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.


OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY

Foskor procurement executive killed in suspected hit in Richards Bay on Monday morning

News24 reports that a senior procurement executive at fertiliser and chemicals producer Foskor was killed in broad daylight in Meerensee, Richards Bay, on Monday in a suspected hit. Police spokesperson Colonel Robert Netshiunda said officers responded to reports of a shooting in the suburb and found a 50-year-old man dead inside his vehicle. He had sustained multiple gunshot wounds. Netshiunda said the unknown gunmen had used rifles before fleeing in a silver Hyundai iX35. The motive for the murder is not yet known. Three years ago, Nico Swart, Richards Bay Minerals (RBM) general manager for operational services, was also killed in a hail of bullets in the same suburb. RBM employees had reportedly become targets for angry communities which were disgruntled by the company wanting to remove local traditional chiefs as beneficiaries of the trusts established in its 2009 black economic empowerment (BEE) transaction. RBM had sought to find other ways to benefit traditional leaders and their families rather than an automatic share of the dividends. RBM had also wanted the amakhosi, political office bearers and municipal councillors to be barred from serving as trustees on the four trusts established as part of the deal.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Cebelihle Bhengu at News24

Nurse, security guard locked in dispensary room overnight during clinic robbery

News24 reports that the Eastern Cape health department set aside R78 million for security upgrades after several robberies at its public health facilities since the beginning of the year. According to the department, the latest incident happened on Friday evening at the Zigodlo Clinic in Debenek, in the Amathole region, when a nurse and a security guard were tied up and locked in the dispensary room overnight. Among the items stolen were three computers, a TV, two cell phones, infant formula, a gas cylinder used for the immunisation fridge, the clinic committee's groceries and a photocopy machine.   No one has been arrested yet and police are investigating a case of robbery. Provincial health spokesperson Mkhululi Ndamase reported that, in other incidents since the start of the year, there was an electrical cable theft at Dora Nginza Hospital in Gqeberha, and a fence was stolen at Mabandla Clinic in Kariega. In addition, staff members at Lunga Kobese Clinic were held up at gunpoint, and the robbers took their phones. The previous week, there were robberies at two clinics. Health MEC Nomakhosazana Meth indicated that the department was doing its part by ensuring that security guards, proper fencing and other security measures, like panic buttons, beams and CCTV cameras, were available in public health facilities.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Yoliswa Sobuwa at News24

Four Limpopo road construction workers killed on job after being knocked down by car on N11

TimesLIVE reports that four construction workers died on Monday morning after being knocked down by a car on the N11 at Ga-Machikiri in the Waterberg district in Limpopo. An Opel Astra sedan reportedly knocked down the construction workers while they were busy with road construction. Limpopo department of transport and community safety said speeding and reckless driving were possible causes of the accident.   Spokesperson for the department Vongani Chauke confirmed that four workers died on the scene, while another two were transported to a nearby hospital for medical attention. “The driver of the Astra sedan has also been rushed to a hospital for medical attention, and a case of culpable homicide is opened,” he indicated. Limpopo MEC for transport and community safety Florence Radzilani expressed shock at the incident and said: “We urge drivers to exercise extra caution when approaching construction sites. As contractors are repairing and renovating roads throughout the province, please pay attention to any warning signs and obey instructions.”

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Shonisani Tshikalange at TimesLIVE

SA ‘idiotic’ deployment in DRC lacks proper air support, former general warns

BL Premium reports that when SA deploys its full contingent of soldiers as part of a Southern African regional force (SamiDRC) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) it does so with its military equipment at its lowest ebb yet in one of the most volatile warzones of Africa.   Apart from having almost no serviceable helicopters and transport aircraft available to provide air cover and evacuation support, it has to depend on the DRC’s own limited air support when it takes on rebel groups armed to the teeth in the east of the country. A week ago the South Africans who are still part of the UN peacekeeping and force intervention brigade had a taste of what is to come when ground forces of the M23 rebels fired at an Oryx helicopter from the SA Air Force. The helicopter was hit at least 43 times by suspected AK-47 and PK machine gun fire, which ripped through the helicopter and its main rotors. One shot slammed into the joystick and the finger of the commander of the Oryx, Maj Jannie Augustyn. Another shot from below peppered his leg with shrapnel. A medical orderly in the back, who was taking care of a patient whom the crew had just evacuated, was hit by a bullet that came through the floor and hit him under his body armour. In “normal” operational circumstances the Oryx should have had the protection of one of the Rooivalk attack helicopters deployed by the air force to the DRC a few years ago. Except that the Rooivalks have not flown in many months due to technical issues and the expiry of the crew’s currency certification. Military analysts described the deployment of soldiers in the DRC without air support as “idiotic”. One former general claimed that a battalion of 5,000 was the minimum requirement for a force to have an impact. They should be well equipped with mortars and heavy machine guns.

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


CADRE DEPLOYMENT

ConCourt denies ANC leave to appeal order to disclose its cadre deployment records

BL Premium reports that in a landmark ruling that could shake up the ANC and herald a new era of meritocracy in public service, the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) has thrown out the party’s appeal against a high court order to disclose its records of appointing loyalists to key public sector posts. In a short judgment on Monday, the ConCourt said the "application should be dismissed as it is not in the interest of justice for leave to appeal to be granted". This means the case to keep records of meetings of the ANC cadre deployment committee away from the DA did not warrant the attention of the top court.   The ANC must now hand over the records of its cadre deployment committee meetings since 1 January 2013, when President Cyril Ramaphosa became chair. It had five days from Monday to hand over the records to the DA.   The DA has long challenged the ANC’s cadre deployment policy. In September, the Supreme Court of Appeal dismissed ANC attempts to appeal against two orders of the high court in Johannesburg that it must hand over records of its cadre deployment committee to the DA. The ANC has defended cadre deployment as a way of transforming the public service and advancing the interests of the black population.   Opposition parties have blamed the practice for service delivery failures. In the final part of the state-capture report issued in June 2022, chief justice Raymond Zondo declared the policy to be unconstitutional and illegal.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Thando Maeko at BusinessLive (subscriber access only). Lees ook, Geen uitkomkans meer vir ANC oor kaderontplooiings dokumente, by Maroela Media


GAUTENG YOUTH EMPLOYMENT

Millions paid by Gauteng for just 142 internships must be paid back by consultancy

BL Premium reports that a Gauteng consultancy walked away with millions of rand in profit after promising the provincial government it would create 75,000 internships for unemployed youths in the province over three years, but ended up creating just 142 such opportunities.   The contract with Amahlo Consulting, awarded without a tender process, was part of the Gauteng government’s Vuthela project, meant to create employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for unemployed youth. The programme, an initiative by the Gauteng Enterprise Propeller (GEP), was launched in June 2016 by Lebogang Maile, the province’s then MEC for economic, environment, agriculture & rural development. It was found in an investigation by the GEP into the project that the contract with Amahlo had been entered into illegally and had been signed without the authority of the board by then GEP acting CEO Leah Manenzhe. The R65m contract signed by Manenzhe with Amahlo was to create 75,000 job opportunities. However, a few months later, the contract was amended, reducing the job opportunities to 5,000 but keeping the cost at R65m. The GEP could only verify 142 internships that had been created by the programme.   The GEP approached the South Gauteng High Court, demanding that Amahlo pay back R52m and the court ruled in its favour. Amahlo has asked the court for leave to appeal the judgment and the matter is set to be heard on Tuesday.

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

‘You don’t need social grants, you need jobs’, says Gauteng premier as he hands over 32,000 re-appointment letters

IOL News reports that Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi has extended the employment contracts of 32,000 youth brigades under the Nasi iSpani mass recruitment programme. The individuals will work as teacher assistants in schools across Gauteng.   Their roles include Education Assistants (EA), General School Assistants (GSA), and Early Childhood Development Assistants (ECDA) in schools. Lesufi handed over the appointment letters to the job-seekers who packed the Dobsonville Stadium in Soweto on Sunday. These were individuals whose contracts ended last year.   Addressing the crowd, the premier said young people should not depend on grants and handouts, instead, they must work for themselves, earn their salaries, and contribute to the province’s economic development and growth. It was the third biggest public handover of appointment letters to date since last year. Lesufi has so far handed over more than 90,000 employment letters to unemployed youth, including the Gauteng Crime Prevention Wardens “AmaPanyaza” who are now training under the supervision of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) to fight crime in the province. However, the premier dismissed claims that this was an electioneering campaign, saying the drive was aimed at tackling unemployment in the province.

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


UNEMPLOYED DOCTORS

Unemployed doctors march to health department in PMB demanding permanent jobs and no budget cuts to healthcare

GroundUp reports that over 80 unemployed doctors marched to the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Department of Health’s offices in Langalibele Street, Pietermaritzburg (PMB), on Monday. They went to hand over their CVs and a memorandum demanding that the healthcare budget be increased to accommodate over 700 qualifying medical practitioners. The department was given 14 days to respond. Eighty-four unemployed doctors also signed a register handed to the department. The doctors were met by Deputy Health Minister Sibongiseni Dhlomo who said health minister Joe Phaahla had another engagement. Dhlomo said the department was working to address the issue of unemployed doctors, and that the minister would raise it this week in Parliament and ask that healthcare be exempt from budget cuts. Dr Siya Shozi, part of a “small committee” of unemployed doctors with no political affiliation, said the march had been coordinated through a WhatsApp group. Shozi was happy with the turnout but said it did not represent the large number of unemployed doctors in KZN and its rural areas. Representatives from the SA Medical Association Trade Union (SAMATU) and the Public Servants Association of SA (PSA) joined the march and pledged support for the doctors.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Joseph Bracken at GroundUp


WORK VISAS

Cyril Ramaphosa says there is movement on draft regulations for work visas

BL Premium reports that President Cyril Ramaphosa has thrown his weight behind new work visa regulations, saying they send a clear signal to business that SA is committed to attracting skills that enable economic growth and job creation. Second-draft amendments to immigration regulations gazetted by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) last week – dealing with two visa categories: a remote working visa and the critical skills visa – make provision for a point-based system for work visas determined by the minister, taking into account age, qualifications, language skills, work experience, offer of employment and the ability to adapt within SA. In his weekly newsletter on Monday, Ramaphosa wrote: “The publication of the new draft regulations are part of our ongoing drive to reform the country’s visa system, making it easier to attract the skills our economy needs and promoting innovation and entrepreneurship. An efficient, agile, responsive visa regime is key to attracting business investment and boosting economic growth.” Last week, the DA in the Western Cape said the “total absence” of any mention of the remote worker visa by Ramaphosa in his state of the nation address (Sona) on Thursday had been a let-down. The DHA had previously committed itself to implementing the remote working visa by June 2023.

On Monday, Ramaphosa said draft regulations would significantly boost “our efforts to attract workers with critical skills to SA”.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Luyolo Mkentane at BusinessLive (subscriber access only). And also, Ramaphosa wants critical skills to boost economy, at IOL News. Read President Ramaphosa’s newsletter published on Monday at Moneyweb


COST OF LIVING / BANK CHARGES

Solidarity’s Bank Charges Report 2024 shows competitiveness and transparency strengthened among the big five

The Solidarity Research Institute (SRI) issued its annual bank charges report on Monday. This year, the report focused solely on bank charges. The five banks forming the core of the report were Absa, FNB, Standard Bank, Nedbank and Capitec, with Tymebank and Bank Zero included in the online category.   According to Theuns du Buisson, economic researcher at the SRI, the report showed a significant increase in transparency about bank charges among the big banks in SA. “While there may still be secrecy about rewards programmes all the banks Solidarity had contact with have agreed that more transparency is also needed about this aspect. It is already noticeable at most banks, and we will certainly analyse rewards programmes again in next year’s report,” Du Buisson indicated.   The importance of a good, user-friendly fees page was also highlighted in the report. “Nedbank has greatly simplified its fee structure and the layout of its page is now also easy to understand. It is more difficult this year than in the past to figure out FNB’s and Absa’s fees pages because of a layout that forces one to scroll between specific fees and included fees, especially in their bundled accounts,” Du Buisson pointed out. Another finding of the report was that clients who had no need for branches and extensive banking services got the best value by far from online banks such as Tymebank and Bank Zero. For consumers with sophisticated banking needs, Nedbank’s Migoals Premium account was the cheapest,

Read Solidarity’s press statement in regard to this matter and access the full report at Politicsweb. Lees ook, SA banke ál meer mededingend, deursigtig – verslag, by Maroela Media


UNLAWFUL CFO APPOINTMENT

Polokwane High Court finds appointment of Makhado chief financial officer unlawful

GroundUp reports that the Limpopo High Court in Polokwane has set aside a decision by the Makhado Municipality to ignore the recommendation of a selection panel and instead appointing the second-highest scoring candidate as its chief financial officer (CFO). Acting Judge Sydwell Sikhwari ruled that the decision taken by the council in August last year to appoint Mulatwa Thangavhuelelo as CFO was unlawful, unreasonable and procedurally unfair. The case came before the court in an application by Godfrey Raliphada, the overlooked, top-scoring candidate. In response, lawyers for the municipality raised a number of technical points, arguing for instance that the court had no jurisdiction to entertain the application and that it should be referred to labour bargaining forums or the labour court and also that the Employment Equity Act should have been invoked because of an allegation of unfair gender discrimination. Judge Sikwari, however, disagreed and said the allegation of unfair gender discrimination was just one of many complaints, the most prominent of the others being that the council had ignored the selection panel’s recommendation without rational explanation or any explanation at all, when it had no right to do so. At the interview process Raliphada had scored the highest with 86% and Thangavhuelelo second highest with 69%.   Following a competency test, both were found to be competent although Thangavhuelelo scored higher in that round.   The selection panel was unequivocally clear that Raliphada was the most suitable candidate. Municipal unions Samwu and Imatu welcomed the court’s decision. The council’s decision to appoint Thangavhuelelo had resulted in protests by union members last year.

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


EMPLOYMENT EQUITY TARGETS

How the proposed new employment equity targets will work

Fin24 writes that government recently published new proposed employment equity (EE) targets for 18 different sectors. The public has until 2 May to comment on the new regulations and when the finalised targets are gazetted, companies will have five years to comply – unless they can successfully justify to the Department of Employment and Labour why they cannot do so. After the five years, a new set of five-year targets will be compiled for each industry. The sectoral targets are for different levels of employees, from skilled technical workers to top managers – but there aren't sectoral targets for unskilled and semi-skilled workers. Still, companies must continue to set EE targets and goals for semi-skilled and unskilled workers that reflect the provincial or national demographics. There will still be targets for men and women, but where there were specific targets for specific provinces, this has been replaced with a single national number.   And instead of different targets for different racial groups, there is now only a single collective target for "designated groups" (which include African, Coloured, Indian and women) in each sector. So, for example, the sectoral target requires that at least 40% of the top management of a national manufacturing company must be from designated groups – without specifying which percentage needs to be African, for example. However, this won’t change much in practice.   Companies will still need to set and achieve annual targets for each category (African, coloured and Indian) of the designated group in their EE plans. Companies' EE targets will have to reflect the demographics of the provincial or national labour force (economically active population).

Read the full original of the informative report in the above regard by Helena Wasserman Fin24 (subscriber access only)


OTHER REPORTS OF INTEREST

  • Don’t cancel your medical aid, NHI a way off yet (podcast), at Moneyweb
  • Curro Academy suspends teacher after she allegedly called black learners monkeys, at IOL News
  • Another Eskom manager arrested for fraud and corruption after she allegedly did business with her employer, at IOL News

 


Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page