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 Thursday morning roundup, see
summaries of our selection of South African
labour-related reports.


Nehawu calls 4.7% wage increase for public servants a ‘spit in the face’

BL Premium reports that the Department of Public Service & Administration (DPSA) announced recently that public servants would receive a wage increase of 4.7% on 1 April, in line with a wage deal signed by the employer and four unions at the Public Service Co-ordinating Bargaining Council (PSCBC) in March 2023. The two-year pay deal translated into public servants getting a wage increase of 7.5% during 2023/24 and projected consumer price inflation (CPI) for 2024/25. Employees set to benefit do not include senior management. The two-year wage agreement was signed by Sadtu, PSA, Naptosa and Hospersa. Nehawu, Popcru, Denosa and Sapu did not sign the wage agreement in protest over the government’s decision to unilaterally implement a 3% wage increase for public servants in October 2022, among other grievances. Thulani Ngwenya of police and prisons union Popcru rejected the 4.7% wage increase, labelling it insufficient and warned that the union was prepared to “mobilise its members to march to Pretoria” to demand an above-inflation increase. He added that the 4.7% wage increase was an “insult” to Popcru members struggling to make ends meet, “yet are expected to serve on the front lines of the fight against crime”. Nehawu president Mike Shingange said the wage agreement was a “spit in the face of hardworking public servants”. He commented further: “The 2025/26 wage negotiations won’t be easy because workers want to claw back ... losses suffered over the past five years, since the reneging on the last leg of the wage deal signed in 2018.”

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


Hefty sentence for man who robbed and killed metered taxi driver in 2021

SowetanLive reports that the Pietermaritzburg High Court has sentenced Sihle Sandile Myaka to life and 45 years imprisonment for robbing and killing a taxi driver. KZN National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Natasha Ramkisson-Kara said Myaka was convicted on charges of murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, unlawful possession of a prohibited firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition. The charges related to the murder and robbery of metered taxi driver, Nkululeko Freedom Jili, in April 2021. Jili operated a metered taxi on behalf of his employer. On the night of 29 April 2021, Jili was operating the metered taxi when he was lured to the Copesville area, by Myaka. “When Jili reached the area, he was robbed of the motor vehicle and was shot and killed on the scene. Even though Myaka fled thereafter, he was arrested a month later. Upon his arrest, a firearm linking him to Jili’s murder was found in his possession,” said Ramkisson-Kara. In aggravation of the sentence, Magwaza handed in a victim impact statement compiled by Jili’s mother.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard at The Witness

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Pietermaritzburg employee traumatised after bogus customer robs shop at gunpoint, at The Witness


Reserve Bank keeps repo rate on hold at 15-year high of 8.25%, while hinting at inflation pressures enduring

TimesLIVE reports that SA Reserve Bank (SARB) governor Lesetja Kganyago announced at a monetary policy committee (MPC) briefing on Wednesday that the repo rate would remain at 8.25%. The decision was unanimous and the policy stance remained restrictive, the governor said. The repo rate has remained at 8.25% – its highest level in 15 years – since May last year. The MPC meeting came a week after Stats SA announced that consumer price inflation had climbed from 5.3% in January to 5.6% in February. Kganyago said this and high services inflation suggested that SA was joining the global trend of services, rather than goods, becoming a major source of inflation. He added that since the start of the year, SA had seen persistent global inflation pressures with headline inflation rates lower than a year ago but underlying inflation still elevated. Kganyago said while the MPC still saw headline inflation heading back to 4.5%, extra inflation pressure meant it would reach the target midpoint only at the end of 2025, later than previously expected.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Khulekani Magubane at TimesLIVE. Lees ook, Rentekoers onveranderd, by Maroela Media

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Só ruk kosmandjie jou sak in Maart, by Maroela Media
  • Inflation expectations delay repo rate cut, but it will come this year – economists, at The Citizen
  • Hoë inflasie bring nóg droewe dae, by Maroela Media


Western Cape security companies turn to court to save 337 jobs

Cape Times reports that in an attempt to save the jobs of 337 employees, five security companies were due to turn to the Western Cape High Court on Wednesday to interdict the provincial government from enlisting the services of a group of security companies in at least 36 health facilities in the province. Sechaba Protection Services, Silver Solutions, Star Project Management, All 4 Security Services and Helios Security and Risk Management were expected to go head-to-head against the Western Cape Government, and, amongst others, Phangela Private Security Services, Golden Security Services and mazim-Zim Security and Private Investigators. In his founding affidavit, managing director of Sechaba Protection Services, Adiel de Bruyns, requested that the Western Cape Government be interdicted from giving effect to a tender awarded to the three security companies, pending the outcome of a review application relating to the tender having been awarded to only those three companies out of 106 bids received.   The new service providers are expected to take over the sites on 1 April, which gave rise to the urgent application. According to De Bruyns, they were “irregularly excluded from consideration for all regions in the department”, after they submitted their bids. He also argued that 337 employees were at risk of unemployment and the applicants’ respective financial well-being was also being placed in peril.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Chevon Booysen at Cape Times


Hundreds of guards sent home without wages after Eastern Cape health department fails to pay security companies

GroundUp reports that security companies contracted to the Eastern Cape Department of Health (DOH) could not pay guards this month.   The cash-strapped department has been in trouble with security contractors stationed at clinics and hospitals in the Eastern Cape since January. Earlier this year, it was reported that Xhobani Security Services could not pay salaries. The department owes Xhobani about R3-million. Last week, managers at Silver Solutions informed hundreds of security guards that their salaries would be paid late this month. The guards are stationed at clinics and hospitals in Nelson Mandela Bay municipality, Queenstown and in the King Williams town area. Department spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo indicated that payments to service providers, including the security companies, would start next month.   According to Private Sector Workers Trade Union (PSWTU) spokesperson Malibongwe Kayiyana, the union intended to lodge a dispute with the department at the CCMA. He said the PSWTU would fight to have the guards paid before mid-April. “There are about 1,000 guards at Eastern Cape government institutions that have not been paid. We are taking the department to the CCMA,” he stated.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Thamsanqa Mbovane at GroundUp


African Bank gets shareholder nod for employee share plan

BL Premium reports that African Bank has obtained shareholder approval for the implementation of its employee share ownership plan (ESOP), it said on Wednesday. This constitutes part of a first phase of preparations for an initial public offering (IPO) for the group. The company said in November the first phase in the preparation for the IPO entailed the design and development of an employee share ownership scheme, the development of a management scheme, and the sourcing of appropriate strategically aligned partners. In anticipation of the IPO, the bank intends to implement a broad-based employee share ownership scheme to align employee and shareholder interests, allowing employees to participate in the value created after the IPO and to support the attraction and retention initiatives of the bank. The share trust will hold no more than 10% of the ordinary shareholding of African Bank Holdings Limited post the issue of shares and each eligible employee will receive an equal allocation. At an extraordinary general meeting on 26 March, shareholders voted in favour of the necessary resolutions to implement the ESOP. The group will release further details of the scheme in the half-year results to be released in May.

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


Education officials and Educor have battled for years, and now 13,000 students are heartbroken

News24 reports that two private higher education institutions that have been deregistered by the Department of Higher Education were in a legal battle in 2019 to challenge the withdrawal of accreditation for 19 of their programmes. Lyceum College and Damelin, which are both owned by Educor, brought a North Gauteng High Court application comprising two parts against the Council on Higher Education (CHE) after it revoked endorsement of their academic offerings.   The CHE took the drastic step because of "quality concerns" at the two institutions. However, the first part of the court challenge, which was the urgent application to suspend the CHE's decision, was dismissed with costs in December 2019. Judge Dawie Fourie said at the time that existing students would be able to complete their courses. According to CHE chief executive Whitfield Green, "the case appears dormant" as second part of the institutions' case did not go to trial because Educor did not take the matter further. On Tuesday, Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande confirmed that Lyceum College and Damelin, as well as City Varsity and Icesa City Campus, which are also owned by Educor, had been deregistered by the CHE. Meanwhile, students attending City Varsity in Cape Town and Damelin in Joburg, who were still reeling in shock from Nzimande's announcement, spoke of their shattered dreams and their lives being turned upside down. A total of 13,000 students from the four institutions have been affected by the cancellation of their registrations.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Mothushi Thoka and Prega Govender at News24. Read too, 13,000 students to be affected by closures, at SowetanLive

Educor’s deregistration has left thousands stranded, but ‘students can claim money back’

The Citizen reports that students who have been negatively impacted by Educor’s deregistration can claim their hard-earned money back, according to a consumer law expert. Minister of Higher Education Blade Nzimande announced the deregistration of four Educor institutions on Tuesday. City Varsity, Damelin, Icesa City Campus and Lyceum College were stripped of accreditation for their failure to submit annual financial statements and tax clearance certificates for 2021 and 2022. While the institutions have been granted a phase-out period to allow students in the ‘pipeline’ to complete their studies, the move has left thousands stressed out over their academic future.   With uncertainty prevailing, Nzimande said Educor would have to reimburse students where due. Consumer law expert Trudie Broekmann pointed out that there was a contractual relationship between the respective institutions, their students and parents. However, due to the deregistration, the colleges would no longer be able to provide educational services to their students. “This in legal terms, amounts to breach of contract by the institution, and the student and his/her parents can claim damages, and are under no obligation to pay for services which won’t be provided,” Broekmann advised. Echoing Nzimande, Broekmann said that students who had already paid their fees for the year were entitled to claim back a portion of their fees for the period when services would no longer be provided. Meanwhile, the Higher Education Department noted that students looking to complete their studies at other institutions might experience challenges with the transfer of credits.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Vukosi Maluleke at The Citizen

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Tertiary students’ future hangs in balance, at The Mercury


Companies must submit Workplace Skills Plans by 30 April or ‘no BBBEE points’

The Citizen writes that admin awaits entrepreneurs in April as companies will have to get through some paperwork to keep their Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) status intact. Businesses with an annual payroll exceeding R500,000, or with more than 50 employees are required to submit their Workplace Skills Plan (WSP) and Annual Record of Training (ATR) to the relevant Sector Education and Training Authority (Seta) by end of April. Anton Visser, Group CEOO at SA Business School and Alefbet Learning, said getting the WSP-ATR paperwork was a big deal. “By doing so, companies can claim 20% of the SDL (Skills Development Levy) through a grant from the relevant Seta for their training and skills development initiatives, and very importantly, get 20 points towards their BBBEE scorecard.” Visser explained that eligible companies should be registered to pay Skills Development Levies before they can submit their WSPs and ATRs.   Warning against non-compliance, Visser said companies could lose 20 skills development points, causing their BBBEE to drop by two levels. “If your BBBEE level drops by two levels, you may find that you’re unable to participate successfully in any tender bids, especially where those specify pre-qualifying criteria such as the submission of a WSP. The opportunity cost is huge,” he pointed out. Furthermore, Visser said that any grant linked to the WSP will also be suspended for the year, until the submission window opens again.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Vukosi Maluleke at The Citizen


September implementation date for two-pot retirement system too optimistic, says Old Mutual CEO

Moneyweb reports that pension fund members who are eager to access a portion of their retirement money on 1 September may have to wait a while longer, as the legislation that underpins the two-pot system is nowhere near complete. Old Mutual group CEO Iain Williamson said on Wednesday at the group’s annual results briefing that there was a risk the implementation date “may slip”. Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana announced in his 2024 budget speech that 1 September 2024 was the official implementation date of the two-pot retirement system. Williamson noted that the implementation date was less than five months away and there were still “moving parts”. SA’s parliamentary term ends mid-May before the general election on 29 May. Although a new parliament could be appointed sometime in June, it will leave the new lawmakers with around three months to consider public comments, make another round of amendments, then vote and pass the legislation. Only then can the legislation be published and signed into law. In addition, the Government Employees Pension Law also needs amendment for the new system to be applicable in the public sector. Each draft law is in various phases of parliamentary processes but is nowhere near finalisation. Williamson said Old Mutual expected a “flurry of fund withdrawals” when the so-called two-pot retirement system was finally implemented.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Liesl Peyper at Moneyweb. Read too, Lawmakers vote in favour of pension funds reform law, at Moneyweb


St Mary's Diocesan School for Girls teacher's rape case transferred to trial court

News24 reports that the case of a former St Mary's Diocesan School for Girls teacher accused of raping an 11-year-old girl on the school premises has been transferred to a trial court. The teacher, who cannot be named until he has pleaded to the sexual offences charges, briefly appeared in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court on Wednesday. The court heard that the case was being transferred to the regional court, where the trial would be held. The matter was subsequently postponed to April. It was previously reported that the man was charged with rape, sexual assault and sexual grooming following his arrest at the beginning of February.   The charges relate to incidents that allegedly took place between 2017 and 2018 while he was a teacher at the elite girls' school in Pretoria. The accused said he intended to plead not guilty to the charges and denied the allegations in their entirety. In February, the teacher was granted R10,000 bail, with conditions that he should report to his closest police station three times a week and should not interfere directly or indirectly with state witnesses.

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


Passengers jump out of burning Putco bus in Centurion, 22 injured

News24 reports that commuters jumped out of a burning Putco bus in Centurion on Wednesday, leaving 22 passengers injured. In a video widely shared on social media, people can be seen exiting via the windows as smoke and flames engulf the vehicle. The bus caught fire on the R573. Putco spokesperson Lindokuhle Xulu reported: "The driver was able to douse the fire with the available fire extinguishers on the bus. Our immediate priority has been the well-being of the passengers affected by this unfortunate event. We can confirm that we have provided prompt passenger assistance, particularly in addressing their injuries. It is important to note that the injuries sustained are from passengers alighting the bus and not from the fire."   He added that the cause of the fire was under investigation and that the safety of passengers was their "top priority".

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Iavan Pijoos at News24

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Só word Westdene-busramp 39 jaar later nog onthou, by Maroela Media


  • Onbeskofte hooflanddros afgedank, by Maroela Media
  • Oudspeurder skuldig aan korrupspie, by Maroela Media
  • Lecturer opens up about taking a leap of faith and taking up a teaching post in South Korea, at Sunday Tribune
  • Candidate attorneys decry ‘irregular’ exam conditions, at The Star
  • SA will burn coal for a very long time, Mantashe says, at Moneyweb


Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page