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 South African
labour-related reports.


ArcelorMittal SA considers reversing decision to close long steel operations, potentially saving thousands of jobs

BL Premium reports that ArcelorMittal SA (Amsa) is seriously considering reversing its decision to close its long steel operations, potentially giving a lifeline to thousands of workers whose jobs are on the line. The steel producer sent shock waves through the economies of Newcastle in KwaZulu-Natal and Vanderbijlpark in Gauteng last year when it announced plans to mothball its long steel units. Long steel products include rebar, wire rods, merchant bars, rails and sections.   The group reported on Monday that it had had positive discussions with the government, Transnet, the Industrial Development Corporation, labour and other affected parties on its plans to close the units, a decision that put 3,500 jobs on the line. “These stakeholders have expressed widespread concern regarding the negative economic effect of the closure. The company was requested to consider what support was needed to change the closure decision,” Amsa noted. It went on to indicate: “Reversing the closure decision holds substantial risks and requires the commitment of, at a minimum, the company, its customers and suppliers, the government, state-owned enterprises, and our employees. Amsa expects to be in a position to make a further announcement regarding the company’s Longs Business in the near future.”

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Michelle Gumede at BusinessLive (subscriber access only). Read too, ArcelorMittal warns of hefty loss as hoped-for demand fails to materialise, at Fin24


Two persons, including Rand Water executive, killed and Joburg chief whip and others wounded in shooting at community event

News24 reports that two people were killed and Johannesburg council chief whip Sithembiso Zungu was wounded in a shooting at a Rand Water event in Zakariyya Park on Monday. Gauteng police spokesperson Colonel Dimakatso Nevhuhulwi said several suspects entered the hall and opened fire before fleeing. "Two people were declared dead on the scene, while three others were taken to hospital with gunshot wounds. The motive of the shooting is unknown at this stage," Nevhuhulwi indicated. In a statement released on Monday afternoon, Rand Water said one of its executives was among the dead. Its spokesperson, Makenosi Maroo, added that the incident happened during one of Rand Water's back-to-school campaigns. Council speaker Margaret Arnolds said Zungu, who had been attending to "official council business," was receiving medical attention. Joburg mayor Kabelo Gwamanda said Zungu and other City and Rand Water officials were attending a community service engagement where they donated school shoes and other items to disadvantaged children in the community. "To have such a tragic incident occur in broad daylight and the presence of community members and children is beyond one’s comprehension and belief. The senseless killing of people and officials must be brought to an end as a matter of urgency," Gwamanda stated.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Iavan Pijoos at News24. Read too, Rand Water and City of Joburg employees shot during event, at SABC News. En ook, Bestuurslid van Rand Water sterf; Jhb-hoofsweep in skietery gewond, by Maroela Media

Wounded cash guard dies in hospital following Durban cash-in-transit heist on Monday morning

IOL News reports that police in KwaZulu-Natal are on the hunt for at least five suspects linked to a cash-in-transit heist on Warwick Avenue in the Durban CBD on Monday morning that left two people dead.   At around 8am armed suspects pounced on a cash van after it had picked up money from a local business. During a shootout, one suspect was fatally wounded, while two security guards received gunshot injuries and were rushed to hospital in a critical condition. However, one of the guards died in hospital, despite the best efforts of the doctor and paramedics, according to Garrith Jamieson from ALS Paramedics. Provincial police spokesperson, Colonel Robert Netshiunda confirmed that police were on the hunt for at least five suspects who stole an undisclosed amount of money in a cross-pavement cash-in-transit robbery.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Jolene Marriah-Maharaj at IOL News

Three Joburg firefighters injured when fire truck came under attack from protesters in Eldorado Park on Sunday

News24 reports that three City of Johannesburg (CoJ) firefighters were attacked and injured on Sunday night when they responded to a call in Eldorado Park Extension 3. Just before they arrived at the scene of the reported fire, the firefighters crossed paths with a group of community members who were protesting about service delivery. "They started stoning the fire engine. In the process, three of our firefighters sustained injuries. They were taken to Milpark Hospital for further medical care," CoJ Emergency Services spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi reported. The fire engine was damaged during the attack. Mulaudzi pleaded with communities to refrain from targeting emergency services personnel. "We are very much disturbed by this incident. It doesn't only create fear and panic among firefighters, but it also disrupts service delivery. This fire engine is out of commission and residents of Eldorado Park and surrounding areas won't have a fire engine available to respond to fire incidents up until the fire engine has been repaired," Mulaudzi said.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Nicole McCain at News24. See too, Firefighters attacked in Eldorado Park, services to be affected, at The Citizen. And also, Eldorado Park to be without fire engine after firefighters attacked, says CoJ, at EWN


Samwu in Free State says it will protest until Matjhabeng mayor steps down

SABC News reports that the SA Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) in the Free State says it will continue marching and protesting until the Matjhabeng Local Municipality mayor, Thanduxolo Khalipha, has vacated his position because he is not resolving issues affecting municipal workers. Samwu has been calling for Khalipha to step down as mayor since September last year.   Disgruntled Samwu members plan to approach the court to dissolve the municipality, which they say has been under financial stain throughout Khalipha’s tenure. The mayor is accused of being disrespectful and showing no interest in responding to workers’ demands. “We’re prepared to intensify our action, from here we’ll be involving community structures as we’ve met but we’ve said to community structures, we’re just informing you but give us chance to deal with our own issues. We’ll come back, we will be rolling a programme to communities in a mass meeting, ward by ward involving communities because some of the issues we’re raising, affect the communities directly because they’re impaired on service delivery,” said Samwu Free State Secretary Tiisetso Mahlatsi. Labour federation Cosatu is also supporting the workers.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Kamohelo Tsotetsi at SABC News


Limpopo cooperative governance department accused of conspiring to cover up appointment of "unqualified" Sekhukhune CFO

City Press reports that the Limpopo department of cooperative governance, human settlement, and traditional affairs (Coghsta) and Sekhukhune District Municipality are facing allegations of conspiring to cover up details in the appointment of the supposedly unqualified chief financial officer (CFO) of the municipality. It was recently reported that the municipality had violated local government regulations on the appointment and conditions of employment of senior managers when it appointed Hendrick Nkadimeng as the CFO, despite failing the competency assessment. The department denied the allegations and defended Nkadimeng’s appointment, but insiders claim the department and the municipality have been trying to protect Nkadimeng. "The municipality even lied to the MEC for cooperative governance, human settlement, and traditional affairs, Basikopo Makamu," said a source.   In a letter to the former executive mayor of Sekhukhune District Municipality, Julia Mathebe, dated 8 November 2022, Makamu strongly questioned the motive for the municipality to appoint Nkadimeng, who had failed the competency assessment.   Makamu instructed the municipality to comply with the applicable regulations. "This means that the municipality needs to reverse the appointment of Nkadimeng and appoint a suitable person," the source pointed out. But, the municipality defied Makamu and refused to reverse Nkadimeng's appointment.   "It’s been 15 months since Makamu wrote that letter, but the municipality is still refusing to do as ordered," noted the source. Last week, the department denied that Makamu wrote a letter to the municipality advising them to reverse the appointment of Nkadimeng. The department added all necessary processes were followed before his appointment. It further said that Nkadimeng was qualified and that he scored the highest points in the interview.

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


Transnet Ports Authority CEO Pepi Silinga takes leave of absence amid legal probe into ‘suspicious activities’ at division

Fin24 reports that the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) CEO, Pepi Silinga, has taken a leave of absence amid investigations into certain activities at the division of state-owned rail, port and pipeline operator Transnet. A statement issued on Saturday on behalf of acting Transnet chief executive, advocate Michelle Phillips, said an independent law firm had been briefed to investigate allegations of suspicious activities at TNPA, though little detail was provided on precisely what the activities entailed. The statement added that Silinga had offered to take a leave of absence to allow the investigation to proceed without the perception of interference and to ensure that the integrity of the process was not compromised. "Transnet has received a number of allegations regarding activities at TNPA.   Transnet has a zero-tolerance stance on corruption, malfeasance and views these allegations in a serious light.   Transnet has accepted the offer made by Mr Silinga. The matter is being treated with urgency and more importantly, within the ambit of the law," the company indicated. Transnet said Phyllis Difeto had been appointed acting chief executive of TNPA with immediate effect. The law firm will provide Transnet with a report on its findings and recommendations upon completion of its investigation, which is still at an early stage.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Garth Theunissen at Fin24 (subscriber access only). Read too, Another Transnet executive falls — this time, the head of ports infrastructure, at Daily Maverick

Justice Minister suspends Pietermaritzburg senior magistrate over four counts of ‘misconduct’

Cape Times reports that Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola has provisionally suspended Pietermaritzburg senior magistrate Ashin Singh with immediate effect pending the outcome of an investigation into his fitness to hold office. Lamola revealed Singh’s provisional suspension in a letter to National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula. “Having received a number of complaints against him, the Magistrates Commission on the prima facie evidence at its disposal resolved to summarily charge him with misconduct. A charge sheet, dated 27 September 2023, containing four counts of misconduct, was duly served on Mr Singh,” Lamola advised in his letter dated 18 December 2023. He said it was alleged that Singh sent inappropriate, concerning and threatening WhatsApp messages to journalists in July last year following publication of a story with a headline calling on the Magistrates Commission to probe KZN’s alleged murky immersion in spying and politics. Lamola said Singh was afforded an opportunity by the Magistrates Commission to provide written representation on why he should not be provisionally suspended from office. “Although Mr Singh objects to his provisional suspension from office, he made no particular submissions/ representations in this regard, except for requiring further particulars and the prima facie evidence which the commission obtained relating to the charges of misconduct preferred against him,” Lamola revealed. The minister pointed out that he could suspend a magistrate from office on advice of the Magistrates Commission and that a report on the provisional suspension and the reasons be tabled in Parliament.

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

Nelson Mandela Bay in 'predicament' as extended suspension of City Manager is against regulations

News24 reports that the extended suspension of fraud-accused Nelson Mandela Bay City Manager, Noxolo Nqwazi, is said to be against the Local Government Disciplinary Regulations for Senior Managers, according to Nqwazi's lawyers. Nqwazi, who was placed on precautionary suspension in October last year, unexpectedly returned to work last Wednesday. However, she was immediately slapped with an extended suspension of another 90 days, which had already been sent to her lawyers in a letter two weeks ago after more allegations against her surfaced.   Nqwazi was completely isolated on Wednesday, with her access to the servers, internet, computer and other municipal assets cut off. She left the office after a few hours, claiming her presence at work was a "security risk". She has since been denied access to the premises. Meanwhile, in a letter sent last week to the mayor, Gary van Niekerk, Pagdens Attorneys said that, according to the disciplinary regulations, a suspension of three months could not be extended. The letter also pointed out that, should no disciplinary action be taken against a suspended senior manager within three months after the date of suspension, the suspension automatically lapsed, which was why Nqwazi was advised to return to work last week. Van Niekerk acknowledged the regulations, but said the municipality was in a "predicament" because her presence at work could jeopardise the investigation. According to Van Niekerk, he has given instructions for a forensic investigator to be appointed to investigate the allegations against Nqwazi as per the recommendations of the disciplinary board.   He claimed that, because Nqwazi had approached the court to fight the suspension, the matter was sub judice and the council’s hands were tied while the matter was in court. There had thus not been enough time to take all the necessary disciplinary steps against Nqwazi during the 90-day suspension.

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


Hawks arrest 14 suspects at different locations for driving licence corruption

TimesLIVE reports that fourteen people, including a member of the public who was allegedly issued a driver's licence without being tested, are expected to appear in the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s court on Tuesday. They face charges of corruption, fraud and money-laundering. They were arrested on Monday in the Free State, Gauteng and Mpumalanga. “Information about traffic department and private examiners in Bloemfontein, Winnie Mandela [formerly Brandfort], Botshabelo, Ladybrand, Phalaborwa and Nelspruit; traffic officers, driving school instructors and runners who were involved in issuing learner's and driver's licences without following proper procedures was received in 2022,” Hawks spokesperson Lt-Col Zweli Mohobeleli indicated. A police operation was subsequently set up. On Monday, members of the Hawks, the police tactical response team and Road Traffic Management Corporation officials arrested nine men and five women aged between 30 and 57 at different locations.

Read the original of the report in the above regard at TimesLIVE

More than 3,000 arrested between 2017 and December 2023 in Telkom infrastructure vandalism blitz

BL Premium reports that from July 2017 to December 2023 more than 3,000 suspects were arrested in cases involving the vandalism and damage of Telkom’s vast infrastructure. The group has been facing mounting costs related to theft of cable and backup batteries, as well as the overall vandalism of network sites, cellphone towers and related property. Over the above time period, a total of 3,003 suspects were apprehended and cases were opened against 2,549 individuals. Telkom worked with “key role players inside and outside Telkom to monitor these cases, supporting the National Prosecuting Authority with every case, our team of investigators attend every court appearance of accused, also testifying and providing evidence as required”, the group indicated on Monday. According to Telkom, this work was helping to turn the tide against infrastructure vandalism, while “the community has also played a significant role through tip-offs to police and Telkom reporting hotlines”. The courts appear to have taken a hard line against such crimes, dishing out heavy sentences to perpetrators. In one such case in 2023 in the Western Cape, a syndicate group was taken down through joint efforts by the police, Telkom and the community.   The legal proceedings resulted in the conviction of all five accused syndicate members who were sentenced to terms ranging from 18 to 83 years’ imprisonment.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Mudiwa Gavaza at BusinessLive (subscriber access only). Read too, Telkom, SAPS nab hundreds of cable theft suspects, at ITWeb

Former KZN attorney sentenced to 10 years in jail for fraud in respect of trust account money

The Citizen reports that a 52-year-old former KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) attorney has been sentenced to 10 years in jail for fraud.   Langelihle Dube appeared in the Durban Specialised Commercial Crime Court where sentenced was handed down.   In 2015, Dube was practising as an attorney when a client deposited R1.7 million into his trust account.   The money was for the transfer of property, however Dube failed to transfer the property and used the money for personal purposes. Hawks spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Simphiwe Mhlongo said a case of fraud was reported at Durban Central Police Station. “The case docket was allocated to the Hawks members from Durban Serious Commercial Crime Investigation for intensive investigation.   He (Dube) was arrested in 2017 and was granted bail. Dube appeared in court several times until he was found guilty and sentenced to 10 years direct imprisonment,” Mhlongo reported.

Read the original of the report in the above regard by Faizel Patel at The Citizen


  • Increased frozen poultry imports are likely to keep a lid on chicken prices, at Business Report
  • Poultry import rebates a kick in the teeth for a sector already on its knees, at Business Report
  • Plaaslike pluimveebedryf geskok oor invoerkorting, by Maroela Media
  • Takealot Group announces significant leadership changes, with Frederik Zietsman to take over as group CEO, at TechCentral
  • Big blow for hiring activity in South Africa, at BusinessTech
  • Philip Morris South Africa recognised as top employer, for seventh consecutive year, at Business Report
  • Unconstitutional to exclude SANDF members from new law permitting cannabis use, at Cape Argus
  • Work from home not going anywhere in South Africa, at BusinessTech
  • Pension fund reform: The race to be ready is on, at Moneyweb
  • Does NHI spell the end for medical aid and gap cover? at Personal Finance


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