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.


Ramaphosa sworn in for new term as SA’s president

Bloomberg reports that Cyril Ramaphosa was sworn in for another term as SA’s president, three weeks after elections stripped his ANC party of its parliamentary majority and forced it into a power-sharing alliance with long-time rivals. Ramaphosa took the oath of office before Chief Justice Raymond Zondo at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Wednesday. “The resilience of our democracy has once more been tested, and the people have spoken loudly that they choose peace and democracy over conflict. The voters of South Africa did not give any single political party the full mandate to govern our country alone. They have directed us to work together to address their plight and realise their aspirations,” Ramaphosa said in his inauguration address. The ANC garnered just over 40% of the vote in the 29 May elections. The main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) and four other parties have agreed to the ANC’s proposal to join a so-called government of national unity (GNU).   In exchange, they will be allocated posts in the cabinet and parliament, though details still have to be negotiated. Participants in the new administration have agreed to prioritize growing the economy, attracting more investment, instituting structural reforms and ensuring state finances are sustainably managed. While Ramaphosa previously pledged to trim the size of his cabinet to cut costs, he may be forced to backtrack to accommodate both politically powerful individuals within the ANC and its new partners.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by S'thembile Cele at Moneyweb. Read too, ANC says GNU will place national interest over party politics, at EWN

Enoch Godongwana likely to remain finance minister

TimesLIVE reports negotiations for a new cabinet continued ahead of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s inauguration on Wednesday, with the ANC likely to retain Enoch Godongwana as finance minister. ANC insiders privy to the talks said Godongwana would appease disgruntled national executive committee (NEC) members and its partners in the tripartite alliance. They also said his retention would also quell adverse reaction from the markets and appease the business sector. Cosatu spokesperson Matthew Parks indicated that the labour federation viewed Godongwana as being better than his predecessor, Tito Mboweni. He commented: “Tito was an absolute disaster for us ... he chose to take a signed wage agreement between government and labour and tear it up.   When workers complained about imposing a wage freeze for one year, he decided to impose it for three years.   He walked away from collective bargaining. He really damaged collective bargaining in the state and caused huge problems in the alliance.” Parks went on to say: “I think the current minister of finance, who comes from Cosatu historically, has tried to rebuild that relationship, but having said that, there was still disagreement around the wage agreements that were signed. But definitely he was far better than Tito.” He indicated that Cosatu would not support a change in the trade, industry and competition industry portfolio as it was a sensitive department for workers. “Employment and labour are very important because that is where the labour laws are drafted, protected and reinforced. Public service is also important to us because we have many workers in public service,” Parks added.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Lizeka Tandwa at BusinessLive (subscriber access only). Read too, GNU Ministers: Who will be the new electricity boss in parliament? at Business Report

Health Funders Association hoping for NHI rethink under new government

BusinessLive reports that the Health Funders Association (HFA), a key industry group for medical schemes, says it is optimistic the new government of national unity (GNU) will offer scope to reconsider the controversial National Health Insurance (NHI) Act. The HFA’s members, the biggest of which is Discovery Health Medical Scheme, provide cover to about half of SA’s 9-million medical scheme beneficiaries, The NHI Act encompasses sweeping health reforms aimed at achieving the ANC’s vision for universal health coverage. President Cyril Ramaphosa signed it into law two weeks before the general election on 29 May. However, none of its provisions have been brought into effect at this stage. HFA chair Craig Comrie commented: “Our optimism stems from the fact that there are lots of invitations to almost re-engage on the NHI. Maybe we will see a softening in terms of ... implementation or a rethink on more practical and realistic ways of implementing NHI.   There is optimism (about) the new government and a change in the balance of power.” It is not yet clear whom Ramaphosa will appoint as ministers of health or finance, the two cabinet positions that will wield greatest influence over the future trajectory of NHI. Two legal challenges to the NHI Act are already in play, with several more expected soon to follow. Trade union Solidarity has taken aim at the legislation on constitutional grounds, while the Board of Healthcare Funders (BHF), an industry association for medical schemes and administrators, honed in on the president’s powers and responsibilities when legislation is considered.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Tamar Kahn at BusinessLive

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Shape up or ship out: Ramaphosa says GNU parties must agree to create jobs, at TimesLIVE
  • Four crucial factors for SA’s Unity Government to work, at BizNews


Consumer inflation unchanged in May at 5.2% as fuel prices still bite

Fin24 reports that annual consumer price inflation was unchanged at 5.2% in May in line with some expectations. Statistics SA reported on Wednesday that annual inflation rate of goods last month was 5.7%, unchanged from April, and for services, it was 4.7%, up from 4.6%. Food and non-alcoholic beverages inflation remained steady at 4.7% in May, unchanged from April, while the miscellaneous goods and services category recorded an annual rate of 7.1%, slightly softer than 7.2% in April. Transport quickened to 6.3% from 5.7% in April – the highest rate for the category since October 2023's 7.4%. Statistics SA said fuel was the major culprit, with petrol and diesel prices increasing on average by 9.3% on a one-year basis and by 0.6% since April. May also saw an uptick in inflation for hot beverages, oils & fats, fish, fruit, vegetables and meat. Hot beverages quickened from 11.4% in April to 14.2% in May, the highest since January 2023's 16.4%. SA's consumer inflation rate still has not been under 5% since August last year, and is still higher than the 4.5% midpoint of the SA Reserve Bank's target range of 3% to 6%.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard compiled by Ahmed Areff at Fin24. Lees ook, Inflasie bly onveranderd, by Maroela Media

Economists expect consumer inflation in 2024 to average 5%

BL Premium reports that consumer inflation remained at 5.2% in May, unchanged from April and down slightly from 5.3% in March, Stats SA said on Wednesday. This was broadly in line with economists’ expectations, and forecasts for inflation to remain sticky at about 5% until later in the year. Nedbank expects inflation to decelerate below 5% during the fourth quarter to end the year at about 4.6% – close to the midpoint of the SA Reserve Bank’s (SARB’s) target range of 3%-6%. Oxford Economics has adjusted its expectation for headline inflation to average 5% for the year, compared with 5.2% previously. “The latest inflation print points to some stickiness, but stronger disinflation could see the headline rate at the 4.5% midpoint by the fourth quarter. Sizeable fuel price cuts in June imply that overall inflation should ease further at the end of the second quarter, which was not our expectation initially,” said Jee-A van der Linde of Oxford Economics. Given the improvement in the inflation outlook, Van der Linde said the odds that the SARB could implement a 25 basis point rate cut in September had risen. Shannon Bold of the Bureau for Economic Research (BER) said they also expected inflation to moderate throughout the rest of the year, averaging about 5% in 2024. “This should bode well for a repo rate cut or cuts later in the year provided that inflation expectations of price-setters, namely trade unions and businesses, start to trend lower,” he commented.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Denene Erasmus at BusinessLive (subscriber access only). Read too, Inflation still high but could there be a repo rate cut up ahead? at The Citizen


New living wage of R15,000 per month needed for a decent life

|The Citizen asks whether the new living wage of R15,000 per month is enough to live a decent life. A living wage is not the same as the national minimum wage (NMW) that employers must pay workers according to law. By contrast, employers are encouraged to offer a living wage voluntarily instead. Ines Meyer of the Living Wage South Africa Network explained that the living wage was a wage that was sufficient for a worker to provide themselves and their families with the basic necessities of life and save something for the future or to cover unforeseen emergency expenses. The NMW is R27.58 per hour, R220.64 for an 8-hour day and R4 633,44 for an average 21-day working month. The new living wage was announced at a meeting of the University of Cape Town’s SARChI Chair in Creation of Decent Work and Sustainable Livelihood. Meyer advised: “Data we collected from working individuals across South Africa between November 2023 and January 2024 establishes that workers living in urban areas require at least R15,000.00 per month to live a decent life.” Unfortunately, Meyer noted, some employers saw even the NMW as a financial burden, let alone the costlier living wage. They argue it makes an ample workforce too expensive, resulting in higher unemployment. However, Meyer disagreed and pointed out: “International living wage research shows that workers who can cope financially are more motivated, more productive and less prone to absenteeism. This benefits their employers, who offset their costs through greater output to meet market demand. So far, there is no evidence to suggest that providing decent incomes increases unemployment.”

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


Expanded Public Works Programme could play an important role in upgrading informal settlements

Noah Schermbrucker, Programme Co-ordinator at Peoples Environmental Planning, points out that informal settlements are set to remain a part of the SA urban landscape for the foreseeable future as the demand for housing continues to far outstrip the number of houses the state provides. At the municipal level, officials trying to upgrade informal settlements struggle with red tape and conflicting policy directives. New ideas and approaches are needed at every level. One possible lever for change could be through engaging the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP). The EPWP, originally called the National Public Works Programme, was launched in 1998.   In 2004, it was relaunched and scaled up as the EPWP. A response to high levels of unemployment and poverty, it has provided a meagre income and short-term, low skill employment to millions of people. In recent years some efforts have been made to provide higher level skills and pathways to longer term employment, but this has been patchy. The working for fire and water programmes are said to be good examples of what can be done. Similarly, there is potential for EPWP workers to contribute to upgrading informal settlements. Supported by civil society, EPWP workers, who come from the informal communities themselves, could fulfil many functions, such as mapping, numbering, and enumerating structures; registering new arrivals, departures and demolitions; and negotiating the reconfiguring of settlements to allow space for infrastructure like roads. Changes would need to be made to the way the EPWP works to allow for longer employment periods (currently the limit is six months) and pathways would have to be created to move workers into roles within municipal human settlement departments after their stint. This would also help the EPWP to achieve its stated goal to provide long-term skills and employability.

Read the full original of the opinion piece in the above regard by Noah Schermbrucker at GroundUp

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Deal with structural unemployment or forget winning jobs war – economist, at Daily News


No more appeals for Motsoaledi over Zimbabwe Exemption Permit decision

BL Premium reports that the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) lost its final appeal opportunity to deport 178,000 Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP) holders after a Constitutional Court (ConCourt) ruling found it did not adequately consult the permit holders. All appeal avenues are now closed to the department. DHA Minister Aaron Motsoaledi must now adhere to a 2023 high court order to follow consultation processes with ZEP holders. The ConCourt ruled on Tuesday that Motsoaledi’s appeal “bears no reasonable prospects of success”. The Helen Suzman Foundation (HSF) and the Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in SA (Cormsa) successfully challenged Motsoaledi’s decision to terminate the ZEP regime in 2023 when a full bench of the Pretoria High Court ruled that the government’s decision to terminate the special ZEP regime was unlawful.   It found the government had neither properly consulted with ZEP holders nor demonstrated that it had considered the effects of ending the regime. These steps should have be done in a “procedurally fair” manner. The same full bench refused the DHA leave to appeal, as did the Supreme Court of Appeal. As a result of the ConCourt’s decision on Tuesday, existing ZEPs remain valid until November 2025. The ruling means that ZEP holders and their representative organisations now have an opportunity to persuade the DHA that some form of permanency in SA should be considered.

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


Woman posing as doctor at Tembisa Hospital arrested

The Citizen reports that a woman pretending to be a doctor at Tembisa Provincial Tertiary Hospital will be appearing in court soon after she was arrested on Tuesday evening. The Gauteng Department of Health (GDoH) announced that the fake doctor was handed over to the police and spent the night in custody while hospital management opened a case at Rabosotho Police Station. “Unqualified individuals posing as medical professionals put innocent lives at risk. It is a criminal offence for any person to impersonate healthcare professionals and to practice while not registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa,” said GDoH spokesperson Motalatale Modiba. The department confirmed that the matter was under investigation by the hospital management and police to establish how the bogus doctor gained access to the facility. Modiba went on to say: “The department is continuously strengthening measures at facilities to safeguard the wellbeing of patients and staff. Our employees and the public are urged to be vigilant against imposters who seek to undermine the work of healthcare professionals.” In February, another woman posing as a doctor was arrested at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital after she was caught trying to solicit a bribe from a patient.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Chulumanco Mahamba at The Citizen. Lees ook, Vrou vas ná sy haar glo as dokter voordoen, by Maroela Media


Court tells Woolworths to reinstate worker as charge of fake sick note did not meet legal standards

BusinessLive reports that a recent judgment by the Labour Appeal Court (LAC) has raised the bar for companies to provide evidence of employees fabricating sick notes to justify their dismissal. The ruling compelled Woolworths to reinstate an employee it terminated six years ago. The employee was fired after being accused of handing in fake sick notes, but the CCMA later overturned the decision. Woolworths challenged the CCMA’s ruling. However, its appeal was unsuccessful as the LAC ruled in favour of the employee. Woolworths relied on evidence gathered by private investigators at its Emalahleni branch in Mpumalanga who probed a doctor's practice. The probe found that the employee, Lorraine Maseko, breached company policies by submitting irregular certificates and she was dismissed in 2018. She had held the position of store specialist before her dismissal. But, the LAC determined that the evidence provided by Woolworths did not meet legal standards as it failed to show the employee knew the doctor consulted was fraudulent. LAC judge Mbulelo Jolwana said it was “concerning that an employee who may unknowingly go to what appears to be a doctor’s normal practice and is booked off sick could be dismissed if it turns out that the doctor was neither qualified nor unregistered. Ordinary people including workers cannot be expected [to know in which field] a doctor is qualified, which [doctor] is on suspension, and which one is, for some reason, not entitled to practice.” Maseko’s attorney indicated that his client felt vindicated and should be returning to work soon.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Noxolo Majavu at BusinessLive


Alberton traffic department official arrested for assisting syndicate with dodgy vehicle documents

The Citizen reports that an investigation by the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation unit led to the arrest of an Alberton Traffic Department employee. Petros Vusumuzi Mahlaba was arrested on 14 June and will face charges of fraud and contravention of the National Road Traffic Act. He is alleged to have improperly altered the registration details of a vehicle used by a criminal syndicate targeting essential infrastructure. The 44-year-old Mahlaba is alleged to have assisted men who were caught draining fuel from a Transnet pipeline near Nigel in October 2023. When the men were arrested, the truck they were using was impounded. The Hawks traced the truck to an owner in Newcastle. “The investigation team further discovered that the syndicate fraudulently changed the registration number without the knowledge of the owner,” explained Hawks spokesperson Warrant Officer Thatohatsi Mavimbela.   A further probe by the investigator found that Mahlaba had implemented and authorised the transaction by changing the registration number of the truck by forging signatures as well as using a copy of the owner’s Identity document. Mhlaba appeared at the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court on 18 June and the matter was postponed to 25 June for his bail application.

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

Retired cop in Delmas dock for allegedly throwing away evidence in illegal gold mining case

News24 reports that a retired police officer has appeared in an Mpumalanga court in connection with allegations that he tampered with evidence when gold material he had booked in as evidence in an illegal mining investigation went missing last year. The officer allegedly threw the material in the bin and claimed he was not aware that it was evidence. Samuel Bassie Mahlangu, 60, a former warrant officer, appeared in the Delmas Magistrate's Court on Tuesday on charges of defeating the ends of justice and tampering with evidence. Hawks spokesperson Captain Dineo Lucy Sekgotodi indicated: "It is alleged that on 1 August 2023, members of Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) and national Crime Intelligence conducted a disruptive operation on illegal mining whereby exhibits, gold bearing materials, were seized and booked in [to the] SAPS 13 [exhibits register] at Delmas SAPS and the accused signed for them.” When a Crime Intelligence member went to the police station for the exhibit on 2 August, Mahlangu "indicated that he was not aware that the items were exhibits". Sekgotodi added: "He further showed [investigators] where he had dumped the exhibit, in a bin used for garbage at the back of the police station without a disposal order entry made." The case was postponed to 27 June for further investigation.

Read the original of the short report in the above regard by Nicole McCain at News24


  • Solidariteit stel aanlyn aanbod vir studente bekend, by Maroela Media
  • Bolt welcomes signing of act allowing e-hailing services to apply for operating licences in SA, at Sunday Tribune
  • Families of George building collapse disaster victims welcome suspension of engineer, at HeraldLive (subscriber access only)
  • Two construction workers injured as wall collapses in Walmer, at HeraldLive (subscriber access only)
  • MEC Motara to appeal court ruling over Gauteng Growth Development Agency CEO post, at City Press (subscriber access only)


Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page