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.


Closing the gender pay gap at Absa

BusinessLive reports that financial services group Absa says it is throwing a lot of resources into closing the gender pay gap and representation of women at management level in the company. Some shareholders used last week’s AGM to take the company to task over pay discrepancies between men and women. Shareholder activist Just Share chided Absa for not voluntarily disclosing the gender pay gap in the 2023 financial year as it had previously done. The chair of the bank’s remuneration committee, Rose Keanly, told investors the group was attending to the pay gap. Absa added that its commitment to gender pay parity was but one of the focus areas in its overall gender ambitions, which extended beyond legislative requirements. “For example, in 2023, we directed over R369m of R608m, or 61% of total investment, to the development of women to create a diverse talent pipeline. In terms of pay parity, Absa’s Group Remuneration Committee focuses on reviewing pay differentials across a range of dimensions, including gender,” an Absa spokesperson advised. In 2023, 47% of new hires at senior and middle management were women, while 77% of new hires at junior management were women. Some of the action taken include targeted adjustments to the remuneration of individuals situated lower in the pay ranges where this “cannot be justified based on objective criteria such as seniority, role content, experience and performance”. While Absa did not disclose its gender pay gap, it did reveal its highest to lowest pay ratio: “Absa reports its highest to lowest pay ratio as 144:1, but the figure for the highest paid employees used to calculate this ratio is lower than the figure it reports as the CEO’s total remuneration. Using the total remuneration figure of the CEO yields a ratio of 175:1.”

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Nompilo Goba & Kabelo Khumalo at BusinessLive


One of the persons injured in Malmesbury factory explosion passes away in hospital

EWN reports that one of the people injured in an explosion at a factory in Malmesbury has died. Police said that three people aged between 25 and 45 were injured in Monday's incident at a feed manufacturing plant in the town. Two are still in hospital receiving treatment for their injuries. Police spokesperson, Wesley Twigg, advised: "The 25-year-old victim succumbed in hospital due to injuries sustained. The circumstances surrounding the incident are under investigation."

Read the original of the short report in the above regard by Ntuthuzelo Nene at EWN. Lees ook, Man dood ná ontploffing by Malmesbury-voeraanleg, by Maroela Media

Skipper dies and diver missing after sardine boat flips at sea off KZN south coast

TimesLIVE reports that a Durban skipper died and a diver is missing after their boat capsized at Umgababa main beach between Scottburgh and Amanzimtoti on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast on Tuesday.   National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) spokesperson Craig Lambinon said search and rescue teams responded to an alert that a 5.5m inflatable boat used for commercial fishing had flipped at the backline surf zone with its four-man crew. “Three of the four men were rescued from the surf zone to the shore by eThekwini lifeguards and fellow fishermen. However, one man remained missing. One of the three rescued, the skipper, is suspected to have suffered a medical condition while he was on the beach,” Lambinon reported.   Paramedics tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate skipper Goolam Fareed Essack. A private aircraft and police helicopter conducted an aerial search for the missing man while lifeguards and other search and rescue members continued shoreline searches. The crew were attempting to net a shoal of sardines which began arriving as part of an annual migration of the fish.

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

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Not all police officers are fat and lazy’: Cop enters and completes Comrades Marathon to prove point, at IOL News
  • Durban dentist on trial over death at illegal wellness centre, at The Witness


NUM set at conference to outline its policy framework to Tripartite Alliance

SABC News reports that the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), which is holding a three-day policy conference in Boksburg is set to outline its policy framework to the Tripartite Alliance.   Labour federation Cosatu, the ANC and the SA Communist party (SACP) will reflect on the recent general elections and are expected to discuss issues around transformation in the labour sector, among other matters. NUM Deputy General Secretary Mpho Phakedi says there were instances recently, where the union did not see eye to eye with government on transformation. He said they would be engaging the Tripartite Alliance on issues in the mining, metal, construction and energy sectors.   He commented further: “We always characterize ourselves as a revolutionary union. We therefore expect that in this policy conference. We must engage on issues that are affecting workers and the society in general. Of course we will have an opportunity to reflect on the previous election equally, we’ll be taking stock on the past five years what are the benefits for our workers what were the benefits for the society in general and what are the things that the new administration, the 7th administration must look at in terms of improving workers conditions in terms of also improving the conditions of the society in general. Of course, the Tripartite Alliance is here led by our federation COSATU, the ANC, the Communist Party. The Communist Party will address us.”

Read the original of the short report in the above regard by Themba Shiba at SABC News


Researchers challenge claims of cane growers that sugar tax killed jobs

BL Premium reports that public health researchers have challenged the claim of SA Canegrowers that the government’s introduction of a tax on sugary drinks triggered the loss of more than 16,000 jobs.   They say their analysis of Stats SA’s regular labour force surveys found no evidence for this at all. Instead, their research concluded the drop in employment recorded after the health promotion levy was introduced was associated with Covid-19. SA introduced the health promotion levy in April 2018 in a bid to curb the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages for health reasons. Implementation of the tax met fierce resistance from beverage producers, sugar cane growers and related players, which have continued to lobby against it. Last week, SA Canegrowers said the tax had suppressed the market for locally produced sugar and warned that next year’s planned increase in the health promotion levy would lead to further job losses. In response, the Healthy Living Alliance released a study that analysed Stats SA’s quarterly labour force survey and found no association between job losses and the introduction of the health promotion levy. “To say the health promotion levy is responsible for a decline in employment is grossly untrue,” said lead researcher Chengetai Dare. SA Canegrowers CEO Thomas Funke reacted that the organisation stood by the figure of 16,000 job losses, which came from an independent study commissioned Nedlac released in November 2020. SA Canegrowers conducted annual surveys among its members and reached a similar conclusion, said Funke, who added that there had been a “step change” in employment on sugar cane farms following the implementation of the sugar tax, with the loss of about 10,000 jobs.

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


Further significant petrol price relief could be on the cards for July

IOL Motoring reports that early signs are pointing towards more fuel price relief for South Africans in July, with both petrol and diesel reductions looking likely. If the current oil price and rand scenarios remain stable until the end of June, motorists could be looking at a petrol price cut of over 70 cents per litre, although the diesel situation looks less certain at present.   Both grades of petrol dropped by R1.42 per litre at the beginning of June, bringing the price of 95 Unleaded down to R23.46 at the coast and 93 ULP down to R23.91 in Gauteng. However petrol is still around R1.70 more expensive than it was in January. Diesel has increased by just 37 cents this year, which should bode well for general inflation, particularly if there are no significant increases going forward.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Jason Woosey at IOL Motoring


IEC temporary staff disappointed that they have not been paid in full or at all

The Star reports that Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) temporary staff claim they have not been paid for their services. Several of them are now demanding to be paid as promised ahead of the 2024 general elections. The staff, mostly made up of unemployed youths, revealed that they felt disappointed and discouraged after the commission failed to pay them in full. A 27-year old man from Mafikeng claimed that although others had not been paid at all, he was paid R2,025 instead of R3,950. “I have worked for IEC for several years. This is the first time I have been this disappointed. I am unemployed, it makes no sense to be taxed over R1,000. The excuse they gave me was that the salary was taxed by Sars,” the man lamented. Another woman from Ekurhuleni said: “I was at the voting station from 8am until the next day at 1pm. Hungry and tired, I expected to be paid about R2,000. I was shocked when R719 landed into my account. In my group, some people have not been paid at all.” A text message on a WhatsApp group managed by an IEC senior staffer indicated: “Update: payment. We are currently processing staff payments for all staff members and for all events. Few things worth noting: SARS deduction is done according to a person’s bracket. So stipend amounts won’t be the same ... but ALL stipends will be taxed. We pay within 30 days and in batches every Saturday. As such, the first batch will be paid this Saturday 8th of June and the second to be paid on the 15th of June and the last 2 batches on the 22nd or 29th of June respectively. We are not in control of who makes it into each batch ... the Finance Dept at the National Office releases all payments in batches.” IEC spokesperson Kate Bapela said that the staffers should go to the office that contracted them.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Ntombi Nkosi at The Star


Ramaphosa and health minister oppose Solidarity’s NHI court application

Maroela Media reports that President Cyril Ramaphosa has officially given notice that he will oppose Solidarity’s court application against the National Health Insurance (NHI) Act. A similar notice of opposition has also been received from the Minister of Health. “The court battle is now fully underway,” Anton van der Bijl, the trade union’s Deputy Chief Executive: Legal Matters, indicated on Tuesday. On 24 May, Solidarity served its court papers on the government. Solidarity and numerous political parties and pressure groups believe the NHI to be unconstitutional as well as being unworkable and unaffordable.   “Solidarity will challenge the NHI all the way to the highest court because the NHI is totally irrational. It deprives healthcare workers as well as healthcare users of choice,” Van der Bijl claimed. He went on to argue: “The contradiction embodied in the idea of an NHI is the fact that it would lead to less access to quality healthcare in South Africa and not to more access to it as the government professes it to be the case.“

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Tania Heyes in Afrikaans at Maroela Media


Youth expo in Cape Town on Thursday offers chance to explore career paths, meet industry leaders

Cape Times reports that building on the success of the first Youth in Action Expo in 2023, the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) is hosting the interactive event again. It is set to celebrate the youth of South Africa on Thursday. This year, the CTICC has partnered with Gift of the Givers and SMILE FM for the expo, which will feature over 90 exhibitors. It is open to all and entry is free. The Youth in Action Expo will welcome attendees from 9am to 5pm at CTICC 2, Halls 5 and 6, focusing on career guidance and educational opportunities. It will offer visitors access to counsellors, bursary options, networking sessions, and information on further education and training. Visitors to the expo can engage with mentors and industry leaders in an environment where they can explore career paths and gain insights into the professional world. “It’s going to be the largest of its kind on the African continent with over 90 institutions, universities, private companies, and a host of other people on site to guide you, to open your mind, and to expand your horizons. In these challenging times, we need to respond to the challenges of our country and our continent,” said Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, chairperson and founder of Gift of the Givers. To register, visit:

Read the full original of the report in the above regard at Cape Times


Two TMPD members dismissed for soliciting bribes

TimesLIVE reports that two Tshwane metro police department (TMPD) members who harassed residents in the greater Centurion area for years have been dismissed by the city after a lengthy disciplinary process.   Community safety MMC Grandi Theunissen said former Sgt J. Lebombo, employed for about 22 years, and former Const A Phalane, employed for about eight years, were charged for behaviour that amounted to gross misconduct, negligence and dishonesty dating back to 2018. After several complaints and reports from the community, a comprehensive disciplinary process was initiated to address the serious allegations against the officers.   “The city decided to pursue only two charges against Lebombo and one against Phalane. These included a common charge of soliciting a bribe and a separate charge of soliciting a bribe against Sgt Lebombo. The chairperson found them guilty on these charges and recommended dismissal as the sanction, which has since been actioned and they are no longer employees of the city,” Theunissen reported. He said the findings were unequivocal.   “Both officers were found guilty of conduct unbecoming of law enforcement personnel and their actions were deemed a gross violation of the ethical standards expected of TMPD members,” Theunissen noted.

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


Truck driver arrested after delivering stone-filled coal to Eskom power station

Fin24 reports that a truck driver was arrested on Saturday for allegedly stealing coal destined for Eskom’s Arnot power station in Mpumalanga and selling it for R6,000. Eskom’s security team noticed a truck that was meant to deliver coal to the station going to a coal yard in Middelburg. It left after about an hour, and drove to Arnot. “On arrival at Arnot power station, the truck joined the queue to offload coal. The Eskom Group Security Investigations team checked and discovered that the coal due to be offloaded was indeed discarded coal containing stones which confirmed the suspected coal swapping witnessed earlier at the Middleburg coal yard,” the utility reported on Tuesday. The driver of the truck was questioned and he confessed that he had sold the coal for R6,000. He was subsequently arrested by the Hawks. "The delivery of poor-quality coal often leads to unit breakdowns and cannot be tolerated. We hope the perpetrator, once convicted, faces the harshest possible sentence which shall serve as a deterrent to others," Botse Sikhwitshi, the acting general manager for security at Eskom, said.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard compiled by Ahmed Areff at Fin24. Read too, Eskom confirms ‘coal-swapping’ truck driver has been arrested, at BusinessLive. En ook, Vermeende steenkooldief vas by Arnot-kragstasie, by Maroela Media

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Fraud and disobedience: Legal council seeks jail term for suspended lawyer who continues to practice, at News24
  • PPE tender fraud and corruption case against businessman Kishene Chetty postponed, at The Citizen
  • Delays in Msunduzi councillor’s corruption case irk magistrate, at The Witness
  • Theewaterskloof municipal officials off hook in probe into 2023 Rugby World Cup jaunt, at Cape Times


Three court battles still loom for Brian Molefe as one case is dropped

Fin24 reports that former Eskom and Transnet CEO Brian Molefe's lawyer says his client feels "vindicated" after Corruption Watch (CW) withdrew its civil case to have him declared a delinquent director. However, Molefe still faces three other legal challenges, including a high-profile criminal case that could put him behind bars for years if he is found guilty.   CW withdrew its case against Molefe last Friday with little fanfare. However, Molefe is still facing three other legal matters. The first is a criminal case instituted against Molefe linked to alleged fraud and corruption at Transnet. Molefe, Eskom’s former finance chief Anoj Singh and seven other defendants have been charged with fraud, corruption, and money laundering for an advisory tender linked to Transnet's decision to buy 1,064 new locomotives to upgrade its ageing fleet. The case is set to resume in October. Molefe is also the subject of a separate civil damages claim by Transnet and the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) linked to the transaction advisory tender. They have further alleged fraud, theft, and transgressions of public finance laws. The third legal matter is the long-running dispute over Molefe's pension payouts from Eskom, where he served as CEO for 20 months before resigning in November 2016.   In early 2017, he was controversially reappointed as CEO by then Minister of Public Enterprises Lynne Brown, a decision that was soon rescinded. In 2018, Molefe was ordered by the North Gauteng High Court to return "patently unlawful" pension fund payments in a case brought by trade union Solidarity and the DA. He has been fighting the ruling ever since. The 2018 ruling was confirmed by a second judgment in July 2022.   Last year, Molefe was given leave to appeal the July 2022 judgment, which is only expected to be heard early next year.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Jan Cronje at Fin24. See too, Brian Molefe ‘vindicated’ after Corruption Watch withdraws case, at BusinessLive


  • Rethinking employee benefits for maximum impact, at The Star
  • Unemployed husband accused of dealing in drugs forfeits wife’s pension fund in divorce settlement, at IOL News
  • Eastern Cape cops in hot water after shooting at Polo driver who refused to stop at roadblock, at IOL News


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