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.


SAFETY & SECURITY

Fallen soldier Sergeant Mbulelo David Ngubane’s mortal remains handed over to family

The Star reports that Defence and Military Veterans Minister Thandi Modise and senior leadership in the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) were due to hand over the mortal remains of Sergeant Mbulelo David Ngubane to the family on Monday. Ngubane tragically died during contact between M23 rebels and SADC forces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on 30 May. The ceremony was scheduled to be held at Air Force Base Waterkloof on Monday afternoon. Ngubane, 39, an operational medical practitioner in the SA Military Health Service (SAMHS), was shot and killed when the ambulance in which he was tending to injured members was attacked. The vehicle was clearly marked with large medical symbols on both sides and on top, depicting a medical vehicle. The incident occurred even though the Geneva Convention on Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC) clearly stipulates categories of protected persons and objects such as medical personnel, medical transport, in particular, and other establishments of this nature during an armed conflict. Some South Africans took to social media platform X to bid farewell to the fallen soldier, while others criticised Ramaphosa for deploying soldiers to the volatile DRC. Ramaphosa extended the deployment of 2,900 SANDF members to the DRC in February this year. The deployment will cover the period until 15 December 2024.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Ntombi Nkosi at The Star

Off duty Cape Town cop fighting for his life in hospital after being shot multiple times on Sunday

News24 reports that an off duty Western Cape police officer is fighting for his life in hospital after gunmen opened fire on him in Delft on Sunday. Colleagues found the wounded Parow police station officer in Symphony Way, Leiden.   Police spokesperson Sergeant Wesley Twigg said the 35-year-old officer was with his girlfriend when he was shot multiple times. He was seriously wounded and was taken to a medical facility for treatment. The suspects fled the scene and have yet to be arrested. Police are still probing the motive for the attack. Xolile Marimani of the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) condemned the "disturbing" shooting and said: “This tragic incident is a stark reminder of the dangers and the risks that our law enforcement officers face every day as they work to keep our society safe.” Popcru previously indicated that anyone found guilty of killing a police officer should be sentenced to life behind bars. SA Police Union spokesperson Lesiba Thobakgale previously pointed out that the number of murders across the country showed that criminals had no fear of killing police officers. "We will maintain that police killings must be declared an act of treason," Thobakgale indicated.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Lisalee Solomons at News24

Three seriously injured in explosion at animal feed mill in Malmesbury on Monday

News24 reports that three people were seriously injured in an explosion at an animal feed mill in Malmesbury, Western Cape, on Monday afternoon. The explosion took place at Quantum Foods' Nova Feeds mill in Bokomo Street. The factory produces and supplies food for livestock. In a statement, the company said the explosion took place at around 15:00, damaging equipment at the factory's raw material intake area. "The cause of the explosion is unknown at this time.   No crime is suspected. Three people were injured, one of whom is in a critical condition. All safety protocols were followed during and after the incident, and automated emergency equipment was successfully activated", the company advised.   All its employees were accounted for after a roll-call. An engineer has been contracted to launch an independent investigation, which will include an assessment of possible structural damage. The incident has also been reported to the Department of Employment and Labour.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Noxolo Sibiya at News24

Surge in safety escorts for City of Cape Town staff, contractors

Cape Times reports that the City of Cape Town has seen a surge in escorts for staff and contractors since the inception of its Facility Protection Officers (FPO) initiative a year ago. The initiative was launched in May 2023 with a mandate to protect city facilities against vandalism and theft, but also to help safeguard projects and staff amid an increase in extortion-related incidents that have severely impacted service delivery. The number of escorts provided to City departments and contractors increased from 759 within nine months in 2022/23 to 1,292 during the same period in the current financial year, representing a 70% increase.   Safety and security management committee member, JP Smith, said: “‘The massive spike in safety escorts speaks to our commitment to keeping staff and contractors safe, and to ensure that service delivery happens as needed.   Sadly, it is also a reflection of the very difficult circumstances in many of our communities. No one should have to worry about their safety when heading out to fix a street light, or a pipe, or to put out a fire, but here we are.”   He went on to note: “For a long time, our rescue services were mindlessly targeted in high-risk areas, but today, with the proliferation of extortion rackets, everyone is at risk, and often with fatal consequences, as we have seen in recent years.”

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


MINING LABOUR

Axed Sibanye-Stillwater workers who participated in sit-in expected to appeal against dismissals

BL Premium reports that precious metals producer Sibanye-Stillwater is expecting the 231 workers it fired after an illegal underground sit-in to embark on an appeals process this week. The disgruntled employees staged an underground protest at the miner’s Kroondal mine last week over eligibility for employee share option scheme payments. The company said they did not yet qualify for the schemes. The protest ended last Wednesday with all workers returning to the surface. Sibanye spokesperson James Wellsted indicated: “There were 231 employees involved in the sit-in. What we did, as required by labour regulations, [is that] we asked them to come up, [we] gave them three ultimatums, they did not respond, then we gave them dismissal notices. We also obtained a court interdict [which said the] strike [was] illegal.” The company has said it will not condone illegal actions by any stakeholders that could “compromise the safety and wellbeing of employees or the sustainability of our operations”. National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) president Dan Balepile said the dismissed were members of both NUM and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu). He advised that NUM would represent all the dismissed workers during their appeals hearing on Tuesday. “We are going to conduct a joint representation of the workers, led by the NUM,” Balepile indicated.

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

Petra Diamonds concludes above-inflation five-year wage agreement with NUM

Business Report writes that the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has inked a five-year wage agreement with Petra Diamonds, which will be effective from next month and give employees at the diamond miner above-inflation salary increases. The NUM said the employer agreed to a “valid and binding five-year agreement for the NUM members within the A and B Paterson grades” for the period 1 July 2024 to 30 June 2029. The two grades are the recognised bargaining units for the company and the agreement was signed at the NUM’s head office in Johannesburg on Friday.   The union outlined the details of the agreement as encompassing the basic salary of the employees, excluding all allowances, non-salary related bonuses, gratuities and payments of a like nature. The employees covered by the agreement will get salary increases of 6.25% in the first year, 5.75% in the second year and a similar increase in the third year.   In the fourth and fifth years, the employees will be awarded 6.5% wage increases. Masibulele Naki, chief negotiator for the NUM at Petra Diamonds, said the wage negotiations had been extremely difficult and robust. “We signed the wage agreement today (Friday) under a very difficult situation where the NUM is facing two retrenchments at Cullinan and Finsch Mines. We managed to negotiate for salary increases that we think will sustain jobs and also make sure that workers are happy,” Naki commented.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Tawanda Karombo at Business Report. See too, Petra, NUM sign five-year wage deal, at Mining Weekly


PUBLIC SERVICE JOB QUALIFICATIONS

Public Service Commission talks tough on unqualified senior managers in the public service

Sunday Independent reports that an inquiry by the Public Service Commission (PSC) found that some 180 senior government officials do not meet the national qualifications framework (NQF) requirements for the posts they occupy. The PSC report on the qualifications of senior managers in the public service, was initially published in April but updated last month, with responses from all government departments required to make inputs and submissions.   According to the report, 96% of the 3,966 senior management service (SMS) members from the 37 national departments that were required to respond to the PSC’s inquiry were qualified for the positions they occupy. However, only 11 of 37 departments said 100% of their SMS members were qualified for their posts. There were only 176 SMS members (4% of the 3,966) who did not meet the NQF requirements, and of these 114 (2.9%) were appointed before the introduction of the 2015 directive on minimum entry requirements. The remaining 50 (1.26%) were appointed after the directive introduction. Information relating to appointment dates was not provided for 12 (0.30%). SMS members refer to officials occupying the positions of director, chief director, deputy director-general or equivalent and director-general/ head of department. ”The DPSA (Department of Public Service and Administration) must direct all departments with SMS members who still do not meet the minimum qualifications requirements to submit plans on how the gaps will be addressed with clear time frames to enable proper monitoring of those plans," the PSC stated. The report also detailed the situation in provincial government departments.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Loyiso Sidimba at Sunday Independent


BOXING SA APPOINTMENTS

Boxing SA new board makes sweeping changes, boots out controversial Eastern Cape manager

DispatchLive reports that Boxing SA’s (BSA’s) newly-appointed board on Monday announced it had made some big moves, like booting out one controversial provincial manager and ordering promoters to start paying debts. Five provincial managers were named for the nine provinces, with the big change being Siya Vabaza Booi coming in for Phakamile Jacobs in the Eastern Cape.   Jacobs had come under fire on several occasions over the years, but more recently he was the supervisor when the results of two fights were botched up. In one case a scorecard was tallied incorrectly, twice resulting in boxers being declared winners when the fight was drawn. The other provincial managers are Lehlohonolo Ramagole (Gauteng, Free State and Limpopo), Mike Dube (KwaZulu-Natal), Mzoli Tempi (Western Cape and Northern Cape) and Oupa Lubisi (Mpumalanga and Limpopo). Another thorny issue facing BSA had been a debt, reported at R6.28m and with much of it believed to be sanctioning fees owed by promoters. BSA pointed out that the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) required appropriate steps to be taken to collect all money owed to the regulator. “It is against this background that the board resolved to enforce payment of sanctioning fees owed to [BSA] and promoters owing are expected to pay 30% of their debt upfront and further make necessary arrangements to pay off the remaining debt,” BSA advised.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by David Isaacson at DispatchLive


MEDICAL INTERN PLACEMENTS

Radiation therapy graduates unplaced in internships for six months

GroundUp reports that a number of radiation therapy graduates, who must by law complete the Department of Health’s (DOH’s) Internship and Community Service Programme in order to practise medicine, say they have been waiting for nearly six months to be placed in hospitals. They have finished their four-year studies and now need to complete a year-long internship, referred to as Comserve, in order to register and practice as medical professionals. Their primary role is to administer radiation treatment to patients with cancer. The community service programme is administered by the national DOH. A graduate from the Western Cape said:   “We are left in limbo, not sure when we will receive a post,” and added that they had been told since the beginning of the year that Comserve officials were engaging with provinces to secure them placements. He shared correspondence that indicated that he had not yet been allocated a position “due to the unavailability of funded posts”. He said he knew of about nine other radiation therapists also waiting for placements. The failure to place graduates is happening despite staff shortages in radiation oncology departments in Gauteng. On 30 April activists and cancer patients marched to the offices of the Gauteng DOH demanding that millions of rands set aside for radiation treatment be used.   In an open letter addressed to health MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko, the organisations provided a backlog list of about 3,000 patients awaiting radiation oncology treatment. In December 2023, the national DOH advised that nearly 10,400 Comserve applications had been received. Of these, just less than 9,400 applicants “were successfully placed, and this includes medical doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other health professionals at health facilities throughout the country”.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Liezl Human at GroundUp


BELA BILL

Ramaphosa unlikely to sign Bela Bill into law before new administration is in place

Mail & Guardian reports that according to Presidency spokesperson Vincent Magwenya, the Basic Education Law Amendment (Bela) Bill will probably not be signed by President Cyril Ramaphosa before the new administration takes its seats in the National Assembly (NA). It will be up to the new administration to decide by a motion of the house whether the bill should go through the National Assembly again for reconsideration, or if it should proceed to the President to be signed into law. The Bill, first drafted in 2017, proposes the biggest update to education law in the past decade. It seeks to amend the 1996 SA Schools Act and the 1998 Employment of Educators Act to align them with “developments in the education landscape”. Amongst other aims, the Bill controversially seeks to revise the admission and language policies of schools, by transferring decision-making authority from the school governing body (SGB) to the provincial head of department (HOD). This change was prompted by instances of discriminatory admission practices observed in some schools. But it has faced opposition, including from the Democratic Alliance (DA), which says the bill cannot “fix the education system” by “centralising power into the hands of unelected bureaucrats”. According to a Constitutional Court ruling in 2019, SGBs have the power to determine the school language policies. But the court warned that should the SGB adopt policies that were not in line with the constitutional right to basic education, the HOD should intervene. “The bill hands extensive decision-making power to the heads of provincial basic education departments, diminishing the role of SGBs and local communities in determining language and admissions policies,” the DA’s shadow education minister, Baxolile Nodada pointed out. The DA said it has been advocating for “mother tongue” languages, but the SGB should determine the decision on language policies.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Umamah Bakharia at Mail & Guardian


BRIAN MOLEFE ‘VINDICATED’

Brian Molefe 'vindicated' after Corruption Watch withdraws court case

TimesLIVE reports that former Eskom and Transnet CEO Brian Molefe's lawyer says he feels vindicated following the withdrawal of a court application by Corruption Watch that Molefe be declared a delinquent director. In 2018 the non-profit organisation launched the application in which it asked the Pretoria High Court to declare that Molefe acted in a manner that amounted to gross negligence in the performance of his duties at Eskom.   Corruption Watch also asked the court to declare that the declaration of delinquency against Molefe – and four former Eskom board directors – subsist for seven years in respect of public and private companies. In a notice dated 7 June, Corruption Watch withdrew the application against Molefe by agreement between the parties. Each party will bear their own costs. Commenting on the withdrawal on Monday, Molefe’s attorney Mpho Molefe his client was vindicated by the withdrawal of the application. He said that Molefe suffered enormous damages economically and professionally, and his reputation was damaged by the baseless and defamatory statements against him. The lawyer said Corruption Watch did not give reasons for its withdrawal and advised that the legal team was considering various options after the withdrawal. Corruption Watch’s Karam Singh on Saturday said the organisation would still go public with detail on the proceedings. She indicated that they would explain that there were challenges sustaining the application against Molefe based on the way it was formulated since it was drafted prior to the Zondo Commission’s report.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Ernest Mabuza at TimesLIVE. Read too, Brian Molefe not wholly off the hook yet, says Corruption Watch, at Business Report


‘TWO POT’ RETIREMENT SYSTEM

Alexforbes says retirement industry expects outflows of R50bn when ‘two-pot’ system kicks in

BusinessLive reports that retirement fund administrator Alexforbes expects a retirement sector outflow of about R50bn when the ‘two-pot’ system is implemented in September. It believes that the system will deliver long-term positive results for the sector and consumers. CEO Dawie de Villiers advised: “We have done a lot of modelling. We expect about 1% of the assets of the industry to be paid out in the first year of the system ... as a company we expect withdrawals of about R5bn. The whole industry has assets of about R5-trillion. So we expect about R50bn to be withdrawn from the whole industry.   These are rough estimates.” He went on to indicate: “The great thing is that after the withdrawals, preservation kicks in. The outflows from the industry will be less and less in the outer years. I am excited about the two-pot system. It is going to be great for the man on the street.”   The two-pot system is one of the most significant financial reforms in SA, splitting retirement contributions into two pots with one-third going into the savings pot, which workers can tap into if they are in a pinch, and the remaining two-thirds into a retirement pot, which is off limits until retirement. The changes are likely to have far-reaching implications for retailing, tourism and banking in a country where consumers battle heavy debt, high interest rates and a higher cost of living.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Kabelo Khumalo & Jacqueline Mackenzie at BusinessLive

Many won’t have enough in their ‘savings pot’ to access retirement fund withdrawals come September

Moneyweb writes that at least 20% of the country’s retirement fund members will not have enough money in their savings pot on 1 September 2024 to make a withdrawal when the two-pot retirement system comes into effect. That’s the advice from Natasha Huggett-Henchie of the Actuarial Society of SA (Assa). The two-pot retirement system will come into effect at the start of September 2024 (effectively as of 2 September), allowing some retirement fund members to access a portion of their retirement money. Under the two-pot retirement system, a member’s contributions to a fund will be split into a savings component and a retirement component.   There is also a third component – the vested component – containing the fund member’s contributions up to 31 August 2024. From the vested component, 10% or R30,000 – whichever is lower – will be allocated as a once-off seeding amount in the savings component. This seeding amount can be claimed from the beginning of September. Since at least R20,000 is required in a retirement fund to enable the minimum withdrawal of R2,000, retirement fund members must first build up enough savings before they can access their money. “Many retirement fund members hoping to be able to dip into their savings before the start of the holiday season at the end of the year will be left disappointed. To avoid finding out in September this year that there is not enough money in the accessible savings pot, we urge retirement fund members to obtain their most recent benefit statements and to work out where they will be by September,” Huggett-Henchie advised. Retirement fund members are supposed to receive regular benefit statements from their employers or product providers, but most don’t pay these any attention until they need the money, change jobs, or retire.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard at Moneyweb

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Solidarity’s ‘two pot’ retirement system warning, at Daily Investor


OTHER REPORTS OF INTEREST

  • How much ‘bin pickers’ make in SA – with some earning more than the national average, at BusinessTech
  • The highest-paid university vice-chancellors in South Africa, at BusinessTech
  • How will NHI impact employers and employees? at The Citizen
  • SARS announces medical aid tax changes for 2024, at BusinessTech
  • My son was 'silenced by shame', says mom as ex-St John's teacher's sexual assault case dropped - for now, at News24
  • KPMG bursary specialist stole over R1 million per month from his company for a year, at Daily Investor

 


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