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 Friday morning roundup, see
summaries of our selection of recent South African
labour-related reports.


Hundreds of miners resurface at Blyvoor gold mine after 36-hour sit-in

EWN reports that hundreds of mineworkers have resurfaced from the Blyvoor Gold Mine on the West Rand following a 36-hour sit-in.   Some 800 workers refused to resurface from the Peter Skear shaft after mine management allegedly refused to stick to its profit-sharing plan. Workers were also demanding 13th cheques for the upcoming Christmas holidays and for the company to terminate its closed-shop agreement with the Blyvoor Workers Union (BWU). Under the agreement, BWU has exclusive bargaining rights. Employees at the mine were allegedly promised a R6,000 payout in profit shares this month. The balance was set to be paid at the start of next year. But they were subsequently told that the company was facing financial difficulties and could not afford to pay out any incentives, including Christmas bonuses. Workers have threatened further action to force the mine to concede to their demands.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Nokukhanya Mntambo at EWN


Western Cape e-hailing drivers' strike over unsafe working conditions ends after deal with app companies

EWN reports that the Western Cape e-Hailing Drivers Association has confirmed that it has reached an agreement with the app companies its members work for. This after drivers staged a three-day stay-away, raising concerns about their unsafe working conditions. Chairperson of the association, Siyabonga Hlabisa, said hotspot areas for hijacking of drivers included Gugulethu, Philippi, Nyanga, Elsies River and Khayelitsha. He previously indicated: "Everything is a mess you know. Drivers go pick up their clients with a hot seat because they don't even have a shelter to hide their cars here. So all those issues, so that's why we are really concerned and feel like no, we should just go on stay away. The association has been engaging with them but they never responded." The drivers also wanted the cost of rides to be increased. Hlabisa advised that the strike was over and drivers would be back on duty on Friday.

Read the original of the short report in the above regard by Melikhaya Zagagana at EWN

Mpumalanga teacher, who was also Sadtu secretary, and friend killed in execution-style shooting

IOL News reports that a 37-year-old teacher, who was also a secretary for the SA Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu), together with his friend, were found dead after they were killed in an execution-style shooting in Sukani Trust outside White River, Mpumalanga. The pair was found on Wednesday around 10pm. Provincial police spokesperson, Brigadier Selvy Mohlala advised: “Police received information about a person who was seen motionless in a pool of blood at Sukani road. On arrival, police looked around and the second body was found nearby. Both victims had gunshot wounds and were declared dead by paramedics on the scene.” A grey VW Polo was found on the scene and when police conducted a preliminary investigation, the vehicle’s keys were found in one of the deceased’s pocket. Their mobile phones and other items were found in their possession. Upon further investigation, police were able to establish that one of the deceased was a teacher in one of the local high schools and also a union secretary. “The motive of the killing is unknown at the moment and police have launched an investigation,” Mohlala indicated.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Brenda Masilela at IOL News. Read too, Mpumalanga teacher and friend shot ‘execution-style’, at The Citizen

Durban hotels hit with labour department prohibition and contravention notices

The Mercury reports that inspectors from the Department of Employment and Labour (DEL) on Wednesday issued two prohibition notices and a number of contravention notices in connection with compliance issues at hotels in Durban. This came after they carried out a number of inspections ahead of the festive season following a roof collapse this week at the Southern Sun Rosebank Hotel in Johannesburg due to hailstorm damage. Lennie Samuels, Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) inspector at the DEL, said they issued two prohibition notices to hotels in Durban. “The reason we issued prohibition notices was because some of the machinery was unsafe. Basically a prohibition means the section can’t be used until compliance is met.   A number of contravention notices have also been issued. That basically means that the hotel has 60 days to be compliant,” he indicated. Samuels added that the contravention notices were issued for structural non-compliance, electrical non-compliance for certain areas, for building maintenance issues and for firefighting equipment such as extinguishers which were not enough. Approached for comment, Southern Sun Hotels said they only found out about the inspections from a media release that the DEL issued. Acknowledging the right of the department to inspect its facilities, the hotel group added: “We have never seen a nationwide inspection like this following an incident, particularly since the incident is limited to a relatively minor portion of the hotel, where a section of the restaurant roof collapsed under the weight of a sudden, heavy hailstorm.”

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Yogashen Pillay at The Mercury

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Cape Town firefighters extinguish fire at factory in Salt River, no injuries reported, at EWN


March by hundreds on Wednesday to the Durban City Hall to demand jobs

GroundUp reports that on Wednesday, about 500 recently retrenched Public Employment Programme (PEP) workers, led by the SA Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu), marched to the City Hall in Durban’s city centre.   They were demanding answers following Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda’s announcement during his Municipal Finance Management Act report last week that the National Treasury had agreed to the City’s rollover request for its conditional grant. “We are delighted with the news, and welcome the National Treasury approval of the R1.6-billion grant as it will go a long way in improving service delivery,” Kaunda had said. The retrenched workers were employed on a temporary basis as part of the Presidential Employment Stimulus package launched by President Cyril Ramaphosa in 2020. In early October, eThekwini municipality announced that it had run out of funds for the PEP programme. According to the workers’ memorandum presented on Wednesday, eThekwini municipality had promised some of them employment for six months. But soon after signing their contracts, they were told the municipality had insufficient funds to continue the programme and some workers were moved to NGOs contracted by the City. All their contracts were abruptly terminated on 29 October. They now hope that the new grant will allow the City to reinstate their employment permanently. Samwu leaders were expected to meet eThekwini Municipality officials on Thursday about the matter.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Tsoanelo Sefoloko at GroundUp


Bodies of three suspected zama zamas found in wheelbarrows in Driekop, Limpopo

TimesLIVE reports that the bodies of three suspected illegal miners believed to have been injured underground were found in Driekop, Limpopo, on Wednesday. Police were alerted about suspicious people coming from the mountains and pushing wheelbarrows. “They swiftly responded and on arrival, found three wheelbarrows abandoned next to the road towards the mountains. Each was carrying a critically injured person,” said police spokesperson Brig Hlulani Mashaba. The men were later certified dead. Two of the dead have been identified. “Preliminary investigations by police found that the deceased were allegedly injured by rocks while engaging in illegal mining activities at Mooihoek village,” said Mashaba.

Read the original of the short report in the above regard at TimesLIVE


Deputy Finance Minister David Masondo rejects removing VAT on more foods

BL Premium reports that Deputy Finance Minister David Masondo says expanding the basket of zero-rated foods will result in lower tax revenue and mean there are less funds for more targeted relief for the poor.   He was speaking during a DA-motivated debate in the National Assembly on Thursday on “desperately needed relief measures”, including expanding the VAT zero-rated food basket. The government has been urged to take the step immediately to alleviate the cost-of-living crisis. Masondo rejected an expansion of the food basket, echoing the view expressed in October by Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana that this would benefit high-income earners more than the poor.   The Minister insisted that the Treasury would not change its position in this regard. However, parliament’s standing committee on finance – including ANC MPs – earlier this week recommended that the basket of zero-rated foods be expanded to relieve households in distress. At present, food items that do not attract VAT include brown bread, maize meal, rice, vegetables, milk, vegetable oils and eggs.   The DA wants the basket to include bone-in chicken, beef, tinned beans, wheat flour, margarine, peanut butter, baby food, tea, coffee and soup powder.

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

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • December fuel price latest: Diesel headed for big cut, but petrol relief lags behind, at The Citizen


To improve staff morale, Ramokgopa wants Eskom workers to be paid bonuses from money ‘saved’ on diesel

BL Premium reports that Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa has urged Eskom to improve staff morale by resuming performances bonuses, which were halted in 2017. It isn’t clear how these performance incentives would be structured and paid, but according to the electricity ministry the money would come from savings on diesel. Ramokgopa told parliament’s portfolio committee on public enterprises on Wednesday that he had asked Eskom management and the board to introduce incentives for workers at power stations based on the performance of those plants. He said that when he visited power stations shortly after his appointment in March he found that staff morale was low, especially at those plants that were due to be shut down over the next few years. “Workforce morale was extremely low because there have not been incentives in place for a number of years due to legacy issues and the quality of performance. Employees at stations due to close down were very demoralised,” he told MPs.   Since then the government and Eskom have decided to delay the shutdown of plants such as Camden and Hendrina.   That decision has helped improved worker morale at affected stations because they now “know there is life beyond 2025, and they will be able to continue feeding their families”.   Ramokgopa said introducing performance incentives linked to the functioning of power stations would lead to an improvement in generation performance and worker morale.

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


Gender pay gap disclosure not included in Companies Amendment Bill

BL Premium reports that companies listed on the JSE will not have to disclose their gender pay gap ratios after members of the portfolio committee on trade, industry and competition voted against adding such a requirement to the Companies Amendment Bill. The bill proposes changes to the Companies Act and requires better disclosure of the pay gaps at listed firms to deal with inequality in SA. It will require listed firms to disclose the salary of the top and the lowest paid worker and the ratio between the top and bottom 5% of earners. But in submissions on the bill, a number of investment firms and others suggested that listed firms also be required to disclose the gender gap, namely the average difference between what men and women in the same company earned. Minister Ebrahim Patel agreed and said a gender pay gap clause could be added, but indicated that this might mean the bill would need to be resubmitted for public comment because the gender pay gap provision would be new and an insufficient public comment process could result in legal challenges. The portfolio committee voted on Wednesday, six to four, not to add the amendment to the bill, but to leave it to be dealt with by the new parliament after elections. The bill still needs to be approved by the committee and sent to the National Assembly for a vote and then on to the National Council of Provinces for debate and a vote.

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


Deputy principal accused of homophobic bullying implicated in 12-year-old pupil's suicide

News24 reports that an investigation into the death of Sibusiso Mbatha, who died by suicide after he was allegedly bullied about his sexual orientation last month, has implicated four Khehlekile Primary School staff members. Sibusiso, a 12-year-old Grade 6 pupil at the school in Thokoza, Ekurhuleni, hanged himself with a skipping rope in an outside toilet at his home after the deputy principal allegedly told him to leave his "gay tendencies" outside the school gate. On Thursday, Gauteng Education MEC Matome Chiloane shared the findings and recommendations of an investigative report. Investigators recommended that the deputy principal be placed on precautionary suspension and face disciplinary proceedings for the alleged ill-treatment and homophobic abuse of the boy. Furthermore, they held that the school's principal should face charges for allegedly neglecting his duties by failing to probe the matter, seemingly in an effort to shield his deputy. They also recommended that two teachers should face disciplinary hearings due to their alleged missteps in handling the matter. The deputy principal was suspended after the incident and is reporting for duty at the district office. The family of Sibusiso Mbatha is outraged after learning that a teacher allegedly told the boy that the school he went to had no place for gay people. Chiloane said the department was committed to implementing the investigators’ recommendations. “No one must feel that their rights are undermined, compromised or disrespected at our schools," Chiloane said.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Yoliswa Sobuwa at News24


Two senior managers at crisis-marred National Skills Fund charged over R5bn scandal

News24 reports that at least two high-ranking officials have been charged by the Department of Higher Education, Science and Innovation (DHES&I) in relation to R5 billion that has not been accounted for at the National Skills Fund (NSF). An audit outcome in the 2019/20 financial year revealed that the entity, which falls under the DHES&I, could not account for billions of rand.   Following the audit outcome, Minister Blade Nzimande appointed a forensic company to conduct a full-scale investigation into the financial affairs of the NSF. The Nexus Forensic Services uncovered fraud, forgery and non-delivery of services by service providers, even though they had been paid. And now, the department has moved to charge some of its own who have been implicated in the missing billions.   DHES&I director-general Nkosinathi Sishi has charged one of the fund's directors for alleged gross negligence at the crisis-marred NSF. The charges relate to the official "supporting" a recommendation of signing a memorandum of understanding with Rubicon Communication and Wits University. It later turned out Wits never signed any agreement and this led to wasteful expenditure of R3 million. Charges against another director, Kgaogelo Hlongwane, make reference, amongst other things, to her alleged actions leading to R11 million in wasteful expenditure. Hlongwane was called into a pre-hearing meeting on 15 August 2023, after which she was apparently suspended.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Soyiso Maliti at News24 (subscriber access only)

Eleven arrested in learner's and driver's licence fraud bust in Melmoth in KZN

TimesLIVE reports that nine applicants believed to be linked to learner's and driver's licence fraud have been arrested in Melmoth, northern KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). They were arrested by the Hawks and the KZN transport department’s traffic and transport inspection unit on Wednesday when two former examiners in uMthonjaneni local municipality were also arrested. The suspects appeared in the Melmoth Magistrate's Court on Thursday. The two uMthonjaneni examiners were granted R5,000 bail each and the licence applicants R1,000 bail each. More arrests are imminent and the team is looking for other licence applicants who benefited. The department has revoked all learner's licences issued by those arrested. It is believed applicants paid R2,500 for a learner's licence. KZN transport, community safety and liaison MEC Sipho Hlomuka said the arrests were part of a “clean-up operation” which will continue to other testing centres.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Sakhiseni Nxumalo at TimesLIVE. Read too, Hawks arrest two more in KZN learners' licence scam, at IOL News

Former prosecutor slapped with eight-year sentence for demanding R500 bribe from suspect over ten years ago

City Press reports that a corrupt prosecutor who demanded a R500 bribe from a suspect in exchange for dropping charges has been sentenced to eight years' direct imprisonment for corruption. The court .also declared him unfit to possess a firearm. Former prosecutor Mahlomola Gideon Khuto appeared in the Harrismith Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday. The 52-year-old was arrested by the Hawks in December 2011, following a complaint from the victim that he had demanded money from him to ensure that the charges would be dropped. A sting operation was conducted at Batho Magistrate’s Court, which led to the arrest of Khuto after he was found in possession of the R500 that he demanded from the victim. Khuto has been out on bail and awaiting sentencing for over 10 years. Speaking at a graduation ceremony held at the NPA headquarters in Silverton, Pretoria, where more than 600 graduate prosecutors were being recognised for completing the flagship Aspirant Prosecutor Programme, NPA head Shamila Batohi said dishonest prosecutors would be dealt with.   “There is no free lunch. Never compromise your professional independence for any kind of expediency, no matter who it is – political [figures], business, your friends, your family, whoever,” she said.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Abram Mashego at City Press (subscriber access only)

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Nelson Mandela Bay council approves team to probe fraud allegations against mayor, at News24
  • ACSA employees among group arrested on allegations of drug trafficking at OR Tambo International Airport, at News24 (subscriber access only)
  • eThekwini Municipality takes action against staffer caught allegedly stealing city cables in viral video, at IOL News


Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page