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


Nxesi says overhaul of UIF and Compensation Fund will be a ‘massive’ undertaking

BL Premium reports that the “massive” process of unbundling the Compensation Fund and Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) from the Department of Employment and Labour (DEL) and their modernisation and restructuring will require an increase in expenditure in the department’s budget, DEL Minister Thulas Nxesi told MPs this week. The restructuring of the two funds, based on a PwC report published in September last year, envisages upgrading the IT systems, organisational restructuring, employing suitably skilled staff, retraining, improving service delivery, and a change in the work culture. PwC was commissioned to undertake an overview of the funds and make recommendations in April 2022.   Its proposal calls for the two funds, which are bedevilled by inefficiencies and the source of much frustration for business and customers, to be independent of the DEL and its bureaucracy. Nxesi said the implementation of the plan would inevitably mean an increase in expenditure and the department’s budget, requiring the services of experts in IT, cybersecurity, chartered accountants, actuaries, and business leaders. The minister added that change management specialists and experts in the various areas of the implementation plan would be required. “The understanding is that this is going to be implemented in several stages, short term, medium term and long term,” he noted.

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


UCT Employees Union members to go on strike on Thursday

GroundUp reports that the University of Cape Town Employees Union (UCTEU) is planning to strike on Thursday after failed negotiations with the university management. In the strike notice issued on Tuesday, the union said that it had “exhausted all avenues of a non-strike resolution to our dispute and demands”. The union said the strike would last until 16 February unless an agreement with UCT was reached. Union president Andrea Plos said that issues with university management “are historic and have been a point of contention for years” which has “seen [the union] in and out of CCMA”. The UCTEU is the largest union representing professional, administrative and support service (PASS) employees across most pay classes at the university, with about 1,400 members. The demands for the strike action on Thursday include a wage increase of 1.5% for 2023 and 7.5% for 2024, the immediate release of payments of the performance awards for June 2022 to May 2023 cycle, and the establishment of a unified bargaining forum, among other things.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Liezl Human at GroundUp


Imraan Valodia to chair second National Minimum Wage Commission

TimesLIVE reports that Department of Employment & Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi has appointed the second National Minimum Wage (NMW) Commission, which will be chaired by Prof Imraan Valodia. The commission provides advice, among other things, on the setting of the national minimum wage (NMW) and sectoral determinations. The inaugural commission was announced in 2019 by former labour minister Mildred Oliphant and its term ended on 31 January this year. The minister said the appointment of the new commission was in compliance with the National Minimum Wage Act. The appointments include independent experts, representatives of business, community and labour. Members of the new commission will serve for five years. Nxesi said Valodia, who replaces Prof Adriaan van der Walt, is one of the four independent candidates in the 13-member commission. Valodia is a professor of economics and director of the Southern Centre for Inequality Studies at Wits University.

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


Transnet gives government list of preferred candidates to fill CEO, CFO roles

Fin24 reports that Transnet has submitted a list of preferred candidates for appointment to replace its recently departed executives and to bolster its depleted leadership profile. Transnet board chair Andile Sangqu said on Tuesday that the board submitted the names to the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) Minister, Pravin Gordhan, last week in respect of the posts of group chief executive officer, chief financial officer and chief executive of Transnet Freight Rail (TFR). The boards of state-owned entities, such as Transnet, must select a total of three preferred candidates for executive directors and submit those to the government for appointment. Following a Cabinet process that should include further interviews of the candidates, security vetting and other checks, the DPE Minister will make the appointments after he has received the executive's approval. Sangqu would not be drawn on the names or number of candidates submitted, saying that would be left to the government. Last year both the DPE and Transnet promised to fill the positions before the end of February.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Sikonathi Mantshantsha at Fin24


DA heads to court to challenge reappointment of Joburg city manager Floyd Brink

News24 reports that the Democratic Alliance (DA) was back in the South Gauteng High Court on Wednesday over a City of Johannesburg decision to rehire Floyd Brink as the city manager. The advocate for the DA argued that the reappointment was in contempt of a ruling on 7 November by acting Judge Steven Budlender, who had found that Brink’s appointment had been unlawful. In the November ruling, the court found the manner in which former speaker Colleen Makhubele had brought the motion to hire Brink on 22 February 2023 was problematic and ruled that he should be replaced in 10 days.   On Wednesday, the party submitted that the City had chosen to rehire Brink instead of advertising his position and beginning the hiring process anew. But the City’s advocate argued on Wednesday that the application should be struck from the roll because it was not urgent. At a 29 November meeting, the council accepted a report to rehire Brink in the correct manner. But on 7 December, the DA filed a notice of motion for the urgent application. The relief the party sought included that the decisions that led to the approval of the report to rehire Brink be declared unconstitutional, unlawful, and invalid and that the City, the council, Mayor Kabelo Gwamanda, and speaker Margaret Arnolds be declared in contempt of court for the permanent appointment of Brink.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Alex Patrick at News24

Gauteng health department says there's no budget to act on PSC’s recommendations on irregular appointments

News24 reports that the Gauteng Health Department has failed to implement recommendations by the Public Service Commission (PSC) on irregular staff appointments that happened three years ago. This was revealed on Monday by Gauteng Health MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko in a written reply to DA's questions at the legislature.   The DA had asked Nkomo-Ralehoko what investigations and reports from the PSC had been conducted or received since January 2020 and which specific staff members the commission found to have been appointed irregularly. DA Gauteng Health spokesperson Jack Bloom said the PSC had investigated 13 irregular staff appointments in the past three years and had made recommendations, but the department had failed to implement the recommendations in nine cases.   In her reply Nkomo-Ralehoko said the department needed a budget to implement the recommendations. She added that the department was currently navigating various stages of implementing these recommendations, each with its unique set of circumstances. "These factors include personnel changes within the department, ongoing review processes, and the requirement for judicial intervention to facilitate the implementation of specific recommendations," she explained. According to the PSC report, six appointment irregularities were found at George Mukhari Hospital. At the central office, it was discovered that there were irregularities in three appointments and two irregular transfers.

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


Treasury warns that government employees risk being excluded from two-pot pension system

Fin24 reports that National Treasury has warned that government employees will be left out of the two-pot retirement system if rules for their pension funds are not amended. At meeting of the Standing Committee on Finance on Tuesday, Treasury said the rules for multiple pension funds, including the Government Employees Pension Fund, the Transnet Fund, Telkom Fund and Post Office Fund needed amendments. The new two-pot system means fund members will be able to cash out one-third of their future retirement savings throughout their career, while two-thirds will only become accessible on retirement. The one-third component is called the "savings pot", while the other two-thirds is the "retirement pot". Members of retirement and provident funds, as well as retirement annuities, will be able to withdraw R25,000 or 10% (whichever is less) from their existing savings from September, when the new system takes effect. However, Treasury said there was still legal uncertainty surrounding the implementation of the two-pot system, and called on government to amend the rules urgently so that the government employees would be able to access their retirement and emergency funds when the system was implemented. Fund members are currently able to withdraw their full pension savings, subject to taxation, when they leave a job, though this means that many people enter retirement with little to no capital once they reach retirement age.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Na'ilah Ebrahim at Fin24. Read too, National Treasury proposes revamped 'two-pots' retirement system in draft Pension Funds Amendment Bill, at Business Report

Discovery ordered to pay child maintenance from father’s pension fund after he failed to make payments

IOL News reports that the Western Cape High Court has ordered Discovery Limited to dip into a client’s retirement funds and settle his child maintenance after he defaulted on payments to the extent of about R30,000 for at least two months. The mother approached the court after the father failed to pay maintenance for their three children as previously ordered by the court. The wife instituted divorce proceedings against the husband in September 2022, but their divorce is still pending. In October 2023, the man was ordered to pay R18,000 towards maintenance and the first payment was to be effected on 1 November, 2023. There were further court proceedings, but the payments were never made. Instead, the father launched an application in December seeking a reduction on the amount. Meantime, the wife filed an urgent application seeking an order which would compel his insurer, Discovery, to dip into his retirement fund. The judge ordered Discovery to transfer R29,500 to the wife’s account. The amount has to be paid with interest calculated from the day the husband defaulted. This will be a once off payment as the husband still has a pending application regarding the reduction of maintenance.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Brenda Masilela at IOL News


Beaufort West mayor resigns amid allegations of gender-based violence

News24 reports that Beaufort West Mayor Ebenezer Botha of the Patriotic Alliance (PA) has resigned with immediate effect following allegations of gender-based violence (GBV). He apparently handed in his resignation on Tuesday evening after allegations emerged that he had allegedly assaulted a woman. Beaufort West Municipality speaker Noal Constable confirmed Botha's resignation. Botha was elected as mayor in September last year after Ashley Sauls resigned and he served as mayor for a mere five months. Deputy Mayor Lulama Piti has stepped into the mayoral position temporarily. The municipality has had three mayors since the local government elections in 2021.   It is governed by an ANC, PA, and Karoo Democratic Force (KDF) coalition.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Marvin Charles at News24


Hawks probe after 13 undocumented Ethiopians found in Parkview house

TimesLIVE reports that about 13 Ethiopian nationals were found in a house in Parkview, Johannesburg, at about 9.30pm on Tuesday.   The Hawks said among those found, four were minors aged between 14 and 15. Gauteng Hawks spokesperson Capt Ndivhuwo Mulamu said an inquiry had been opened to establish whether it was a case of human trafficking or smuggling, and to establish who the property belonged to. She said among those found on Tuesday, seven had been taken to hospital for treatment of injuries sustained while attempting to run away from authorities. The minors had been taken to safety, Mulamu indicated.

Read the original of the short report in the above regard by Shonisani Tshikalange at TimesLIVE


Eskom maintenance manager from Hendrina in court with accomplice for R1 million graft

News24 reports that an Eskom maintenance manager from Hendrina and her alleged accomplice have been charged with fraud, theft and money laundering by the Hawks in Mpumalanga. The manager, Nontuthubo Surprise Mahweliri, and Mokgawa Recca Sewla were each granted R50,000 bail in the Hendrina Magistrate's Court. Two companies owned by the pair, namely NKG Trading Investment and Dithari Funding, are also on the charge sheet.   According to the spokesperson of the Hawks in Mpumalanga, Captain Dineo Sekgotodi, the arrests followed an investigation by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU), which found that Mahweliri, who works at Hendrina power station, had denied to Eskom that she was doing any business with the entities. "During the investigation, it was established that she was a shareholder in NKG and Dithari, and both companies were conducting business with Eskom. This was discovered on the declaration forms and tender documents submitted by NKG and Dithari Funding to Eskom," Sekgotodi reported. She advised that Eskom suffered an actual loss of just more than R1 million. The case against the two was transferred to the Middelburg Specialised Commercial Crime and postponed to 19 February.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Belinda Pheto at News24


Cape Town commuters stranded again as cable theft brings trains to a halt on Wednesday

GroundUp reports that rail commuters in Cape Town were stuck on Wednesday as trains came to a halt again following cable theft.   Trains were affected on the Southern and on the Northern lines. Metrorail spokesperson Zinobulali Mihi said the disruptions between Bellville and Tygerberg train stations were due to cable theft and vandalism. Affected stations included Bellville, Tygerberg, Eersterivier, Maitland and Bay Junction. Metrorail was repairing the damage and putting security guards at strategic points, Mihi said. Meanwhile Metrorail was operating a shuttle service between Kraaifontein and Wellington, and between Fish Hoek and Salt River stations. This is the second time in two weeks that services have been disrupted. On 26 January, Metrorail’s cables were stolen in Paarden Eiland, leaving commuters stranded. According to commuters, the train service should step up security. “The stealing of Metrorail cables for copper has long been a problem, and by now security should have been beefed up and prioritised,” complained one commuter. “How long will this phenomenon of stealing cables go on before the perpetrators are caught and sent to jail?” another commuter asked.

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


  • Mining Indaba: Women taking on ever greater roles in the mining industry, at Business Report
  • Health union slams department for peddling ‘lies and propaganda’ about SA’s 694 unemployed doctors, at IOL News
  • Nog ’n beslissing in Intercape se guns, by Maroela Media


Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page