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.


Top Transnet candidates ‘not black enough’ for ANC deployment committee

Business Times reports that the process of replacing Portia Derby as the group CEO of Transnet has hit a roadbump as attempts by the board to make acting CEO Michelle Phillips’s appointment permanent are seemingly being thwarted by politicians. According to three well-placed sources in and out of Transnet, the board, which presented a list of three preferred candidates for three empty executive posts to Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) Minister Pravin Gordhan, is in favour of confirming Phillips as the permanent replacement for Derby. According to two of the insiders, the board favours Russell Baatjies – acting CEO of the biggest business unit, Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) – to be made permanent in that post. And it wants former Transnet CFO Mohammed Mahomedy, who acted briefly as acting group CEO after Brian Molefe left Transnet, to be reinstated as CFO.   However, some members of the ANC deployment committee are apparently intent on blocking the appointments as none of the three are black Africans. Some in the deployment committee are said to be pushing hard for former Transnet COO Mlamuli Buthelezi to replace Derby. Buthelezi was one of four executives suspended in 2019 over alleged misconduct. He later received a payout to leave. Some in the deployment committee have suggested that the post of group COO, which was scrapped under Derby, be reinstated and Phillips take over that role instead. Gordhan confirmed on Friday that the board had completed its process. He said once government processes had been complete, an announcement would be made.

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


Police sergeant charged with SANDF member’s murder granted R5,000 bail

The Citizen reports that on Friday, the Naphuno Magistrate’s Court granted Sergeant Headman Mathe (37) bail of R5,000 when he made an appearance facing a charge of murder. Mathe is accused of shooting dead SA National Defence Force (SANDF) member Sonnyboy Mgwenya (33) two weeks ago outside the Hoedspruit Police Station in Limpopo. Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) spokesperson Phaladi Shuping reported: “It is alleged that Mathe and Mgwenya had a quarrel at a local tavern in Hoedspruit, and Mgwenya went to the police station to open a case. When he arrived at the police station, he was requested to come later as he was drunk. Mathe went to the same police station at around 2.30am and found Mgwenya outside the police station. He allegedly fired several shots, and Mgwenya was fatally wounded.   Paramedics declared him dead at the scene.” The case was postponed to 25 April for further investigations.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Nicholas Zaal at The Citizen

Court sentences Cape Town cop killer to 30 years in jail

News24 reports that a cop killer who snuffed out the life of Constable Ashwin Pedro will spend three decades behind bars.   Denzil October, 44, fatally shot Pedro, who, with his colleague, Constable Theodore Henry, had responded to a call about a man carrying a gun in the Grassy Park area in December 2022.   National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said that October was handed an effective 30-year sentence by the Khayelitsha Priority Crimes Court on Friday. October, who entered a plea and sentencing agreement with the State, was sentenced to 30 years for murder, eight years for robbery, five years for attempted murder, 15 years for illegal firearm possession, and two years for unlawful ammunition possession. On the day he was killed, Pedro tried to disarm October, asking him to raise his hands. However, he refused and grabbed what appeared to be a gun from his back.   Henry intervened. "[He] grabbed [October's] right hand and attempted to restrain him, but he resisted and grabbed Constable Henry's firearm with such force that it detached from its safety retention cord. After ripping off the firearm from Constable Henry's holster, [October] started to run away with the two officers in hot pursuit. He started shooting at them, fatally wounding Constable Pedro," Ntabazalila reported.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Cebelihle Bhengu at News24. Read too, Justice for Constable Ashwin Pedro as his killer is sentenced to 30 years in prison, at IOL News

Fibre-provider laments field-worker safety concerns

Business Report writes that according to MAZIV Group CEO Dietlof Mare, keeping both internal employees and employees of partner organisations safe while working out in the field was becoming increasingly difficult in SA. For this reason, MAZIV, the parent company of DFA and Vumatel, was reviewing several initiatives to drive safety. Mare said that they had observed increasing pressure on infrastructure, both fibre-and power-related. “This has created a very challenging environment in which we have to still keep our networks up to support our fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) networks. The secondary impact of copper cable theft has also increased significantly with the increased stages of load shedding. We are experiencing more frequent damage-related failures on municipal infrastructure (burst water pipes, electrical cable failures etc.), which have also impacted our operational costs,” Mare said. He added that the impact of copper cable theft had also increased significantly with the increased stages of load shedding, which has also impacted MAZIV's operational costs.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Given Majola at Business Report

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Two more arrests made for murder of Cape Town LEAP officer Siphelo Magwa, at News24


uShaka Marine World to close from Monday due to wage strike

IOL News reports that Durban's uShaka Marine World is expected to be closed from Monday due to a strike over wages. On Friday, staff issued management with a 48 hour notice to strike after a stalemate had been reached during wage negotiations. On Friday, uShaka CEO Ndabo Khoza said that over the last few months, uShaka Marine World had been engaged in salary negotiations with the union representing the bargaining unit employees.   "Unfortunately, the parties have not been able to come to a settlement and this led to the matter being referred to the CCMA despite the employer’s best endeavours. The commencement of the industrial action will have an impact on our ability to deliver on our promise to providing a quality guest experience. In light of this, the entity has considered the business risks and has resolved to close the park to the public for the corresponding period of the industrial action," Khoza indicated. Khoza went on to say: “The employees are also expected to exercise their rights peacefully in accordance with the law and to respect the employees who have opted not to participate in the industrial action,” he said.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Se-Anne Rall at IOL News


KZN education department not renewing contracts of at least 27 employees in feeding scheme programme

News24 reports that according to education officials in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), the contracts of at least 27 employees working as deputy directors, assistant directors and administration clerks in the national school nutrition programme (NSNP) will not be renewed. The affected workers have been on contract with the KZN education department for five years and were responsible for the delivery of meals to schools, processing payment claims from service providers, as well as developing the menu and ensuring compliance with health standards. The non-renewal of contracts has raised the ire of the SA Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu) and the Public Servants Association of SA (PSA), which say this will have a negative impact on the schools' feeding scheme programme. Nomarashiya Caluza, Sadtu KZN secretary, referred to the non-renewal of contracts as a "termination of workers". She claimed the decision by the department was against an August 2023 approval by the head of department, Nkosinathi Ngcobo, that the workers would be hired by the department on permanent contracts.   Sadtu has written to the head of department asking for an urgent meeting to discuss this matter.   Mlungisi Ndlovu, KZN provincial manager for the PSA, said they wanted the department to reassess its decision not to absorb the affected workers permanently. "The abrupt termination of these dedicated individuals not only undermines their fundamental rights, but also imperils the effective management and administration of the NSNP," he stated.

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


DA's case against City of Joburg over reappointment of Floyd Brink struck off roll as not urgent

News24 reports that the urgent contempt of court case brought by the DA against the City of Johannesburg concerning city manager Floyd Brink’s reappointment has been struck off the roll. The South Gauteng High Court found that the matter was not urgent. The DA took the City to court after it rehired Brink following the court having previously found that he had initially been hired illegally. In his ruling on Friday, Judge Motsamai Makume indicated: "This (the DA’s application) cannot, at this stage, be said to be urgent, in view of the fact that he (Brink) has been in this position for a year now."   He added: “In my view, both the enforcement and the contempt applications (brought by the DA) should be heard in one sitting in the ordinary motion court.”   The DA's urgent application came after acting High Court Judge Steven Budlender declared in November 2023 that Brink's initial appointment as city manager had been unlawful. Brink was rehired at a 29 November council meeting.   In December, the DA filed a notice of motion for an urgent application, arguing that Brink's re-appointment was in contempt of court because he was hired within the 10 days given for the City to appoint a new city manager and because the post had not been advertised.

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


DA decries ‘failure’ in Sona address to deal with remote worker visa after 2023 promise

BusinessLive reports that according to DA Western Cape spokesperson on finance, economic opportunities & tourism, Cayla Murray, the “total absence” of any mention of the remote worker visa by President Cyril Ramaphosa in his State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Thursday was a letdown. Murray noted on Friday that the absence of any mention of the remote worker visa in Ramaphosa’s speech was “not only an oversight but a significant failure to capitalise on a vital economic opportunity.” She went on to indicate: “This glaring oversight is a major letdown, especially considering the president’s commitments in his previous two Sonas to implement the remote working visa.   The silence on this critical economic driver is a clear failure in prioritising SA’s economic and job growth prospects.” The Department of Home Affairs previously committed itself to implementing the remote working visa by June 2023.   In his Sona address in 2023, Ramaphosa had stated: “Having completed a comprehensive review of the work visa system, we will move quickly to implement the recommendations put forward…   We will also be introducing a remote worker visa and a special dispensation for high-growth start-ups.”   In his Sona on Thursday, the president indicated that the government had “published new regulations to reform our visa system, which will make it easier to attract the skills that our economy needs and create a dynamic ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship”.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Luyolo Mkentane at BusinessLive (subscriber access only). Read too, Sona 2024: tourism sector’s nose out of joint after President failed to give it a mention, at Business Report


SABC suspends three executives for hiding profit share agreement with external service provider

City Press reports that three top SA Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) executives are in hot water after they were found to have concealed a multimillion-rand advertising share agreement with an external service provider. During a presentation to SABC executive committee members at which the deal was approved last year, the trio, namely group chief operating officer Ian Plaatjies, group executive for video entertainment Merlin Naicker, and group executive for sales Reginald Nxumalo, allegedly concealed a profit share clause.   The R35 million contract, renewable yearly for five years, was awarded to Discover Digital. But the executives did not disclose to their bosses that the company would be paid an additional 7.5%. Last week, the SABC suspended Plaatjies and Naicker, while Nxumalo resigned when he allegedly heard about the impending suspension.   The public broadcaster acted last Monday after receiving legal advice from law firm Werkmans. This was kept under wraps, with the SABC only informing staff on Wednesday that the two had taken “leave of absence”. Under the controversial deal, the SABC agreed to pay technology company Discover Digital R35 million annually to manage its digital offerings, known as Over the Top (OTT), the multimedia integration platform which streams content. Werkmans said the three executives deliberately concealed the crucial information from the executive committee during their presentation before the agreement was signed. They misled the committee when they said the SABC would be getting 100% of the advertising revenue in the deal. Werkmans found there was a prima facie case to be answered by Plaatjies, Naicker and Nxumalo for gross dishonesty.

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


Former Home Affairs official sent to jail for selling IDs and birth certificates

IOL News reports that in 2022, Department of Home Affairs (DHA) official Kedibone Serumula received a slap on the wrist after she was found guilty of selling identity documents and birth certificates to foreign nationals who were in the country illegally. Serumula escaped jail time and received a suspended sentence.   However, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) was not happy with this sentence and appealed it. The Polokwane High Court then came to a new conclusion and ordered that Serumula should serve an effective two years in jail.   Provincial Hawks spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Matimba Maluleke reported that between 2015 and 2016, Serumula, who had been employed by the DHA in Lephalale as an Administration Officer, sold identity documents and birth certificates to foreign nationals.   The documents were sold for between R2,000 and R2,500. Serumula was arrested by the Hawks in 2020 and on 12 October 2022 she was found guilty in the Polokwane Specialized Commercial Crimes Courton on two counts of corruption and one count of contravention of the Immigration Act.   At that time Serumula received a suspended sentence for her crimes. But, the NPA, together with the Hawks, had not been satisfied with the sentences, and an appeal was filed.

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

Other internet posting(s) in this news category


SACP calls for the suspension of ‘corrupt’ Matlosana CFO

Sunday Independent reports that the SA Communist Party (SACP) in the North West has issued a red flag against Mercy Phetla, the chief financial officer (CFO) of the Matlosana District municipality, and has called for her suspension. Phetla is facing charges of corruption for allegedly receiving a kickback gift of a car worth R1.4 million in exchange for a service delivery tender from GMHM Construction and Projects, a company doing business with the municipality.   Phetla and two employees of GMHM, namely Matshepiso Mothelesane and Nomthandazo Mokasule, were arrested on 17 January before being released the following day on R35,000 bail each.   Fezile Canga, the SACP spokesperson in the district, said in a statement: “As the SACP, we are of the view that corruption should be rooted out and defeated in all forms, as it sets us back from the gains of democracy. The working class and the poor are at the end-point of this corruption… The above-mentioned allegations have an impact on the social well-being of our community at large. Therefore, the Party is of the view that this issue of corruption should not be left unattended.” The party called on the Municipal Council to suspend the CFO to ensure that the investigation ran smoothly without intimidation.: “We further reiterate our support to all stakeholders that have called for the suspension, and that the CFO be given space to deal with all charges facing her.” The three accused are expected to appear in court on 1 March 2024.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Thabo Makwakwa at Sunday Independent

Top Hawks investigator in Matlosana CFO’s corruption case arrested for extortion

Sunday World reports that the SA Police Service (SAPS) national intelligence and anti-corruption unit arrested a high ranking Hawks officer for corruption and extortion in a sting operation last week.   Lieutenant Colonel Elias Ledwaba, attached to the Hawks in the Klerksdorp branch, was nabbed on Wednesday after he allegedly extorted R100,000 from the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Matlosana municipality, Mercy Phetla. Ledwaba appeared in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on corruption and extortion charges and was remanded in custody until 15 February.     The unit members allegedly caught Ledwaba red-handed on Wednesday shortly after receiving the loot from Phetla.   Ledwaba is the principal investigator in the corruption case against Phetla and two GMHM Construction and Projects employees who were arrested and have already appeared in court. SAPS national spokesperson Brigadier Athlenda Mathe indicated that the police pounced on Ledwaba in the parking lot of Silver Oaks Crossing shopping centre, in the suburb of Silver Lakes in Pretoria, where he was found in possession of R100,000 . She confirmed that the complainant in the matter was the in Matlosana municipality CFO.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Bongani Mdakane at Sunday World


  • Where are we with the two-pot system? at Personal Finance
  • Tanzanian national who swindled two teachers out of their R2.5 million pension fund after ‘proposing his love’, jailed, at IOL News
  • Artisanal miners ‘brutalised’ in SANDF clampdown at Mail & Guardian (subscriber access only)
  • Cosatu supports competition body to appeal court ruling on rand manipulation, at Business Report


Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page