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.


Sibanye-Stillwater could retrench 4,000 gold mining workers

BL Premium reports that Sibanye-Stillwater has announced additional restructuring at some of its SA gold mining operations that could result in 4,000 more job losses. The precious metals producer said about 3,000 permanent jobs and 915 contractors were are at risk. This means the group will be slashing its workforce for the third time in a year.   It is consulting organised labour and representatives of affected non-unionised employees as required by law.   Sibanye, one of the largest producers of gold and platinum globally, cut about 2,600 jobs at its platinum group metal (PGM) operations in SA earlier this year. The proposed restructuring at its SA gold operations will affect the Beatrix 1 shaft at the Beatrix mine in the Free State, and the Kloof 2 plant, which has had insufficient processing material available to cover overheads since the closure of Kloof 4 shaft. The Beatrix 1 shaft has been unable to “deliver planned production”. In addition, the deferral of capital expenditure at the Burnstone gold mining project in Mpumalanga, announced in February, also requires restructuring after a reduction in planned capital activities. National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) spokesperson Livhuwani Mammburu said the potential job losses were unacceptable. "[Sibanye] has been retrenching workers every year intending to cut costs while making huge profits at the expense of poorly paid mineworkers,” he pointed out.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Denene Erasmus at BusinessLive (subscriber access only). Read too, Sibanye may cut another 4 000 jobs at its SA gold operations, at Fin24

Solidarity seething over Sibanye-Stillwater’s plans to cut more jobs

Mining Weekly reports that according to trade union Solidarity, management at Sibanye-Stillwater should step down after a third retrenchment process was launched at its South African operations within one year. Sibanye has announced that it will enter into consultations with organised labour and other stakeholders regarding the proposed restructuring at its SA gold operations. Further to previous restructuring exercises concluded during 2023 and in the first quarter of this year, the group has identified a need to address losses at the Beatrix 1 shaft as well as at the Kloof 2 plant. The proposed restructuring could potentially affect 3,107 employees and 915 contractors. Solidarity general secretary Gideon du Plessis said the retrenchments and the timing thereof were unacceptable. “Solidarity is extremely disappointed with and finds it despicable that Sibanye will once again plunge a large number of its employees, contractors and their dependants in uncertainty and poverty.   The timing of the retrenchments, just before the start of the salary negotiations, is to be questioned," he stated. “Now that times are tough, apart from the favourable gold price, everything except the Sibanye leadership is being blamed for the poor performance,” Du Plessis pointed out. He said Solidarity intended to request that the consultations with Sibanye be postponed until after salary negotiations have been concluded. "Then the retrenchments will be opposed, and Solidarity will do everything in its power to protect its members’ jobs," he stated.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard at Mining Weekly. Lees ook, Nog afleggings by Sibanye, by Maroela Media


Over 130 schools in Nelson Mandela Bay robbed, mostly at gunpoint, in five months

GroundUp reports that according to Eastern Cape Department of Education, since November, 131 schools in the Nelson Mandela Bay region have been robbed. Most of the incidents have been at gunpoint. The provincial Department of Education (DOE) has issued a statement, declaring several areas within the municipality “hotspots” and has allocated millions of rands to improve security at these and other schools.   The crime hotspots are in the northern areas of KwaZakhele, Zwide, and Motherwell in Gqeberha. The latest incident happened outside Elufefeni Primary School in NU7, Motherwell, when schools had opened just last week. In Kariega, a police spokesperson confirmed at least three incidents of robberies at gunpoint last month at Phaphani and Tinarha High Schools, as well as Mjuleni primary school in KwaNobuhle township.   At KwaZakhele High School, which has been repeatedly robbed, a teacher said robbers were as young as the learners.   Education MEC Fundile Gade last week advised that his department had allocated R59-million to upgrade security at schools in the 2024/2025 financial year. An additional 1,000 security guards would be hired, he said, as well as 350 administrative staff and 24 assistant social workers would also be employed as part of the plan to make schools safer. “We are going to install surveillance cameras, access control systems, alert buttons that are linked to the police stations, as well as fences to make sure our schools are safe,” Gade indicated.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Thamsanqa Mbovane at GroundUp. Read too, Safety of our teachers is vital, at The Citizen

EMS workers Nelson Mandela Bay protest against attacks on them

GroundUp reports that Emergency Medical Services (EMS) workers in Nelson Mandela Bay protested outside the City Hall on Wednesday, calling for safer working conditions. “I kneel down and pray to God each time I leave home for work, asking him to save me from these criminals. They are heartless and don’t care that EMS staff perform a critical job,” said a Gqeberha paramedic and father of two. He and his work partner were robbed of cash and other valuables while responding to an emergency in Zwide last year. This was one of about 20 armed attacks on EMS workers in the 2023/24 financial year.   The most recent incident occurred on Monday, when EMS staff were robbed of their cellphones and personal belongings at KwaZakhele clinic by a group of six armed criminals. The spike in attacks has prompted requests for police to escort EMS vehicles in crime hotspot areas. Leading the protest on Wednesday, district manager for health Sonia Lupondwana said some EMS workers had been personally threatened on and off duty. She handed a memorandum of demands to Mayor Gary Van Niekerk. The demands included a request for ward-based structures to deal with safety issues and to ensure EMS workers were protected when entering those communities. Metro police should also to commit to assist with securing the safety of EMS workers in communities. The mayor has until Friday to respond.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Joseph Chirume at GroundUp


City Power rubbishes claims of a ‘go-slow’ by subcontractors

The Citizen reports that the City of Johannesburg’s electricity utility City Power has refuted claims of a protest by some of its subcontractors. Several areas in the city went more than 24 hours without electricity this week after technical issues and repairs needed to be attended to. As residents searched for answers for the delays, some shared messages claiming subcontractors had downed tools because of grievances. The utility hit back on Thursday, saying its more than 360 staff and contractors were still working. “As far as City Power is concerned, there is currently no protest from any of its recognised contractors, and operations are proceeding unimpeded since Monday – the day tools were supposed to be laid down,” spokesperson Isaac Mangena said. The utility said it had beefed up security to protect workers in case a strike threatened lives, property, and operations. It believes the threats and rumours of a go-slow may have come after it began probing and auditing all service providers for falsified invoices. “We will be having a pre-planned meeting with the 65 contractors [contracted to the utility] to discuss any challenges that they may be encountering regarding this audit and any other problems they may be having with paying their subcontractors,” City Power indicated.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Kyle Zeeman at The Citizen


Primrose residents shelter in their houses as illegal miners run riot

TimesLIVE reports that according to Primrose Ratepayers Association (PRA) vice-chair David Barr, residents in the area live in fear because of illegal mining activities and regular shootings. “In the evenings no-one goes out. We have to stay indoors because there are shootings between the houses and streets,” he lamented. On Tuesday, zama zamas (illegal miners) near the Simmer and Jack landfill site in Primrose south of Germiston were embroiled in a gun battle with police. The shooting spread close to Primrose High School during an operation by the Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department (EMPD) rapid tactical response unit and the SA Police Service (SAPS). Barr said children at the school had to be kept in the hall as the zama zamas allegedly ran to the school trying to hide from police. According to EMPD spokesperson Kelebogile Thepa, seven suspects were arrested on Tuesday as law enforcers visited a scrapyard on the corner of Main Reef and Johann Rissik roads. “Upon their arrival, the suspects noticed the officers and opened fire at them. During the shoot-out, the officers shot six suspects, disarming them, and arrested one other male suspect who attempted to flee,” she reported.   Barr said over the past few years gun violence in the neighbourhood had escalated. “Our community is eager to collaborate with the police to create a safer environment for all … However, PRA doesn’t see the effective communication coming from our police station,” he stated.

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

Other community posting(s) relating to mining

  • Minerals Council outlines mining’s ‘immense’ positive social impact, at Mining Weekly

Other general posting(s) relating to mining

  • Mining production accelerates a surprising 10% in February, at BusinessLive
  • Joburg remains AngloGold’s operational nerve centre in Africa, says Maria Ramos, at BusinessLive


EFF lambastes Gauteng for failure to pay Nasi iSpani beneficiaries

TimesLIVE reports that more than 300 beneficiaries of Gauteng's Nasi iSpani jobs scheme allege they have not been paid, with some claiming the province is broke. In November last year, the Gauteng social development department advertised positions for unemployed matriculants and degree and diploma graduates. The jobs for 10-month fixed-term contracts ranged from nursing assistants and professional nurses to community development practitioners and social workers.   However, despite starting their assignments, they have yet to be paid. The EFF in Gauteng said it was dismayed that the provincial government had failed to pay beneficiaries. The political party alleged people have been assigned tasks unrelated to their qualifications, such as packing food parcels and data collection for the “ANC's electoral purposes” instead of the roles they were hired for. The EFF’s Nkululeko Dunga said the debacle underscored a larger issue with the jobs scheme. He cited the lack of proper planning and budgeting for internships and short-term jobs. But, the Gauteng government dismissed claims that the jobs scheme had run out of funds and beneficiaries were not being paid. Social development, agriculture and rural development MEC Mbali Hlophe advised: “The payment schedule is in progress and the first batch of payments was made on April 8. The next will be made on Thursday and all outstanding payments will be made in two weeks.”

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Sisanda Mbolekwa at TimesLIVE. Lees ook, Lesufi beloof werkskepping; dié wat werk sit egter sonder sent, by Maroela Media

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Lesufi moet Nasi iSpani-opdrag dadelik terugtrek – DA, by Maroela Media


Retrenched Post Office workers demand upfront payment of packages in full

SABC News reports that retrenched SA Post Office (Sapo) employees say they’ve been let down by the entity and government, as well as their union representatives. The workers are demanding that all the retrenchment packages due to them be paid in full. This after Sapo indicated that it would pay the workers their benefits over an eight-month period. Sapo plans to cut its headcount by more than 4,000. The retrenched workers say they’ve accepted their fate, however they want their benefits paid upfront in full and not over a period of 8 to 10 months.   According Sapo, it will make the payments to workers in instalments as soon as it gets money from National Treasury.   “Take us back to our jobs, those who want to and those of us who don’t want to, we want all our monies as in all our monies not something that you will dictate on how we get our monies, we want our lump sum,” a retrenched worker demanded. Another issue that the workers want to be addressed is that of their outstanding pension fund contributions. Workers say they were shocked to discover that Sapo last made contribution payments to their pension fund in April 2020. More concerning is that workers have received letters from their medical aid scheme, Medipos, threatening that should their employer not settle their total contribution debt by the date of membership termination, they will be personally liable for the settlement of the debt.

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


Angry parents shut down Durban school over principal's improper appointment

News24 reports that angry parents shut down a Durban primary school on Thursday after the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education (DOE) allegedly brought in a new principal without consulting the school governing body (SGB). Parents of pupils attending Dr Macken Mistry Primary School in Sea Cow Lake alleged that Mandla Sikhakhane previously had altercations with pupils and a parent while he was headmaster of the nearby Lakehaven Secondary School, which he led until last Friday. The previous principal of Dr Macken Mistry Primary, Pompey Sukool, retired at the end of last year and Jessie Govender was acting principal until Sikhakhane's arrival. About 22 parents held a demonstration outside the school, wielding placards that read: "No to new principal", "Remove new principal", "We demand transparency from the DOE" and "Listen to SGB and parents". Their actions followed a meeting attended by 110 parents on Wednesday where it was unanimously agreed that they did not want Sikhakhane at the school and that it would be closed on Thursday and Friday, until the matter was resolved. SGB chair Shailen Harilal and other members of the governing body informed the department in a letter on Monday that they were opposed to Sikhakhane's placement at the school "without proper procedures being followed". A petition drawn up on Thursday indicated the parents’ objection to the department's placement of Sikhakhane at the school because it had failed to inform the SGB of its intentions.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Prega Govender at News24


Matlosana mayor axed, CFO suspended, councillor expelled by North West ANC

The Citizen reports that the ANC’s provincial executive committee (PEC) in the North West has acted on allegations of corruption involving officials in the Matlosana municipality in Klerksdorp. After investigation, the PEC established that there were answerable cases in respect of the allegations and acted by dismissing the ANC mayor, James Tsolela. Also, the municipal CFO, Mercy Phetla, was suspended after it was established that she was suspected of malfeasance of a serious nature. She has been suspended pending a probe into the matter. In an apparent victory for electoral democracy, a parachuted Matlosana ward councillor in the local municipality, who was installed illegally by factional top politicians, will be removed and replaced with a legitimate community-chosen candidate who was sidelined during the nomination for the 2021 local government elections. The voters have been fighting for their nominee to be reinstated, and the ANC has been resisting since 2021. The sideline councillor for Ward 1 in Matlosana, Pakiso Mqikela, would be reinstated in the position he lost, while incumbent Anna Bonga was told to resign on Friday to make way for Mqikela. A by-election will be held and the ANC is confident of winning the ward again due to Mqikela’s popularity with the voters and community members. A similar situation is expected to happen in Ward 18 at Moses Kotane local municipality, where a ward councillor will be kicked out and a legitimate one reinstated. It is understood that the PEC has informed the ANC secretary-general, Fikile Mbalula, about developments.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Eric Naki at The Citizen


Lydenburg K9 unit raids illegal popcorn factory, arrests undocumented migrants

Lowvelder reports that the Lydenburg SAPS’s K9 unit raided an illegal popcorn factory in Badfontein on Tuesday, after having received a tip-off from some community members. During the operation, four suspects, all of whom were Zimbabwean immigrants without any identification on them, were arrested. According to Warrant Officer Tinalia Gouws, the police had received information about the factory being operational in one of three big sheds on a farm in the Badfontein district and the Lydenburg K9 unit went out to investigate. “We were made alert of the illegal manufacturing of popcorn and managed to arrest four suspects. We are also awaiting a health and safety inspector to come and access the situation. In the meantime, the Thaba Chweu Local Municipality’s [TCLM] by-law enforcers were also called for assistance in the matter,” Gouws advised. Zimbabwean dollars were scattered among the bags filled with popcorn. Gouws said samples of the powdered sugar and colourants would be sent for tests. An investigation at the other two adjacent sheds led to the discovery of a coffin, hundreds of shotgun shells, a locked safe and kettle for the manufacturing of moonshine. TCLM’s by-law officers confirmed they would be confiscating all equipment found during the raid. They also said it would seem that the factory was illegally connected to the Eskom grid for power supply for the popcorn machines.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Narda Engelbrecht at The Citizen


Surviving life partner’s claim to R21m death benefit dismissed as she was excluded as a beneficiary

Moneyweb reports that even if a person qualifies as someone’s legal dependant, that does not automatically give that person the right to receive a portion of the deceased’s death benefit, the Pension Funds Adjudicator (PFA) Muvhango Lukhaimane indicated in a ruling this week.   A woman who was the life partner of a businessman for 17 years laid a claim to a share of his death benefit, which totalled R21.3 million. She filed a complaint with the PFA after the Old Mutual Superfund Provident Fund decided to pay the deceased’s death benefit to his two biological daughters and not to her. However, she had signed a cohabitation agreement years before, in which a waiver stated she could not claim a share of the deceased’s pension, investments, profit sharing, or other retirement interests. But, the woman submitted that she was no longer bound by the cohabitation agreement after the deceased’s passing, and as a result, she was entitled to any benefit that might arise from his death. She also argued that some of the terms of the unwitnessed agreement had not been explained to her. The complainant was not left destitute as she received R7 million from various policies payable to her as a result of the deceased’s death. She also inherited immovable property valued at approximately R1.7 million, and the executor of the deceased’s estate pays her an estimated amount of R35,000 per month. Lukhaimane noted: “The terms of the cohabitation agreement clearly show that the parties agreed there would be no sharing of pension benefits.” She dismissed the complaint.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Liesl Peyper at Moneyweb


Ten accused in Fort Hare R171m corruption, fraud matter granted bail of R50,000 each

News24 reports that on Thursday, the Dimbaza Magistrate’s Court in the Eastern Cape granted bail of R50,000 each to 10 of the accused in the University of Fort Hare (UFH) fraud and corruption case. Two of the accused, namely Terrence Joubert of Tarlec Security Solutions and Anwar Khan of Pentagon Group, were remanded in custody until Friday, when the State will apparently oppose their bail applications. Khan is former bodyguard of slain rapper AKA. Those granted bail are: Dr Paul Tladi; his wife Lucrecia Davids; Anna Smith; Mbulelo Gingcana; Louis Mawila; Nozuko Mabombo; Thamsanqa Sonjica, and service providers Bradley Conradie, Craig Retief and Nthabiseng Makhoba.   Bail conditions are that the accused hand over their passports to the investigating officer and report to their nearest police stations every Wednesday. The accused are among 14 people who were arrested over the Easter weekend. They are accused of defrauding the university of R171 million. Two of them, namely Sarah Burger and Gosain Wayne van Haar, were released on bail of R50,000 each last week. Accused number one Isaac Plaatjies abandoned his bail bid last week. The accused will be back in court on 9 May.

Read the original of the short report in the above regard by Sithandiwe Velaphi at News24. Read too, Fort Hare case: State set to oppose bail when former bodyguard of slain musician AKA appears, at News24


  • Solidarity welcomes growing rejection of NHI, at Polity
  • “Anti-vax” doctor’s disciplinary inquiry gets underway, at GroundUp
  • ‘More than 150,000 SA jobs at stake’: Calls for government to rethink Russia stance amid US review, at The Citizen
  • Inflated salary debacle: Mapisa-Nqakula's resignation lets Parliament's secretary off the hook, at News24
  • Public Investment Corporation assets under management soar 33% in three years, at BusinessLive (subscriber access only)


Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page