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 afternoon roundup, see summaries
of our selection of South African labour-
related stories that appeared thus far on
Thursday, 12 July 2018.


OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH & SAFETY

Sapu calls for further measures to help curb police killings

EWN reports that the South African Policing Union (Sapu) believes there are further measures which can be implemented to curb cop killings.  In the latest incident in Cape Town, a 22-year-old police constable from the Delft Police Station was fatally wounded while socialising with friends in Mfuleni last week.  Sapu's Mpho Kwinika said there was a need to relook at the manner in which police killings were dealt with.  “We thought that the police killings summit would have things which were supposed to be looked at in trying to curb these killings, but those templates are not working.  We need to have a summit to review those plans and put more mechanisms in place to deal with police killings.”  Kwinika suggested that means being used in other countries to deal with police killers, such as no parole for cop killers, be looked at.

Read this report by Shamiela Fisher at EWN. Read too, ‘Life sentences for cop-killers sends clear message’, on page 6 of The Star of 12 July 2018

Three guards in hospital after cash-in-transit heist in KZN on Wednesday

ANA reports that three security guards were hospitalised after a cash-in-transit (CIT) heist in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) on Wednesday afternoon.  Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo of the SA Police Service (SAPS) said the incident occurred at 3.30pm as a CIT vehicle was travelling from Msinga to Greytown after collecting cash at the Msinga Mall.  “While at KwaKopi between Msinga and Greytown, their vehicle was attacked by [an] unknown number of occupants travelling in two vehicles.  They shot at the security vehicles causing the driver to lose control.  Three guards were injured.  The suspects used explosives to open up the vehicle and they fled with an undisclosed amount of cash,” said Naidoo.

This short report is at eNCA. Read too, Three security guards wounded in explosive cash heist, at Timeslive

Protesters set Gugulethu fire station in Cape Town alight on Thursday, no injuries reported

News24 reports that protesters set the Gugulethu Fire Station in Cape Town alight in the early hours of Thursday, forcing firefighters to vacate the premises.  Fire and Rescue Services spokesperson Theo Layne said firefighters had to remain in the drill yard until metro police and law enforcement dispersed the protesters.  No injuries were reported.  Layne indicated that the front of the station had sustained severe damage, including the watch room, engine bay doors and the security entrance gate.  The Fizeka offices at the rear of the station were also set alight.  One office section sustained severe damage.  The protesters also torched an LDV that belonged to a security company.  Firefighters from Mitchells Plain responded to the incident, but were delayed due to blocked roadways caused by protesters.

This report by Iavan Pijoos is at News24. See too, Fire station torched during protest in Cape Town, at Timeslive. And also, Vehicles, fire station torched in Cape Town protests, at The Citizen


MINING LABOUR

Gold mining sector wage negotiations to resume on 18 July

Mining Weekly reports that the focus of proceedings during the first day of wage negotiations between unions and gold producers on Wednesday was for the four unions to present and motivate their demands for consideration by the employers.  The gold companies concerned, AngloGold Ashanti, Harmony Gold, Sibanye-Stillwater and Village Main Reef, will consider the presentations made by the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), Solidarity and UASA, and respond when negotiations resume on 18 July.  Solidarity on Wednesday commented that salary increases and mining productivity went hand in hand.  “A balance has to be struck in terms of which employees receive decent increases which will have a positive impact on worker loyalty and which, in turn, will lead to increased production if correct production processes are followed,” the union stated.

This short report is at Mining Weekly. Read Solidarity’s press statement at Solidarity News. View the NUM’s list of demands at Cosatu News

Other labour / community posting(s) relating to mining

  • Mother of all showdowns looms in gold mining wage talks, at The Citizen
  • RBPlat appoints Hanré Rossouw as new CFO and executive director, at Mining Weekly
  • SA gold mining production down 16.2% in a year, at Fin24


INDUSTRIAL ACTION / STRIKES / LOCK-OUTS

Strike season sees footwear workers joining the ranks of strikers

BusinessLive reports that as the country’s strike season intensifies, footwear workers became the latest sector on Wednesday to down tools over wage increases.  According to the Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (Sactwu), some 10,000 workers took part in the strike on its first day.  Workers are striking over the employers’ final wage offer of 6.25%.  Unions are demanding 9.5%.  Members of the National Union of Leather & Allied Workers (Nulaw) are also taking part in the action.  Affected companies include Oudtshoorn Footwear, Dick Whittington Shoes and Bresan Footwear, based in KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape.  Data compiled by the SA Footwear and Leather Industries Association shows that 193 footwear manufacturers employ a total 11,937 people.  The industrial action came after the release by the Department of Labour of the annual Industrial Action Report, which showed the country had the highest number of strikes yet in 2017.

Read this report by Theto Mahlakoana in full at BusinessLive

Nehawu revises wage demand at Fort Hare in effort to end month-long strike

SABC News reports that the National Education Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) at the University Fort Hare in the Eastern Cape has revised its wage demand from 15% to 10%.  The union says it is also willing to meet with the management of the institution in an effort to end the month-long strike.  Nehawu members are on strike at all campuses including Bhisho, East London and Alice.  The strike has resulted in the postponement of mid-year exams.  Nehawu’s Mzi Lingela indicated:  “The strike is still on, we were supposed to meet with management for bargaining on Wednesday but management requested to postpone the planned bargaining.  They are going to give us another date so we are still waiting for them.”  Lingela went on to state:  “Currently we are sitting between 10% and 8% just to show our willingness as Nehawu to negotiate.  We can even settle to 8%, we are waiting on the management to sit at the table and discuss this, we will take it from there.”

This report is at SABC News


COLLECTIVE BARGAINING / WAGE NEGOTIATIONS

Nene dares Eskom unions to show how SA can afford their wage demands

BusinessLive reports that Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene has dared unions at Eskom to table proposals when they meet with him on how the fiscus could foot the bill for wage increases.  This was after the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), Solidarity and the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) said they would seek intervention from Nene and Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan after they failed to reach a wage agreement with Eskom on Tuesday.  The finance ministry indicated that there were no official meeting requests from the unions as yet.  Nene’s office said on Wednesday that the unionists would have to attend any meeting in their capacities as both workers and taxpayers, with each role requiring a different approach.  Three weeks ago Nene told a UK television station during an investor road show that there was no money to help Eskom with the salary hikes.  The unions were this week expected to start consultations with members to get new mandates on Eskom’s latest wage offer of 7.5% in 2018, tabled on Tuesday.  The offer also includes a 6.5% hike in 2019 and 6.25% in 2020.  Eskom told unions it was still waiting for audited financial statements in order to make proposals on bonuses, while it offered inflation-targeted housing allowance increases.

Read this report by Theto Mahlakaona in full at BusinessLive. Read too, Unions meet with members over latest Eskom wage offer, at EWN. And also, Eskom and union talks at delicate juncture, at Business Report


PROTESTS / MARCHES / CAMPAIGNS

Popcru members to march to the Union Buildings on Friday with various demands

Timeslive reports that Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) members will be marching to the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Friday.  They plan to hand over a series of demands addressed to four government ministers, in particular Police Minister Bheki Cele‚ Justice and Correctional Services Minister Michael Masutha‚ Transport Minister Blade Nzimande and Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi.  Popcru spokesman Richard Mamabolo said the march would not result in disruptions for the police and correctional services as members attending would be on official leave.  Struben Street‚ Thabo Sehume Street and Madiba Street will be used during the march‚ which is scheduled to start at 9am.  The memorandums are expected to be handed over at the Union Buildings at 2pm.  The union’s demands relate to restructuring of the police; centralisation of traffic departments; revised shifts to fight overcrowding in prisons; payment of Occupation-Specific Dispensation (OSD); revised promotions policy; and implementation of National Health Insurance (NHI).

Read this report by Ernest Mabuza in full at Timeslive


STATE-OWNED ENTERPRISES

SAA boss ruffles union’s feathers over undertaking to Solidarity regarding strategic partner

BusinessLive reports that Vuyani Jarana, CEO of SA Airways (SAA), has angered the SA Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu) by giving an undertaking to trade union Solidarity that the carrier would immediately start looking for a strategic equity partner in the private sector.  Solidarity provided detail on Wednesday of a written undertaking by Jarana that the search for a strategic partner for the deeply indebted state-owned national airline would begin immediately.  Solidarity said it had suspended — but not abandoned — its application to have SAA placed into business rescue based on Jarana’s undertaking.  Satawu spokeswoman Zanele Sabela said the five unions that represented workers at SAA had not been informed of the decision to start looking for an equity partner immediately.  "We were surprised to hear about this latest development in the media despite having regular engagements with Mr Jarana.  Even more surprising is the fact that Solidarity is not a recognised union within SAA," said Sabela.  The unions were due to meet with Jarana on Thursday to discuss statements he made in recent weeks about staff matters without having spoken to the unions about them first.

Read this report by Neels Blom in full at BusinessLive. Read too, How hollow is Solidarity’s SAA victory? at Moneyweb


VACANCIES / STAFFING / RECRUITMENT

Gigaba lets slip that Department of Home Affairs understaffed by 8,000

The Citizen reports that at a press conference to announce a series of upgrades to the Home Affairs system, Minister Malusi Gigaba let slip that his department was severely understaffed by roughly 8,000 people.  This came a day after a report released by the Public Service Commission (PSC) revealed that, despite the high unemployment rate in SA, some government departments and provincial governments were still failing to fill thousands of vacant posts.  The press conference was intended for announcing upgrades to the Home Affairs system that would see the introduction of a paperless process for birth, marriage and death registration in a phased approach.  According to director-general Mkuseli Apleni, by next year Home Affairs should be fully automated.  The system upgrade will begin on Friday.  Gigaba indicated that the upgrades would entail interruption to ID and passport services between 13 and 20 July, with different scheduled dates among the provinces.  Apleni pointed out that no staff would be impacted by the changes, with the current staff set to be reskilled.

Read this report by Daniel Friedman in full at The Citizen

Ramaphosa and other VIPs have on average 81 bodyguards each to protect them

BusinessLive reports that there were 81 officers from the police’s Presidential Protection Unit (PPU) for every one of the 17 politicians it protected full-time in 2017-18.  National police commissioner Gen Khehla Sithole revealed in a parliamentary reply on 3 July that there were 1‚382 officers in this unit‚ which cost taxpayers R693m in 2017-18.  According to the police’s 2016-17 annual report‚ there was one police officer for every 369 South Africans.  Democratic Alliance (DA) spokesperson on police Zakhele Mbhele said:  “This is a blatant example of how the lives of the elite matter more to the ANC government than ordinary citizens lives.  While current and former heads of state and their spouses are safely protected‚ millions of South Africans live in constant fear of being the next victims of violent crime in our country.”  Mbhele pointed out that in Nyanga in the Western Cape, the police to population ratio in 2018 was estimated at one police officer to every 628 residents.

Read this report by Nico Gous in full at BusinessLive. Read the DA’s press statement in this regard at Politicsweb

Tshwane mayor defends employing unqualified diary-coordinator for a million rand per year

The Citizen reports that Tshwane’s executive mayor Solly Msimanga admitted on Power FM on Thursday that a man who, by his own admission does nothing other than coordinating his diary, earns R1 million per annum.  Earlier, The Citizen reported that the man is Stefan de Villiers, a 34-year-old bodybuilder.  He landed the job despite falling far short of the advertised requirements.  The mayor was grilled on the station by both the presenter and listeners, who said that this revelation was inconsistent with Msimanga’s reputation for cutting costs and his attempts to address corruption in the running of the city.  Msimanga defended his office’s financial management, saying that when he started as mayor “there were more than 900 people being paid and we didn’t know what they were doing.  We have already cut those jobs.”  Msimanga was at the centre of another jobs-for-pals controversy when an investigation into the controversial appointment of his former chief of staff, Marietha Aucamp, found that her appointment was irregular.

Read this report by Daniel Friedman in full at The Citizen


SEX FOR JOBS

DA’s Maimane accompanies victims of Mpumalanga ‘sex for jobs’ scandal to lay charges

Timeslive reports that Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane accompanied two job seekers to a police station on Thursday to lay criminal charges against a Mpumalanga Department of Health official.  The job seekers have accused the official of asking for sex in return for work.  Mpumalanga News reported on Sunday that the two women accused the official of allegedly having repeated sex escapades with them in exchange for work at Rob Ferreira Hospital in Mbombela.  The report stated that for the past seven years the two job seekers have been exploited by the official without the promises of work he had made to them coming to fruition.  The DA said in a statement:  “Access to jobs is a serious issue in our country, as almost 10 million South Africans struggle daily to find work.  This has led to the pervasive practice of ‘carpet interviews’, whereby vulnerable women are made to act against their will in order to find work and to put food on the table for their families.  This is corruption and abuse of power of the highest order and must be eradicated once and for all.”  A statement from the department reportedly accused the women of attempting to bribe the official with R3,500.  The women, however, denied the accusation.

Read this report by Makhosandile Zulu in full at The Citizen


EXECUTIVE PAY / WAGE GAP

Average pay of CEOs at SA's 10 biggest companies rises to R24.9 million

Fin24 reports that according to a new report by PwC, CEOs at South Africa’s largest JSE-listed companies earned total remuneration packages of R24.9m on average last year.  "The average pay for CEOs is R24.9m.  For CFOs (Chief Financial Officers) the average is R15.1m and for executive directors R8.7m," PwC's 10th edition of Executive directors: Practices and remuneration trends, indicates.  The report looked at remuneration trends, gender balances and pay reporting requirements at SA companies for 2017.  The R24.9m refers to "total guaranteed packages" for the heads of the top 10 listed companies on the JSE, which the report noted accounted for 60% of the market capital invested, totalling R8.7trn.  For the top 10 CEOs this was 1.3% up on the figure of R24.6m in 2016.  Average pay for the top 10 CFOs rose almost 10%, while average pay for the top 10 executive directors rose 12.8% compared to 2016.  The report found that only 2.2% of the CEOs at JSE-listed companies were women.  In a media release to coincide with the report, PwC said it was not yet clear how the recent exposure of financial misconduct at some major SA companies would affect executive pay.

Read this report in full at Fin24


RETIREMENT AND OTHER EMPLOYEE FUNDS

Public servants cash out pensions then return to work, PSC report finds

Fin24 reports that according to a report by the Public Service Commission (PSC), public servants were resigning to cash out their pensions only then to rejoin the public service.  The commission on Wednesday released its report on efficiency and effectiveness in the public service for the period between January and March 2018.  It observed a "lack of control" of resignations by public servants to cash out their pensions.  The PSC recommended that the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) and the Government Pension and Administration Agency (GPAA) probe the trend further.  "There is a long-term risk for Public Servants who are engaging in this practice," the report indicated.  The GPAA similarly observed this trend as far back as 2015.  At the time, chief operating officer Jay Morar said that this behaviour was mainly due to public servants being misinformed about pension reforms.

Read this report by Lameez Omarjee in full at Fin24

 


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