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.


Failure by Home Affairs to consult on work visa rules raises concerns

BL Premium reports that the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) pre-empted its own public comment process when it gazetted SA’s long-awaited new skilled work visa regulations on 28 March. Questions have been raised about the process and calls have been made for the regulations to be withdrawn and revised, which could further delay the new regulations. They have been welcomed in business circles as a step forward in making it easier to attract the foreign skills SA needs, but they also contain clauses that could add new layers of bureaucracy and uncertainty to SA’s cumbersome work visa system. The DHA called for public comments by 29 March on the proposed regulations but gazetted an unchanged version a day before the deadline. The business community has voiced concern about the process and the DHA’s commitment to engage on the content of the regulations. Apparently at a Nedlac meeting last week, the DHA was asked to withdraw the regulations, pending revisions to take account of comments from the public. The regulations provide for new remote work visas and for a new points system designed to provide a more flexible pathway for highly qualified and experienced foreigners to work in SA. Yet, there is no clarity on how the rules will interact with the critical skills list, which is in the process of being revised.

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

New visa regulations welcomed by BLSA, but there are concerns about implementation

The Citizen reports that new visa regulations, which will make it easier for people to come and work in SA, have been welcomed, but there are concerns about their implementation as the country does not necessarily have the resources and leadership required for effective implementation. According to Busi Mavuso, CEO of Business Leadership SA (BLSA), in her latest newsletter, the new visa regulations are another positive stride forward for policy reform that would fundamentally alter the way work visas were provided in SA.   The digital nomad visa will allow foreigners to come to SA to work remotely from here if they earn more than R1 million. The legal framework has now been put in place for a point-based system to replace the critical skills list. The criteria for the points system are due to be published by the end of April. Other changes include easing the requirements for police clearance certificates and other documents. But, Mavuso commented that, while the regulatory reforms were welcome and had the potential to make a big difference to how easily businesses could access foreign skills, she was concerned about whether Home Affairs had the capacity to do its job successfully. “Government needs a plan for how it will resolve the massive backlog in existing applications and then develop a change management programme for how the bureaucracy will become fit-for-purpose in functioning under the new regulations. We must ensure that the gap between policy and effectiveness is closed,” she pointed out.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Ina Opperman at The Citizen. Read Busi Mavuso’s weekly newsletter, which covers the above, at Moneyweb

Long-delayed amendments to Immigration Act to give effect to ConCourt judgment tabled

BL Premium reports that the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has tabled the Immigration Amendment Bill to give effect to two Constitutional Court (ConCourt) judgments related to the rights of illegal foreigners. One of the judgments dates back to 2017 and in the meantime the DHA – having failed to amend the principal act within the two years given by the court – has been implementing the remedies laid down in the judgment. A 2023 ConCourt judgment provided more relief to supplement the 2017 order. With parliament nearing the end of its term, there is no time for the bill to be processed before then, so it will have to be held over for the next parliament to deal with. The bill provides that arrested foreigners must be informed of their rights in a language they understand on arrest or immediately thereafter. These rights include the right to be notified in writing of the deportation decision, the right to appeal such a decision and the right to make representations to a court.   The bill also introduces the interest of justice criterion to guide immigration officers and the courts in the exercise of their detention powers. A detained foreigner must be brought in person before a court within 48 hours of his or her arrest or not later than the first court day after the expiry of the 48 hours, if the 48 hours expired outside ordinary court days.   The court must consider whether the detained foreigner can be released subject to reasonable conditions. The foreigner brought before a court must be given an opportunity to make representations to the court and such representations must be considered together with input by the immigration officer.

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


Prevent Kakamas school tragedy by complying with the law before it is too late, Solidarity urges

Solidarity has demanded urgent action from the Department of Education to ensure health and safety at Kakamas High School in the Northern Cape in order to prevent a possible tragedy for children and teachers. According to the trade union, pupils and teachers at the school are exposed to major health and safety risks. Among the shortcomings are not only neglected and dirty classrooms and bathrooms, but also dangerous electrical installations, the absence of an electrical certificate of compliance and fire-fighting equipment that apparently is not serviced and maintained annually. There is a lack of basic first-aid equipment and staff have not been trained in first aid. Solidarity reports that late in 2023 it wrote to the school about the problems, but received no reply. A complaint was also referred to the Department of Employment and Labour (DEL) Inspectorate. The DEL visited the school in January this year and issued a notice to which the school had to comply within 60 days.   A follow-up visit on 4 April by the Inspectorate found that the school had still not addressed the issues, and a notice was issued recommending criminal prosecution. Johan Böning, head of Solidarity's division for occupational health and safety, said the situation at the school was unacceptable and criminal prosecution appeared to be the only remaining course of action to force the school to comply with the law.

Read the full original of the Afrikaans report in the above regard and view photos at Maroela Media


Six people appear in Brits court for illegal mining in North West

IOL News reports that six people were arrested when North West police shut down an illegal mine near Brits as part of operation Vala Umgodi – a multi-disciplinary operation that was conducted in Hartbeespoortdam on 3 April. The team comprised of SA Police Service (SAPS) units and SA National Defence Force (SANDF) members. North West police spokesperson Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone, said the operation resulted in the arrest of an initial seven suspects and the confiscation of illegal mining equipment. He reported: “Four of the six suspects who are from Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi, were remanded in custody until April 23 and April 25, for plea when they appeared in the Brits Magistrates’ Court on Friday. The fifth suspect from Mozambique, also appeared for contravention of the Immigration Act, 2002. She was remanded in custody until May 12. The sixth suspect who is a Mozambican, was issued with a fine for driving a motor vehicle without driver's licence.” The case against the seventh person was not enrolled.   The Umgodi team seized 28 penduka machines, five gas cylinders, two cutting torches, a generator, six hammers, a water pump, 78 bags of gold bearing material, a jack hammer and numerous other commodities

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Sakhiwo Tunzi at IOL News


SAA looking for new CEO and other executives after collapse of Takatso deal

The Citizen reports that South African Airways (SAA) is looking to bring stability to its interim executive management team by advertising five positions for permanent posts, including that of chief executive officer. This follows the national carrier’s failure last month to land a 51% share sale to the Takatso consortium. Applications for SAA’s Chief Executive Officer, Chief Commercial Officer, Chief Human Capital Officer, SAA Technical CEO and Air Chefs CEO close on 26 April 2024.   SAA released a statement on Monday saying: “As the pursuit of this transaction with Takatso Aviation has now been terminated, the board has deemed it necessary to have a properly constituted and permanent executive team to pilot the airline’s strategic plan into the future.”   SAA noted it had been run by a talented and committed interim executive management team over the past three years that had been tasked with managing the airline until a strategic equity partner could come on board. But the failed deal necessitated the change. “The filling of these posts is a positive and decisive step aimed at providing organisational stability and predictable direction of the growth plans and expansion plans currently being pursued”, said Derek Hanekom, chairperson of the SAA interim board of directors.   “The commitment of all employees who serve as the backbone of the airline and who believe in the growth of SAA is highly appreciated by the SAA board,” Hanekom added.

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


Western Cape education department terminates contracts of 15 Atlantis teachers, leaving parents fuming

News24 reports that the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) has opted not to renew the contracts of 15 teachers in Atlantis, leaving several schools in the area without enough staff to teach pupils.   Last week, the schools concerned issued letters to parents outlining the resultant problems. WCED laid the blame for the termination of the teacher contacts at the feet of the national government. WCED spokesperson Bronagh Hammond said the department was doing everything to support the schools following major budget cuts imposed by the national government. "The WCED is currently facing an R870 million deficit in the 2024/25 financial year that needs to be absorbed to cover the cost of the increases in the nationally negotiated public sector wage agreement," Hammond indicated.   However, parents in Atlantis were fuming over the changes. Megan Botha, a guardian of a pupil at Avondale Primary School, raised concerns about the termination of the teachers' contracts and the resulting overcrowding in classes: "The termination and overcrowding of classes at the school will affect the pupils' learning, you can imagine the kids not attending every day; this means we have to get our children extra lessons to boost them. Kids will fail and the teachers will burn out.” Glen Mavis, a parent of a pupil at Robinvale High School, said parents had received notification from the school regarding the loss of four teachers from 1 April, and the school said its functionality would be severely compromised due to inadequate staff to cover the workload.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Mothushi Thoka at News24


Gender parity in asset management industry still has a long way to go

BL Premium reports that employment trends in the asset management industry continue to be heavily favour of men, especially when it comes to investment-related roles. Quoted in the 2024 Alexforbes Manager Watch Survey, Muitheri Wahome of the Asset Management Research Institute indicated: “The number of women who went into investment roles is less than half that of men. A total of 18 men were appointed as portfolio managers [in 2023] compared to only three women. There were 19 male investment analysts compared to nine females.” Wahome commented further: “Women’s ability to progress to investment leadership roles depends on the talent pipeline. An 80/20 male-female split of CFA (chartered financial analyst) charter holders suggests that the industry still has a long way to go to achieve gender parity. Indeed, a 2023 study titled ‘Diversity in Asset Management commissioned by the Eskom Pension Fund’ found a small number of women in the top investment decision-making ranks, concluding that if the industry is looking to attract women, it will have to do things differently.” Data shows that men involved in investment decision-making – chief investment officers (CIOs) or equivalents, research analysts and portfolio managers – outnumber women three to one. Wahome also touched on the broader talent challenges facing the asset management industry in SA. She said the industry was struggling to attract and retain talented personnel due to a “war for talent” in the financial services industry.

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

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • eThekwini Metro gender parity concerns, at The Mercury


DA seeks feedback regarding Secretary to Parliament’s 70% salary increase

SABC News reports that the Democratic Alliance (DA) has written to Parliament’s Powers and Privileges Committee requesting feedback on progress made in respect of a compliant made to investigate former National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula about a 70% salary increase given to the Secretary to Parliament, Xolile George. George’s salary was increased from R2. 6 million to R4. 4 million while having been in the position for less than three months.   DA Chief Whip Siviwe Gwarube lodged a complaint with the then Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Lechesa Tsenoli, who is now acting Speaker, asking for the matter to be investigated by the committee. In Gwarube’s view, Mapisa-Nqakula breached the ethics code, including non-compliance with accountability and transparency. She indicated: “While the Speaker may no longer be the Member of Parliament and indeed the Speaker of the National Assembly, however she is still accountable even as an ordinary citizen because the Powers and Privileges Committee is empowered by the powers and immunities act. So, if one is found to have contravened that act, they would have been broken the law and they could be criminally charged for breaking that law. And so, it’s important for us to continue asking the questions but also what is important, almost R5 million salary is still being paid … and the Secretary to Parliament is still in his position.”

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


Ex head of Nedbank HR fails in bid to review dismissal for saying ‘black people are lazier and more incompetent than white people’

IOL News reports that a former executive head of HR at Nedbank, who was dismissed after making racially discriminatory remarks by stating 'black people are lazier and more incompetent than white people,' has had her review application dismissed by the Johannesburg Labour Court. Anele Makhosazana Mpungose was the Executive Head of Human Resources in Nedbank after she was employed at the bank in May 2015. Mpungose was later placed on precautionary suspension pending investigation into allegations of misconduct and was charged with several offences relating to the treatment of her subordinates and dishonesty against her employer.   Her subsequent dismissal by Nedbank was referred to the CCMA, where the commissioner confirmed that she had been guilty of harassment, victimisation and bullying. Mpungose was eventually dismissed on 19 May 2019.   Mpungose approached the Labour Court to review the matter, claiming she had not been not given a fair hearing and had not been not allowed to challenge evidence brought by Nedbank.   But, in court papers, it was stated that on numerous occasions Mpungose made remarks that were disrespectful, offensive, humiliating, and derogatory towards fellow employees. She was accused of resorting to racial stereotyping and unfairly discriminating against people on racial grounds. The Labour Court judge found that Mpungose's dismissal by Nedbank had been fair and her review application was dismissed.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Brenda Masilela at IOL News. Read too, The startling reasons behind former Nedbank executive’s firing, at BusinessLive (subscriber access only)

Xolani Tom takes Fort Hare to CCMA over ‘unfair dismissal’

SowetanLive reports that the president of the National Tertiary Education Union, who claimed he was kidnapped and tortured by police a year ago, is challenging his dismissal from the University of Fort Hare (UFH). Xolani Tom was fired in December by the institution after he was found guilty on several charges, including harassment after he allegedly sent WhatsApp texts to the staffer in January 2023 notifying her about death threats that he later said were a joke. Tom confirmed on Sunday that he was challenging his ‘unfair dismissal’ at the CCMA. “I am challenging it on substance and procedure.   The chairperson who sat on the DC [Nthabiseng Makhoba] seemed to flout the procedure for the hearing. The chairperson is one of the people arrested for fraud and corruption and accused Number 3 [Paul Tladi] was my former line manager ... We knew there was something fishy in terms of the procedure,” Tom claimed. The arbitration is apparently set for July. Other disciplinary charges Tom faced included gross incompetence in that the person he hired to take part in the Presidential Youth Empowerment Internship programme for six months did not perform his duty and was seen around the office a few times. He was also charged with violating suspension for meeting the Minister of Higher Education, Blade Nzimande, in East London in his capacity as the president of the union. Linked to that charge was that he went overseas without informing his employer.   Tom was found not guilty of failure to obey a reasonable instruction.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Jeanette Chabalala at SowetanLive


Limpopo teacher who fraudulently pocketed R400,000 pleads guilty and gets wholly suspended sentence

IOL News reports that a 52-year-old teacher, formerly employed by the Limpopo education department, was sentenced on Friday by the Polokwane Specialised Commercial Crimes Court to pay a R60,000 fine or five years imprisonment wholly suspended for five years for fraud.   Refilwe Maphuthi Molepo pleaded guilty to 10 counts of fraud and contravention of the Public Service Act.   Between April 2010 and August 2012, Molepo acted in the capacity of director of her own company, and rendered services to the department. Warrant Officer Lethunya Mmuroa, Limpopo spokesperson for the Hawk, explained further:   “As a result, she received payment amounting to over R430,000 without authority or disclosing that she was doing remunerative work outside of public service.” The matter was handed to the Polokwane-based Hawks' Serious Commercial Investigation for further handling. Molepo was traced and arrested in October 2023. “The case was given serious attention until the accused (Molepo) pleaded guilty and sentenced accordingly,” Mmuroa indicated.

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


  • Elections 2024: What the major political parties say about sex work, at GroundUp
  • Parliament’s new presiding officers in seventh administration could face lifestyle audits, at EWN
  • Sama bevestig: NGV is onbekostigbaar, by Maroela Media
  • Opinion: Minimum wages as a cure to labour woes adds to dilemma of high unemployment, at Business Report
  • Sexual harassment in the courts is an open secret, but Chief Justice hasn’t dealt with it, at GroundUp


Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page