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


Probe of Implats mine accident is vital, says Cyril Ramaphosa

TimesLIVE reports that President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on all stakeholders to assist the chief inspector of mines in the investigation into the deaths on Monday of 11 miners at Rustenburg’s Impala Platinum mine shaft 11. Presidency spokesperson Vincent Magwenya indicated that the probe would be conducted in terms of the Mine Health and Safety Act. Ramaphosa expressed sadness at the deaths and injuries affecting colleagues at the mine in North West. The accident, which involved the conveyance transporting the miners to the surface from underground, left at least 75 employees injured. “The 11 shaft personnel conveyance was hoisting employees to surface at the end of their shift. At 4.54pm, the conveyance unexpectedly started descending. Its rapid descent was stopped by the conveyance counterweight becoming trapped by the jack catches,” Implats reported.   All mining operations at Impala Rustenburg were suspended on Tuesday. The company confirmed that 75 employees involved in Monday's shaft accident remained hospitalised, 14 of whom were in a critical condition.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Amanda Khoza at BusinessLive

Death toll from accident at Implats' Rustenburg mine rises to 12

EWN reports that the death toll from the Impala Platinum (Implats) mine tragedy has risen to 12. In a statement released on Wednesday, the PGM producer said that one of the worker who was hospitalised succumbed to his injuries. This came after a lift carrying 86 miners plunged to the bottom of a shaft on Monday afternoon. Seventy-four miners were injured in the accident while some more remain in a critical condition. The mine has suspended all underground operations that require any form of winding as investigations and inquiries into the incident continue.

Read the original of the short report in the above regard by Maki Molapo at EWN. See too, Implats offers to pay burial costs for miners killed at Rustenburg mine, at EWN

Other labour / community posting(s) relating to mining

  • A terrible week for mining as the layoffs accelerate, at Moneyweb
  • Sibanye to cut 100 jobs at PGM operations in the US, at BusinessLive (subscriber access only)


Men who allegedly raped three female security officers to appear in court

The Witness reports that the eight men suspected of being behind the rape of three female security officers in one of the KZN Transport Department’s premises in Durban on Monday were identified, cornered and taken in for questioning on Tuesday afternoon. After the eight suspected robbers and rapists were positively identified during an identity parade, they were charged with business robbery and rape. The men, aged between 19 and 39, will appear in the Durban Magistrate’s Court on Thursday. In the early hours of Monday, the gunmen gained entry to the department’s Merebank premises, held the security guards hostage and stole state valuables. The men, armed with firearms and knives, allegedly took turns in raping the three security guards. LifeLine Pietermaritzburg’s Sinikiwe Biyela said since SA was not a safe country, employers must consider putting measures in place to protect female employees. Biyela pointed out that night shift work was more risky, especially for female employees. “While one cannot guarantee safety of their night duty staff, measures like giving them wireless panic buttons that are linked to armed response security could go a long way as a security measure. Women should also be trained in self-defense and paired with male security guards where possible. Sadly, it looks like this was a planned attack,” said Biyela.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Chris Ndaliso at The Citizen


Western Cape Premier declares an intergovernmental dispute with national government over public sector wages

Cape Argus reports that the Western Cape government has threatened to approach the courts against the national government after declaring an intergovernmental dispute relating to a public wage increase.   The dispute relates to the centrally negotiated and agreed-to public sector wage bill, which was implemented after the Western Cape Provincial Parliament had approved its annual budget, leading to in-year budget cuts. Deidré Baartman, DA Member of the Provincial Legislature and spokesperson on the budget, said the increase in public wages had an almost R2.9 billion impact on the Western Cape’s budget for this financial year.   “Despite this, the national government has only allocated an additional R1.7 billion to the Western Cape in the 2023 division of revenue, which will only partially cover the wage increase for education and healthcare. All other departments’ wage increases will have to be self-funded.   The approximately R1.1 billion shortfall would have to be found within the existing budget, meaning cuts to vital programmes that impact our residents directly,” said Baartman.   Premier Alan Winde advised:   “From the start of this process, it was evident we could not afford this wage deal, and all warning signs of the irrationality of the agreement were seemingly ignored. This is an issue that affects all provinces … What is desperately needed is prudent fiscal consolidation, management, and discipline. This appears to be lacking in the national government.” Winde further stated that they were ready to approach the courts should their concerns not be heard.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Zolani Sinxo at Cape Argus


Labour Appeal Court rules Numsa’s suspension of Ruth Ntlokotse was invalid

GroundUp reports that the Labour Appeal Court (LAC) has ruled that the suspension of National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) second deputy president Ruth Ntlokotse last year was invalid. The court furthermore ruled that the accreditation of delegates who attended the union’s national congress in July last year was also invalid. Acting Judge John Smith, in the ruling handed down this week, said the union’s central committee had wrongly placed Ntlokotse on suspension and had “on a whim” arrogated powers to itself that it was not entitled to in terms of the union’s constitution. Ntlokotse, who has now stepped aside as SA Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) president, maintained that her suspension and subsequent axing (which she is challenging in court), the suspension of other members, and the decision by the central committee to place the Mpumalanga branch under administration, were politically motivated in that they were a witch hunt against those challenging the way the union was being run. Ntlokotse has been an outspoken critic of the leadership of Numsa, including its general secretary, Irvin Jim. She indicated that the LAC ruling would now pave the way for further court action in which she and others would seek to set aside all elections and decisions taken at last year’s national congress. In a statement, Numsa welcomed the LAC judgment, saying it had clarified the powers of its constitutional structures.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Tania Broughton at GroundUp


Forty people cut from Sasfin’s business banking unit, including its former CEO

Fin24 reports that Sasfin Holdings has cut 40 people from its struggling business and commercial banking unit, including the division's former chief executive Sandile Shabalala. The company indicated in its annual integrated report on Wednesday that, following a strategic review, it became clear that certain components of its business and commercial banking division had failed to achieve the scale necessary to generate meaningful returns on equity.   As a result, "tough decisions" were taken in January 2023 to streamline the unit, resulting in the collapse of an entire management layer within the business and commercial banking division. That resulted in Sasfin eliminating specialised lending from its business and commercial banking unit and dropping its team of broad-based business bankers. The reduction in staff was executed through mutual separation agreements and a formal section 189 retrenchment process. Among the unit's casualties were its former chief executive, Shabalala, who only joined Sasfin in January 2022 specifically to spearhead its growth.   The exit of Shabalala, who was CEO of TymeBank from 2016 to 2019 and managing executive of business banking at Nedbank for 11 years, marked a retreat from Sasfin's previously communicated plans to disrupt SA’s business and commercial banking landscape.   Sasfin's plan is to now refocus its business and commercial banking unit on products such as trade and debtor finance where it believes it can compete more effectively.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Garth Theunissen at Fin24


Household Affordability Index shows average price of household food basket was R5,314 in November

Business Report writes that the November 2023 Household Affordability Index, which tracks food price data from 47 supermarkets and 32 butcheries, showed that in November the average cost of its Household Food Basket was R5,314.63. Month-on-month, the average cost of the basket increased by R17.05 (0.3%) from R5,297.58 in October. Year-on-year, the average cost of the basket increased by R478.67 (9.9%), from R4,835,96 in November last year to R5,314.63 in November 2023. Mervyn Abrahams, the Programme Coordinator at the Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice & Dignity Group (PMBEJD), said the food items which increased in price in November by 5% or more included eggs, chicken livers, tomatoes, apples and oranges. Foods which increased in price by 2% or more included sugar beans, frozen chicken portions, stock cubes, amasi [maas], chicken feet, beef, cabbage, tinned pilchards and bananas. Big price drops were seen for onions and potatoes. The group said it was starting to see some upward movement in frozen chicken portions in Durban, Cape Town and Pietermaritzburg.   Nkhensani Mashimbyi, agricultural economist at Absa AgriBusiness reported that some suppliers had started importing fertilised eggs to bridge the supply gap in poultry product markets.   “This will likely start to bear fruit in terms of mitigating higher prices during the first half of 2024,” he said.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Given Majola at Business Report. Lees ook, Aartappels eindelik goedkoper; bevrore hoender nou duurder, by Maroela Media


Floyd Brink reappointed as Johannesburg's City Manager

News24 reports that Floyd Brink was reappointed as Johannesburg's City Manager after a behind-closed-doors council meeting on Wednesday. This came in the wake of the South Gauteng High Court’s decision on 7 November that declared Brink's appointment in February to have been illegal. On Monday, the High Court denied the City's request for leave to appeal that decision. City spokesperson Virgil James said Brink was reappointed after the council followed due process, which it had failed to do in the first instance. In November, the court had found that the manner in which former Speaker Colleen Makhubele had brought forward the motion to hire Brink had been problematic. On Wednesday, the council voted for a report that would see Brink reappointed because the court case had not been about his ability to do the job, but the way in which he was hired. The council essentially performed the process in a legal manner by tabling it.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Alex Patrick at News24


Cash-strapped City of Joburg to splurge R2.6m on jackets, flowers, watches for glitzy staff event

News24 reports that the City of Johannesburg plans to splurge R2.6 million on a year-end event for long-serving employees, including R40,000 for flowers, R300,000 for jackets, R769,000 for watches and R171,000 for vague service fees. The event, which would honour City employees who have served 40 years or more, seemingly goes against National Treasury cost containment regulations and saw the reallocation of R2 million from the City's locomotive savings to supplement the original council-approved budget for the event. City Manager Floyd Brink was one of the officials who signed off on the ceremony, despite warnings from the legal advisor it went against cost containment measures relating to catering, "especially under the current financial climate". In response, Brink asserted that the relevant processes would be followed, the budget confirmed and compliance ensured. The City plans to shower guests with expensive gifts at the lavish ceremony to be hosted on 9 December. It has contracted the services of the Metropolitan Trading Company (MTC) – an entity which provides IT services – for events management. It is unclear why MTC's services were enlisted. While the City has its own venues available in which to host events, like the Joburg Theatre, MTC invoiced R76,000 for a venue that promises to be a grand location complete with R40,000 worth of fresh flower decorations and a R1 800 red carpet for guests to enter in style. This as the City is in a state of decay while buildings rot and occasionally catch fire, roads are riddled with potholes and occasionally explode, taps run dry with ageing infrastructure, crime is abundant, and the City struggles to collect revenue.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Azarrah Karrim at News24 (subscriber access only)


Ramaphosa doesn’t want performance assessments to be used to ‘embarrass’ ministers, Presidency explains

TimesLIVE reports that the Presidency says performance assessments of cabinet ministers will remain confidential because President Cyril Ramaphosa does not want the information to be used as a “political” tool to make his colleagues look bad. Presidency spokesperson Vincent Magwenya was asked on Wednesday when the President planned to make the documents public after a DA Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) application seeking the release of the information was rejected. Magwenya explained that they were not obliged to publicly release the information and went on to comment as follows: “Unfortunately the DA will seek out that information to make a political statement, either against the administration or against a particular minister and that is not the goal of the president. His goal is to ensure that government continues to operate as efficiently as possible and that the priorities he has outlined to the public are implemented as speedily as possible.” He advised that Ramaphosa has had two or three rounds of engagements with his ministers this year. On Tuesday, DA MP Zak Mbhele slammed Ramaphosa’s administration and planning, monitoring and evaluation minister Maropene Ramokgopa for declining the DA’s PAIA application for the outcomes of the performance reviews that were conducted on ministers between April and July. He said the party would be submitting an appeal as “performance review assessments can never be classified material”.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Amanda Khoza at TimesLIVE


Court bid by suspended NMB city manager to get her job back struck from the roll due to lack of urgency

News24 reports that the suspended Nelson Mandela Bay city manager, Noxolo Nqwazi, will not be returning to work soon after her attempt to get her job back by approaching the Eastern Cape High Court in Gqeberha failed on Wednesday. Acting Judge Hymie Zilwa ruled that the matter was not urgent and struck it from the roll. Shortly after her precautionary suspension in an emergency council meeting last month, Nqwazi approached the court to challenge the decision. She is currently on trial in the Gqeberha Specialised Commercial Crimes Court, facing charges of fraud and corruption.   The charges stem from her alleged involvement in a toilet tender of more than R24 million, which was fraudulently awarded by the municipality a few years ago. Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana insisted on Nqwazi's removal as one of the conditions to disburse more than R700 million in Equitable Share Grant funding owed to the municipality. According to Nqwazi’s court documents dated 30 October 2023, she claimed her suspension was "irregular and unfair" and that the decision was taken "for ulterior, political motives." She requested that her suspension be declared invalid and set aside, but in his brief judgment Zilwa said he was not persuaded that the matter was urgent. Nqwazi is liable for the legal fees.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Candice Bezuidenhout at News24


Three former Office of the Chief Justice employees appear in court on R225 million corruption charge

The Citizen reports that three former Office of the Chief Justice (OCJ) employees appeared in the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday to face corruption charges linked to a R225 million tender.   Colonel Katlego Mogale of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) explained that the trio, namely former spokesperson and chief director of court administration Nkosikhona Mncube, Casper Coetzer and former case management director Yvonne van Niekerk, failed to disclose their ownership of ZA Square Consulting when, in December 2022, they expressed interest in being sub-contractors.   They formed part of the tender awarding committees at OCJ, knowing their conflict of interest, and a tender was awarded to their consulting company. An audit revealed that the trio was in contravention of the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Activities Act and the Public Administration Management Act. Mncube, Coetzer and Van Niekerk made a brief appearance in the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court where they were granted R10,000 bail each and their case was postponed to 7 February 2024.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Nicholas Zaal at The Citizen. Lees ook, Drie van hoofregter se kantoor in hof oor IT-tender, by Maroela Media

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Trial of ex-attorney Betty Diale linked to theft of RAF funds to start on Friday, at TimesLIVE


  • Commuter wins damages case against rail agency after falling out of open carriage, at Cape Argus
  • Cape law enforcement officer ‘kills’ a drunk driver, placed on administrative leave, at Cape Argus
  • SANDF Prestige Week highlights support for fight against GBV, at Pretoria News
  • Ten tips before resigning, at Cape Times


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