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.


President's ‘keep searching’ response to my jobless problem crushed me', says unemployed graduate

SowetanLive reports that Slindokuhle Khoza, 23, was very excited when President Cyril Ramaphosa called her from the crowd during his walk on the streets of Orange Farm, south of Johannesburg, at the weekend when he was campaigning for the upcoming elections. In their short conversation captured on video, the president can be heard asking her about her background to which she replied she was unemployed. In his response, Ramaphosa advised her to "keep searching", a statement that sparked outrage among social media users.   Khoza said the statement deflated her following initial joy and hope for being called over for a conversation by the president. "I regret the way that conversation went. I felt disappointed when he said I should keep looking because I have been looking and I told him that. I was crushed,” said Khoza. She graduated with a bachelor of arts in communication from North West University last year. “I started applying way before I graduated but even that didn’t help because I kept getting rejection responses,” said the first-born of four children raised by a single mother. Ramaphosa's spokesperson said the president encouraged Khoza to register on the SA youth mobi, which is a zero-rated platform for unemployed young people to access opportunities for learning and earning.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Koena Mashale at SowetanLive. Read too, Mixed reaction as Ramaphosa tells unemployed woman to ‘keep searching’ for job, at The Citizen


Mpumalanga teachers protest in Hazyview over safety issues at schools

The Citizen reports that learning remained suspended at some schools in Hazyview in Mpumalanga on Tuesday as teachers staged a protest at the provincial Department of Education’s (DOE’s) White Hazy Circuit. According to labour federation Cosatu, the teachers called on the department to strengthen security in schools amid a spate of criminal attacks on them and pupils.   “We want schools to be taken as business entities. We want them to hire security. We want cameras at the schools. We don’t have safety there, people can just get in and out,” said the teachers in protest. However, DOE spokesperson Jasper Zwane said arming security guards at school would place them at a higher risk. “Once we do that, once they’re armed they become vulnerable – soft targets. We have seen that happening, for instance in Mariti we went there, we had community engagements and since then, there is stability. It takes the community to teach a child,” Zwane told SABC. The department said it would engage with affected parties to forge a way forward on the matter. There have been several cases of school robberies in the province.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Vhahangwele Nemakonde at The Citizen

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Two arrested following violent attack at Umhlali police station in KZN on Sunday, at IOL News


Villagers in Mpumalanga burn down houses rented out to zama zamas

SowetanLive reports that increasing levels of crimes and gun violence linked to illegal mining activities are what drove a Mpumalanga community to take the law into its hands by burning houses rented out to zama zamas. At least eight homes accommodating illegal miners were burnt on Sunday as tension grew at Moremela in Bushbuckridge after residents went on a rampage.   They accused zama zamas of being behind the spate of crime in the area. Several cars have also been torched since the violence started on Sunday.   According to residents, the areas has seen a flood of illegal miners and increased illegal mining activity since last year as a result of crackdown on illegal mining in Gauteng.   The residents said with the arrival of more illegal miners they have seen increased crime in the community.   Police said they have been aware of fights between illegal miners in the area and, as a result, have set up a unit that targets the closure of abandoned shafts. Community leader Thabang Molepo said the community was living in fear and residents were scared to go outside at night. A woman who rents out her backroom to illegal miners said she was scared to chase them out. But, a group of young women said they didn't want the illegal miners to leave because they buy them food. "These people buy food, alcohol and more, we eat nice from them.   We are not happy that they are being chased away because unemployment is very high here," said one woman.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Mandla Khoza at SowetanLive

Other general posting(s) relating to mining

  • Court orders final liquidation of diamond dealer Louis Liebenberg's company, known as Forever Diamonds and Gold, at Fin24


Gauteng water disruptions must not turn into another Eskom, Uasa warns

Engineering News reports that trade union Uasa has warned that if Gauteng's water disruptions are not addressed soon, the situation could end up as “a second Eskom”. SA was introduced to loadshedding in 2007, after State-owned utility Eskom announced it would implement rolling blackouts to avert the collapse of the national energy grid owing to insufficient generation capacity. Now, Uasa wants government to prevent the same from happening in the water sector. In recent years, Gauteng has experienced disruptive water cuts. “If we allow the water crisis to prevail alongside energy challenges, the aftermath will be turmoil,” said Uasa spokesperson Abigail Moyo. The water supply in the province is expected to fall lower than demand periodically until the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) Phase 2 comes on-stream.   The delayed LHWP is expected to come online in 2029, which Moyo noted was a long time away even as Gauteng’s population continues to grow and puts pressure on the province's water demand.   “Sadly, our country’s water resources are already under immense pressure due to poor water governance, reactive management, worn-out infrastructure, and degradation of our wastewater treatment ability, thus polluting the scarce resource even more; add to this the growing challenge of climate change and the changing rainfall cycles – we are in for yet another man-made challenge,” Moyo warned. The union wants government to invest in infrastructure and experienced engineers to help resolve the water challenges.

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

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Joburg Water shock: Grid near collapse as authorities do not have funds to fix ageing infrastructure, at News24 (subscriber access only)


Personal household inflation higher than CPI, Ninety One’s investigation confirms

BL Premium reports that calculations done by SA’s biggest asset manager, Ninety One, show that personal inflation has outstripped the official consumer price index (CPI) data from Stats SA, leaving consumers much poorer. The personal rate of inflation represents how the cost of living is rising, irrespective of the national average figure. Using newspaper adverts, the money manager compared data from 1986 with the current prices of several household goods, including Surf, All Gold tomato sauce, Sunlight dishwashing liquid and Twinsaver. Ninety One then calculated the annual compound change from 1986 to the present. “In short, the average annual increase of 9.1% of this household goods basket is above the official annual inflation rate of 7.5% over this period. So our intuition that our personal inflation rate is higher than the official Stats SA inflation rate would suggest it does not appear to be so far off the mark,” said Paul Hutchinson of Ninety One.   The data also shows how insidious and corrosive inflation is – finding that if one were earning R10,000 a year in 1986, one would need to earn R150,000 today, just to keep up with the official inflation rate. This figure goes up even further when considering the personal rate of inflation, putting it at R260,000. “The analysis reinforces the key insight that hiding in cash or cash plus – enhanced cash – income-yielding investment solutions is not a sustainable long-term investment strategy. This is a critical observation, given that investors underestimate for how long they will be invested,” Hutchinson commented.

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


Former public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s urgent court bid over withheld gratuity is postponed

TimesLIVE reports that former Public Protector (PP) Busisiwe Mkhwebane's urgent court challenge against the decision not to pay out her end-of-term gratuity has been postponed in the Pretoria High Court.   According to Mkhwebane, the incumbent PP’s decision in that regard was unlawful and unconstitutional. She claimed that despite numerous attempts by her legal representatives to engage the PP regarding the gratuity stipulated in her employment conditions of service, their enquiries have been met with silence. Her successor, Kholeka Gcaleka, determined that Mkhwebane did not qualify for the payment because of the circumstances in which she left. The matter was due to be heard before Judge Colleen Collis on Tuesday, but was stood down until Thursday due to several issues, including costs and where the matter would be enrolled. Collis asked the parties to address a letter to her by Wednesday “indicating what issues you would want the court to adjudicate further and what consensus, if any, you've reached around the ring court and how the matter is to progress”. Mkhwebane was impeached by Parliament in 2023, rendering her ineligible to receive the payout, the PP’s office indicated. She was removed as the PP in September by the National Assembly.   President Cyril Ramaphosa removed her a day later.

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


Public Servants Association advises Ramaphosa to delay signing NHI Bill into law

Engineering News reports that given the uncertainty surrounding the political landscape after the May elections, the Public Servants Association (PSA) has advised President Cyril Ramaphosa to delay the signing of the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill. It was passed by the National Council of Provinces in late 2023, and sent to Ramaphosa to be signed into law. Government has stood firm in its support for the Bill, despite warnings that it would undermine universal healthcare instead of advancing its progress. The Bill has been sharply criticised by doctors, health facility providers and health insurance companies. The PSA said it was extremely concerned about the implications of proposed tax hikes to fund the NHI scheme, pointing out that South Africans were not able to bear such a financial burden, particularly during the current economic climate. The PSA said government's plan to increase value-added tax and income tax to offset the NHI deficit was alarming, and it instead urged government to address fiscal inefficiencies, including fruitless expenditure and corruption.   The PSA also said the funding model presented by the Department of Health lacked sustainability in that it disproportionately burdened the poor who were already struggling to make ends meet due to a high cost of living, constant increases in petrol prices and high interest rates.

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

Despite challenges, medical scheme sector is stable, with 2024 contribution increases of 6.9% to 16.0% for open schemes

BL Premium reports that according to Alexforbes’ latest analysis, SA’s medical schemes industry remains stable despite the challenges it faces. The financial services group compiled a sustainability index for the top 10 open and top 10 restricted schemes, which ranked Discovery Health Medical Scheme highest among the open schemes, followed by Bestmed, while LA Health was the top restricted scheme, followed by the Government Employees Medical Scheme (GEMS). Restricted schemes are limited to employer or professional groups, while open schemes will enrol anyone who can afford their premiums. The index included factors such as the relative size of the scheme, the average age of its beneficiaries, and its solvency ratio. The 2024 contribution increases for the 10 open schemes ranged from 6.9% to 16%, which were relatively high compared to the increases announced during the Covid-19 pandemic. Based on data published by the Council for Medical Schemes, the analysis shows that open schemes grew their principal membership by 1.2% between 2021 and 2022, while restricted schemes grew their principal membership by 1.1%. Growth was largely driven by increased membership of Discovery and GEMS. The solvency level for open schemes decreased from 39.6% in 2021 to 38.0% in 2022, while the solvency level for restricted schemes increased from 56.2% in 2021 to 59.5% in 2022. The Medical Schemes Act requires all schemes to have a solvency ratio, a measure of financial health, of at least 25%.

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


Court dismisses ex-spy boss' R500 000 'constitutional damages' claim over fake qualifications probe

News24 reports that former top spy Mahlodi Muofhe's R500,000 "constitutional damages" claim against former Inspector-General of Intelligence (IGI) Setlhomamaru Dintwe has been dismissed with costs. The case centred around Dintwe's confirmation of a probe into Muofhe's qualifications. North Gauteng High Court Judge Elizabeth Kubushi relied in dismissing Muofhe's claim on the Supreme Court of Appeal's (SCA’s) ruling on the EFF's successful challenge to the R500,000 defamation damages award it was ordered to pay to former finance minister Trevor Manuel. Muofhe, who was the State Security Agency's (SSA) director-general of domestic intelligence, had argued he was entitled to constitutional damages because, when Dintwe confirmed in a November 2020 interview with eNCA that the IGI was investigating anonymous allegations he had falsified his academic qualifications and lied about being an advocate, he Dintwe) had "breached his statutory duties". That breach had led to Muofhe's "constitutional rights to human dignity and privacy being violated", it was argued.   "He (Dintwe) should have done the basics and contacted me, and I would have shown him my qualifications.   Instead, he chose to go public with the anonymous complaint. He was not supposed to give an interview on television about me," Muofhe stated. During arguments on the case, Dintwe's counsel reiterated that he denied violating any of Muofhe's constitutional rights "in any way" when he said investigations into Muofhe's qualifications were ongoing. Dintwe's counsel argued "Muofhe, as a senior official, should understand while investigations were ongoing, the person being investigated is presumed not guilty until a finding has been made by a proper forum".

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Karyn Maughan at News24

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Nzimande says stringent measures in place to ensure integrity of university qualifications, at IOL News


LexisNexis ordered to employ worker whose contract was revoked because of a criminal record from 2001

IOL News reports that the Labour Court in Gqeberha has ruled that LexisNexis must employ a man whose signed contract was revoked after the company learned that he had a criminal record dating back from 2001.   Elsworth John O’Connor applied for a job at LexisNexis in December 2023 in response to an advert. He went through the interview process and on 20 January 2024 he was notified via email by Natasha Singhe that his interview had been successful. He was required to furnish the company with more information in order to continue processing his application, which included a RefCheck Consent and Indemnity Form. In the form, O’Connor admitted to having been previously criminally charged, but explained that the charge emanated from a theft in 2001 and it had since been expunged. On 30 January 2024 he was emailed a contract of employment and the document was signed electronically by both parties that same day. Nine days before he could resume his duties, Singh sent an email stating that the company was now “retracting” the “conditional offer” of employment because the criminal check had revealed six counts of theft, one count of fraud, and two counts of defeating the course of justice. O’Connor went to the CCMA, but LexisNexis did not attend the conciliation and a certificate of non-resolution was issued. O’Connor then went to the Labour Court. Judge Mark Meyerowitz pointed out that according to the Employment Equity Act, excluding an applicant from employment on the basis of a criminal history would constitute unfair discrimination in circumstances where that criminal history was irrelevant to the requirements of the job.   He noted that O’Connor’s history was not relevant to the job, which would be conducted remotely from his home.   LexisNexis was ordered to employ O’Connor within 10 days after judgment was made.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Brenda Masilela at IOL News


Free State traffic officer sentenced to five years in jail for demanding R500 to overlook traffic violation

News24 reports that a Free State traffic officer has been sentenced to five years in prison on two counts of corruption. Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Zweli Mohobeleli said Tshiya Desmond Pule, 43, was sentenced in the Bloemfontein Magistrate's Court on Tuesday. "On 29 August 2017, a female complainant reported that Pule had demanded R500 gratification to avoid being arrested for a traffic violation. Upon investigation, it was discovered that the accused had also demanded R1,500 from another victim," said Mohobeleli.   The court also declared Pule unfit to possess a firearm.

Read the original of the short report in the above regard by Cebelihle Bhengu at News24


Free State high school teacher in court, accused of raping Hoërskool Henti Cilliers male pupil

News24 reports that the Free State Department of Education has suspended a teacher from Hoërskool Henti Cilliers in Virginia, amid allegations that he raped a matric pupil. Provincial education spokesperson Howard Ndaba indicated:   "There is indeed a case like this that has been brought forward where a 27-year-old was arrested and charged on the allegation of rape of a 17-year-old matric boy." He said the complainant was allegedly raped on 15 March, and the department only found out about it when the teacher appeared in court. The department is providing psychosocial support for the pupil. Provincial police spokesperson Captain Stephen Thakeng said that the teacher, who is also a rugby coach, was arrested on 10 April, and appeared on 12 April in Virginia Magistrate's Court. He was granted bail of R3,000.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Aphelele Mbokotho at News24


  • Dokters wag steeds op plasing ondanks minister se versekering, by Maroela Media
  • Loodgieter of lugwaardin? Dié platform kan help, by Maroela Media


Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page