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
Wednesday, 12 June 2019.


TOP STORY – OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AT SCHOOLS

Classes suspended at Durban school after teacher gunned down on Tuesday

Independent News reports that classes at Masuku Primary School in Folweni, south of Durban, have been suspended for the rest of the week after a teacher was murdered there on Tuesday morning.  Sbonakaliso Nyawose (48) was gunned down on the school's premises in front of his learners and colleagues by an unknown man.  The Department of Education’s Dr Enock Nzama visited the school on Wednesday morning and announced that the school would be closed for the rest of the week.  All schools are closing on Friday for the June holidays.  “Teachers will remain until Friday, classes have been suspended and we have provided security at the gate there to look after the school and to see to it that the teachers that are still at the school are looked after,” Nzama said.  Counselling targeting teacher and learners is taking place.

Read the original of Thami Magubane’s report in the above regard at Independent News

Pupils still receiving counselling after Mpumalanga teacher invigilated exam with a gun

EWN reported on Wednesday that a team of psychologists was still on the ground giving counselling services to learners at a Mpumalanga school where a teacher was seen invigilating with a gun.  The teacher from Mabusabela Secondary School was monitoring grade 11 pupils writing their mid-year tourism paper.  In a video that was widely shared online, the teacher could be seen walking between the desks with a gun in his hand.  The 26-year-old male teacher has been suspended and a criminal case has been opened against him.  Mpumalanga Education Department’s Jesper Zwane indicated that the school had also launched its own probe.  “When the investigation is completed, we’ll get the recommendations from the investigating team.  We have not given them the time frames, but we've asked them to give it the urgency it deserves,” he said.

The original of this report by Edwin Ntshidi is at EWN

Proposal to arm teachers is dangerous, warns Sadtu

EWN reports that the SA Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu) has labelled calls for teachers to arm themselves at work as "reckless" and "dangerous".  Another union, the Educators' Union of South Africa, initially made the proposal, saying that government was forcing teachers to protect themselves due to a lack of security at schools.  On Tuesday, an educator at the Masuku Primary School in KwaZulu-Natal was shot dead on school premises.  Sadtu's Mugwena Maluleke said violence would not resolve the problem:  “Then tomorrow someone is going to be saying the learners must be armed or the communities must be armed.  So, we’ll be arming ourselves against each other.  The only one solution we need to do is to use the power of education … (for our learners and communities) to respect education and life.”  The National Association of School Governing Bodies agreed that the statement was irresponsible, and said it was hoping for action to be taken against the Educators' Union of South Africa.

Read the full original of Mia Lindeque’s report in the above regard at EWN

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • At least 13 Gauteng pupils face criminal charges, says Lesufi, at News24
  • Teen who allegedly stabbed fellow Brits pupil to death handed over to police by his parents, at News24
  • Police roped in to secure Forest High where pupil was murdered, at SowetanLive
  • DA calls for tightened security at schools following KZN teacher shooting, at Politicsweb (press statement)
  • IFP: KZN MEC of education must address unruly behaviour in schools, at Polity (press statement)


MARIKANA DEATHS / FARLAM COMMISSION

State ordered to reveal details of Marikana miners’ dockets

SABC News reports that the defence team in the Marikana trial of former North West Deputy Police Commissioner William Mpembe and three other senior police officers has successfully argued for the state to reveal details of dockets of the two scenes where 34 mineworkers were shot and killed in August 2012.  The accused are facing charges of contravening the Commission Act, the IPID Act and defeating the ends of justice by lying at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry about the death of one of the 34 mineworkers.  The State had wanted to confine arguments to the death itself, which it claimed happened en route to a detention centre at Lonmin mine.  But arguing that the deceased was killed on one of the koppie at Marikana, the defence wanted dockets from scene 1 and 2 to be admissible, which the judge granted.  IPID investigators were scheduled expected to take the stand on Wednesday.

Read the full original of Lucas Mothibedi’s report on this story at SABC News


INDUSTRIAL ACTION / STRIKES

Nehawu ends strike at Vaal University of Technology with 7.5% wage increase

ANA reports that the National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) announced on Wednesday that it had ended its strike at Vaal University of Technology (VUT).  An agreement reached by the union and the employer after marathon negotiations was signed on Tuesday.  General secretary Zola Saphetha said they agreed on a 7.5% salary increase across the board backdated to April 2019.  They also agreed to the implementation of the signed insourcing agreement of 2016, but non implementation of five days’ no work no pay in exchange for R5,000 once off.  The conversion of qualifying contracts into permanent jobs was moreover agreed to.  Saphetha said charges laid against union members would be withdrawn.  He commented on the process as follows:  "The five day long strike by our members should have long been avoided had the university came to the negotiations table with progressive openness and care for its human capital than being fixated on one position of a zero percent salary increase."

Read the full original of Thembelihle Mkhonza’s report on this story at Independent News. Read Nehawu’s press statement on the agreement at Polity

Numsa and Cabin Crew Association threaten SAA with total shutdown of aviation industry

BusinessLive reports that employees of SA Airways (SAA) who are members of the National Union of Metalworkers SA (Numsa) and the SA Cabin Crew Association (Sacca) picketed outside OR Tambo, King Shaka, Cape Town and East London airports on Wednesday.  They threatened that if their demands were not met, there would be a total shutdown of the aviation industry.  They gave the government seven days to fire the entire board of the airline and to persuade CEO Vuyani Jarana to withdraw his resignation.  Jarana officially stepped down as CEO on Monday.  SAA GM for operations Zuks Ramasia was appointed as acting CEO on Friday.  Numsa and Sacca accused the SAA’s board members of presiding over massive corruption at the airline.  The unions also said they were not happy about problems in the maintenance department and about allegations of nepotism and tribalism.  They were moreover not happy about corruption allegations at SAA Technical.  “Should our demands not be met, we will mobilise our members across SAA and other airlines where we are organised, including SAA subsidiaries Air Chefs, Mango, SAA Technical, and suppliers within the value chain and embark on a strike which will shut down [the] aviation [industry] as a whole,” the unions indicated in their memorandum.

Read the full original of Luyolo Mkentane’s report at BusinessLive. See too, SAA told to reinstate Jarana immediately or face a strike, at Business Report. View the unions’ memorandum of demands at Polity


EMPLOYMENT PERKS

Tito Mboweni clamps down heavily on mayoral and municipal gravy trains

BL Premium reports that finance minister Tito Mboweni has put an end to business class flights, expensive cars, free booze and year-end parties for mayors and all municipal officials and politicians.  In regulations gazetted last week, Mboweni set out new "cost containment" measures that will apply to all municipal officials and political office-bearers and all municipal entities.  The measures are extensive and cover every area of "nonservice delivery" expenditure, from the hiring of consultants to expenditure on cars and travel.  In a press statement accompanying the regulations, the Treasury said despite attempts over the past 16 years to enforce greater financial prudence "municipalities and municipal entities continue to spend public funds on nonpriority items,” which results in a diversion of public funds from core service delivery to other areas.  The regulations make it compulsory for every municipality to draw up a cost containment plan, which has to be displayed on its website.  There are a raft of rules on the appointment of consultants and measures to ensure their fees do not get out of hand due to hidden escalations or travel and subsistence costs.  Officials and office-bearers must use the municipal fleet, rather than hired vehicles.  End-of-year parties, social events, team-building exercises and budget vote dinners paid for by the municipality or municipal entities are banned.  No official or public representative may be issued with a credit card linked to municipal accounts.

Read the full original of Carol Paton’s report on the above at BusinessLive (paywall access only). See too, No more free booze for municipality officials, at SowetanLive


PART-TIME WORKERS

Unions sell out workers as Post Office still keeps staff as permanent part-timers

In a letter to the editor of Business Day, DA labour spokesperson and well-known labour analyst Michael Bagraim writes as follows:  “It is incredibly strange to me that the SA Post Office still employs staff as permanent part-timers for years without making them full-time permanent employees.  Over and above this the trade unions, acting jointly, entered into a substantive agreement on the criteria for the conversion of 500 part-time employees to full-time permanent employees.  This agreement is structured by regional allocation, basing the appointment on the proportion of each race nationally and so strongly discriminating against coloureds, Indians and whites.  There also appears to be strong discrimination against any employee over 51 years of age.  Trade unions have in effect sold out many of their members to suit a political agenda of race and age discrimination.”

The original of this letter is at BusinessLive


RETRENCHMENTS

Continental Tyre SA starts process of closing down PE unit and retrenching 170 employees

HeraldLive reports that 170 jobs are on the line at Continental Tyre SA, which is shutting down its underground mining tyres and agricultural tyres production unit in Port Elizabeth and moving production out of SA.  Continental issued employees in both the affected manufacturing unit and its sales organisation with a Section 189A (i.e. retrenchment) notice on 7 June, in what trade union Solidarity described on Tuesday as a crippling blow.  During the consultation period and any future rampdown, key staff will be retained to complete customer obligations.  The company’s passenger light truck (PLT) tyre production would continue its operations.  The company employs about 1,300 people in SA.  Solidarity’s Marius Croucamp commented as follows:  “This development could be devastating for up to 170 families.  We believe the retrenchments will be across the board and therefore affect everyone from wage earners to monthly salaried employees.  What is also very concerning is that the country will be losing an important manufacturing capability.”  He said the union would do everything in its power to ensure that its affected members received the proposed severance benefits and necessary support.  Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim said the majority of the affected workers were Numsa members and that the union would be monitoring the process very closely.

Read the full original of Shaun Gillham’s report on this story at HeraldLive. Read Solidarity’s press statement at Polity

Nehawu stages three-day picket over Necsa’s turnaround plan that would see 400 jobs cut

Business Report writes that the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) was due on Wednesday to kick-off three days of mass action at the state-owned Nuclear Energy Company of SA (Necsa).  Branch chairman Zolani Masoleng announced on Tuesday that union members would embark on daily lunch hour pickets until Friday to oppose possible job cuts of 400 and to also call for the resignation of the recently appointed Necsa board.  “The new board has developed a corporate plan and a turnaround strategy without consulting organised labour.  They (the board) have written to the Department of Minerals and Energy proposing assistance to cut 400 jobs in an effort to save R200 million a year,” Masoleng charged.  He said the cut would cost Necsa R106m for voluntary severance packages for affected employees.  “You have people sitting in dark corners and have never consulted the union.  Our view is that the process if illegal,” said Masoleng.  He also alleged that the company was planning to sell off parts of nuclear medicine production unit NTP Radioisotopes, a Necsa and international supplier of nuclear medicine cancer treatment, putting it at risk of losing market share.  

Read the full original of Dineo Faku’s report on this stroty on page 14 of Business Report of 12 June 2019

Read Nehawu’s press statement on this matter at Polity


HIGHER EDUCATION / QUALIFICATIONS

Stellenbosch University to introduce data engineering degree from 2020

Engineering News reports that the Faculty of Engineering at Stellenbosch University (SU) will introduce a new BEng degree in Data Engineering from February 2020.  This degree will be a new specialisation stream in the faculty’s existing undergraduate degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering.  The purpose of this new specialisation in Data Engineering is to prepare the university’s students for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, where the world of work has fundamentally changed and there is a deluge of data that needs to be structured, modelled and analysed to enable data-led organisations to discover underlying knowledge and make well-informed decisions, the faculty said in a statement.  This initiative supports the soon to be established School for Data Science and Computational Thinking at SU.  “The school will work across all our faculties in an interdisciplinary way and will span the entire academic project, from under- and postgraduate training to research and specialist consultation,” SU Rector and Vice-Chancellor Professor Wim de Villiers indicated.

Read the full original of the report about the new degree at Engineering News


DISMISSALS / SUSPENSIONS

Executive producer at SABC’s Thobela FM radio station fired for involvement in job-for-sale scandal

SowetanLive reports that a SA Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) radio station's executive producer has been dismissed after he was found guilty of being involved in a jobs-for-sale scandal.  Sam Mochichila, a current affairs executive producer at Thobela FM, was dismissed on Monday after he was found guilty on two charges of gross dishonesty and contravention of SABC rules and regulations relating to R2,000 paid by former current affairs producer and presenter Tlou Moabelo.  Mochichila has five days to challenge the dismissal.  The charge sheet states that in January last year, Mochichila abused his relationship of trust in his capacity as executive producer of Current Affairs in that: "You received and accepted an amount of R2,000 from Tlou Moabelo in exchange of renewal or granting of an independent contract for Moabelo after her fixed term expired on January 31 2018.”  In its letter, the SABC said it viewed the allegations in a serious light in that Mochichila did not comply with the broadcaster's conflict of interest policy, which stipulates that if a person is offered any cash or gift of more than R350 or similar benefit from a third party, he or she must immediately report it to their direct supervisor.  During the hearing, Moabelo apparently denied bribing Mochichila.

Read the full original of Peter Ramothwala’s report on this story at SowetanLive


COMMUTING / TRANSPORT

Soweto taxi ranks and routes to reopen on 18 June after feuding groups sign peace deal

ANA reports that the Gauteng Provincial Government has announced that following the signing of a peace deal between rival taxi associations, it would reopen the taxi ranks and routes in Soweto that were closed in March after violent clashes.  The signing of the peace deal between the Nancefield Dube West Taxi Association (Nanduwe) and Witwatersrand Taxi Association (Wata) followed a series of urgent meetings between the two and the Gauteng roads and transport department.  Speaking at the peace deal signing ceremony, Roads and Transport MEC Jacob Mamabolo said:  “Moving forward (by) negotiations is the only way we should find solutions to problems that face the taxi industry in the area.  We cannot resort to violence and the killing of innocent lives when we face challenges."  The agreement committed the associations to the cessation of all hostilities while the department conducted an investigation into the duplication of registrations for certain routes and the issuance of problematic operating licenses for members of the two associations.  The signing ceremony paved the way for the department to engage with affected communities to appraise them on the way forward, with a public meeting arranged for Wednesday.  The routes and taxi ranks will open on 18 June.

Read the full original of Thembelihle Mkhonza’s report on this story at Independent News. See too, IFP welcomes reopening of Soweto taxi routes, at Independent News

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Taxi boss killed amid violent flare-ups over Cape Town routes, at Engineering News


OTHER NEWS HEADLINES AND PRESS STATEMENTS

  • Text of Address by President Cyril Ramaphosa at the 108th session of the International Labour Conference on 10 June 2019, at Politicsweb
  • Police investigating the murder of Waterkloof Airforce Base Commanding Officer, at News24
  • Manufacturing production jumps the most in three-years, at BusinessLive
  • Agribusiness confidence remains subdued, at Engineering News
  • Substantial fuel price cut looking likely for July, at Motoring News

 


Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page