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 Thursday morning roundup, see
summaries of our selection of South African
labour-related reports.


Stability in mining as unions and mining houses sign five-year wage pacts

BusinessLive reports that five-year wage agreements in the mining sector have found favour with trade unions and mining houses, bringing about stability to a sector with a history of hostile industrial relations. Petra Diamonds and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) this week became the latest entities to sign a five-year wage agreement. Richard Duffy, CEO of Petra, said the agreement allowed for “continued certainty on fixed labour costs at our SA operations and enables us to renew our focus on operational delivery”. Despite NUM chief negotiator Masibulele Naki describing the negotiations as robust and difficult, he emphasised its importance in sustaining jobs and keeping workers happy. Sibanye-Stillwater in November concluded a five-year wage agreement with the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) and NUM at its Kroondal platinum group metals (PGM) operations.   Sibanye’s James Wellsted said the trend towards five-year agreements showed that engagements between the unions and companies had matured and there seemed to be a better appreciation of the mutual requirements from the parties. Pan African Resources last week struck a five-year wage deal with NUM for its Barberton mines operation. SA’s biggest gold producer by volume, Harmony Gold, earlier this year signed a five-year agreement with all labour unions operating at its mines, the first time the company has done so in its 73-year history. NUM spokesperson Luphert Chilwane said the unions were seeking five-year wage agreements to protect workers against increases in the cost of living.

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


Cape Town guard killed, colleague wounded while waiting for roadside assistance with broken-down vehicle

News24 reports that a security guard was shot dead and his colleague was wounded when they came under attack in NY50, Gugulethu, Cape Town, on Tuesday while waiting for help with their broken-down vehicle.   Police spokesperson Sergeant Wesley Twigg reported: "A 38-year-old male was declared deceased on the scene by medical personnel, while the other victim was taken to a medical facility for medical treatment." The attackers took the guards' pistols. Gugulethu detectives are investigating a murder and an attempted murder. The Gugulethu Community Policing Forum's (CPF’s) Linda Kabeni said: "They were just waiting for roadside assistance.   Why did they have to be killed like that? It's very sad that the one guard lost his life in such a manner." He added: "It is unfortunate that our community is under siege by criminal elements. As an intervention, the CPF is already gearing up toward its Safety Summit this month. Plans are in motion to come up with a clear, concise, comprehensive plan to deal with this scourge of shootings.”

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Nicole McCain & Lisalee Solomons at News24

Nurse arrested for allegedly killing her domestic worker for R6m life insurance payouts

News24 reports that a 48-year-old nurse has been arrested for allegedly murdering her 21-year-old domestic worker for R6 million in life insurance. The woman, who cannot be named until she appears in court, allegedly took out three life insurance policies for Busiswa Nxumalo with three different companies, namely Stangen Life, Outsurance, and King Price. The policies had a combined value of R6 million, with the nurse as the only beneficiary if Nxumalo should die from unnatural causes. The policies have since been frozen after the insurance companies allegedly noticed that they had been fraudulently obtained. The woman, who is employed as a nurse in Alberton, was arrested on Wednesday morning at her home in Vosloorus. She allegedly murdered Nxumalo at her former home in Lenasia South in January 2022. Nxumalo's body was found with her throat slit at a dump site in Lenasia South, a short distance from the nurse's previous home. The nurse who hails from KwaHlabisa, in northern KwaZulu-Natal, is expected to appear in court soon, facing charges of murder and insurance fraud.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Ntwaagae Seleka at News24

Sanlam’s 2023 stats show most sickness, disability claims came from clients under 45

Cape Times reports that Sanlam’s 2023 claim statistics for sickness and disability show more than 60% of claims came from clients under 45. The insurer paid out R10.7 billion in claims across both Sanlam Group Risk and Sanlam Risk and Savings, including 21,896 claims. A notable trend in its 2023 risk and savings claim statistics was the prevalence of claims from younger clients, particularly in the areas of sickness and income protection. Two-thirds of sickness and disability income claims came from individuals younger than 45. Additionally, more than half of all severe illness claims (57%) were for clients younger than 55, while for women this was 70%. Some 62% of disability claims came from people younger than 55 – in their prime working years – while for women this was 70%. Payments for pregnancy complications under its sickness income benefit have been increasing annually. For women, there was also marked increase in sickness income claims for accidents and injuries, with a high number coming from people aged 26 to 45. Across all Sanlam benefits, cardiovascular incidents were the biggest cause of claims at 18%; followed by cancer at 15%; then respiratory illnesses at 12%; and accidents, violence, and injury at 12%. Dr Afifa Titus from the #Keready doctors youth campaign said there were several likely contributing factors to illness among younger people. Covid-19 played a big role, as well as lifestyle diseases. Youth also tended to not want to seek healthcare because of stigma attached to going to a clinic and standing in long queues.

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

Cape Town mayor ready to 'name and shame' decaying buildings belonging to Department of Public Works

News24 reports that Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis is frustrated after struggling to get the national Department of Public Works to attend to its neglected buildings. On Wednesday, the mayor addressed a virtual council meeting and said the municipality would start actively "naming and shaming" decaying buildings belonging to the department. "We have not got any movement from the national Department of Public Works, and we have to name and shame where buildings are owned by the department. We have not received any answers," he advised. Last month, the City began issuing fines to the department following long-term efforts to get conditions addressed at two hijacked sites owned by the national government. The sites are at 2 Keizersgracht Road in District Six and 1 Jan Smuts Drive in Maitland. Both properties have been formally declared as "problem buildings". Signage has been erected informing the public of the action being taken by the City in response to ongoing drug and crime complaints from the public.   Among the problem buildings is 104 Darling on Keizersgracht Road in District Six, a dilapidated complex in the inner city which has been occupied by Reclaim the City activists. Two former public works ministers committed to renovate the complex into offices after its roof caught fire and the damage was not repaired.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Marvin Charles at News24

Other internet posting(s) in this news category


Popcru advocating for the reappointment of Minister Ronald Lamola

The Mercury reports that the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) has called for Justice and Constitutional Development Minister Ronald Lamola to be returned to the post once the new government is formed. It also called for the separation of the Department of Justice and Correctional Services into two separate ministries to create better focus and urgency in the two areas. The union asked to be consulted on those who will be appointed to the police and justice clusters as ministers. Thulani Ngwenya, president of Popcru, said given the formidable challenges and high crime rates facing law enforcement, the cluster urgently needed experienced government leaders who understood the criminal justice environment and systems.   “We need leaders with whom we can engage and partner, and who understand the issues at play, so that we can drive progress and strengthen the fight against crime,” Ngwenya said.   “So, as the voice of public servants who operate in this space, Popcru is demanding that the government consult with us before -- and not after -- appointing their new ministers, so that we can share our guidance on how we envisage the future of the departments,” the union demanded.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Thami Magubane at The Mercury. Read too, Popcru demands consultation on GNU ministerial posts, at IOL News

'2024 and 1994 GNU not the same', warns Cosatu as it pleads with ANC not to compromise workers

IOL News reports that a Government of National Unity (GNU) that would include the Democratic Alliance (DA) would not be in the interest of the majority who had rejected the DA and its moonshot pact, according to Cosatu president Mike Shingange. He warned that the ANC's GNU was based on political parties' own interest and not nation-building. Shingange said the 2024 GNU was different from the one in 1994 in that the old one had mainly served the country. He was speaking on the sidelines of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) policy conference in Boksburg on Tuesday. The SA Communist Party (SACP) was present at the conference.   Shingange said the DA opposed everything that the ANC put to table, "so why go with people who don't want you." He added:   "We have always bent backwards towards the business. We have always accommodated the investor's interests. We have always accommodated rating agencies. We have always accommodated rating agencies and businesses, which have always demanded a conducive environment to do business." Although that was done, he said they continued to retrench the workers, stressing that they were losing power bit by bit. However, Shingange added that they would respect the ANC's decision, but hoped that this would not compromise the workers.   Meanwhile, ANC NEC member Buti Manamel, who also attended the conference, said that all coalition-related frustrations and grievances by the trade unions would be addressed before the decision could be reached.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Kamogelo Moichela at IOL News

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Youth coalition calls on government to address problems facing young people, at Mail & Guardian


SA’s youngest MP ever will get a starting salary of over R100,000 a month

BusinessTech reports that the upcoming seventh democratic Parliament of SA is set to feature a broader spectrum of age groups among its representatives, as well as the youngest Member of Parliament (MPs) in SA’s democratic history. But, this comes as female representation shows a slight decrease compared to the previous administration. Electoral Commission (IEC) Mosotho Moepya Moepya revealed that the National Assembly (NA) can expect a slightly younger average Parliamentary cohort compared to that seen in the sixth administration, with members’ ages ranging from 20 to 76. The youngest incoming parliamentarian will Patriotic Alliance youth activist Cleo Wilskut, who turned 20 on 27 April. The ANC’s Itumeleng Ntsube was previously SA’s youngest MP at 21 years of age in 2019.   Notably, the incoming political representatives will be debuting in parliament as some of the highest-paid individuals in the country, with MPs now earning R1.27 million a year (over R100,000 a month) following president Cyril Ramaphosa’s recent approval to hike their salaries by 2.5%. This will make all MPs—young and old—among the top 3% earners in the country.   Looking at the gender composition of the seventh Parliament, female representation has experienced a slight decline, dropping from 45% (181) in 2019, to 43.5% (174) elected members who are women in 2024. “Despite this decrease, the National Assembly remains dedicated to advancing gender parity and continues to be a significant player on the global stage for its efforts in promoting women’s representation in politics,” said Secretary to Parliament, Xolile George.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Seth Thorne at BusinessTech


Cape Town was the best performing metro in job creation over the past ten years

BusinessTech reports that the City of Cape Town has consistently beaten SA’s seven other metros in growing jobs over the last decade – while eThekwini currently has the lowest unemployment rate. This is according to the latest data from Stats SA.   SA’s eight metropolitan areas serve as the focal points of the nation’s economic vitality, each showcasing distinctive traits and emerging patterns. These metros, namely Joburg, Cape Town, eThekwini, Ekurhuleni, Tshwane, Mangaung, Nelson Mandela Bay, and Buffalo City, collectively host around two-thirds of the country’s workforce. To explain their unique characteristics and evolving trends, the Spatial Economic Activity Data SA (SeadSA) 2023 Cities Economic Outlook provides a comprehensive array of economic metrics. These encompass employment and business statistics segmented by industry, wage levels, demographics (including gender and age distribution), export orientation, and firm scale. Some of the numerous key findings are highlighted in the BusinessTech article. “A key message is that all metros have struggled to create and sustain new jobs in any number,” although some fared better than others, said SeadSA.   Regardless, all provinces still exhibited high levels of unemployment. Cape Town, Tshwane, and eThekwini emerged as the top performers in formal job growth from 2014 to 2022. Cape Town achieved the highest growth, with a 21% increase in employment pre-pandemic, reflecting a compound annual growth rate of 3.3%. In contrast, Joburg exhibited notably weak employment growth, with a mere 5% increase by 2020, equivalent to less than 1% annually. “Given Johannesburg’s status as the country’s largest city and employment hub, its lacklustre performance is very concerning,” said SeadSA.   Conversely, Nelson Mandela Bay recorded the poorest performance among all metros, witnessing a slight net loss of jobs over the same period.

Read the full original of the informative report in the above regard by Seth Thorne at BusinessTech

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Suikertaks: Bedryf kan 10% van werksgeleenthede teen 2031 kwyt wees, by Maroela Media


Incompetent people to blame for SOE woes, government should intervene to avoid state capture 2.0, Gordhan tells NUM

IOL News reports that outgoing Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) were down and out because people without qualifications were appointed in office to work but instead mismanaged state resources. Addressing the second day of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) policy conference in Boksburg on Wednesday, Gordhan said: “People didn't have the skills and were concentrating on other things rather than making those SOEs work effectively and today or in the recent past, we've paid the price for it.” SOEs like SAA, Eskom, Denel, and Transnet have been hindered by state capture.   Several entities, like Transnet and Eskom, are struggling with budgetary and operational issues.   Gordhan lashed out at government officials for using state offices to advance their personal interests. He said this had been going on for many years now, where officials gave tenders to their friends, only to get kickbacks in all forms. Gordhan said this was not only done by politicians but also by civil servants who participated in such practices. According to Gordhan, this was a result of appointing incompetent and wrong people in important SOEs, boards, and management positions. He stressed that the government should put strict measures in place to protect SOEs to avoid state capture 2.0.   Gordhan expressed the hope that the seventh administration government would do better.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Kamogelo Moichela at IOL News


More above-inflation increases for municipal services in Gauteng metros will hit on 1 July

The Citizen reports that consumers will be hit by above-inflation increases for municipal services from 1 July 2024 at a time when salaries remain stagnant and even high-income consumers are battling to pay their bills. South African consumers are already constrained with little to no disposable income. Many have kept their spending in check – which keeps the economy from growing. The Citizen report details the tariff increases that can be expected in Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni and Tshwane. Julius Kleynhans, executive manager for local government at Outa, says the fairness of these increases can be questioned as there is a clear trend of above-inflation increases over the last few years in these Metros. “This is not fair and many consumers are already struggling with high living costs, including rising prices for basic goods and services, fuel and housing. If tariff increases were accompanied by improvements in service quality, infrastructure and reliability, they may be perceived as more justified,” Kleynhans pointed out. However, he said that if service levels remained the same or deteriorated, consumers might view the increases as unfair. Municipalities must ensure that the tariff structures were progressive, offering some relief to those least able to afford increases, Kleynhans noted.

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


Retirement funds progressing well in getting ready for two-pot system, says Irfa

BL Premium reports that Institute of Retirement Funds Africa (Irfa) president Geraldine Fowler said on Wednesday that the retirement industry was progressing very well in getting itself ready for the introduction of the two- pot retirement system on 1 September. During parliamentary hearings, the industry had expressed concern about the short period of time it had been given to prepare for the introduction of the system after the promulgation of the laws. The Revenue Laws Amendment Bill, which provides for the system, was only signed into law by President Cyril Ramaphosa on 1 June. “I believe we are succeeding in getting ourselves ready,” Fowler said at a media briefing. Irfa represents about 60% (925) of the 1,541 registered retirement funds (as at July 2023 and excluding public sector funds) with assets under their management of about R2.4-trillion, or 76% of total industry assets.   “Everyone is nervous, everyone is scared: September 1 is looming, it is upon us. However, I can with certainty say that in all my many years in the industry, I have never seen role players, an ecosystem come together as I have seen with the two-pot system,” Fowler assured. She conceded that there would inevitably be hiccups but said the industry was fully committed to the project. Fowler added that the industry had not seen a significant number of resignations in order to access the full amount in a retirement fund ahead of the introduction of the two-pot system.

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


Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page