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


Outgunned JMPD officers lack serious firepower in effort to tackle crime in Joburg CBD

News24 reports that the lack of basic tactical training and procuring firepower are some of the factors hampering the Johannesburg Metro Police Department's (JMPD’s) ability to tackle crime in the lawless inner city. At the weekend, JMPD officers came under heavy fire by an armed gang. They were doing routine patrols around the city's Carlton Centre when they received a tip-off about a group of men travelling in a taxi reportedly robbing people. One officer was wounded in his shoulder following the shootout with the gang at a petrol station. During a stakeholder meeting on Monday, Public Safety MMC Mgcini Tshwaku said serious concerns had been raised about the safety of JMPD officers conducting crime prevention operations in the CBD. He pointed out that the CBD had been earmarked as one of the areas with the highest crime rate in the metro, and the more than 100 officers who patrolled the area should undergo tactical training. "All of them must be trained like the [JMPD's] Tactical Response Unit [TRU]. There was a resolution that the normal officers in the CBD should also have high-calibre firearms and fast cars," Tshwaku indicated. In November last year, the JMPD established the TRU, which it said was a unit dedicated to fighting crime with a "proactive approach".

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Iavan Pijoos at News24

Two men accused of killing Dobsonville doctor at his medical rooms appear in court

The Citizen reports that two men accused of shooting Dr Michael Isabelle dead at his medical practice in Dobsonville, Soweto, in February, made their first appearance at Roodepoort Magistrate’s Court on Monday.   The National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA’s) Phindi Mjonondwane said three men entered the doctor’s practice on 26 February 2024 pretending to seek medical attention for their friend.   “Once inside the consultation room, they allegedly attacked Isabelle and a shootout ensued, where one of the assailants was shot and is said to have later died. They then fled the scene using a vehicle belonging to the receptionist,” Mjonondwane reported. The accused were arrested on 21 March 2024 and are charged with two counts of murder, four of robbery with aggravating circumstances and other counts.   The two suspects who appeared at court claimed their third accomplice had been killed by Isabelle in the exchange of gunfire, and they had dumped his body before alerting his family about the incident. The suspects later set the stolen vehicle – belonging to a receptionist – on fire.   Police are following up on information received regarding the third suspect.

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


Mining sector meets target to reduce TB levels to below national average

Mining Weekly reports that the SA mining industry has made significant inroads into addressing tuberculosis (TB) since 2017 and has met its ten-year target to reduce the incidence rate among mineworkers to below national levels. In 2014, the Mine Health and Safety Council set the milestone of achieving a TB incidence rate for the sector of below the national average by 2024. In 2015, the mining industry’s TB incidence rate was more than 1,060 per 100,000 employees, according to the Minerals Council SA (MCSA) – previously known as the Chamber of Mines – compared with a national average of 834 per 100 000 people. By 2022, the latest year for which the MCSA has verified data, the incidence rate in the mining sector was 278 per 100,000, well below the 537 per 100,000 national rate. “The mining industry’s biggest achievement in healthcare was reaching the TB incidence rate in 2017 and sustainably keeping it well below the national level every year since then,” MCSA health head Dr Thuthula Balfour pointed out.   At the peak of the TB epidemic in the early 2000s, incidence rates in the mining industry were about seven times the rates in the general population. TB is an infectious bacterial disease that generally affects the lungs. March 24 was World TB Day.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard at Mining Weekly

R18m in properties and vehicles of illegal mining kingpins to be auctioned

The Citizen reports that the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has secured three forfeiture orders of R18 million in relation to various properties belonging to illegal mining kingpins. The NPA confirmed that the orders from the Pretoria High Court are to forfeit various properties belonging to alleged illegal mining kingpins in the West Rand.   NPA regional spokesperson Lumka Mahanjana said the properties are the proceeds of the unlawful activities of a syndicate dealing in unwrought gold in the Khutsong area, Carletonville.   The three forfeiture orders are for 51 vehicles, seven properties in Khutshong, Carletonville, Potchefstroom, and Krugersdorp, and 16 bank accounts. According to the NPA, the syndicate is mainly made up of foreign nationals from Zimbabwe and Mozambique, and some members acquired SA identity documents fraudulently. Mahanjana said the next step in the case was for the properties to be sold at a public auction and the proceeds to be paid into the Criminal Asset Recovery Account.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Chulumanco Mahamba at The Citizen

Other general posting(s) relating to mining

  • Optimum coal to be exported from Richards Bay terminal from next month, at Mining Weekly


Joburg’s climate action plan could create more than 400,000 jobs, claims mayor

Engineering News reports that investment into climate mitigating strategies, as outlined in the City of Johannesburg’s Climate Action Plan (CAP), could create as many as 340,000 jobs, while investment into climate adaptation strategies could create an additional 77,000 jobs.   According to Joburg Executive Mayor Kabelo Gwamanda, these strategies are aimed at improving the lives of the most vulnerable groups, while also creating jobs and providing opportunities to tackle structural challenges. He was speaking at the SA Dialogue on Building City Resilience Through a Just and Equitable Transition, on 25 March. The event was hosted by C40 Cities, the SA Presidential Climate Commission (PCC), the SA Local Government Association (Salga) and the City of Joburg.   C40 is a global network of mayors who have collectively committed to taking urgent action to tackle climate change. The event gathered representatives from five C40 cities in SA, including Cape Town, eThekwini, Ekurhuleni, Joburg and Tshwane. Representatives from non-C40 cities also attended. Joburg’s CAP outlines how the municipality aims to work towards achieving its emissions reduction targets and reduce the vulnerability of its citizens to the impacts of climate change.

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


Border Management Authority deploys 400 additional junior guards at ports of entry ahead of Easter weekend

TimesLIVE reports that the Border Management Authority (BMA) will deploy 400 additional junior border guards at the busiest ports of entry over Easter. The junior guards, who will complete their training in the next few weeks, will assist with delivering services and providing law enforcement support. BMA commissioner Dr Michael Masiapato outlined the plan to increase security control at ports of entry over Easter at a media briefing on Monday. He said the 400 guards, who were recruited early last year, had started training in the middle of 2023. They will have their passing-out parade next month and then be fully deployed.   The junior guards will be intensifying access control across the entries into the port environment and make sure that all people who enter the port are legitimate travellers who are carrying the requisite travel documents. Most of the additional border guards would be deployed at Beitbridge, Lebombo, Fiksburg, Maseru Bridge, Telle Bridge, Kosi Bay and Grobler’s Bridge. The BMA anticipates about one million people moving through the ports.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Phathu Luvhengo at TimesLive

More than six months taken to fill cyber security positions

Business Report writes that a Kaspersky survey has found that 48% of companies globally require upwards of six-months to find and appoint a qualified cybersecurity professional. In the Middle East, Turkiye, Africa (META) region, 46% of organisations gave the same feedback. A lack of proven experience was cited as one of the biggest challenges, along with the high cost of hiring and global competition in talent acquisition. With global labour markets still clamouring for InfoSec professionals, the latest Kaspersky research has revealed that 41% of companies admit their cybersecurity teams are understaffed. Respondents say it takes more than 6-months to fill an average information security position. As expected, recruitment for senior level positions takes the longest, with 36% of companies saying it requires almost a year or more, while junior positions may be filled in the shortest time – one to three months, according to 42% of respondents. In the META region, 47% say junior level positions are filled within three months, while recruiting senior staff takes 6-12 months, according to 50% of respondents. These figures are alarming since companies that operate for long periods of time without the necessary staff are at huge risk, as the absence of cybersecurity personnel provides cybercriminals ample opportunity to penetrate business infrastructure and damage business processes. The high cost in hiring these specialists is an obstacle for 48% of employers (51% in META).

Read the full original of the report in the above regard at Business Report


Home Affairs blocked from deporting ‘critical skills’ Czech executive

Moneyweb reports that the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has been blocked by the Pretoria High Court from deporting a foreign worker and his wife, both of whom had been refused visa extensions, based on its failure to properly consider the documents supplied in their visa applications. The High Court ruled that the decision not to renew the visas must be set aside and returned to the DHA for reconsideration. Dzmitry Dzenisiuk was deployed by Czech company IBA to SA in 2014 by way of an inter-company transfer visa. His wife accompanied him under a spousal visa. Both applied for visa extensions in February 2021.   In May 2021, DHA rejected Dzenisiuk’s application for renewal of his Critical Skills Working Visa on the grounds that there was no proof the employer was registered in SA, but this was clearly in error. When Dzenisiuk appealed the decision, DHA came back with a different objection, that “according to the company registration provided by you, you are the only listed director, and you are applying as a managing director”.   “Considering the facts of the matter, including the shifting of goal posts by [DHA], as well as the apparent failure to fully consider both relevant circumstances and the apparent oversight in respect of the correct status of [Dzenisiuk’s] employer, it follows that the decisions must be reviewed and set aside,” the judgment indicates. The visa applications were ordered back to DHA and Dzenisiuk and IBA were given 10 days to supplement the applications with any documents deemed appropriate.   No deportation was allowed until the applications were finalised.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Ciaran Ryan at Moneyweb


Ousted Western Cape mayor accused of pay-for-jobs scheme high on DA's list for Parliament

News24 reports that after the May general elections, a former mayor accused of running a pay-for-jobs scheme in one of the Western Cape's municipalities will likely fill a parliamentary seat for the DA.   Recently ousted Conrad Poole has made the cut to claim number 30 on the DA's candidates' list. Given his high ranking, he is certain to claim a parliamentary seat. The DA's candidates' list for MPs and nine provincial legislatures was revealed on Monday. Poole is a member of the Western Cape legislature, having been moved there since his removal as mayor. He is, however, not on the legislature's list. In February, opposition parties in the Drakenstein Local Municipality tabled a motion of no confidence in Poole following his alleged involvement in a "pay-for-jobs" scandal, which prompted an independent investigation in September last year. Allegedly members of the mayor's executive had been paying Poole a monthly kickback. The motion against Poole succeeded when councillors voted via a secret ballot.   But, according to Drakenstein speaker Koos le Roux, the investigation found no evidence to substantiate the allegations against Poole.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Jason Felix at News24


Industry watchdog in court move to place Netcare Medical Scheme under curatorship

BusinessLive reports that the Council for Medical Schemes (CMS) has initiated legal proceedings to place Netcare Medical Scheme (NMS) under curatorship, in yet another dispute highlighting an escalation in hostilities between the regulator and the medical aid industry.   NMS made it clear on Tuesday that it would oppose the application, saying the regulator’s intention to put its affairs under legal supervision lacked justification. “The application relates to a technical issue going back to 2022, which the scheme remedied at the time,” explained Craig Taylor, NMS’s principal officer. In its application, the CMS expressed its displeasure with the scheme’s decision to postpone the election of its board of trustees, claiming that the board was unlawfully elected. Netcare said it disagreed with a legal opinion on which the regulator based its case, arguing that a ruling by the council appeal board supported its legal interpretation, contradicting that of the council. This is the second legal dispute between the regulator and Netcare in as many months. In October, Judge Mandlenkosi Motha dismissed the council’s application to bar a division of Netcare and Discovery Health from selling prepaid private healthcare vouchers.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by by Kabelo Khumalo at BusinessLive


SAA battles with former employee who refuses to return classified pricing data

City Press reports that state-owned national carrier SAA is fighting tooth and nail to recover what it calls “classified information” about its pricing and fare construction data that was allegedly stolen by former employee Thanusha Chiba, who held the position of pricing analyst. According to a senior manager of pricing and revenue management, Thingahangwi Mulovhedzi, the data, which was allegedly unlawfully taken by Chiba, is crucial to running SAA and its economic value. In an affidavit deposed to by Mulovhedzi at the Johannesburg High Court on 14 March in anattempt to obtain an order compelling Chiba to return the documentation to SAA, she stated that the information in Chiba’s possession could have a negative impact on the economic value of the business, particularly if it landed in the wrong hands. Mulovhedzi indicated that the documentation in Chiba’s possession included a formula that enabled SAA to determine accurate pricing for new and existing routes, based on historical data. Her papers read: “When the laptop computer was handed to the respondent, she was informed that it contained valuable and confidential historical pricing information which had taken SAA many years to develop. This was precisely why that particular laptop was issued to the respondent, to enable her to perform her functions as a pricing analyst with reference to the proprietary information.” The affidavit further said that Chiba had returned the laptop on her resignation in August last year, but the airline had subsequently discovered that it was missing this information.

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


Madibeng municipal officials pay for groceries, DStv and clothing accounts with taxpayers' money

City Press reports that the brazen fraud, theft, corruption and irregularities in the North West’s Madibeng Local Municipality have left it almost on its knees. Since 2018, the municipality has spent more than R7 million on forensic investigations to uncover widespread corruption, fraud and irregular expenditure. But, several of the forensic reports are gathering dust, with no action having been taken against those identified for wrongdoing. M Consulting did several forensic investigations from 2018 to 2021 and its reports showed that municipal cash was used to pay for services not rendered and for duplicate payments to suppliers being diverted into personal accounts. The municipal account was also used to pay gym memberships for four senior officials, seven DStv subscriptions and R4,000 spent on groceries. Investigators revealed how the municipality’s main bank account was plundered by top officials to pay personal clothing accounts at Woolworths (R378), Foschini (R1,012), Edgars (R733) and Truworths (R540) over a period. But while several forensic reports revealed corruption involving senior officials, no action has been taken against them. The municipality also spent more than R15.4 million on consultants to prepare financial statements for the 2020/21 audit. But, a forensic report by Chapu Chartered Accountants for the 2021/22 financial year was only brought to the attention of acting municipal manager Mothusi Oagile in January, a month after his appointment.   A spokesperson indicated: “The acting municipal manager is studying this report and shall at the appropriate time take necessary action in line with the recommendations of the report.”

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



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