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.


Children pay the price for higher-than-expected state wage hikes

BL Premium reports that the Western Cape education department has sounded the alarm over the deep cuts the Treasury has forced on its budget, saying it has to scale back plans to build schools and, as a result, more children will remain in overcrowded facilities. Its concerns are mirrored by the rest of SA’s provincial education departments, which are all scrambling to revise their spending plans after the Treasury announced in the medium-term budget policy statement on 1 November a R1.78bn cut to the school infrastructure budget for 2023/24.   Those direct cuts have been compounded by the budget pressures created by the higher-than-expected wage deal reached by the Treasury and unions after the February budget had been announced.   This created a R37.4bn shortfall in the state’s compensation budget. On Thursday, the Western Cape education department advised that R716m had been cut from its budget in the last half of the 2023/24 fiscal year due to a R537m shortfall in its compensation bill and a R179m cut to the education infrastructure grant. As a result, it has been forced to slash the number of new schools it will build in the current year from 21 to nine. Instead, it will step up plans to build new classrooms at existing schools.   Western Cape education MEC David Maynier said the Treasury had allocated only 64% of the funding owed to the province to cover the increase in the wage bill negotiated for public servants in the current fiscal year. The Western Cape declared an intergovernmental dispute on the issue on Tuesday. The personnel-heavy education and health departments have been particularly hard hit.

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


Two suspects linked to shooting of KZN cop at Pavilion mall killed in standoff with police

TimesLIVE reports that two suspects linked to the murder of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) police officer Sgt Riyadh Adams were shot dead by the police in KwaMashu on Thursday morning. According to the Hawks, their members from the Durban serious organised crime investigation unit were following up on the murder when a shoot-out took place. Adams was shot dead outside the Pavilion shopping centre after a co-ordinated robbery at two jewellery stores on 19 November. KZN Hawks spokesperson Lt-Col Simphiwe Mhlongo confirmed that two suspects had been shot and killed during their investigation. He added that Hawks members arrested and charged a 41-year-old suspect for both robbery cases. Meantime, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) was investigating the fatal shooting of the two suspects and the Hawks' investigation of the business robbery and police murder was continuing.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Sakhiseni Nxumalo at TimesLIVE

Fatal end to staff party as man drowns at Saunders' Rocks Beach in Cape Town

IOL News reports that a 34-year-old man drowned at Saunders’ Rocks Beach in Bantry Bay in Cape Town on Wednesday evening after he had been out with colleagues for a year-end function at a nearby restaurant.   National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) spokesperson, Craig Lambinon, said members of the City of Cape Town’s (CoCT’s) water rescue network was activated at 7.33pm on Wednesday following reports of a drowning in progress. “On arrival on the scene, a local man, believed to be 34 years old, was in a critical condition from injuries sustained in what appeared to be a drowning accident and was treated by paramedics. A bystander doctor and rescue services assisted. Sadly, despite extensive efforts to save the man's life, the man was declared deceased,” Lambinon indicated. A witness reported: “I spoke to his colleagues, and they said that they had just been celebrating at an end-of-year work party at a nearby restaurant. They had all been drinking a significant amount. They noticed their colleague wasn’t okay when he said he was leaving; they followed him, but when they found his car was empty in the parking lot, only to find after searching that his body was in the ocean.”

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Robin-Lee Francke at IOL News

Public Protector to probe Ekurhuleni chief police for alleged assault of pregnant guard and intimidation

City Press reports that the Office of the Public Protector (OPP) has been asked to investigate allegations of assault on a pregnant security guard and intimidation. These allegations have been levelled against the head of the Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department (EMPD), Isaac Mapiyeye. He allegedly assaulted a heavily pregnant security guard, Sarah Nhlapo, and allegedly also coerced her to drop the criminal assault charges she had opened against him. The complaint was sent to newly appointed Public Protector Kholeka Gcaleka by forensic and crime expert Calvin Rafadi, who said the information was received from his tip-off line. He attached a sworn statement by Nhlapo in which she detailed the assault and the threat that she would lose her job if she continued with the criminal charges. When contacted for comment, Ekurhuleni spokesperson Zweli Dlamini said the City had an obligation to cooperate with the Public Protector should the office require their help during the investigation. "We have heard of this matter via the media and we are investigating it. It is critical to note that the City condemns any form of GBV at all times and these claims are viewed in a serious light. We respect the Office of the Public Protector and we shall cooperate with the investigation when required to do so," said Dlamini.   The OPP confirmed that it had received the complaint and said it was giving it attention.

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

Teenager dies after teacher doused him with petrol and 'pushed him into a fire' as punishment for stealing a chicken

City Press reports that in an incident that has sent shockwaves through a community in the Eastern Cape, a Grade 9 pupil died from his severe burns last week. This was some two months after his teacher allegedly doused him with petrol before forcing into a fire for stealing his chicken. Anam Sishuba (16), a pupil Lavelilanga Senior Secondary School in Zingquthu village in Lady Frere, passed away last Wednesday in hospital where he was admitted on 9 September after the alleged attack by the teacher, Bandile Mkutswana (59). The incident, which allegedly happened outside the school premises, has raised serious questions about the teacher's actions and the school's liability in the matter. The provincial department of education said it could not hold Mkutswana liable for his actions since the incident occurred outside of the school grounds.   However, the teacher was dismissed for absconding from work. Mkutswana was arrested shortly after the incident in September and is expected to apply for bail on Friday. He was initially charged with attempted murder, which has since been upgraded to murder. Anam sustained severe burns all over his body. Then last Wednesday, his mother Nomzi Sishuba received the dreaded call from the hospital informing her that her son had passed away. She said all she wanted was justice for her son and she pleaded with the courts not to grant Mkutswana bail.

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

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • 'I will defend myself' says gardener accused of killing Alberton boss and son with an axe, at News24


UDM calls on government to intervene as Pilanesberg Platinum Mine closes

The Citizen reports that a large number of employees at the Pilanesberg Platinum Mine are facing a bleak Christmas after the company gave notice of a retrenchment process. An undisclosed number of workers were told to vacate the mine by this weekend. United Democratic Movement (UDM) North West secretary Namhla Notshaya called on the company to find a way to retain the workers’ jobs. “The Minister of Mineral Resources [and Energy] Gwede Mantashe must intervene to stop these retrenchments. As the government, they must not take a back seat while the mining industry is in crisis; they must protect the workers and their jobs,” Notshaya said. The mining firm recently issued retrenchment notices and will begin a process of consultation with employees. It cited “prevailing economic conditions” which had impacted the business, particularly the downturn in the platinum group metal prices, general inflationary pressures on the cost of its operations and limited access to capital markets. It has already undergone “significant right-sizing”, which involved scaling down its mining activities since August. A plant was closed, with retrenchments of some staff, and the termination of suppliers and service providers. In the current case, the firm said all extraction and processing operations would be suspended from Friday and it instructed all workers to be off the site by Saturday.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Eric Naki at The Citizen

Impala Platinum restarts platinum mine after death of 12 workers

Bloomberg News reports that Impala Platinum (Implats) resumed production at its Rustenburg operations on Thursday, after the company suspended activity earlier in the week following an accident that killed 12 employees. The deep-level shaft in which a cage hoisting miners to the surface suddenly plunged on 27 November will remain closed "while internal investigations and inquiries" were completed, Implats advised in a statement on Thursday. Production at the rest of the nine shafts would restart on 30 November after a period for mourning and checking the other elevators at the complex, it said.   The producer recently acquired control of Royal Bafokeng Platinum in order to extend the life of its adjacent Rustenburg mines, from which Implats has been producing platinum-group metals for more than five decades. An employee at Rustenburg, who had been hospitalized along with 74 colleagues after the accident, died on Wednesday, bringing the total fatalities caused by the incident to 12.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by William Clowes at Fin24. Lees ook, Implats: ‘Hysbak val toe outomatiese stelsel ingee’, by Maroela Media

NUM Highveld region to march on 9 December against Transnet's inability to transport minerals to ports

IOL News reports that the National Union of Mineworkers' (NUM’s) Highveld region is set to march to the Presidency and Department of Public Enterprises in Pretoria on 9 December to seek intervention over Transnet's logistic failures. The trade union wants the government to immediately address the state-owned entity's failure to deliver minerals to the country's terminal ports across the country. A memorandum of demands will be delivered highlighting the urgent need for government to intervene. In a statement, the union said the memo would also address the number of Section 189A notices issued by the mining companies, indicating their intentions to retrench workers, mostly in the coal mining sector. "The current Transnet crisis is impacting heavily on the livelihoods of thousands of mineworkers," the union pointed out.   NUM Highveld regional deputy secretary Thapelo Malekutu said the government's promises to create more jobs rang hollow, since government was unable to safeguard or preserve the existing employment opportunities. According to the NUM, various mining companies were sitting with stockpiles of minerals that needed to be transported to the ports. It said the deteriorating situation at Transnet had led to severe negative consequences, including the imminent retrenchment of workers.

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


Four-day work week trial sees more South Africans using day off for side hustles than for long weekend

Bloomberg News reports that SA’s first four-day work week trial shows some differences from other countries that have tried the switch in that less than one in four employees take Fridays off. Among the 28 companies that started the six-month study in March, most were more flexible than global peers in allowing their workers to choose the day or times that best suited their needs, according to the research by 4 Day Week Global. In other countries, many chose Fridays not to work. The divergence was largely because of some unique South African traits, such as a number of people having "side hustles or embryonic entrepreneurial activities alongside their normal job", limited options to do administrative activities online and travel challenges in a country that has poor public transport. The study used a model that offered full pay, with a commitment to delivering the same output on a 20% cut in time at work. Most participants were in professional services, IT, marketing and financial services. About 71% of participants were women. Some 92% of the firms planned to keep the new schedule.

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


Motorists to get an early Christmas gift with significant fuel price decreases expected next week

City Press reports that motorists will receive an early Christmas present as fuel prices are expected to decrease significantly when new prices go into effect on 6 December. This was indicated in terms of unaudited mid-month data released by the Central Energy Fund (CEF). According to the Automobile Association (AA), consumers can expect a R1.06/litre decrease for ULP 95, R1.05/litre for ULP 93, and a massive R2.10/litre decrease for diesel, based on current CEF data. Illuminating paraffin is also expected to fall by R1.75/l. The AA commented: “The current data shows that international product prices have eased since the beginning of the month and are contributing to the bulk of the expected decreases. The stronger value of the rand against the US dollar is also playing its part and is combining with the more stable oil prices to ensure South Africans can look forward to lower fuel prices in December.”

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


DA fumes over reappointment of Joburg city manager and lavish staff party

BL Premium reports that the Democratic Alliance (DA) has threatened court action over the reappointment of Floyd Brink as Johannesburg city manager, and the “irregular” use of R2.6m of the cash-strapped city’s funds to host a party for 500 workers. The DA described Brink’s reappointment as a “blatant disregard” for both legal and ethical governance. That after the Joburg council on Wednesday re-tabled a report on Brink’s appointment and ratified the aspects thereof that had led to the South Gauteng High Court declaring the appointment unlawful, invalid and unconstitutional. On Wednesday, 105 councillors voted in favour of Brink’s reappointment, 64 against, and 47 abstained. Joburg mayor Kabelo Gwamanda said: “On behalf of the city we once more congratulate Mr Brink of his appointment and look forward to continued administrative stability and uninterrupted delivery of services.” DA caucus leader Belinda Kayser-Echeozonjoku said the decision to reappoint Brink was marred by “legal and ethical breaches [and] places an unjust financial burden on the citizens, who will inevitably face the repercussions of overturning this unlawful decision”. Meanwhile, the DA’s Nicole Rahn called on group corporate and shared services MMC Loyiso Masuku, an ANC councillor, and Brink to resign for their role in the “irregular diversion of funds to pay for a R2.6m party for 500 employees”.

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


Suspended Pretoria chief magistrate Desmond Nair to learn in 2024 whether or not corruption charge will be withdrawn

News24 reports that suspended Pretoria chief magistrate Desmond Nair will only learn in the new year whether or not the corruption charge against him will be withdrawn. Nair appeared briefly in the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on Thursday. The matter was postponed to 23 January 2024 for a decision on representations he made in July that he should not be prosecuted. The charge relates to a R200,000 security installation at his home by the controversial company Bosasa. Prosecutor Bheki Manyathi previously told the court that testimony in the matter would be from two state witnesses who testified during Nair's misconduct hearing held by the Magistrate's Commission. One of the witnesses was former Bosasa employee Richard le Roux, who implicated Nair in the State Capture Inquiry. According to the charge sheet, Nair is accused of accepting a bribe from Bosasa in or near Silverton, Pretoria, in September 2016 while he was a judicial officer and the chief magistrate of Pretoria. Nair has confirmed that security cameras were installed at his private residence, but claimed this was "pursuant to a private agreement".

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

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Deadlock in the NMB chambers: Mayor fraud probe at a standstill as deadline for first report looms, at News24


  • At least 23,000 students are double-dipping at Setas, at Cape Times
  • Desperately in need of jobs, ‘hungry and troubled’ MK veterans undergo training, venture into private security, at IOL News
  • Logistics and energy woes are poisoning SA’s motor industry, Ford warns, at BusinessLive
  • Battle over 3Sixty Life: Clash between curator, Numsa Investment Company intensifies, at Fin24
  • ‘In duie stort van kragnetwerk onwaarskynlik’, by Maroela Media


Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page