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.


Chaos by striking eThekwini workers won’t be tolerated, says Cabinet

BL Premium reports that the Cabinet has called on law enforcement agencies to protect people’s rights to service delivery following weeks of mayhem by eThekwini metro workers. The striking employees affiliated to the SA Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) downed tools and embarked on a wildcat strike two weeks ago demanding that they be paid salary packages on par with those of council workers in other major cities. According to the City, its hands are tied regarding salary benchmarking because the matter is being negotiated at national level. The strike has affected service delivery in the city leaving many suburbs without waste removal, water and electricity. There have been reported acts of violence and intimidation against non-striking workers and destruction of property. Thirteen workers were arrested for taking part in the wildcat strike last week while more than 70 have been served with notices. Briefing the media on Thursday following a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said: “The cabinet is concerned by the illegal protest action by eThekwini municipal workers, which has seen violence as well as water and power outages. The impact of the strike has seen many residents without water, electricity and waste removal, which is an infringement of rights of people and a contravention of the constitution. Such behaviour will not be tolerated and the cabinet calls on law enforcement agencies to do what it takes to protect the rights of people.   The closing of critical services such as clinics is tantamount to sabotage and threat to life, and those found guilty will face the full might of the law.”

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

eThekwini fires 88 union members after deadly strike and says more workers will be axed

News24 reports that the eThekwini Municipality says it expects to fire more employees in connection with the deadly industrial action, led by the SA Municipal Workers Union (Samwu), over the past two weeks.   Additionally, the municipality said it was in the process of suing Samwu for damages incurred since workers affiliated with the union illegally downed tools on 27 February. On Wednesday, the mayor of eThekwini, Mxolisi Kaunda, reported that 88 workers had already been dismissed. Thirteen of the dismissed workers were charged with public violence and the matter was adjourned to 10 May for further investigation. "To date, 81 employees are on precautionary suspension for misconduct committed during the illegal strike, while 1,891 employees have been given notices of misconduct," he added. Disciplinary hearings against the 81 suspended workers started on Wednesday and are expected to conclude on Monday. Initially, the striking workers, who are mainly from the cleansing and solid waste services, demanded to be moved from category 8 to 10, and a 15% salary increase or a R4,000 wage top-up. City officials dismissed this request and asserted that it could only be addressed at the national level. On 28 February, the City obtained an interdict against Samwu, but its members continued to stay away from work. Instead of reporting for duty, they staged public demonstrations that caused major infrastructure damage. The strike turned deadly when the supervisor of an Umlazi cemetery was attacked and killed at the weekend. On Monday, Samwu called off its strike and urged workers to return to work. City officials confirmed that most employees started reporting for duty on Tuesday.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Nkosikhona Duma at News24

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Law enforcement lauded during eThekwini municipal strike, at The Mercury


Catholic priest shot twice in the head in Limpopo after morning prayers, three monks murdered in Gauteng

News24 reports that a priest was murdered at a Limpopo church on Wednesday – just hours after three monks were killed in Gauteng.   The 38-year-old Roman Catholic Church priest was shot inside a church in Aqua Park, Tzaneen, on Wednesday at about 07:00, police spokesperson Colonel Malesela Ledwaba reported.   "Initial findings suggest that following a morning prayer session with members of the church, the victim proceeded to the changing room where he was followed by an unknown male suspect.   Tragically, the suspect shot the priest twice in the head before fleeing the scene," Ledwaba said.   The priest was taken to a nearby hospital and was declared dead on arrival. The motive remains unclear. The incident occurred hours after three Egyptian Coptic monks were killed inside a monastery in Gauteng. A police spokesperson said the three monks were stabbed to death at a church in Cullinan on Tuesday. An iron rod was used to bludgeon a fourth person, who survived the attack. The assailants left without taking any valuables. A 35-year-old man was arrested on Wednesday in connection with the murders and was expected to appear in the Cullinan Magistrate's Court on Thursday.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Nicole McCain at News24

Durban Metro police officer in a critical condition following assault, suspects arrested

The Mercury reports that a sixty-one-year-old Durban Metro Police officer who was severely assaulted by an alleged gang boss and his bodyguards last week, is fighting for his life in a hospital.   Hawks spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Simphiwe Mhlongo on Wednesday reported that two suspects aged 44 and 48 were in custody for the attempted murder of the officer. He said that on 9 March 2024, the official was on his way home from his place of worship when a suspected notorious gang boss and his bodyguards severely assaulted him. He was taken to hospital for medical attention and he is in a critical condition. On Wednesday night, a joint operation was conducted and the gang boss, who is the main suspect, was arrested in Verulam and charged with attempted murder.   Police proceeded to Ballito where the second suspect (a bodyguard) was arrested. During his arrest, he was found in possession of a firearm with live rounds of ammunition, in respect of which he was further charged.   According to Mhlongo, the arrest of the second suspect led police to a house in KwaDukuza where five firearms believed to belong to the gang boss were recovered and a third arrest was made. The third arrest is unrelated to the assault. The arrested suspects are expected to appear in various magistrates’ courts next week.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Karen Singh at The Mercury. Read too, Suspects set to appear in court over the attempted murder of metro police officer, at Daily News


Nehawu and Nelson Mandela University reach wage agreement, strike over

SABC News reports that National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) Regional Secretary Samkelo Msila has confirmed that the strike by the employees of Nelson Mandela University over a wage negotiations dispute has come to an end and they have reached an agreement with the institution. The strike entered its third week on Wednesday. The workers earlier marched to the university in Gqeberha to hand over a memorandum of demands, which included an increase in salaries, medical aid contributions, and housing allowances, amongst others. According to Msila, the workers were back at work as of Thursday.   “The National Union has reached an agreement with the university, and the agreement entails that workers are going to receive 0.55% as an addition to the 6.9%,” Msila advised.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard at SABC News


Four bodies found in two of Gauteng's illegal mining hotspots

TimesLIVE reports that police on Thursday morning discovered four bodies in two areas of Gauteng where illegal mining is prevalent.   Gauteng police had received information about eight bodies allegedly seen in the Florida policing precinct.   After police were sent to search the area, a charred body was discovered near the Central Rand Gold Mine in Roodepoort just after 10am. Police then searched the area to look for other bodies. “Drones and a police helicopter were used as eyes in the sky to search the densely vegetated area,” police spokesperson Brig Brenda Muridili indicated. She reported that in a separate incident about 30km away, police in Mohlakeng were called to a crime scene where three bodies were discovered with gunshot wounds on Wednesday morning. She said the area where they were found is a hotspot for illegal mining activities.   Gauteng police commissioner Lt Gen Tommy Mthombeni visited illegal mining hotspots in Roodepoort on Thursday.   Roodepoort has about 90 illegal mining sites that have been identified through operation Vala Umgodi, a national operation to combat illegal mining.

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

NUM threatens to shut down several collieries over Optimum Coal’s share of export allocation at RBCT

City Press reports that the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has given the shareholders of the Richard Bay Coal Terminal (RBCT) until the end of this week to allow Optimum Coal Mine, now owned and operated by Liberty Coal, its share of the export allocation at RBCT or have their mining operations shut down. The threat by the union follows the decision by the RBCT main shareholders, Seriti, Thungela and Glencore, who had shared Optimum’s export allocation and associated rail allocation from Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) among themselves while the dispute over the formerly Gupta-owned mine raged on, and now refuse to allow Optimum to export its coal via RBCT's facilities. The NUM’s Richard Mguzulu said the union viewed the decision taken by the RBCT board, who are exclusively appointed by RBCT’s shareholders and are all competitors of Liberty Coal, as being cruel, oppressive and anti-competitive to Liberty Coal and all its stakeholders.   Mguzulu further commented that, based on RBCT's actions over the past 13 months, RBCT's shareholders seemingly operate like cartels who have done and continue to do everything in their power to capture RBCT and its associated TFR capacity for their own financial gain to the tune of billions of rands in additional profit to Optimum’s detriment. He added: "Already, people that are currently working in the mini pits at Optimum are retrenched.” RBCT's response was that Liberty Coal had failed to meet the material suspensive condition to its indirect acquisition of the shareholders’ interest in RBCT, including the export entitlement of OCT. Liberty Coal reacted that this response from RBCT was "disingenuous, false and misleading and simply designed to provide for additional delays by RBCT to benefit its shareholders financially to the detriment of Liberty Coal and its stakeholders".

Read the full original of the report in this complicated matter by Abram Mashego at City Press (subscriber access only)

Other general posting(s) relating to mining

  • Mining production surprises on the downside in January, at BusinessLive (subscriber access only)


City of Cape Town won’t bend EPWP jobs policy, councillor tells Imizamo Yethu protesters

GroundUp reports that the City of Cape Town will not “bend policy” to meet the demands of protesters from Imizamo Yethu informal settlement over jobs in solid waste cleaning, says Mayoral Committee Member Rob Quintas. About 80 people from Imizamo Yethu protested outside Hout Bay police station in Cape Town on Wednesday. They accused the City and its contractors of hiring workers who already had jobs, and workers from outside the area, for a solid waste cleaning project.   They demanded that the City put unemployed young people from Imizamo Yethu on the job-seekers database. The protesters also accused the “community ambassador “ of not listening to their complaints or communicating them to the City.   Quintas said the protesters were only interested in “queue-jumping” the EPWP database. “The EPWP Job Seekers program is a randomised computerised system that ensures equitable opportunities for those in the database,” he pointed out. Wednesday’s demonstration followed a week of sporadic protests, with protesters blocking access to the ward office, public library and solid waste removal services. Nicholas Ndaba, a leader of the Imizamo Yethu Development Forum, said the protest started last week after a local solid waste cleaning contractor, who had been expected to hire 49 unemployed young people from the area, had hired only half that. Some of those hired already had jobs and were not from the area, he claimed. But Quintas said the City always checked to make sure there were no “double dippers”.   On Wednesday, protesters held placards reading “Rob Quintas, we don’t want your database” and “We don’t want your ambassador”.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Lucas Nowicki at GroundUp


Failed SAA deal another ANC fiasco, says Solidarity

Solidarity issued a statement of Thursday indicating that it was “in no way surprised that the South African Airlines (SAA) agreement to enter into a strategic partnership with the Takadso Consortium also fell through.” The SAA was placed under business rescue in 2019 after Solidarity approached the court in that regard. The trade union pointed out that the airline’s future was now murky once again. According to Derek Mans, sector coordinator of Defence and Aviation at Solidarity, the failed SAA partnership negotiations are just another blot on the name of the government, as well as on Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan. Mans said it was “tragic that we are still in a situation where the government simply cannot see that they do not have the money, or the ability, to conduct business properly. The government is the cause of the problems, but they still want to interfere in the business rescue process. They should confine themselves to politics and allow the market economy to manage itself.” In Solidarity’s view, “it is now clearer than ever before that the SAA will not be saved as long as the government is out to keep the airline under its wing.”

Read Solidarity’s press statement in full at Politicsweb

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Parliament committee welcomes cancellation of SAA-Takatso deal, at Cape Times
  • SAA/Takatso deal is still subject to regulatory and criminal scrutiny, say industry insiders, at Business Report


Gauteng health to hire specialist toxicologists to help close cold cases dating back 17 years

TimesLIVE reports that with the oldest outstanding toxicology tests stretching back 17 years, the Gauteng Department of Health (DOH) is ramping up plans to resolve “cold cases”. The province has more than 17,000 toxicology cases and more than 7,000 histology cases, with some dating to 2007. “We are aware of the impact the backlogs have on the families of the deceased who are seeking closure and facing material trauma due to long delays in finalising estates. We also understand insurance claims are being affected. We are fast-tracking interventions to resolve this issue,” said acting CEO of the Gauteng forensic pathology service Thembalethu Mpahlaza. The DOH, within which the pathology service operates, said the backlogs could be attributed to a combination of factors, including the emergence of foreign drugs that were difficult to trace and an increase in cases involving sudden deaths; suspicion of poisoning among family members in cases of unexpected death; the absence of medical histories for certain deceased individuals; and limited availability of private laboratories willing to conduct state toxicology tests and appear as expert witnesses in court. A recruitment drive has been launched to hire specialist toxicologists to boost capacity. The DOH is also seeking external private partners to augment capacity to process cases. A specialist skills training facility has opened in Ga-Rankuwa and in the first quarter of the new financial year the long-awaited in-house toxicology laboratory at Helen Joseph Hospital will open.

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


Old Mutual explains that claim nonpayment that led to social media storm was due to complex divorce settlement

BL Premium reports that to defend its reputation, Old Mutual has disclosed the details of nonpayment of a claim that led to widespread anger on social media, saying it was linked to a divorce. The financial services manager was initially “reluctant” to speak as it wanted to protect the client’s confidentiality as well as uphold the Protection of Personal Information Act (Popia). But as the story of the nonpayment, first detailed on X, has dominated social and traditional media and led to Old Mutual losing credibility, it has now disclosed some details. The post on X about the nonpayment has received 1.4-million views. The story revolves around what seems to be an acrimonious divorce and the incorrect timing of a divorce order. The financial institution indicated: “It was always Old Mutual’s intention and commitment to facilitate a settlement between the individuals involved. However, we needed to ensure that in facilitating the payout we complied with the pension funds law and tax law […] We are committed to helping to ensure full and final settlement between the two individuals as envisaged in their divorce agreement.” Old Mutual said the number of customers who had voiced their unhappiness on X was of huge concern to it and it was actively looking at ways to improve.

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


Thousands of people still living on Cape Town’s Central Line

GroundUp reports that more than 1,250 shack dwellers are still living on Metrorail’s rail reserves in Langa and on the line between Philippi and Khayelitsha in Cape Town. This was revealed by deputy director-general in the national transport department, Ngwako Makaepea, during a meeting on 12 March with the officials on an intergovernmental task team. Makaepea said the relocation would be part of phase two of what is known as Operation Bhekela. Phase one happened in December with the relocation of over 800 families to the land next to the Stock Road train station in Philippi East. Makaepea said that the Langa occupiers were to be relocated to a site known as the Philippi Wedge, which is adjacent to Mitchells Plain near the Siqalo informal settlement on Jakes Gerwel drive.   Ndumiso Mkhwanazi from the Housing Development Agency estimated that the permanent relocation of the Langa families would only be finalised during the 2024/25 financial year and once the site had been rezoned. Mkhwanazi said there are still 3,941 households on the railway line between Philippi and Khayelitsha. He did not provide any timeframes for when they would be relocated. Makaepea said they were still looking for suitable land to accommodate the thousands of households that need to be relocated. Last month, Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) was briefed on efforts to relocate thousands of families who began occupying parts of the Metrorail Central Line in Cape Town during the Covid lockdown. These efforts have been marked by several delays and disputes.

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


  • Oudpolisiekaptein in sop ná sy seun uit tronk haal, by Maroela Media
  • Media inquiry told: 'Crooks celebrate when journalists are retrenched', at TimesLIVE
  • Solidarity opposed to transformation requirements at the expense of the financial sector, at Politicsweb
  • Tshwane rewards health workers who have excelled, at Pretoria News


Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page