is transforming very slowly when it comes to pilots and engineers. According to SA Civil Aviation Authority (Sacaa) pilot licence statistics for October 2023, males still dominate in all grades at 87% while women remain hugely underrepresented at 13%. White males make up 72% of pilots across categories, including commercial (aeroplane and helicopter), airline transport (aeroplane and helicopter), private (aeroplane and helicopter), national, balloon, glider and remote (drone pilots). African males account for 10%, with coloured and Indian males making up a combined 4.5%. White females comprise 6%, African females 5.5% and coloureds and Indians 2%.   Males also dominate the aircraft maintenance engineering field at 95%. Of the 5,841 licensed in South Africa, 3,734 are white males. There are only 231 African female aircraft engineers, 32 white and 13 coloureds and Indians. African females are well represented in cabin crew at 996 of the 2,434 licensed. They are followed by white females at 482 and coloured females at 359. Interestingly, there are more African female air traffic controllers in SA at 237 out of 901, followed by African males at 220 and white males at 203.   At least 6,706 foreign pilots, aircraft engineers, cabin crew and air traffic controllers have been licensed in SA.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Dineo Faku at Business Times (subscriber access only)


Parliament suspends nine senior officials over National Assembly fire

IOL News reports that parliament has suspended nine senior officials over the fire that swept through the building in January 2022 and for administrative irregularities. The national legislature said there were 13 officials who would face disciplinary action, and out of the 13 officials nine had been suspended. It initially identified 28 officials implicated in the matter, however, some of the officials were able to provide explanations and the list was whittled down to 13 officials who would face disciplinary action. Zandile Mafe is in court for allegedly burning the parliamentary buildings. Parliament announced a week ago that it had made progress in fixing up some of the offices that were damaged in the fire. But it maintained that work on the restoration of the National Assembly Chamber and Old Assembly would continue and that the project was expected to be completed by the end of 2025. In respect of the officials who have been identified for the fire incident, parliament said disciplinary processes would now follow. Parliament will get legal experts and chairpersons for the disciplinary hearings from outside.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Siyabonga Mkhwanazi at IOL News. Read too, Parliament suspends nine officials over National Assembly fire, at EWN


Allegations of corruption levelled against SAPS in Limpopo

Sunday Independent reports that the SA Police Service (SAPS) in Limpopo has been implicated in allegations of corruption, irregular appointments of senior police officials and questionable business dealings with illegal immigrants at the Beitbridge border post in Musina. Recently, non-profit organisation the Conty Lebepe Foundation wrote to Police Minister Bheki Cele calling for an investigation into alleged corrupt activities and the appointment of “unqualified” administrators and heads in Limpopo. The foundation has further accused a high-ranking official stationed in the Vhembe district of murder, as well as shielding criminals and covering up cases involving the smuggling of illicit cigarettes from Zimbabwe. The letter to Cele raises concerns that some police stations in the province – the Musina and Westernburg police stations in particular – allegedly appointed station commanders with unresolved criminal records, while others failed to meet the minimum requirements for their positions. The foundation’s national coordinator, Conty Lebepe, wrote as follows: “All the recently-made appointments of the station commanders in Limpopo must be investigated, and if possible reviewed as a matter of urgency … for the SAPS to regain public trust and confidence, as this type of conduct and behaviour needs an urgent intervention.” National police spokesperson Colonel Athlenda Mathe referred questions to SAPS provincial spokesperson Brigadier Hlulani Mashaba, who, when contacted for comment, said they were aware of the claims and were investigating them.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Mashudu Sadike at Sunday Independent

DA calls for suspension of officers who 'slept through firearm robbery' at police station in Northern Cape

News24 reports that the DA in the Northern Cape has called for the suspension of Petrusville police officers who were on duty during a burglary at the station earlier this month. The party has written to the provincial police commissioner, Lieutenant General Koliswa Otola, calling for the suspensions pending an internal investigation. It also wants Otola to announce the police's course of action in respect of the conduct of the on-duty officers. The DA said while it acknowledged the internal investigation, the announcement of the course of action against the officers was a matter of public interest. The DA cited allegations that the officers "slept through the firearm robbery" at the station and that they left state vehicles at their homes on the day of the robbery, rendering them unable to respond to emergencies.   Hawks spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Tebogo Thebe said there was negligence on the side of the SAPS and that they are investigating the circumstances around the events that led to the robbery on 6 November. The robbers made off with four firearms, including an R5 rifle, two shotguns and a Z88 pistol. A multi-disciplinary team recovered all the stolen firearms. A joint SAPS and Hawks investigation resulted in the arrests of Moqebelo Paulos Moloi, Mosiwa Benjamin Motsoane and Orefile Moshugi on 11 November. "The team pounced on the suspects while they were busy looking for a buyer for their stolen state firearms," said Thebe. Moshugi has appeared in court.

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


  • Former Kruger National Park field ranger sentenced to 10 years for rhino killing, at News24
  • Hawks nab school principal in connection with Umlazi cop killing in May, at TimesLIVE
  • Mango business rescue practitioner wants to force Gordhan to approve airline sale, at Sunday Independent
  • Inexperienced relatives bag a R38 million North West municipal tender, despite scoring zero in evaluation, at City Press (subscriber access only)
  • Ramaphosa to expedite handing over of Eskom powers to electricity minister, ANC confirms, at Mail & Guardian (subscriber access only)


Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page