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
Tuesday, 13 August 2019.


TOP STORY

Sheriff heading to Brian Molefe's Pretoria house to attach his assets, says Solidarity

TimesLIVE reports that trade union Solidarity has indicated that former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe should expect a knock on the door from the sheriff of the court.  Solidarity said on Tuesday it had a writ of execution, authorising the sheriff to attach Molefe’s Pretoria property to offset costs awarded against him in court.  The union said it had requested the sheriff to proceed with executing the attachment of Molefe’s property at his home.  The property will then be sold at public auction for Molefe’s debt of R708,102 to Solidarity to be settled.  This amount, the union pointed out, excluded the order relating to costs in the Constitutional Court, which have yet to be finalised.  The high court previously found that Molefe enriched himself by getting involved unlawfully in the allocation of about R30 million of pension funds, R10 million of which he has already received.  Molefe attempted to have this ruling and the cost order against him set aside by the Constitutional Court, but failed.  Solidarity and civil rights organisation AfriForum have also approached advocate Gerrie Nel to start the process of privately prosecuting Molefe.

Read the full original f the above report at TimesLIVE. Read the press statement by Solidarity and AfriForum in the above regard at SA Labour News


OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH & SAFETY

North West mom who assaulted teacher for 'abusing her child' gets three years imprisonment

TimesLIVE reports that a North West parent who assaulted a teacher with a "stick filled with sharp objects" after claiming her child had been abused, was sentenced to three years' imprisonment on Monday.  MEC for education in the province, Mmaphefo Matsemela, welcomed the sentence.  The incident took place in February at Leama Primary School, Tlhatlhaganyane Village, in the Moses Kotane local municipality.  The teacher sustained injuries to her head, elbow and fingers, one of which was fractured.  She is still attending physiotherapy sessions and reportedly also suffers from severe headaches.  The sentence handed by the Mogwase Magistrate's Court would "send a strong message to those who want to assault our teachers and learners", the education department remarked.  Matsemela said:  "This sentence will remind them that schools should be treated as centres of acquiring knowledge, not as war zones.  Our communities should always know that.  Teachers are parents to the learners at school."

Read the full original of the above short report by Nonkuleko Njilo at TimesLIVE

Cop killings have halved in two decades

The Star reports that according to crime expert and senior researcher at the Institute for Security Studies Dr Johan Burger, the deaths of police officers have halved in two decades.  He was commenting on the death of an off-duty Joburg metro police officer at a tavern in Vlakfontein.  Burger indicated that in the past seven years, the killing of police officers had remained at around 70 or 80 deaths a year.  He added that, although the situation was not ideal, it was better than in the 1990s when the number had been double.  Metro police spokesperson Wayne Minnaar said it did not appear that criminals were becoming more brazen towards law enforcement officials.  Referring to the Vlakfontein incident, he said:  “They wanted the money; that’s all they wanted and they killed to get the money.”  Minnaar did not have figures of metro police deaths, but said the risks that metro officers faced were similar to that of police.  Burger noted that the SA Police Service had instituted good interventions like the multi-disciplinary task team that investigated police murders and formulated recommendations to reduce police murders.

Read the original of the above report by Lehlohonolo Mashigo on page 2 of The Star of 13 August 2019

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Satawu demands safety for Prasa's women train drivers, at Polity (press statement)


INDUSTRIAL ACTION / STRIKES

Amathole District Municipal workers’ strike affecting water supply at towns significantly

SABC News reports that the strike by workers at the Amathole District Municipality is severely affecting the provision of water to a number of towns that the municipality services.  Taps in towns like Bedford, Adelaide and Butterworth ran dry last week.  Allegedly the striking workers have been sabotaging water infrastructure.  Workers at the district municipality have been on strike for the past three weeks demanding a 6.5% salary increase.  The municipal manager, Thandekile Mnyimba, claimed they were dealing with the matter and that the focus was on restoring the water supply.  The municipality has secured a court interdict to safeguard its staff and facilities.  Mnyimba indicated that water trucks were being escorted and security had been beefed up at the municipality’s treatment plants.  

Read the full original of the above report by Yanga Funani at SABC News

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Butterworth residents close N2 with burning tyres as drought and strike leave taps dry, at News24


COLLECTIVE BARGAINING / WAGE NEGOTIATIONS

Sactwu signs new wage agreement with Supported Employment Enterprises sector

SABC News reports that the Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (Sactwu), which is an affiliate of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), has signed an agreement following negotiations with the Supported Employment Enterprises (SEE) sector.  The new agreement encompasses employment improvements relating to wages, healthcare, and housing allowances.  “We have managed to agree to a settlement offer, which will equate to just over 11%.  But if you break it down, the amount on wages would be about 5.3 %, you have R50 towards housing allowance, and then the medical aid solution is just over 4 %,”said Sactwu spokesperson, Magdalene Jacobs.

The original of the above short report is at SABC News


PROTESTS / MARCHES

Protest held by CWP employees in Joburg on Monday against poor wages

The Star reports that hundreds of employees from the Community Works Programme (CWP) barricaded Joburg CBD streets on Monday morning, demanding a wage increase.  A group of more than a hundred CWP workers protested in front of the ANC headquarters, Luthuli House, for more than three hours.  The CWP workers have been trying to communicate with the Department of Corporate Governance (DCOG) for the past two years and they finally got a response from ANC secretary Dakota Legoete on Monday, who requested a time extension to reply to their demands.  “We have to make this matter an urgent one, and in the next two weeks we will be reviewing the memorandum we have received so that we can get back to you,” Legoete told the protesters.  The CWP said they had sent a memorandum to the DCOG office in Pretoria two years ago.  The then DCOG minister, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, received the memorandum and requested a two-week extension, but failed to reply.  The silence from all parties resulted in the workers marching to Luthuli House.  CWP co-ordinating task team organiser, Simphiwe Hlafa, said:  “Some of the workers, who are volunteering since 2010 are being paid approximately R780 – which is unfair in today’s expensive economy.  All we would like is for the workers to earn wages from R1,000, and they would have to work for 12 days for them to reach the R1,000 mark a month.”

Read the full original of the above report by Ntombizanele Libimbi and Asanda Matlhare on page 3 of The Star of 13 August 2019


MINING LABOUR

Sibanye-Stillwater’s ‘shockingly low’ platinum wage offer an attempt to provoke a strike, says Amcu

BusinessLive reports that according to the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), the “shockingly low” offer Sibanye-Stillwater has put on the table in the current platinum wage negotiations was an attempt to provoke workers into a strike.  In a media briefing on current wage negations with three platinum producers, Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa said “steady, slow progress” was being made.  The offers on the table for a three-year wage agreement varied from R1,000 in the first year, offered by Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), to R800 from Impala Platinum and R700 for Sibanye’s Rustenburg operations (acquired from Amplats).  An offer of R1,000 indicated there was light at the end of the tunnel, Mathunjwa said.  However, Sibanye has made a separate wage offer in relation to its recently acquired Lonmin operations, starting with a R300 increase in the first year, R350 in the second and R400 in the third.  Mathunjwa commented:  “We are utterly disappointed with the offer at Sibanye-Stillwater/Lonmin.  It’s a slap in the face, it’s an insult to workers.  We believe Sibanye is trying to provoke us into a strike.”  On Tuesday, Amcu adjusted its wage demand down to an increase of R1,500 a year over three-years for category A and B workers, and 10% a year over three years for skilled workers.

Read the full original of the above report by Lisa Steyn at BusinessLive


MARIKANA DEATHS / FARLAM COMMISSION REPORT

Marikana trial: 'I told Major-General Mpembe about the dying mineworker in the back of my truck'

ANA reports that the North West High Court heard on Monday that a police officer alerted former North West deputy police commissioner Major-General William Mpembe to the fact that there was a dying mineworker in the back of his official vehicle during the Marikana massacre.  Constable Dimakatso Mafate told the court:  “When I was reversing I heard a knock from the back of the truck and people shouting in isiXhosa that a person was dying.  I parked the truck and opened the door.  I saw a man lying down dressed in a chequered jacket.  I then went to inform General Mpembe that a person was dying in the truck.  He took my details, including my force number, saying he was going to make a report.”  Mafate was testifying in the trial involving Mpembe, Gideon van Zyl, Dingaan Madoda and Oupa Pule.  The four are facing charges of contravening the Commission Act, contravening the Independent Police Investigative Directorate Act, and defeating the ends of justice.  The State charges that they concealed the circumstance of the death in police custody of Modisaotsile van Wyk Sagalala after the police opened fire on striking Lonmin mineworkers on 16 August 2012.

Read the full original of the above report at The Star


LABOUR MARKET / JOBS

Numsa calls for a jobs indaba involving all social partners

SABC News reports that the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) has called on government to convene an urgent meeting with all the country’s social partners to deal with the jobs crisis.  The call comes following an increase in SA’s unemployment rate to 29%.  The union has accused the ANC-led government’s macro and micro economic policies for the jobs bloodbath.  It has also accused the private sector of exploiting Section 189 of the Labour Relations Act to justify retrenchment of workers in the name of restructuring and re-organising.  It is against this background that Numsa has demanded that government must decisively intervene “to stop what we regard as retrenchment patterns that are driven by the greed of the bosses to make money on the back of this global crisis and South Africa’s economic recession.”  Numsa wants all trade union federations, unions and civil society to participate in the proposed debate on jobs.  “This discussion must be facilitated by collectively agreed upon facilitators, approved by all stakeholders.  Together, we must discuss job creation, and job security because these are issues of national importance, and find solutions,” the union indicated.  It also wants issues of ownership and control of the economy discussed at the talks, which must come up with a job-led industrial strategy that must not only defend and create jobs, but also prepare SA for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Read the full original of the above report by Lindiwe Mabena at SABC News. Read Numsa’s press statement at Polity


RECRUITMENT / APPOINTMENTS / VACANCIES

Absa Group finalises CEO appointment, but won’t divulge name yet

BusinessLive reports that Absa Group said on Monday that it has completed the process of appointing its new CEO but it will only announce his name at a later stage.  The group indicated thatthe name was held back to comply with conditions imposed by the Prudential Authority.  The new CEO will only take office in January 2020.  In June, Absa committed to announcing a permanent replacement for former CEO Maria Ramos just before its half-year financial results presentation which takes place on Tuesday.  At the time, Absa Group chair Wendy Lucas-Bull said candidates that Absa was eyeing had cool-off periods of at least six months imposed by the Sa Reserve Bank (SARB).  When Daniel Mminele (54) retired as deputy SARB governor a few weeks later, speculation was rife that he had bowed out to take up the position of Absa CEO.  By January 2020, Mminele would have completed the six months cooling-off period.  The new CEO will join a company that is facing fierce competition from old rivals and newly launched digital banks, but Absa has mapped out an ambitious growth strategy.

Read the full original of the above report by Londiwe Buthelezi at BusinessLive

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • DA: Chronic lack of SAPS officers hinders visible policing in Westbury and surrounding communities, at DA News (press statement)


EMIGRATION

An average of 68 skilled professionals leave South Africa every day

BusinessTech reports that there has been a major increase in skilled professionals leaving the country as South Africa faces continued uncertainty.  Speaking to eNCA, Sable International’s Andrew Rissik said that people were leaving for many reasons, with two of the biggest being economic uncertainty and crime.  “We are looking at around 25,000 skilled people leaving South Africa each year, with around 1,000 – 2,000 of these people also being very wealthy people who are able to buy their way into other countries.  These are potentially very high-quality taxpayers that South Africa is losing,” said Rissik.  The data averages out to around 68 skilled people, and between two and five ultra-wealthy South Africans, leaving the country every day.  Rissik added that as long as these ‘push factors’ were present, people would continue to leave.  Data shows that the UK is still the most popular choice for South African immigrants, while a growing number are also choosing to settle in Australia and New Zealand.

Read the full original of the above report at BusinessTech


CORRUPTION

Samwu Northern Cape calls on Sol Plaatje Municipality to table report or face industrial action

SABC News reports that the SA Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) in the Northern Cape has called on the Sol Plaatje Municipal Council to table a damning investigative report into the affairs of the municipality or face industrial action.  The ‘section 106’ report released last year found that the municipal CFO Lydia Mahloko regularly flouted procurement processes and that municipal manager Goolam Akharawary improperly benefited from a scarce skills allowance.  Then mayor Mangaliso Matika was also cited as not acting decisively when allegations of impropriety first surfaced against the CFO and municipal manager.  Both have been on paid suspension since last year.  The tabling of the report would allow the municipality to take disciplinary action against both officials.  Samwu regional official Dailey Semau indicated:  “This 106 report is causing instability in our municipality… It’s now more than a year people are on suspension, they have not been charged and it’s quiet about the report.  So we as Samwu are saying we want this report to be tabled for stability and to save the municipality lots of money in terms of the acting (salaries) that we are paying.”

Read the full original of the above report by Neo Bodumela at SABC News

Ten cops in dock for theft of counterfeit goods and other charges after raid in Joburg CBD

The Citizen reports that ten Johannesburg police officers arrested for allegedly attempting to sell counterfeit goods confiscated in raids last week appeared in court on Monday.  All the cases were postponed.  Initially, seven police officers were arrested following a police raid in the Joburg CBD.  The officers allegedly attempted to resell the goods to illegal traders during the raid.  Three more officers were arrested later that week on the same charges.  Police spokesperson Brigadier Mathapelo Peters said that in one incident, a warrant officer and four constables were arrested at the Joburg Central Police Station after they were caught red-handed trying to sell the goods back to the illegal traders.  In the second incident, two members from the tactical response team were arrested after an investigation into a possible leak about the planned operation.  In the third incident, three officers were assigned to an unmarked truck during the raid to ferry the confiscated counterfeit goods from the CBD to Joburg Stadium to be booked.  While they had driven the truck as instructed, they did not drop all the goods off in the stadium and instead drove the truck to their assigned station and parked it in an obscure position.  After discovering the stolen counterfeit goods, the station manager tracked them down and arrested them.

Read the full original of the above report by Chisom Jenniffer Okoye at The Citizen


OTHER REPORTS

Stellenbosch mall security car guard 'hit-and-run' case postponed

News24 reports that Johan Steyn, the man who was allegedly caught on CCTV driving over a security guard at a shopping complex in Stellenbosch, made a brief appearance in the Stellenbosch Magistrate's Court on Monday.  The case was postponed and transferred to the Stellenbosch Regional Court where it will be heard on 15 August.  Steyn can be seen in footage allegedly driving over Mzwanele Wellem at a shopping complex in Die Boord on 30 April.  He faces a charge of attempted murder (with an alternative charge of assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm) and is currently out on R2,000 bail.  The 39-year-old will apparently be pleading not guilty.  Steyn's lawyer previously stated they were in the process of drafting representations and hoped they could take the mediation route.  Wellem had only been working for the Phangela Group for about a month when Steyn allegedly drove over him.  In the video, Wellem can be seen telling Steyn that the road is a one-way, conversation ensues, after which Steyn allegedly drives over Wellem.

Read the full original of the above report by Kamva Somdyala and view the video at News24


OTHER NEWS HEADLINES AND PRESS STATEMENTS

  • Lifestyle audit shows no evidence of misconduct by former PIC directors, at BusinessLive
  • Sanef invites submissions for inquiry into media credibility and ethics, at News24
  • Officer dressed in pink was working undercover, eThekwini metro cops advise, at Independent News
  • National School of Government to host 20th Public Sector Trainers’ Forum Conference in Midrand, 7 to 9 October 2019, at SA Govt News (press statement)
  • DEL in Mpumalanga sets its eyes on the road freight and logistics industry, at SA Govt News (press statement)
  • DEL: Employment and Labour Minister TW Nxesi rejects fake email account in his name, at DEL News (press statement)
  • DA calls for reintroduction of 24-hour traffic police shift system following devastating deaths of KZN maidens, at Polity (press statement)

 


Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page