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
Monday, 4 November 2019.


OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH & SAFETY

R6bn needed to fix 32 Gauteng hospitals to be compliant with Occupational Health & Safety Act

TimesLIVE reports that Gauteng hospitals are in such bad condition that it will cost about R6bn to make them compliant with the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA).  Democratic Alliance Gauteng health spokesperson Jack Bloom said the poor state of the 32 hospitals meant that none of them would be able to be part of government’s National Health Insurance (NHI) as they would need to be accredited by the Office of Health Standards Compliance.  Bloom reported that the amount of R6bn was revealed in a presentation by the Gauteng health department to the Gauteng legislature’s health committee on Friday.  All the hospitals concerned needed expensive building alterations, ranging from R11m for the Rahima Moosa Hospital to a “whopping” R810m for the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital.  Critical areas included general machinery regulations, electrical installation regulations, fire-fighting equipment, lift regulations, storage, exits, stairs and aisles.  According to Bloom, the department was to submit proposals for R1.7bn for the 10 worst hospitals in the province.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Ernest Mabuza at TimesLIVE

Families of victims of Denel explosion await external probe results before deciding next move

EWN reports that the family of a worker killed in an explosion at a Denel facility said they would await the outcome of two external probes into the tragedy.  Eight employees were killed in the blast at the arms manufacturer’s Somerset West site in September 2018.  Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM) recently released the findings of its internal probe, more than a year after the explosion  Experts found the cause to be a combination of human error and an electrostatic electricity risk.  It was found that a component in the propellant mixing process did not meet the required quality standards.  The RDM probe indicated that workers tried to compensate for this by adding extra graphite to the propellant mixture.  RDM CEO Jan-Patrick Helmsen advised that this, coupled with the electrostatic electricity build-up, ignited the mixture.  According to investigators, this would have been highly unlikely for the deceased to foresee.  Lawrencia Samuels, the widow of Nico Samuels who died in the ensuing blast, said the families were now waiting for the outcome of the labour department and police investigations before deciding on what to do next.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Kevin Brandt at EWN

KZN security guards attacked by armed men on Sunday night, man found killed

TimesLIVE reports that police are searching for two men who opened fire on a group of security guards in Verulam, north of Durban, on Sunday night.  Reaction Unit SA (RUSA) said in a statement on Monday that they had received several calls from residents of Thunder Town on Station Road reporting shots being fired on the railway line behind their homes at about 9pm.  "Upon arrival, it was established that four security officers based at the train station noticed three individuals walking towards them.  Two men suddenly drew firearms and without warning fired a volley of shots in their direction.  The officers split up and took cover.  Their attackers then fled without taking anything."  While RUSA officers were searching the area, they came across a group of people standing around the body of a man who had sustained a single gunshot wound to his chest.  "Events leading up to his death are unclear.  However, it is alleged that he may have been confronted and robbed by the suspects, who shot him before they fled towards the train station, where they also opened fire on security officers," said RUSA.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Orrin Singh at TimesLIVE

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Three arrested after traffic cop shot and wounded in Kalk Bay, at EWN


MINING LABOUR

Sasol Mining dithers over court ruling to reinstate almost 1,000 wildcat strikers fired in 2009

City Press reports that Sasol Mining has still to decide whether to reinstate close to 1,000 workers dismissed in 2009 for engaging in a wildcat strike, or appeal the Labour Court’s decision.  The court ordered Sasol to reinstate the workers because their dismissals in January 2009 were “substantively unfair”, even though they were “procedurally fair”.  The workers staged a two-day underground sit-in at the company’s Middelbult, Bosjesspruit, Brandspruit and Twistdraai mines in Mpumalanga on 22 and 23 January 2009 over a dispute inter alia about wage gaps and salary disparities among Sasol employees.  Judge Robert Lagrange ordered that Sasol should reinstate the workers with retrospective effect for a period of two years and issue them with a final warning for disobeying a lawful instruction; some workers should be reinstated with retrospective effect for a period of one year, and be issued with a written warning for participating in an unprotected strike action; and Sasol should pay workers seeking compensation for a period of 12 months and that it should also pay such money to the deceased estates of those who have since died.  “We will study the judgment [issued on September 19], which is voluminous, and then consider the options available to Sasol,” Sasol’s spokesperson, Alex Anderson, indicated.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Sizwe Sama Yende at City Press

Mzimkhulu Mining loses R8m a day due to violent protests

SowetanLive reports that a coal supply company owned by Eskom board chairperson Jabu Mabuza's brother-in-law is losing over R8m a day in revenue due to violent protests at its mine in Mpumalanga.  Mzimkhulu Mining, whose directors include Themba Langa, Mabuza's brother-in-law, and SG Coal, approached the Middelburg High Court to seek an urgent interdict against the Truckers Association of SA (Tasa).  In the court papers, the mine accused truck owners in the eMalahleni area of intimidation and damage to property.  In his founding affidavit, Maleka indicated that the approximate value of coal which could not be transported each day amounted to approximately to R8.1m.  "This translates into a substantial loss of revenue for the mine on a daily basis.  The unlawful actions also result in nonfulfilment of contractual commitments towards Eskom.  The mine had to shut down for the day because nobody was allowed access.  This has a tremendous impact on the operations of the mine as well as security of its employees," Maleka stated.  Mzimkhulu Mining general manager Michael Mabogoane stated in his affidavit that the situation was so volatile that he feared for the safety of staff, truck drivers and himself.  SG Coal CEO Frederik Oosthuizen stated:  "The unlawful protest orchestrated by Tasa is an unlawful attempt to interfere with the transport business of SG Coal and its joint-venture partners.  Tasa was interdicted from blocking the mine entrance and the trucks.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Peter Ramothwala at SowetanLive


UNION NEWS / UNION STRUCTURES

Popcru rejects minister’s proposal of private donor funding for NPA; elective congress starts on Monday

The Star reports that the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) has called for the rejection of plans by Justice Minister Ronald Lamola for private donors to fund the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).  In July, Lamola said the department was in the process of securing private donor funding for the NPA because it was cash-strapped.  Popcru spokesperson Richard Mamabolo said the union was not in favour of the move because it would tarnish the authority’s credibility.  “The NPA is too important to be at the mercy of individuals who might have vested interests, as this would mean that this law enforcement body would be indebted to donors.  We should never agree to private donations under the guise of saving our institutions while coming with strings attached that would redirect the purpose and objectives of the NPA,” he said.  Meantime, Popcru’s ninth congress will be held in Durban from Monday, when it will elect new leadership and adopt policies.  Around 1,200 delegates are expected to converge on Chief Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre for the five-day conference.  On the union’s agenda will be discussions over the strategies that should be adopted on how best to fight against the government’s plan to slash the SA Police Service’s budget in the next three years, which the union said would result in 23,000 jobs being lost.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Siviwe Feketha on page 7 of The Star of 4 November 2019


ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT / INDUSTRIAL POLICY

Ramaphosa to launch Tshwane automotive special economic zone on Tuesday

Engineering News reports that President Cyril Ramaphosa will launch the Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone (SEZ) on Tuesday, the department of trade and industry indicated on Friday.  The Gauteng provincial government applied to the trade and industry minister through the SEZ advisory board for the expansion of the OR Tambo SEZ to incorporate the Tshwane Automotive Hub, the main purpose of which will be to attract new automotive component manufacturers.  The hub will be developed through a joint partnership between the department of trade and industry, the Gauteng provincial government and the city of Tshwane.  “It is envisaged that this SEZ will drive investment into the city of Tshwane and surrounding communities," the department of trade and industry said on Friday.

Read the full original of this interesting report in the above regard at Engineering News

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Moody's leaves South Africa teetering on brink of 'junk', at Engineering News
  • SA facing “hard choices” if country is to avoid downgrade, debt trap, says Minerals Council, at Miningmx
  • Expected new-car market turnaround failed to materialise, says Naamsa, at Engineering News


LABOUR MARKET / JOBS / UNEMPLOYMENT

No degree means no job

City Press reports that about 56% of the 7.6 million South Africans who were unemployed in the third quarter of the year do not have a matric qualification –and 34.1% only have a matric certificate.  The latest Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS), released by Stats SA last Tuesday, showed that 2% of those unemployed were graduates, while 7.2% had other tertiary education qualifications.  The total unemployment rate in the third quarter was 29.1%, while this time last year it was at 27.5%.  According to the expanded definition, unemployment was at 38.5%.  Of the 15.4 million people who were not economically active, there were 2.8 million discouraged jobseekers.  Economist Christie Viljoen noted that most job losses over the past year were among uneducated and semi-educated tradespeople.  In the crafts and related industries sector, 106,000 job opportunities were lost, 39,000 factory and machine operators lost their jobs and in elementary occupations such as routine manual labour, 55,000 posts were lost.  She said that, with more posts occupied by uneducated people being lost, people in low-income households would be the worst hit – and this would result in increasing inequality and poverty.  Isaac Matshego and Dennis Dykes, of Nedbank’s economics unit, said a concerning figure was the number of people who had been without a job for more than a year.  In the third quarter, they made up 70.9% of the number of unemployed people and 20.7% of the labour force.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Riana De Lange at City Press


RECRUITMENT / JOB SCAMS

Transnet Port Terminals embarks on campaign to educate people about job scammers

The Citizen reports that Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) receives anonymous tip-offs averaging about 30 calls a month from victims desperate to get their money back after being scammed by criminals promising them jobs.  Accordingly, the division of Transnet that operates at ports, will from Monday be embarking on a five-day long countrywide public education campaign.  Heading the campaign called #PhantsiNgoTsotsi (#AwayWithCriminals), TPT senior managers will share with members of the public tips on what to look out for when approached in the jobs-for-money scam.  Victims were apparently paying up to R25,000 in the hope of finding permanent jobs at the company.  According to TPT talent and recruitment head, Pamela Yoyo, the public education campaign will start at Durban and Richards Bay – deemed the hardest hit areas by the scammers.  Other areas to be visited include East London’s Mdantsane taxi rank, Port Elizabeth’s Govan Mbeki Avenue, Cape Town station and the Weskus mall in Saldanha.  Yoyo said there were three major things to help spot a scammer promising to offer a victim a Transnet job, viz.:  “The first one is that all our e-mail addresses end with a dot net.  Secondly, recruiters do not share cellphone numbers.  Lastly, under no circumstances will Transnet ever ask for money for interviews, medicals or even uniforms from potential candidates.”

Read the original of the above report by Brian Sokutu at The Citizen

Government outlines procedures on hiring of foreigners

The Citizen reports that the Department of Employment and Labour (DEL) this week outlined myriad procedures that businesses hiring local and foreign nationals should follow.  This came amid the continued clampdown by government officials on employers who were non-compliant with various SA laws.  DEL spokesperson Mishack Magakwe, who confirmed that various local businesses were to be targeted for inspection “from time to time”, said it was “important for an employer who has a vacant post to advertise it in the local media – newspaper or online”.  Magakwe explained:  “The local citizens then get first chance to take up that employment opportunity by submitting their applications for the post to the employer.  If the employer finds suitable candidates for the post, he then hires from the local pool of applications and the matter is closed.”  However, in the event where all the submitted local applications do not satisfy the employer’s minimum requirements, namely competencies, education and work experience for the vacant post, “the employer may consider hiring a foreign national”.  This report goes on to indicate procedures to be followed once the employer has reached a stage of considering hiring an employee.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Brian Sokutu at The Citizen


BASIC EDUCATION / TEACHING

Parents furious at 'displaced principal' sleeping in her car on school premises

Sunday Tribune reports that parents at Kamalinee Primary in Isipingo vowed to shut the school on Monday if a senior educator, who has been accused of sleeping in her car, does not leave the premises.  It is alleged that a “displaced principal”, who was sent to the school in January last year, spends her days sleeping in her car.  On Friday, parents tried to remove the principal, but failed, when officials from the provincial education department intervened.  Donald Naidoo, the school’s governing body (SGB) chairperson, said they did not understand why the educator was placed at the school because the school already had a principal.  He said since last year their plea with the department to remove the displaced principal had fallen on deaf ears.  Apparently, the department sent out an area circuit manager who explained that he was dealing with the matter with the SA African Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu).  However, the SGB said that should the educator return on Monday, parents would shut down the school.  Last year SGB members wrote to the department complaining that the educator had been sleeping in her vehicle in the school car park during school hours on numerous occasions.  The teacher, who apparently draws a monthly salary of R40,000, does not embark on any form of teaching or extra-curricular duties and spends most of the day sitting in the staff room.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Nkululeko Nene at Sunday Tribune


CORRUPTION / WORKPLACE CRIME

Ex-principal pleads guilty to R5m fraud at prestigious Glenwood High School in Durban

Independent on Saturday reports that the former head of Durban’s Glenwood High School, Trevor Kershaw, will spend the next three years under correctional supervision with a 10-year suspended prison sentence hanging over his head.  This after he pleaded guilty to fraud charges of just over R5million.  A plea agreement with the State was reached on Thursday.  The case has dragged on in the courts for the past three years after Kershaw was charged with defrauding the school in 2016.  Glenwood High is regarded as one of the leading schools in Durban.  According to the plea bargain, while Kershaw was head of the prestigious school he had not kept the relevant documents to substantiate expenses he had incurred and had claimed reimbursement through fictitious documentation made up of more than 1,600 dubious reimbursement claims and including over 100 homemade invoices.  The Asset Forfeiture Unit seized Kershaw’s assets of R3m after his arrest and the proceeds will be released to the school.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Tanya Waterworth at Independent News


COMMUTING / TRANSPORT

‘War room’ intervention results in trains now running on schedule 63% of the time, says Fikile Mbalula

BusinessLive reports that according to Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula, intervention by the Passenger Rail Agency of SA’s (Prasa’s) newly established war room has resulted in improved service on the tracks‚ but there was still much work to be done.  Speaking on Monday on the war room’s progress, Mbalula said Prasa’s overall on-time performance (trains arriving and departing on time) had increased by 11% to 63%.  The war room, established in August to improve the rail service, was given 30 weeks to implement a turnaround programme.  It is now at the halfway mark.  According to a report on its progress‚ 53 focus areas‚ which Prasa refers to as “action items”‚ were identified for intervention.  Mbalula said the team had completed work in 28% of these areas.  Prasa has also appointed 62 service providers to help with the recovery of coaches and has filled three executive positions to “stabilise the organisation”.  The agency has also received fewer directives from the Rail Safety Regulator, a decline from 44 to 33.  Mbalula said “occurrences” (incidents on trains or on tracks) had also been reduced by 11%‚ from 809 to 723.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Amil Umraw at BusinessLive


OTHER NEWS HEADLINES AND PRESS STATEMENTS

  • Are you at risk with too little life cover? at BusinessLive
  • Domestic worker stabs employer's daughter, robs house, at Daily News

 


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