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 South African
labour-related reports.


Metrobus ‘strike’ on Wednesday and Thursday left thousands of Joburg commuters stranded

BL Premium reports that some 16,000 Joburg commuters were left stranded on Wednesday and Thursday when Metrobus employees downed tools, citing unresolved grievances with the City of Johannesburg-owned bus company. Metrobus indicated on Wednesday: “Due to an illegal strike by several employees of Metrobus, which commenced during the afternoon shift of January 31, bus operations were negatively affected, leading to significant inconvenience to our customers.   Management is making every effort to ensure that services are restored as soon as possible.” Based on a security threat analysis, “both the Metrobus sales outlet and the nerve centre at Gandhi Square will be closed until further notice”. But on Thursday, unions at the bus company denied they were on strike and said they only wanted a list of their grievances resolved by management. SA Municipal Workers’ Union’s (Samwu’s) Ester Mtatyana stated: “Metrobus is not on strike. Workers were merely having a general meeting and after that they went to the employer to get an update on their grievances.” The grievances, she said, stemmed from the new shift system the company has allegedly implemented without consulting labour, and a tender for a new fleet which she said was withdrawn without explanation. Mtatyana claimed the company was effectively reducing its headcount without approaching unions. Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (Imatu) shop steward Sammy Singo commented: “We used to have 500 shifts, now there are 200 shifts; 300 have been cancelled and there was no communication with labour. We view this as a way of restructuring the company, but you can’t do that without consultation with labour.”

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Luyolo Mkentane at BusinessLive (subscriber access only). Read too, In wake of strike, Metrobus says it's working hard to restore operations, at EWN. And also, MMC Kunene slams striking Metrobus employees, at SABC News


Calls for increased security at Rahima Moosa Hospital after hijacking and shooting at hospital gate

The Citizen reports that the Gauteng Health Department has called for heightened policing in and around Coronationville in Johannesburg as persistent crime incidents continue to affect Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital. A statement issued by the department on Thursday advised of two incidents that occurred at the hospital since December, viz.: “On 25 December… a nurse got hijacked at gunpoint outside just after leaving the hospital, and another happened a week ago on 27 January 2024, where two people sustained gunshot injuries after their vehicle was hijacked at the gate minutes after they entered the hospital premises.” The department added: “The persistent crime in the area affects patients who have to access healthcare services at the hospital. There has been a number of patients complaining on their arrival to the facility that they have been mugged on their way to the hospital, with their phones taken or handbags snatched.” Rahima Moosa has engaged with Sophiatown police, requesting increased patrols around the hospital as well as a mobile unit to be stationed outside of it. The department said the community policing forum was now patrolling the area and it was also exploring other ways to improve security in and around the hospital.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Nicholas Zaal at The Citizen

Nearly one in four SA magistrates have received work threats

BusinessLive reports that safety and security, as well as corruption and heavy workloads, have been identified as challenges faced by magistrates in SA. The finding is contained in a research report released by the Democratic Governance and Rights Unit at the University of Cape Town on Wednesday.   The report, entitled “Under Pressure”, indicated that magistrates were under increasing pressure, both from within the courts and from outside. “In the 12 months prior to the survey, almost a quarter (23%) of magistrates said that they were personally threatened or harmed because of their work ‘once or twice’. A further 10% said that this happened a ‘few times’. These two figures combined means that a third had been threatened or harmed in the last year,” the report found. On the questions related to security inside and outside the court building and in the courtroom, more than a quarter of the respondents indicated nonexistent security within the courtroom, and outside the court building, including parking. The report said while security measures were put in place in the magistrates’ courts, such as screening at the entry of the court building, these were not enough. It recommended there should be cameras in every corner of a court building and a security presence in each level of the court. Sixteen percent of female respondents reported having been sexually harassed or knowing a magistrate who had been sexually harassed – with the most commonly identified perpetrator being another magistrate.

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

SA’s digital platform workers face safety threats and discrimination, survey reveals

The Citizen reports that according to the fifth Fairwork South Africa Ratings 2023 report, South African workers on digital platforms are increasingly facing discrimination and safety threats. The Oxford University survey assesses working conditions on digital labour platforms across various sectors including ride-hailing, food delivery, home maintenance and domestic services.   Uber, Uber Eats, Mr D, Home Plus and Sweep South were rated based on fair pay, conditions, contracts, management and representation. The report found that food delivery and ride-hailing workers were regularly exposed to violent crime, such as robbery and car hijacking, while domestic workers faced challenges in relation to customer treatment. “Workers across different sectors of the platform economy have reported risking their safety simply to earn a sufficient income,” said Fairwork’s Dr Tobias Kuttler. He noted that although some platforms had taken steps to address identified risks, their measures were not entirely successful. Fairwork’s Dr Murali Shanmugavelan commented: “Most importantly, the issues of workers’ safety and of collective representation rights emerge as areas that need further attention and improvement.” Oxford University’s Prof Mark Graham noted that platforms had substantial control over the nature of jobs they mediate. “Workers who find their jobs through these platforms are ultimately still workers, and there is no basis for denying them the key rights and protections that their counterparts in the formal sector have long enjoyed,” he pointed out.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Vukosi Maluleke at The Citizen

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Real estate viewing safety precautions for clients and agents, at Brakpan Herald


Cosatu welcomes ANC's ‘long overdue’ suspension of 'bored pensioner' Jacob Zuma

News24 reports that the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), which played a key role in Jacob Zuma's election as leader of the ANC in 2007, has welcomed the ANC suspending the corruption-accused former president from its ranks. The federation advised its alliance partner not to "worry about the confused meanderings of a bored pensioner". On Monday, the ANC announced that its national executive committee (NEC) had unanimously decided to suspend Zuma to protect its integrity.   But it was not his corruption scandals or the instances of trampling on the Constitution that finally saw Zuma ejected from his party of 66 years, but his announcement on 16 December he would not vote or campaign for the ANC and that he was throwing in his weight behind the fledgling uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) party instead. In the run-up to the ANC's 2007 conference, Cosatu was a central pillar of the "coalition of the wounded" that saw Zuma replace Thabo Mbeki as party leader. However, a decade later in April 2017, as the scandals of Zuma's presidency mounted, Cosatu called on him to step down. By now, it said, it was a "long overdue step" to suspend Zuma, given "the endless litany of allegations and failures that have surrounded Jacob Zuma and in particular during his period as president of the ANC and the Republic".

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Jan Gerber at News24


New stipulations around remuneration reports to put squeeze on company directors

Financial Mail reports that the latest, and apparently final, iteration of the Companies Amendment Bill (CAB) contains a crucial change unlikely to please businesspersons who pushed back against the tougher stance on remuneration contained in an earlier version. The bill essentially introduces a two-strike rule, which means nonexecutive directors who are members of the remuneration committee will have to stand down from the board if the remuneration report is rejected for two consecutive years. They can immediately stand for re-election to the board, but cannot be reappointed to the remuneration committee for the following two years. Trade, industry & competition minister Ebrahim Patel has given a little to the business community by reducing the suspension period from three years to two, but he has countered that by introducing the requirement for re-election to the board. The proposed amendment will bring South African legislation partly into line with Australia, which implemented the two-strike rule several years ago.   But, at least 50% of shareholders in SA companies must vote against the report on two consecutive years, while Australian law requires only 25% opposition. There are no known examples of South African shareholders voting against the remuneration report in such large numbers in two consecutive years, though TFG and Truworths have come close.   In addition to the tougher stance on voting, the CAB requires companies to provide detailed disclosure on the remuneration received by the highest- and lowest-paid employees. The total remuneration of the top 5% of earners and the bottom 5% must also be disclosed.

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


Solidarity makes PAIA request for language policy information from Legal Practice Council

Solidarity reports that it has submitted an official request for information to the Legal Practice Council (LPC) about the organisation’s decision to phase out Afrikaans as a language medium for examinations. This request, made in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA), focuses on various aspects of the LPC’s decision to do away with Afrikaans as an examination language medium – including the motivations, consequences and processes for it. The trade union has accordingly requested all documentation, including records, minutes, agendas for meetings, as well as a comprehensive list of stakeholders consulted during the process to phase out Afrikaans.   “The Solidarity Law Network also wants to know which facts had to be taken into account as during the process.   Among other things, these include questions such as how many legal practitioners took the exam in Afrikaans last year, how the Council monitors the language policy and how it ensures and expands language diversity,” Emil Glas, the Law Network’s organiser explained.   Solidarity emphasised the urgency of its request and indicated that, if a positive response was not received within ten days, it reserved its right to institute PAIA procedures to enforce access to the required information.

Read Solidarity’s press statement on this matter at Politicsweb


Ramaphosa likely to sign off on NHI Bill before general election

Bloomberg News reports that President Cyril Ramaphosa is likely to sign-off on the controversial National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill before this year’s national elections, according to minister in the presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni. “We think it’s a priority that it must be signed during this period so that the full implementation can take place” under the new administration, Ntshavheni said on Thursday. Parliament’s National Council of Provinces approved the NHI Bill in December and referred it to the president, who can either assent to it or ask lawmakers to amend it he deems it to be legally or technically flawed. The legislation provides a framework for the provision of universal care through a state-run fund and will ban the private sector from financing treatment covered under the plan. There is widespread support for reform of a system that sees a multi-billion rand private healthcare industry servicing 16% of the population and the balance relying on overburdened public facilities. But, NHI critics argue that the government’s proposals have not been properly costed, are unconstitutional and could be successfully challenged in court.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard at Fin24


Solidarity warns North West University to abandon KPIs that reward discrimination against white employees

In a statement on Thursday, Solidarity said that it viewed the alleged practices of racial discrimination by the North-West University (NWU) in its employee performance assessments in a very serious light. The trade union issued a demand giving the university 10 days to revoke such directives, which were issued at the start of the new work year to departmental managers of both academic and supporting staff as key performance indicators (KPIs).   According to these directives, managers were expected to sign to undertake to change the culture of the organisation, to increase the proportion of black employees and to reserve 80% of appointments exclusively for black people. Anton van der Bijl, Solidarity’s deputy chief executive of legal matters, commented: “These directives issued by the NWU are absolutely appalling. In essence, a bonus is paid to mangers to systematically get rid of white employees. You are only eligible for a bonus if your department complies strictly with the rigid racial demographic quotas prescribed. It is unacceptable and such blatant racism must be fought relentlessly.” It is Solidarity’s contention that the decision to make racial discrimination a prescription for performance appraisals is unethical and immoral and also contrary to local and international precedents.

Read Solidarity’s press statement on this matter at Politicsweb. Lees ook, NWU gemaan oor beloning van diskriminasie teen wit werknemers, by Maroela Media


Mayor wants Nelson Mandela Bay city manager implicated in R4m aircon fraud suspended again

News24 reports that in the Nelson Mandela Bay city council’s meeting on Wednesday, the fraud-accused city manager was implicated in an alleged air conditioner fraud amounting to millions of rand. Noxolo Nqwazi, who only returned to work last week following a 90-day suspension, came under fire in the meeting when Mayor Gary van Niekerk tabled an item revealing her alleged wrongdoings. The item asked for disciplinary action to be taken against Nqwazi on the same charges she faced with her previous suspension. Apart from the alleged air conditioner fraud, the charges include Nqwazi's alleged failure to ensure that proper background checks were followed before the appointment of the chief operations officer, Christopher Dyani, who has been accused of misrepresenting his salary to negotiate for an increase.   The council decided to refer the majority of the charges against Nqwazi to the Municipal Public Accounts Committee (MPAC) for investigation and will meet again on 15 February to decide Nqwazi’s fate. She was arrested by the Hawks in September 2022 and released on R5,000 bail. The incident escalated to such a level that Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana demanded that action be taken against her before he disbursed the more than R700 million in grant funding that was owed to the municipality last year. Nqwazi returned to work last week when her suspension lapsed, after no disciplinary action had been taken against her.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Candice Bezuidenhout at News24

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Parliament asked to lift its suspension of KZN regional magistrate who was “lenient” to a rapist, at Cape Times


Hawks hunt for manager who allegedly stole almost R900,000 from Mugg & Bean in Kruger Park

IOL News reports that the Hawks (Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation) have launched an extensive manhunt for a Zimbabwean man, Amos Tineyi Kampinya, who is wanted in connection with a fraud and theft case in Mpumalanga. The crime was allegedly committed at the Kruger National Park in Mpumalanga. It is alleged that during July 2022, Kampyinya was working as a manager at the Mugg & Bean restaurant in the park.   Hawks provincial spokesperson, Captain Dineo Lucy Sekgotodi indicated: “Hawks in Mpumalanga requires assistance from the community to locate the whereabouts of the suspect appearing in the attached photographs, known as Amos Tineyi Kampinya, a Zimbabwean citizen. It is further alleged that Kampyinya stole company funds to the amount of R897,229 and disappeared. He was sought at his previous known address, at Karino Flats near Mbombela and he was not found.”

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Jonisayi Maromo at IOL News

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Voormalige finansiële raadgewer skuldig aan bedrog van miljoene, by Maroela Media


With Metrorail’s services extremely limited, Cape Town worker who earns R3,500 per month spends R1,200 on transport

GroundUp reports that Anele Gxekwa, from Crossroads, who earns R3,500 a month as a cleaner, spends R1,200 of it on transport. This is because Metrorail’s return to service in Cape Town has been so limited it has left most commuters dependent on minibus taxis and buses which are much more expensive. A return Metrorail trip from Nyanga to Cape Town, which costs R18, costs R50 by minibus. The weekly Metrorail ticket is R59, while by minibus it costs R250. A Metrorail monthly ticket costs R175, while taxi fare is about R1,000.   Work-seekers are also very hard hit.   During the week, trains on the Central Line only provide a limited service with two trips – one in the morning and a return trip in the evening. And it takes long. On Saturdays, the central line only runs from Cape Town station up to Langa, leaving commuters living in Bonteheuwel, Netreg, Heideveld and Nyanga without a service. And Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha, the city’s biggest townships, have no train service at all because the Central Line servicing them is broken. Trains in Cape Town do not operate at all on Sundays. People living in Philippi, Stock Road, Nolungile, Nonkqubela, Khayelitsha, Chris Hani, Mitchells Plain and Kapteinsklip have no option but to continue using expensive minibus taxis and bus services.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Sandiso Phaliso at GroundUp


  • Joburg police arrest suspected human traffickers targeting women from India, at SABC News
  • Over 69,000 staff recruited and trained to assist South Africans with voter registration, says IEC, at EWN
  • Opinion: Why a basic income grant would benefit everyone, at Mail & Guardian


Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page