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.


Cruise liners bring in tourists and leave a jobs bonanza behind for Western Cape

Financial Mail reports that according to estimates by Wesgro, the official tourism, trade and investment promotion agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape, the summer cruise season has created thousands of permanent jobs in the province. Wesgro CEO Wrenelle Stander pointed out that more tourists meant more jobs in the province. “With an expected 90,000 passengers in the 2023/2024 cruise season, and based on Wesgro’s estimates, we know that roughly 3,000 new permanent jobs have been created in this season alone,” he advised. Last month Cape Town hosted two of the world’s biggest cruise liners at the same time in the Table Bay docks. The Queen Mary 2 and the Queen Victoria docked side by side and brought about 11,000 visitors to the city. Shops and restaurants in the city and at the V&A Waterfront were significant beneficiaries. In a report, Wesgro estimated that cruise ships generated about R1.2bn in the 2022/2023 season. This included spending by international visitors, local spending and cruise lines’ operational costs. Each cruise ship visit translates into tangible economic benefits, with one full-time provincial job created for every 30 arriving cruise passengers.     During the 2023/2024 season 65 ships docked, attracting about 90,000 two-way passengers and 38,000 crew members.   From an average of 35-40 cruise visits a season between 2016 and 2019, the port had 70 in 2022/2023 and 65 visits for 2023/2024.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Adele Shevel at Financial Mail (subscriber access only)

Big boost for skills and jobs in just energy transition

BusinessLive reports that the National Business Initiative (NBI) has launched a new programme, supported by more than 25 CEOs of some of the largest companies in SA, to train workers for jobs that will be created through the just energy transition. The Just Energy Transition Skilling for Employment Programme (JET SEP), led by the NBI, will “co-ordinate the private sector’s contribution” to fostering skills needed as SA grows the share of renewables in its power mix as part of plans to move from a carbon-intensive to a low carbon economy by 2050.   Speaking at the launch of the programme this week, NBI CEO Shameela Soobramoney said that if SA failed to decarbonise in such a way that the country could meet its international climate change commitments it would put SA’s exports and jobs in export-dependent sectors at risk. “If we don’t get this right we are putting at risk 15% of SA’s current exports due to increasingly stringent international regulations (such as the EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism),” said Soobramoney. There were also domestic risks, she said, as switching from a coal-dominated to a renewable led energy sector would place about 60% of SA mining jobs (predominantly in the coal sector) at risk.   Phase 1 of the programme, that will run until January 2025, will focus on developing a skills and jobs gap fact base which will help in determining the number and scope of jobs potentially available in different sectors. Training will start during phase 2 of the projects. The NBI could not confirm how many jobs would be created through the programme as this would be determined during phase one.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Denene Erasmus at BusinessLive


With 3,500 jobs in the balance, ArcelorMittal prepares for final decision on long-steel operations

BusinessLive reports that ArcelorMittal SA (Amsa) expects to make a final decision by August on mothballing its long-steel operations, with 3,500 direct and contractor jobs at its Newcastle and Vereeniging plants in the balance. In November, SA’s primary steel producer sent shock waves through the economies of Newcastle in KwaZulu-Natal and Vanderbijlpark in Gauteng when it announced it was considering the closing its long-products business, which it blamed on Transnet rail freight dysfunction for runaway costs, market challenges and unreliable power as impediments to sustainable operations.   In February, the company deferred the suspension of its long-steel units for up to six months, saying commitments by the government and Transnet had bought the operations some time.   On Tuesday, CEO Kobus Verster said Amsa was making good progress with the initiatives it had outlined to save its unprofitable division. However, the complexity of the challenges was not expected to be resolved overnight.   “We are moving forward with all the aspects but all of them are complicated issues that cannot simply be solved. We will have to make a decision by July or August,” he indicated. Verster added that while engagements with stakeholders, including Transnet and the department of trade, industry & competition were progressing well, Amsa would not keep its long-steel business open “based on promises”. Long-steel products include rebar, wire rods, merchant bars and rails. The automotive industry consumes about 70,000 tonnes of Amsa’s long products range a year.   SA’s construction, mining, electro-technical, electricity transmission, aero and defence, rail, wire, fasteners, concrete reinforcing, cladding and roofing sectors are also important consumers.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Michelle Gumede at BusinessLive

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • AMSA expects to break ground on Vanderbijlpark’s 200 MW solar plant this year, at Engineering News
  • AMSA to convert one Vanderbijlpark blast furnace to an electronic arc furnace by 2028, at Engineering News


Man dies after falling through roof at Middelburg shopping centre

Middelburg Observer reports that the old Pick n Pay centre in the Middelburg central business district is currently under lockdown after a man fell through the roof of the centre near the Walter Sisulu Street entrance of the sparsely occupied centre. It has been confirmed that the man died in the incident. Sources indicated that repairs were being conducted on the centre’s roof, involving fire curtains and leakages.   Eyewitnesses said the deceased might have been a member of a maintenance team working on the ceiling before plummeting through a skylight. Information about his identity and his affiliation with the centre has not yet been released.

Read the original of the short report in the above regard at Middelburg Observer

Game farm worker visits place where hyena attacked him

SowetanLive reports that nearly six months after losing his eye during a vicious attack by a hyena at a Musina game farm in Limpopo, Frans Ndlovu is reflecting on the incident that has changed his life.   Ndlovu, a father of two, narrowly survived an encounter in the dark with a hyena in November last year at the farm where he was guarding wildlife against poachers. This week, Ndlovu's recovery was highlighted by hospital group Netcare as one of its successes in plastic reconstruction surgery. Ndlovu underwent complex treatment on his face, which had muscles torn away and bone splintered from fracture due to the force of the hyena's bite. “It was very, very scary, but I am alive,” said Ndlovu, who added: "I have accepted the situation, and now I am a free man. I even went to the place where the accident happened; even yesterday, I went there. I took food to security guards, and everything was okay.” Ndlovu said the incident happened while he was relaxing.   According to Ndlovu’s employer, Izak Nel, the animal would not let go until one of the men broke a chair over it, and even then, it did not retreat. Bleeding profusely from his head and shoulder, Ndlovu was rushed to a local hospital, where doctors initially stabilised him before he was transferred by helicopter to the emergency department at Netcare Pholoso Hospital in Polokwane.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Herman Moloi at SowetanLive


Strike by magistrates over wages would be illegal and unbecoming, justice ministry warns

TimesLIVE reports that the Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services has warned magistrates who have threatened to strike over wages that doing so will be illegal, improper and unbecoming. The Judicial Officers' Association of SA (Joasa) has written to parliament expressing frustration over the Independent Commission for the Remuneration of Public Office-bearers dragging its feet in reviewing salary increases for magistrates. “We are not unsympathetic to the issues raised by Joasa, [but] it must be put on record that any proposed industrial or 'strike' action undertaken by judicial officers would be improper and unbecoming the role and position of a judicial officer,” said the ministry’s spokesperson Chrispin Phiri.   Judicial officers are not employees, hence the Labour Relations Act, which allows protected participation in strikes, does not apply and would render any such strike illegal. Phiri pointed out that because the judiciary was independent, magistrates' salaries were determined by the president after considering the recommendations of the commission. “The minister has raised his concerns regarding the delays with the annual increments of the judiciary with the chairperson of the commission and it was also raised when we briefed parliament’s portfolio committee on justice and correctional services and the select committee on security and justice,” Phiri advised.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Shonisani Tshikalange at TimesLIVE

Magistrates seek legal advice about striking over their salaries and working conditions

City Press reports that as the Judicial Officers Association of SA (Joasa) is seeking legal advice on whether it should go ahead with its strike action over the pay gap between judges and magistrates.   Meantime, a judicial watchdog organisation is urging the Independent Commission for the Remuneration of Public Office-bearers (POBs) to expedite its review of magistrates’ working conditions. The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (DoJCD) warned Joasa this week against proceeding with its strike intentions as such action would be illegal and improper, especially considering that judicial officers, like essential workers, were excluded from industrial action. Joasa is a voluntary association representing 800 magistrates that has long voiced concerns about the persistent pay gap between judges and magistrates. On Thursday, Judges Matter, an organisation dedicated to promoting accountability and transparency within the judiciary, called on the Presidency, Parliament and the DoJCD to address the concerns raised by Joasa and other associations representing magistrates about the remuneration of judicial officers in the lower courts. Magistrate Neelan Karikan, the president of Joasa, confirmed that Joasa was seeking advice on the feasibility of their proposed strike action. He also confirmed that Parliament had assured Joasa that its concerns about salary adjustments would be addressed in the next meeting of the Select Committee on Security and Justice.

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


Workers hold night vigil outside Gauteng health department, demanding permanent jobs

GroundUp reports that scores of people working in hospitals and clinics across Gauteng gathered outside the offices of the Gauteng Department of Health (GDoH) for a night vigil on Wednesday. The late-night event was preceded by a May Day march through Johannesburg’s city centre by members of the National Union of Public Service and Allied Workers (Nupsaw). Among the worker’s demands, which they also intended to submit Health MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko the next day, was for permanent jobs for 2,000 workers contracted by the health department and the Expanded Public Works Programme. “This action is motivated by the department’s arrogance and failure to act on agreed engagements with the union. We are of the view that the employer is turning a blind eye to the challenges the workers are facing under this department. Workers will protest outside the GDoH offices until the employers honour our demands,” Nupsaw indicated in a statement. Workers outside the department’s office complained that their short-term contracts had been extended over and over again, some for as long as 10 years. Without permanent contracts, they pointed out, they missed out on housing allowances, overtime and medical benefits. Workers have vowed to remain outside the department’s offices until their demands are met.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Kimberly Mutandiro at GroundUp


Angry mineworkers disrupt Cosatu May Day rally in Soweto

GroundUp reports that angry mineworkers disrupted the May Day rally hosted by Cosatu at the Elkah Stadium in Soweto on Wednesday.   The workers, members of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), were unhappy about retrenchments at Sibanye-Stillwater. The protesting mine workers were mostly from the Kloof gold mining branch, which has been hard hit by retrenchments at the company’s Kloof 4 shaft in the West Rand. A small group of protesting mineworkers sang songs, marched around the venue and held up posters condemning the ANC, Cosatu and Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe for what they claimed was the silence of the ANC and trade unions in the face of workers’ struggles. As organisers tried to get the official programme underway, the NUM members made their way to the front of the stage and began singing loudly.   Pleas were made by the leadership from the stage but the workers refused to be silent and continued to jeer the speakers and drown out their speeches with loud singing. Vuyo Mbele, a NUM member from the Kloof region, said workers were frustrated by the job cuts in mining. “We have just finished one retrenchment process and now we are involved in another one.   Workers are unhappy and they are now letting their leadership know about their grievances,” said Mbele.   “They are claiming that this is a day of celebration for workers. But what are we celebrating, when we as workers are losing our jobs?” asked mineworker Joseph Makwetu.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Ihsaan Haffejee at GroundUp

Joburg mayor sounds alarm on threat of illegal mining in his State of the City Address

The Star reports that in his State of the City Address on Thursday, Joburg Mayor Kabelo Gwamanda, addressed the scourge of illegal miners, known as zama zamas, gripping the heart of Johannesburg. He highlighted the insidious threat posed by these illicit operations and explained that zama zamas posed a severe threat to Joburg’s infrastructure, the environment, financial stability of the metro and especially, the safety of locals. “Illegal mining involves tunnelling under roadways, excavating bridge embankments while also infringing on crucial water and sewage networks that is placing a real risk and threat to residents and infrastructure in the city,” said Gwamanda. According to the mayor, illegal mining has affected the water and road systems particularly in Joburg’s central, south and west regions. “The pollution of rivers as well as potential cross-contamination present severe health risks to local residents, who depend on pure drinking water for their well-being. The unlawful activities of zama zamas involve disruptive excavation, which leads to soil erosion around pipelines. This accelerates the possibility of sinkholes and severely undermines both our infrastructure’s stability and safety standards for repair teams,” lamented the mayor. Also, the community of Riverlea continued to live in fear as the suburb was infested with gun violence and gangsterism from illegal miners. Hence, the city has deployed the JMPD and the police in order to safeguard residents and apprehend perpetrators of those involved in terrorising community members and partaking in illegal mining.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Hope Mafu at The Star


Safpu says it will continue to fight for football players notwithstanding resignation of president

TimesLIVE reports that the general secretary of the SA Football Players' Union (Safpu), Nhlanhla Shabalala, says they were not surprised by the resignation of the organisation’s president Thulaganyo Gaoshubelwe. But, his resignation on Monday came as a shock for many people outside Safpu.   “We confirm we have received the resignation letter of the president effective immediately and this means he has taken a decision to relieve himself from his duties. This has been long coming because in the not-so-distant past we have had discussions and the president expressed his desire to pursue other endeavours as there were other opportunities for him. He has served selflessly; he dedicated his time and expertise but also led from the front and showed the passion he had for the players and football in South Africa.” said Shabalala. He added that the union would continue to work hard in the service of players and in defending their rights. Gaoshubelwe urged Safpu's remaining leaders to continue fighting for the rights of players.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Mahlatse Mphahlele at TimesLIVE


Sasol CFO Hanré Rossouw resigns

Moneyweb reports that Sasol’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Hanré Rossouw has resigned from the group and will leave at the end of October 2024. This was confirmed by the chemicals and energy company on Thursday morning.   Rossouw has only been in the position for just over two years. Sasol’s share price fell to a new 52-week low in morning trade following confirmation of Rossouw’s resignation. According to Sasol, Rossouw will remain with the group for the financial year-end closing and the publication of its “suite of annual reports for the year ending 30 June 2024, allowing for a structured handover period”. Sasol chair Steve Westwell said: “Hanré joined Sasol on 4 April 2022 and has made a solid contribution towards achieving Future Sasol.” Trix Kennealy, chair of Sasol’s Audit Committee, added: “We thank Hanré for his leadership during a challenging period and wish him well in his future endeavours.” In regard to a replacement CFO, Sasol has commenced the succession process and an announcement will be made in due course.

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


Former Home Affairs official accused of selling fake passports to foreigners at R3,000 each

The Citizen reports that a 34-year-old former Department of Home Affairs (DHA) employee will spend the weekend behind bars after being arrested on fraud and corruption charges. Malusi Mlondo appeared briefly in the Durban Specialised Commercial Crime Court on Thursday and was remanded in custody. He was arrested in a joint operation by the Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigation (Hawks) and Home Affairs Counter Corruption members at the end of last month. He will be back in court on 6 May for a formal bail application.   Hawks spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Simphiwe Mhlongo said: “Mlondo was employed by the Department of Home Affairs in the Pietermaritzburg office.   It is alleged that in February 2023, he processed fraudulent passports for foreign nationals at the department’s Durban office. Mlondo allegedly received payments of up to R3,000 per document. An internal investigation revealed that he was using details of the SA citizens together with the identity photos of the foreign nationals. A case of fraud and corruption was reported at Durban Central police stations and the case dockets were allocated to Hawks members for further investigation,” Mhlongo indicated.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Faizel Patel at The Citizen

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • SARS official refused R200,000 bribe after R6 million truck-load of illicit cigarettes entered SA via Beitbridge, at IOL News
  • Top police management to meet with Khayelitsha SAPS over alleged corruption links, at Cape Times


  • Poskantoor: Geen Ters-verligting, duisende afgelê, by Maroela Media
  • Opinion by Ivan Israelstam: Striking the labour law compliance balance, at BusinessLive
  • Opinion by Donald Mackay: Cosatu needs to stop shouting and provide practical means to cut unemployment, at BusinessLive
  • Workers' rights gained under democracy must be preserved for future generations, says Nxesi, at City Press (subscriber access only)
  • Gauteng health department criticised as new system slashes doctors' overtime budget by R800m, at City Press (subscriber access only)


Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page