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


Job losses in building and mining pulled down formal employment in 2023 fourth quarter

BL Premium reports that the construction, manufacturing and mining sectors were among industries that contributed to a decline in formal employment in the fourth quarter of 2023. Formal employment in the fourth quarter decreased by 194,000 jobs, or 1.8%, quarter on quarter. The quarterly employment statistics (QES) survey results released by Stats SA on Tuesday showed total employment in the formal sector dropped from 10.9-million in September to 10.7-million in December. It was largely driven by a 13.5% decrease in part-time employment — especially in the community services sector, which lost 203,000 jobs over the period.   Stats SA said full-time employment decreased by 5,000 jobs, driven by job losses in sectors such as construction, manufacturing and mining. According to Lisette IJssel de Schepper of the Bureau for Economic Research (BER), results from the latest RMB/BER business confidence index suggested that the building and construction sectors were likely to struggle again in the coming quarters. Hugo Pienaar, chief economist at the Minerals Council SA (previously called the Chamber of Mines), said the mining industry was likely to shed more jobs during the first half of 2024.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Denene Erasmus at BusinessLive (subscriber access only). Read too, Formal non-agricultural employment loses 194,000 jobs, at The Citizen. En ook, Formele sektor skep poste in 2023, by Maroela Media

Barloworld’s restructuring of Ingrain will lead to job cuts

BL Premium reports that industrial major Barloworld has entered consultations with organised labour and affected stakeholders to restructure parts of its local Ingrain operations, which could lead to dozens of job losses. CEO Dominic Sewela said the performance of its consumer industries company Ingrain — one of Africa’s largest producers of unmodified and modified starch, glucose, and other related products — reflected consumer confidence, which was particularly challenged in SA.   “To that extent, we have declared a section 189 [process] in the Ingrain business. An organisational restructure has commenced as part of a broader turnaround plan to right-size Ingrain in line with its trading activity. This will position the business to deliver acceptable target returns,” he indicated. Sewela added that the process began in February. About 920 people are employed and the process is expected to take up to six months. Sewela could not give further details on the number of people that will be affected, saying negotiations with unions were ongoing. Bought from Tongaat Hulett in 2020 for R5.3bn, Ingrain has a diverse customer base supporting sales in the domestic market including the alcoholic beverages sector, confectionery and prepared foods sectors.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Michelle Gumede & Jacqueline Mackenzie at BusinessLive (subscriber access only)


Urgent transformation needed in biodiversity sector to help address joblessness, says Ramaphosa

Mail & Guardian reports that President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for an urgent transformation of the biodiversity sector to help address the high levels of unemployment in the country. He told a biodiversity indaba in Boksburg on Tuesday that SA needed to move away from being a raw material exporter that created jobs and industries elsewhere, and should instead focus on increasing job opportunities in the country’s environmental and biodiversity sectors.   The president said the country’s revised biodiversity economy strategy aimed to “synergise our economic and conservation objectives by emphasising that a successful biodiversity economy must be linked to the restoration of ecosystems. It broadens the existing terrestrial goals and adds marine, coastal, estuarine and freshwater opportunities. This strategy places the transformation of the biodiversity sector at the centre of all we do.”   The revised strategy was announced by Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment Minister Barbara Creecy on Monday. She said the urgent transformation of the biodiversity sector was critical for sustainable rural socio-economic development to address the triple burden of poverty, inequality and unemployment. Creecy advised that more than 100 proposals would be pitched to investors.t

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Mandisa Nyathi at Mail & Guardian


‘Easter miracle’ sees men six missing fishermen rescued and reunited with families

Cape Argus reports that the six fishermen who disappeared at sea on Saturday have been reunited with their loved ones in what has been described a true Easter miracle. The men from Hout Bay, Netreg, Kuils River and Hawston were located on Tuesday after an extensive search and rescue effort including numerous resources that went more than 80 nautical miles south-east of Cape Point.   The men went fishing, but as they ran out of fuel, they drifted farther from the last provided co-ordinates for help. Almost three days later and without any injuries, Jason Appel, Matthew Zulu, Rushweld Johnson, Jonathan Jaggers, Joshua Moses and Victor Hudkovic were rescued from their 7.8m rigid-hull inflatable boat named Berta Fishing Experience. Craig Lambinon, spokesperson for the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI), said that the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment’s (DFFE) Fisheries Patrol vessel Ellen Khuzwayo located and recovered the six missing fishermen deep sea off Cape Point. The men were reunited with their families and friends just after 10am at the NSRI Simon’s Town base and were reportedly all in good health and not injured.   Hout Bay skipper Jason Appel didn’t have much to say on his safe return, only that everyone thought that they were deceased.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Byron Lukas at Cape Argus

Government workers flee uninhabitable Pietermaritzburg CBD building

The Witness reports that yet another KZN provincial government building has been found to be in a deplorable state, placing the lives of hundreds of employees at risk. Staff at the Department of Health offices in Jabu Ndlovu Street, Pietermaritzburg, have been forced to work from home since last week after the Department of Employment and Labour condemned the building, which has reportedly been in a bad condition for years, with a leaking roof and lack of ventilation. Labour officers conducted an inspection of the offices that housed some administrative staff, including supply chain management, earlier this month following complaints. About 100 employees were told to work from home, while nine have been relocated to Town Hill Hospital. Nehawu regional secretary Mazwi Ngubane said the results of the inspection proved what they had been saying to the department all along, namely that the building was not conducive to be occupied by employees. “How can you allow employees to work under such conditions? The roof is leaking and staff have to place buckets everywhere to prevent the rain from flooding the workspace. We lost so many employees during Covid-19 and we are not willing to lose more employees due to their working environment,” he commented.   Spokesperson for the KZN Department of Health Ntokozo Maphisa said: “The department is aware of the temporary closure of the building due to challenges with its roof tiles, which has affected three out of its six blocks.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Lethiwe Makhanya at The Witness


Eleven MPs to have salaries docked for not disclosing financial interests

IOL News reports that eleven ANC members of Parliament, including two deputy ministers and league presidents, were rebuked on Tuesday in the National Assembly for failing to make their disclosure of financial interests in 2023. Deputy minister in the Presidency Nokuzola Tolashe, who is ANC Women’s League president, Water and Sanitation Deputy Minister Judith Tshabalala, ANC Youth league president Collen Malatji, Mandla Mandela, chairperson for the standing committee on intelligence Jerome Maake and others will now have their salaries docked. Others were Phumeza Mpushe, Xolani Nkuleko Msimango, Xola Nqola, Itumeleng Ntsube, Mohatla Alfred Tseki, and Audrey Sbongile Zuma. They blamed procrastination, family emergency, phone problems and technology issues for their failure to meet the deadline. In its report, which was adopted without objection, the joint committee on ethics and members’ interest expressed its concern that a number of MPs did not disclose by the deadline of 30 September 2023.   Co-chairperson Bekizwe Nkosi said the disclosure of registrable and financial information was crucial in holding individual MPs personally accountable. On Tuesday, the affected MPs were made to stand up or show their faces on the virtual platform when acting Speaker Lechesa Tsenoli administered the reprimand and penalties in the House. The docking of the salaries of the MPs will be implemented without delays. Repeat offenders Tolashe and Ntsube were slapped with a fine equal to 25 and 30 days respectively.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Mayibongwe Maqhina at Cape Times


'This is about the credibility of qualifications in SA', Nzimande explains on deregistration of Educor colleges

TimesLIVE reports that Department of Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister Blade Nzimande says Educor colleges will be given time to phase out pipeline students and must reimburse students where it is due. The department’s director-general Nkosinathi Sishi cancelled the registrations of Educor institutions Damelin, CityVarsity, Lyceum and Icesa City Campus on Friday, saying they had not submitted annual financial statements in 2021 or 2022 or complied with the law. The institutions also had difficulties paying some of their academic staff last year and this year. The four institutions were required to lodge an appeal on or before 26 September 2023, but requested an extension to 28 February. They are now requesting a further extension. On Tuesday, Nzimande briefed media on the implications of the department's decision.   He said the institutions could be considered dysfunctional based mostly on daily complaints and concerns received from students, most of which remained unsolved. Nzimande said the institutions were requested on 8 January to respond to a list of allegations of corruption, but had not yet responded.   “This is about the credibility of qualifications in South Africa. If we allow one institution to get away with qualifications that are not up to standard, that is the image of the whole country,” he said. Educor also allegedly misrepresented the number of students it had, claiming to have 50,000 students in the system while the true figure was 13,096.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Shonisani Tshikalange at TimesLIVE. Read too, Four ‘dysfunctional’ Educor colleges have been deregistered, says Nzimande, at The Citizen

Educor students can migrate with academic credits, Boston Campus CEO advises

SABC News reports that Boston City Campus CEO Ari Katz says students who have been affected by the deregistration of four Educor institutions can still migrate to other institutions through the process of credit accumulation, transfer and recognition of prior learning.   This after the Department of Higher Education, Science and Innovation cancelled the registrations of Damelin, CityVarsity, Lyceum Colleges and Icesa City Campus for failing to submit their annual financial certificates and reports for 2021 and 2022. The institutions will embark on a phase-out program until next year, while CityVarsity will be de-registered immediately. Katz elaborated: “They need to gather as much evidence as possible that they’ve got to prove what they have achieved to date. So that when they present themselves for credit accumulation and recognition of prior learning, they are able to prove that they have actually achieved the following. And then the institution will have to articulate what they are presenting against the institution’s own outcomes and credit and syllabus etc. to determine what it’s capable of providing credit for recognition of prior learning.”

Read the original of the report in the above regard and listen to an interview by Dr Hendrik Botha, Head of Institution at Boston City Campus, at SABC News


North West education MEC apologises for suspension of Schweizer-Reneke teacher over false racism allegations

News24 reports that the Department of Education in the North West has apologised for the unlawful suspension of a Laerskool Schweizer-Reneke teacher over false racism allegations. In 2019, the department suspended Elana Barkhuizen after a photo she took of four black and 18 white pupils sitting at separate tables in a classroom sparked protests and allegations of racial segregation at the school. In a letter dated 22 March, Education MEC Viola Motsumi apologised to the teacher on behalf of the department and former MEC Wendy Matsemela for the unlawful suspension without detailing reasons and denying her the opportunity to state her case. "I apologise for the violation of your rights to due process and privacy. I further apologise on behalf of the department and for the former MEC's conduct of falsely accusing you of racism and for placing your life and the life of your family at risk through the public disclosure of your identity," the letter reads. Motsumi's apology was in response to an order by the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), which found the department erred in its decision to suspend Barkhuizen and it violated her right to privacy, freedom of movement and human dignity. Trade union Solidarity said the apology, albeit five years later, symbolised an end to a "painful chapter in which lives were almost ruined."   Deputy chief executive Anton van der Bijl commented: "An apology is too little. However, the trauma of further actions against the department would have been too much for her."

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Cebelihle Bhengu at News24. Lees ook, LUR vir onderwys sê jammer vir Elana Barkhuizen, by Maroela Media


Dismissal of rude and threatening former Kempton Park chief magistrate confirmed

GroundUp reports that former Kempton Park Chief Magistrate Judith van Schalkwyk, who was fired after being found guilty of rude and threatening behaviour and of taking money from an attorney to travel to Washington, has failed in her bid to review and set aside the Magistrates Commission recommendation to the National Assembly that she be removed from office. Earlier this month, Johannesburg High Court Judge Leonard Twala ruled that while some of the 24 charges for which she was found guilty by the commission should be set aside, the remaining four charges were serious enough to warrant her dismissal. One was her conduct towards colleagues. The commission said she had told one his decision “sucked”, wrote on a charge sheet about another, “have you finally lost your marbles”, and told another colleague “If I could throw you through the wall…”. Another charge related to a rude, disrespectful email she sent to the Chief Magistrate of Johannesburg, Gert Jonker.   She also took R34,000 from a local attorney to fund a trip she wanted to go on to the United States for an International Association of Judges Conference after her official request for funding was denied. The final charge was that she had not paid for parking at the court. Her case is one of several cited by the commission in Parliament of magistrates who used “every trick in the book” to delay proceedings against them. Van Schalkwyk was first suspended in 2013 and finally removed from office in 2022.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Tania Broughton at GroundUp


Delmas farm guard arrested for allegedly shooting woman and killing her ‘male friend’ in hail of bullets

IOL News reports that a security guard, identified by police as Wessel Badenhorst, 55, has been arrested by police in Mpumalanga on charges of murder and attempted murder. Badenhorst appeared before the Delmas District Court on Monday, and the case was postponed to 3 April for a formal bail application. Police reports indicate that on Friday, at around 11pm, police and emergency medical services personnel were called to a farm situated in Delmas. “Upon arrival, they found a female with gunshot wound(s) as well as a security guard holding a firearm. There were two vehicles at the scene. One of the car’s windscreen was riddled with bullet holes,” said Colonel Donald Mdhluli. The woman indicated that she came to the farm with a male friend whose whereabouts was unknown at that point. A search was conducted and the body of a dead male person with multiple gunshot wounds was found. “The female victim managed to confirm the body as being that of her friend who disappeared during the shooting,” said Mdhluli. After conducting preliminary investigations, police arrested the security guard on charges of murder and attempted murder.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Jonisayi Maromo at IOL News. Lees ook, Veiligheidswag verdink van moord op Delmas-plaas, by Maroela Media

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Guard sentenced for shooting innocent man during KZN July unrest, at IOL News


  • Top Eastern Cape cop acquitted of kidnapping, torture charges, at News24
  • SAPS officers should write exams in law, human rights, at Cape Times
  • 29 years at Kruger National Park come to an end for ‘Kokwani Ranger’, at The Star


Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page