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.


George building collapse: Four construction workers dead, 51 still trapped under rubble

The Citizen reports that the death toll from a collapsed building in George has reportedly increased to four, with around 51 construction workers still trapped on Tuesday morning under the rubble.   The five-storey apartment block was under construction along Victoria Street next to the George municipality offices. Emergency services have so far managed to pull out 24 workers. The rescued have been taken to hospital. Ten of the injured are apparently in a serious condition. According to the George Municipality, 75 construction workers were present on the site at the time of the collapse, which occurred at around 2pm on Monday.   Three teams of rescue personnel are currently working on three different areas within the site of the collapsed building. Multiple Disaster Service personnel, including SAPS Search and Rescue teams with sniffer dogs and emergency teams from the City of Cape Town and Breede Valley Local Municipality have joined rescuers on site of the tragedy. MMC for community safety Marais Kruger called it one of the most tragic events to have ever hit George.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Nicholas Zaal at The Citizen. Lees ook, Tragedie tref George toe gebou ineenstort, by Maroela Media


‘I only have eight bodyguards not 10,’ says Joburg mayor Kabelo Gwamanda

The Citizen reports that City of Johannesburg mayor Kabelo Gwamanda has defended his large contingent of bodyguards, saying he only has eight bodyguards and not 10. Gwamanda came under public criticism following media reports about his security detail and the fleet of luxury vehicles that accompanies him to various places. He used his response to the State of the City Address (SOCA) to clarify allegations that he and his coalition partners were abusing the City’s resources. “I do not have 10 bodyguards. The eight bodyguards that are there were given to me by councillor Mpho Phalatse. The car that I am being driven in is a car that I got from Mpho Phalatse,” Gwamanda indicated. “I travel in my private car more than I do with bodyguards, that’s the kind of leader that I am. The City of Johannesburg embraces me in the absence of protectors,” he added.   Gwamanda accused the DA of passing down the large number of bodyguards that the mayor and the speaker of the council enjoyed. But the DA has denied this. The party said it was not against the mayor and his mayoral team getting VIP protection, but they were concerned about the increased amount.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Itumeleng Mafisa at The Citizen

Truck kills Mpumalanga traffic officer on duty on Sunday on N4 near Komatipoort

Lowvelder reports that Mpumalanga’s acting MEC for community safety, security and liaison, Busisiwe Shiba, expressed shock at the latest incident in which a traffic officer was killed. While on duty along the N4 toll road near Komatipoort on Sunday, the 58-year-old male was hit by a truck he was trying to stop in performance of his regular duties. Allegedly, the truck driver failed to stop at the scene. “Without casting any aspersions on these crashes, we want those who may be in the wrong to face the full consequences of their actions. The investigators must help us determine what really went wrong so that we may address it. Furthermore, we are appealing to truck drivers to be considerate when using the road and always prioritise not only their lives, but that of other road users, including our law enforcement officers,” Shiba said. She went on to encourage traffic law enforcement officers to be more vigilant, adding that some road users were malicious and became difficult when stopped. Shiba also said the officials must safeguard themselves and their colleagues from being harmed by the recklessness of other road users in their quest to make our roads safer.

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

Limpopo cop killed on Friday in shootout with suspected business robbers

News24 reports that a 44-year-old Limpopo police officer was severely injured on Friday in a shootout with suspected robbers and later died in hospital. Police spokesperson Brigadier Hlulani Mashaba said the officer and his colleague had been called out to a business robbery on Friday morning in Tshinda Village in Limpopo. The two officers were informed that three men had stolen an undisclosed amount of cash from a tuckshop owner and had fled the scene in the victim's motor vehicle in the direction of Tshakhuma Village. "Police proceeded to the area and the suspects started firing multiple shots upon seeing the police approaching. Police then retaliated," said Mashaba. One of the suspected robbers was killed during the shootout and was found in possession of a firearm. A 32-year-old suspect was apprehended during the incident.   However, their accomplice was able to flee the scene and is still at large. Mashaba advised: The suspect was admitted to hospital under police guard and a manhunt of the third suspect is ongoing. Police investigations are continuing."

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Nicole McCain at News24. Lees ook, Limpopo-speurder doodgeskiet, by Maroela Media

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Kommer ná Glenvista onderwyser, leerder mekaar bydam, by Maroela Media
  • Mpumalanga cop who shot his girlfriend dead at her workplace over cheating allegations, jailed, at IOL News


VIP protection cops plead not guilty to N1 assault as trial gets under way

TimesLIVE reports that the eight police VIP protection unit officers linked to a vicious assault on the N1 last year pleaded not guilty to the charges against them as their trial began in the Randburg Magistrate's Court on Monday. They face 11 counts, including assault, malicious damage to property, discharging a firearm, contravening the Road Traffic Act, reckless and negligent driving and attempting to defeat the ends of justice. It is alleged that these were the men caught on camera last July beating and kicking a motorist and two passengers on the N1 near the Winnie Mandela Drive off-ramp. A video of the incident went viral on social media. The eight men, who were part of deputy president Paul Mashatile's protection squad, have all since returned to work after they were granted bail of R10,000 each by the same court in August. An application was granted during the bail application to live-stream and broadcast proceedings, but magistrate Abdul Khan said on Monday this ruling no longer applied for the trial. Khan allowed media coverage of the trial but with restrictions.   Prosecutor Eliza le Roux then read out the charges against the eight men, confirming that one charge had been dropped from the initial 12 charges. The accused all pleaded not guilty to the raft of charges against them.   The court then heard testimony from the first witness, who detailed the events of that Sunday afternoon.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Khanyisile Ngcobo at SowetanLive


Numsa signs agreement with bus sector employers for 5% and 6.5% in two-year wage deal

BL Premium reports that following months of talks and recent threats to embark on a wage strike, the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) has signed a two-year deal with employers in the bus passenger sector for increases of 5% and 6.5%. The wage talks between unions Numsa and the SA Transport and Allied Workers’ Union and employer organisations the SA Bus Employers Association (Sabea) and the Commuters Bus Employers Organisation (Cobeo) got under way in February at the SA Road Passenger Bargaining Council (Sarpbac), which covers operators such as Putco, Bojanala Bus, Algoa Bus Company and Great North Transport. “We have secured an across-the-board increase of 5% on the rate of pay, which will be implemented from April 1 2024 until March 31 2025. In the second year of the agreement, an increase of 6.5% on the base rate of pay will be implemented from April 1 2025 until March 31 2026. From April 1 2024 the minimum hourly rate will increase to R48.15 and from April 1 2025 it will increase to R51.28 until March 2026,” Numsa’s Irvin Jim reported. He added:   “Besides securing across-the-board wage increases, we also finally secured the burning demand for bosses to contribute to primary healthcare cover for workers.” Among other benefits, the travel allowance will increase to R786.48 effective from 1 April 2024 and to R837.60 on 1 April 2025.   “The dual driver allowance has been increased to R476.36 for the first year effective April 1 2024 and in the second year it will increase to R507.32 on April 1 2025 until March 31 2026,” Jim said.

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


Harmony Gold reports fatality at Mponeng mine

Reuters reports that Harmony Gold said last Thursday that an employee working on rail maintenance died at its Mponeng mine on 1 May. The company did not disclose how the worker died, saying the incident was under investigation. Mponeng is the deepest shaft in the world, with a depth of 3,891m, according to Harmony.   At least 54 workers died in mining-related accidents in South Africa last year, up from 49 fatalities recorded in 2022, the country's safest year on record.

Read the original of the short report in the above regard at SowetanLive. Lees ook, Mynwerker sterf in rotsstorting by Doornkop-myn, by Maroela Media

Other labour / community posting(s) relating to mining

  • Families ordered to leave ancestral lands as Mpumalanga coal mine expands, at GroundUp
  • Sibanye appoints Peter Hancock as nonexec director, at Mining Weekly


Local textile company Sheraton Textiles opens new factory and launches worker shareholding programme

Engineering News reports that Cape Town-based bedding and linen manufacturer Sheraton Textiles (Sheraton) on Monday officially inaugurated its new factory premises and launched its Workers Trust employee share ownership programme (ESOP). The company is currently 100%-owned by the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), which invested R140-million in the establishment of the new, state-of-the-art factory, which greatly increases the company’s efficiency and competitiveness.   The ESOP will see the company’s workers be given 15% of its equity. South African ESOPs are open to all workers, regardless of colour. The workers’ shares will be held by the Workers Trust, headed by four trustees elected by the workers, with a fifth trustee appointed by the company.   There will also be an independent, nonexecutive, trustee who will be the chairperson and who will be selected by the workers. “Today represents an important moment for our industry,” enthused Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union president Susan Khumalo, in her address. She praised the company for meeting the challenge it faced, by investing in its new, modern factory, thereby securing a more sustainable future for its workers. And she praised it for establishing an ESOP. “We are very proud of our staff,” highlighted Sheraton CEO Saleem Mowzer. “We have an excellent team from the IDC who work with us, on a day-to-day basis.”

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

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • SA's clothing master plan has created 20,000 jobs and boosted local suppliers, says Patel, at Fin24
  • South Africa desperately needs workers with these skills, at BusinessTech


Push gains momentum to have Ancestor’s Day on 8 May officially recognised as another public holiday

City Press reports that efforts to recognise Ancestor’s Day as an official public holiday in SA are gaining momentum, as leaders from various cultural organisations and academics brush aside criticisms suggesting that the country does not need another public holiday.   Representatives from the Congress of Traditional Leaders of SA (Contralesa), the National House of Traditional and Khoi-San Leaders (NHTKL) and officials from the Cultural, Religious, and Linguistic (CRL) Rights Commission and the National Heritage Council (NHC) gathered in Johannesburg for a lekgotla on Friday. Their goal was to formulate ideas for a memorandum of understanding on how Ancestor’s Day could be officially recognised by government under the Public Holidays Act. Since 2021, traditional leaders, cultural activists and Afrocentric academics have been observing the day on 8 May, which serves as a platform to reflect on African spirituality and honour ancestors, whom they consider integral to humanity’s origins. Castle Milk Stout has been sponsoring this initiative, building on its 2018 campaign to include indigenous clan names on their beer cans in a bid to encourage South Africans to reconnect with their heritage. Zolani Mkiva, Contralesa secretary-general, said there has been growing support and enthusiasm among South Africans for the recognition of Ancestor’s Day since they started commemorating the day four years ago. The fourth commemoration of Ancestor's Day will be held on Wednesday in Muldersdrift, northwest of Johannesburg.

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


Overtime budget cuts for Gauteng doctors threaten hospital service, patients being turned away

City Press reports that the Gauteng Department of Health has reduced overtime budgets this year, but the decision is likely to have a significant impact on service delivery in hospitals, particularly on weekends and public holidays. A frustrated doctor at Baragwanath Hospital commented that reduced staffing with no overtime could see hospitals struggle to maintain adequate staffing levels in the next few months, subsequently leading to reduced services or closures of certain departments. The medical practitioner said that the new system was already having a negative effect on hospitals, including Tambo Memorial Hospital in Boksburg, and pointed out that most public hospitals relied on overtime doctors to keep services afloat on busy days. According to the doctor, the hospital casualty wards get flooded by emergency patients and death-threatening cases that might face the unavailability of specialised doctors, as hospitals were forced to work on skeleton staff. She claimed some lives could have been saved if the hospital had a full team of doctors in every department. Gauteng health spokesperson Motalatale Modiba said in response that the department was working on addressing the issues affecting shortages in the current financial year. He said the shortages had been affected by terminations of old contracts and new appointments of doctors who were expected to start new contracts by April.

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


Public Service Commission applauds border officials who refused R200,000 bribe

Caxton Network News reports that the Public Service Commission (PSC) has praised officials from SA Revenue Service (SARS) and the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) who refused to take a bribe at the Beitbridge port of entry. The officials were offered R50,000, which was increased to R200,000, after a truck loaded with 614 boxes of semi-manufactured tobacco to the value of R6m entered SA via Beitbridge port of entry. “These upright officials demonstrated honesty and bravery as well as an important trait of serving with integrity and ethical conduct, something that must be applauded. Their ethical conduct also augurs well towards the professionalisation of the public service and should serve as a lesson to all public servants to give their selfless service to the people of this country,” said the PSC in a statement.   The Musina Regional Court recently sentenced Nthapeleng Adler Munyai, a former Pamdozi Cargo International CC clearing agent, and Tsumbedzo Priscilla Nemangani Mashito, who used to work as a SARS customs external verification officer, to effective 15-year direct imprisonment terms on counts of fraud, forgery, and two counts of corruption.

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

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Ex-NSFAS board chair Ernest Khosa ‘cleared’ on fraud claims, at Cape Times


Bus left in ashes on Friday during early morning commute from Hammanskraal to Centurion

TimesLIVE reports that according to one of more than 60 commuters who escaped a fire that burnt a bus to ashes on Friday morning, if it wasn't for the early warning signs they could have all died in the blaze. The North West Transport Investment (NTI) bus ferrying 62 commuters from Mathibestad in Hammanskraal to Centurion caught alight at about 3.45am. The fire was allegedly caused by an electrical wiring fault. Clifford Matube, general secretary of the Botlhaba Commuters Forum, said the headlamps suddenly went off while the bus was moving and then some passengers seated at the front started to complain about smelling smoke. “I told the driver something was burning and he stopped the bus on the side of the road. After stopping the bus we saw a lot of smoke from the engine,” Matube reported.   Fearing for their lives, passengers started to kick open the emergency windows as the passenger door was locked and couldn't open. Some passengers exited through the driver's door. The passengers were safely transported home by a second bus which had passed the scene. NTI spokesperson Freddy Speng confirmed it was their bus that caught alight. No injuries were reported to them. He said they were investigating the cause of the fire.

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


  • Two-pot retirement system: Don't just focus on the cash, at Fin24
  • Jonathan Botha: The two-pot retirement system is actually three pots, at BusinessLive
  • Cosatu: DA proposal to scrap the minimum wage is a recipe for labour market chaos, at Business Report
  • Food prices stabilising, but still threaten food security, at The Citizen
  • Vervolg Emfuleni munisipale bestuurder in persoonlike hoedanigheid, eis AfriForum, by Maroela Media
  • Cape Town City celebrates International Firefighters’ Day with a myriad activities, including a cavalcade, at Cape Argus
  • Midwives remain the real unsung heroes, at Cape Times
  • Engen upskills 72 Durban residents with computer skills, at Daily News


Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page