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 and recent reports,
see summaries of our selection of South African
labour-related stories that recently appeared.


National minimum wage hiked by 8.5% from 1 March

Fin24 reports that the national minimum wage (NMW), including for domestic and farm workers, will be been hiked by 8.5% to R27.58 an hour from 1 March. This is more than three percentage points above the latest annual consumer price inflation rate, which reached 5.1% in December. For those who work eight hours a day for 20 days a month, the new NMW equals a monthly payment of around R4,413. Workers employed on an expanded public works programme will be entitled to a minimum wage of R15.16 per hour. In a statement, Cosatu said the above-inflation hike would provide relief to more than six million workers. "Workers in the agricultural, domestic, construction, retail, hospitality, transport, security, and cleaning sectors will benefit the most," the labour federation pointed out.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard compiled by Helena Wasserman at Fin24


Two SANDF members injured after helicopter comes under fire in DRC

The Citizen reports that the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) has confirmed that one of its Oryx helicopters came under fire while en route from Rwindi to Goma in the Eastern DRC. The Oryx, under the United Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Monusco), was conducting casualty evacuation in Rwindi and was en route to Goma. According to spokesperson Siphiwe Dlamini, the pilot and commander of the aircraft suffered a gunshot wound to his finger, while the Ops Medic on the flight was injured in the chest. He is in a stable condition. “The rest of the passengers onboard suffered no injuries and the helicopter landed safely in Goma,” the SANDF advised in a statement released on Saturday. Last month, the Democratic Alliance (DA) called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to recall the country’s troops once the Monusco obligations come to an end.   The party argued that the deployment potentially placed the lives of SANDF members at risk. According to DefenceWeb, SA deployed 1,144 military personnel to the area, with the Monusco mandate expected to wrap up in December.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Vhahangwele Nemakonde at The Citizen

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Guards injured during cash-in-transit heist on Johannesburg's Golden Highway on Friday, at News24


Government in talks with ArcelorMittal SA and stakeholders to avert steel plant closures

BL Premium reports that the Department of Trade, Industry & Competition (DTIC) is pushing to increase steel exports to other African countries and root out customs fraud on imported steel in a bid to avoid the closure of ArcelorMittal SA’s (Amsa's) long-steel operations. Amsa has been on its knees due to subdued steel demand locally, the ongoing logistics crisis, energy instability and cheap Chinese steel imports. The company said in November it had no option but to wind down its Newcastle and Vereeniging long-steel operations, a move that could lead to 3,500 jobs being lost. However, the DTIC is confident it can avoid the closures and indicated that since the announcement of the imminent closure of the long-steel operations, it has been in “extensive” discussions with Amsa to find ways to keep production in the country and avoid closure of the Newcastle factory. Meetings were held in December and January with the company’s global leadership to find solutions and the DTIC also held talks with Transnet to develop a partnership to improve logistics and consider ways of expanding the use of rail for the transportation of steel products. Last Monday Amsa confirmed talks with stakeholders, including DTIC minister Ebrahim Patel, the Industrial Development Corporation, Transnet, suppliers and organised labour. The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa), which represents the majority of workers at the steel operations under threat of closure, confirmed that consultations were under way to try minimise job cuts.

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


Government makes big changes to employment equity targets

Fin24 reports that government has made changes to proposed new employment equity targets, including doing away with specific targets for African, coloured, Indian and white workers. Last year, new legislation came into law that empowered the Department of Employment and Labour (DEL) to set transformation targets for different industries. In May, DEL Minister Thulas Nxesi released national and provincial targets for 11 sectors to be achieved within five years. The targets came under fire from the DA and others who believed they were unconstitutional and could lead to job losses. A public consultation process followed. On Thursday, Nxesi published new proposed targets, which do away with the distinction between provincial and national targets. Also, instead of different targets for African, coloured, Indian and white employees, there will now only be a single target for "designated groups". In the Employment Equity Act, designated groups are defined as black people (Africans, coloureds and Indians), women, and people with disabilities who are citizens of South Africa by birth or descent. Government has insisted that the new targets are not quotas, which would amount to job reservation and would be unconstitutional.   A table indicating the proposed new employment equity targets for different sectors is included in the Fin24 news article.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard compiled by Helena Wasserman at Fin24


Mpumalanga Hawks seize explosives meant for illegal mining

News24 reports that on Friday the Hawks in Mpumalanga arrested a 35-year-old man who was found in possession of explosives. A tip-off led police to the man's home in Barberton, and the Hawks said they expected to make more arrests as their investigation unfolded. It is believed that the explosives were to be sold to illegal miners in the area.   The suspect, an undocumented foreign national, is expected to appear in the Barberton Magistrate's Court on Monday on charges of possession of explosives and breaching the Immigration Act. According to a report from the Institute for Security Studies, the explosives supply chain is weak and open to exploitation. Richard Chelin, a governance specialist, and William Els, a terrorism and explosives expert, who wrote the report, said: "Poor controls and tracking along this supply chain make policing and investigations difficult. For instance, explosives cartridges and detonators are easy to conceal because they aren't individually marked." Chelin and Els said the "dormant" Explosives Act of 2003 could help police in the fight against the proliferation of illegal explosives as it contained track-and-trace provisions.   "Unfortunately, these regulations have not yet come into operation even though the president approved the updated law in 2003," Chelin and Els indicated.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Nkosikhona Duma at News24


Get ready for big fuel price hikes from Wednesday

BL Premium reports that after three months of declining fuel prices brought relief to motorists, February is expected to bring major hikes across the board. According to latest data from the Central Energy Fund, a weaker rand and higher international petroleum prices will push up diesel wholesale prices by up to 73 c/l and retail petrol prices by up to 75c/l when the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy makes the official monthly adjustments on 7 February.   The latest projected changes are in stark contrast to mid-month data, which had indicated a possible increase of 9c/l-14c/l. Following a peak in October, fuel prices have declined for the last three months due to lower international product prices and the rand strengthening against the dollar.

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


Maretha Gerber to be first female head of Daimler Truck in SA

BusinessLive reports that Daimler Truck Southern Africa (DTSA) has appointed Maretha Gerber as its new president and CEO, effective from 1 April. The first woman appointed in this role, Gerber takes over from Michael Dietz who takes on a new challenge as president and CEO of Regional Centre Middle East and Africa. “We are delighted to welcome Maretha Gerber as the new president and group CEO for DTSA and the second female on the Daimler Truck Overseas excom team,” said Andreas von Wallfeld, head of Daimler Truck Overseas. Gerber is South African and has more than 20 years’ experience within the Daimler organisation, including previously DaimlerChrysler and Mercedes-Benz SA. She held various management roles across sales, marketing, and dealer network in these companies before moving to a dealer principal role in the Mercedes-Benz dealer network. In 2018 she became head of Mercedes-Benz Trucks and later vice-president of sales and marketing for Mercedes-Benz Trucks and Fuso Trucks, the position she currently holds. “I am excited to work with the experienced leadership team and talented employees at DTSA and to lead the group of companies to new heights,” Gerber indicated.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Denis Droppa at BusinessLive


Dealing with bogus qualifications in the workplace

The National Qualifications Framework Act was signed into law in 2019, paving the way for long-overdue action to be taken against rogues who present fraudulent qualifications.   Unfortunately, more than four years went by before the President quietly enacted (most of) its provisions in October 2023. The amendments to the law that finally came into effect last year are said to be an important step in dealing with charlatans seeking to dupe unsuspecting employers. The important changes include that the SA Qualifications Authority (Saqa) must maintain a national student records database comprising registers of qualifications and details of the education institution that awarded the qualification and must verify all qualifications referred to it and make a decision on the status thereof. Section 32A(1) of the act, which places an obligation on employers to validate any qualification presented to them by ensuring that the qualification is registered on the national learners’ records database before appointing the prospective employee and/or job seeker has not been enacted. The reason for this is likely to allow Saqa a period of time to comply with its additional obligations under the new amendments.   In the meantime, employers will need to reconsider their existing policies and procedures, and possibly adopt more robust ones to weed out fraudsters and opportunists from joining or climbing their ranks. Thorough background and reference checks should be completed during recruitment processes and any candidates with suspicious qualifications should be reported to SAQA for further investigation.

Read the full original of the opinion piece on the above matter by Neil Coetzer, Courtney Wingfield & Maricia Smith of Cowan-Harper-Madikizela at BusinessLive


Hybrid work surprisingly sticky among middle to top-end earners, but not all provinces are the same

The Citizen reports that hybrid working is surprisingly sticky among SA’s middle to top-end earners, according to a new survey.   Employees were reluctant to go back to the office after the Covid lockdown ended and hybrid working become a compromise. Since then, corporations have made concerted efforts to get people back in the office, touting the benefits of in-person interactions. But, many employees advocate for hybrid solutions and workplace flexibility has become a leading factor in attracting and retaining talent, Brandon de Kock of BrandMapp says. BrandMapp first measured the work from home trend in 2022 and found that a staggering 56% of employed adults were either still permanently working from home or going into the office part-time. “A year later, there is barely any shift, with only 47% of employed adults back in their workplaces full-time, while 54% are either following the hybrid work trend or working permanently from home,” De Kock reported. Diverse industries power the economies of SA’s provinces and where there are greater concentrations of knowledge workers, there were more opportunities for work from home and hybrid work. “Working all day from home is most common in Gauteng and the Western Cape, which along with the Free State also rank highest for hybrid work. In provinces such as Mpumalanga and Limpopo, where industries such as mining, agriculture and forestry dominate, workers are more likely to be back in their workplaces full-time,” De Kock advised.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Ina Opperman at The Citizen


Beware of on-line job scams

The Citizen writes that in in a time when unemployment is high and thousands of job seekers who completed matric are joining the job market, it is important to beware of job scams. With the increase of online job portals and social media platforms, trying to find a job has never been easier, but this also creates fertile ground for scammers. “In today’s digital landscape, vigilance is key. Scammers employ sophisticated tactics and therefore it is crucial to stay informed and exercise caution throughout your job search. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is,” cautioned Larisha Naidoo, head of Zimele, Anglo American’s enterprise and supplier development arm. Common red flags to watch out for are listed in The Citizen article and these include unsolicited WhatsApp offers, upfront payments and phishing attempts. “Trust your gut instinct. If something about the opportunity feels off, do not ignore it.   It is better to be cautious than fall victim to a scam,” Naidoo advised. She added that the Department of Employment and Labour has a fraud reporting hotline and that “your best defence is to educate yourself and others and exercise caution: the more informed we all are, the harder it is for scammers to operate.”

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Ina Opperman at The Citizen


The race to be ready for pension fund reform is on, complicated by no final legislation and early implementation date

Moneyweb reports that pension funds and their administrators are racing against time to implement highly complex changes to their rules before pension fund reforms come into effect on 1 September this year.   Originally, the reforms were planned for implementation in March 2025. A major concern is the lack of final legislation which means some 3,000 retirement funds will have to amend their rules without knowing whether there will again be changes once the final bill is passed. “There is still a lot of uncertainty and there is only about six months within which all the processes must be set in place. We need the legislation to be tabled to parliament, voted on and passed so that it can be published and made into law.   We need that really soon,” Joon Chong of Webber Wentzel indicated. There are three components to the new system. At implementation, the value of a member’s retirement savings will be fixed. That is the vested component and the current rules remain applicable to that portion. The savings component (savings pot) will have “seeding capital” that will be automatically transferred to the savings pot. This is 10% of the vested pot up to R30,000. Going forward, one-third of the contribution will be allocated to the savings pot and two-thirds to the retirement component (retirement pot).   The SA Revenue Service (Sars) will have to be ready to issue millions of directives once the system is in place since pension funds will not know what the individual’s marginal rate will be if there are different streams of income.

Read the full original of the informative report in the above regard by Amanda Visser at Moneyweb


Business threatens legal action should NHI Bill become law

BL Premium reports that organised business has urged President Cyril Ramaphosa not to sign the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill, threatening legal action should it become law. The bill is on Ramaphosa’s desk after the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) passed it in December, paving the way for the government’s intention to reform SA’s healthcare and achieve universal coverage.   The President could sign the bill into law or send it back to parliament for amendments should he have any concerns. The NHI is aimed at ending the two-tier health system in SA, laying the groundwork for sweeping reforms intended to realise the ANC government’s ambition for universal health coverage. However, the legislation, which is likely to see the phasing out of private health insurance, has had pushback from opposition parties, business lobby groups and professional health bodies. Business Unity SA (Busa) CEO Cas Coovadia said that while legal action would be the organisation’s last resort to prevent the bill becoming law, the option has not been ruled out. “What the country needs is an NHI underpinned by the constitution and which is affordable and implementable. This bill does not meet these criteria and is not ready to be signed into law.   Legal action is certainly an option we will consider because any attempt to implement the legislation in its current form will have significantly negative consequences for health care in our country, across society, as well as further reducing investor confidence,” Coovadia indicated.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Thando Maeko at BusinessLive (subscriber access only). Read too, Kick the NHI Bill back, because it’s unconstitutional, Busa tells Ramaphosa, at Moneyweb


  • Talle dokters ‘gewillig om te werk, maar werkloos’, by Maroela Media
  • How the SANDF has declined over 30 years, at Mail & Guardian
  • Transnet personnel changes paying off, at Moneyweb
  • SA needs to manage migrants better, which requires cleaning up Home Affairs, at Moneyweb
  • Forced back-to-school for all public servants, at Sunday Independent
  • Competition Commission says Brenntag merger must include disadvantaged people, at Sunday World
  • ANC cadre deployment ‘at the heart of SA’s woes’, says Trevor Manuel, at Sunday Times (subscriber access only)


Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page