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.


Labour Court reserves judgment on strike interdict application by Ford SA, so Numsa industrial action continues

BusinessLive reports that the strike by members of the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) at Ford SA is set to continue after the Labour Court (LC) reserved judgment on an application by the car manufacturer to interdict the industrial action, which commenced on Thursday. This means the strike continues indefinitely. Numsa is the only union at Ford SA, according to treasurer Mphumzi Maqungo. The company had a staff complement of 3,500, he said, adding that Numsa represented 3,000 workers. Numsa’s general secretary Irvin Jim has said the reason for the strike was Ford’s refusal to share its profits with workers. According to Jim, Ford SA could afford to pay workers “some kind of bonus” as the company had “made a fortune” over the past four years. SA Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said the labour federation supported the Numsa strike. “Given the profit growth the company has been able to score in the past several years, Saftu argues that Ford can afford the annual bonuses, not just incentive bonuses,” said Vavi. He took issue that company executives were guaranteed annual bonuses while workers were offered “incentive bonuses that are based on how well workers slave themselves to meet company targets”.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Luyolo Mkentane at BusinessLive. Read too, Thousands of Numsa-affiliated Ford SA workers down tools, at SABC News


Mystery at Lohatla army base: Uniform found, but no trace of missing SANDF soldier

News24 reports that the distraught mother of a missing SA National Defence Force (SANDF) soldier wants to know what has happened to her son and why the army is keeping the family in the dark. The SANDF confirmed that 53-year-old Lance Corporal Luntu Basil Hatta went missing from the Lohatla base in the Northern Cape on 31 May. "We are busy with an active investigation and cannot divulge information at this current stage," a spokesperson for the SA Police Service (SAPS) indicated. According to the soldier's mother, Ndili Hatta, her son's colleague arrived at their Cradock home shortly after police issued a media release about her son's disappearance and informed the family that his uniform had been discovered in a toilet cubicle at the base. She asked:   "How can the uniform be found, and he is still missing? Where is his body? If he is dead, they must just bring us the body so we can send him off properly.   If a proper, thorough search has been done to find my son, then why is no one giving us information?” SANDF spokesperson Siphiwe Dlamini said the soldier did not report for roll call on 31 May at the SA Combat Centre in the Northern Cape and “the normal process to locate the member was executed by the unit members but was unsuccessful.” The member's commander reported a missing person case on 5 June at the Postmasburg SAPS. The SA National Defence Union's (Sandu’s) Pikkie Greeff said Hatta's disappearance was concerning. "I'm just wondering how hard the SANDF has really been looking for this missing soldier. It's not common for soldiers to just go missing. I could probably count on one hand how many cases there were of soldiers who just went missing," Greef said. Meanwhile, police and the SANDF confirmed that the investigation into the soldier's disappearance was ongoing.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Lisalee Solomons at News24. Read too, South African soldiers left in the lurch, at Financial Mail

Other internet posting(s) in this news category


Popcru raises concern over leadership instability in criminal justice cluster

City Press reports that the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) has expressed concerns over the constant leadership changes within the criminal justice cluster. Representing police, traffic officers and prison warders, the union says it has for a long time been troubled by the frequent shifts in ministerial and other key leadership roles, which have resulted in policy discontinuity. Popcru spokesperson Richard Mamabolo emphasised the union's focus on maintaining stability and continuity, especially in critical reform processes, such as the ongoing amendments to the Criminal Procedure Act. He highlighted the need for a long-term vision that went beyond individual tenures to ensure sustainable improvements. Mamabolo opined that there was a need to have capable ministers who could optimally meet the needs and expectations of their staff complement and the populace at large by ensuring the allocation of sufficient resources in combating crime and maintaining safety and security. He said the cluster had for the longest time been under immense strain, with continued infightings, high levels of crime rates, police killings and understaffing – all coupled with backlogs in various areas. Mamabolo continued: “This new era brings about an opportune moment to remedy this past trend, and to bring about much-needed confidence through cooperation with all stakeholders in working towards achieving stability.” Popcru is advocating for better working conditions for law enforcement officers, including adequate remuneration, safe working environments and comprehensive support systems. The union expects new ministers to prioritise ongoing training and professional development to equip these officers with the skills needed to handle modern-day challenges effectively.

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

'Those days are over', says new public works minister about spending on accommodation for Cabinet members, MPs

News24 reports that new Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Dean Macpherson has told Cabinet members that no new housing stock or offices will be procured for parliamentarians, ministers, and deputy ministers. Macpherson, a DA MP, was announced as the public works and infrastructure minister in the government of national unity arrangement that makes up the seventh administration. His office said allocations for lawmakers' accommodation would be made from existing government properties and that "no requests for new procurement will be entertained". Macpherson's statement comes after years of the department's heavy spending on accommodation for parliamentarians, deputy ministers, and ministers, refurbishing rentals, and procuring office space. In 2021, it was reported that the department had splurged over R100m for the upkeep of three parliamentary villages in Cape Town, while another R200 million was forked out for maintaining the parliamentary precinct between 2018 and 2020. Last year, about R1.4 million was spent on kitchen upgrades, R240,000 to get rid of cockroaches, R54,000 to replace a curtain rail, and R50 million to ensure that the generators of ministers and their deputies were working while the rest of the country was plunged into load shedding darkness. All told, these transactions were part of the estimated R93 million the department doled out from 2019 to 2022 to maintain the official residences for ministers, deputy ministers and directors-general, as well as their related municipal services. "Those days are over," said Macpherson, referring to the time of renting accommodation. "My number one priority is to invest in infrastructure and turn South Africa into a massive construction site under the theme, 'Let's Build SA'," Macpherson said.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Soyiso Maliti at News24. Lees ook, Géén nuwe meubels, kantore, huise vir ministers, by Maroela Media

Other internet posting(s) in this news category


Ramaphosa to issue gazette notice to clarify Presidency’s role in coordination of SOEs

Engineering News reports that Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni has reaffirmed that the coordination of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) previously falling under the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE), which is to be closed, will be located in the Presidency during the process of implementing a new shareholder model. However, the precise roles and responsibilities of her fellow Minister in the Presidency Responsible for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Maropene Ramokgopa, will still have to be clarified in a “Presidential proclamation” to be published in a future government gazette.   Speaking during a briefing on how the multi-party government of national unity (GNU) would function, Ntshavheni stressed that, until the gazette was published, reports regarding ministerial roles and responsibilities in respect of SOEs, as well as reporting lines for companies such as Eskom, Transnet and Denel, should be treated as speculation. No timeframe was provided for the issuance of the gazette notice, but it is possible that it might be released only after an upcoming Cabinet lekgotla, which has been scheduled for 11 and 12 July. Ntshavheni refused to elaborate on the DPE closure process and the implications for staff, saying only that it would be conducted in line with national macro organisation of government (NMOG) processes, which were overseen by the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) in the cases of a department’s restructuring or closure. “But the issue of DPE closing is not a new issue. The staff of DPE knew, everybody knew that DPE was going to close and the NMOG process is not only commencing now, it had already commenced,” she said, indicating that the DPSA would clarify the position at a later stage.

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


Dire nursing shortage in Eastern Cape, even as hundreds of qualified nurses remain unemployed

News24 reports that the Eastern Cape's public healthcare facilities are faced with a dire shortage of nurses, but hundreds of qualified nurses in the province are sitting at home with no work.   According to the unemployed group, there are 300 qualified nurses in the province who are without work. The nurses were funded by the provincial department during their studies. On Monday, Eastern Cape Health MEC Ntandokazi Capa paid a surprise visit to Frere Hospital's maternity ward after complaints were received about pregnant women sleeping on the floor due to a shortage of beds and nurses. Capa noted that the maternity ward had a shortage of 18 midwives. The Democratic Nursing Organisation of SA (Denosa) claims that the shortage of nurses is a countrywide problem. Before nursing graduates can register with the SA Nursing Council, they have to do a compulsory one-year community service programme at a public healthcare facility. One unemployed nurse commented: "The healthcare system in the Eastern Cape has collapsed. I highly doubt if our facilities in the Eastern Cape are ready for the implementation of National Health Insurance. As community service nurses, we have experienced how dire the shortage of nurses is at public hospitals. You would expect that the nurses would be absorbed quickly by the department shortly after completing their community service work, but that is not the case." Another unemployed nurse, who completed her community service in the Buffalo City area, said she had been at home since the beginning of the year.   Denosa's spokesperson, Sibongiseni Delihlazo, said that because of staff shortages, nurses were overwhelmed by the amount of work they had to do at public hospitals.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Sithandiwe Velaphi at News24


Metals, engineering sector pension boards undertaking due diligence in respect of workers’ access to housing

Engineering News reports that the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) says an agreement to provide access to housing for industry workers has been referred to the Metal Industries Provident Fund and Engineering Industries Pension Fund (MIPF / EIPF) Investment Committee. The committee will test the veracity of the undertaking from a legal due diligence point of view before any investment case will be considered. In May, Seifsa, on behalf of its 18 member organisations, concluded a settlement agreement with the industry’s five trade unions on terms and conditions of employment for the next three years. The commitment by the collective bargaining partners in the Metal and Engineering Industries Bargaining Council (MEIBC) to meaningfully address access to housing for industry workers is a long-standing item that has featured on the list of union demands over many years, according to Seifsa CEO Lucio Trentini. He noted, however, that any investment of the funds cannot be done outside the course and scope of the funds’ rules, read together with the Investment Policy Statement (IPS), as well as the Pension Funds Act. Additionally, as this matter might concern an investment of funds’ assets, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority has been made aware of this matter and was providing oversight. "An investment will not be made without the regulatory and investment hurdles having been overcome," Trentini pointed out.   “Success in meeting the housing challenge will be one of the cornerstones of rebuilding our social structures and regenerating the economy,” he commented further.

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


New Home Affairs minister extends temporary concession in respect of visas to 31 December

Bloomberg reports that newly sworn-in Department of Home Affairs (DHA) Minister Leon Schreiber has extended a temporary concession for foreign nationals who are currently awaiting the outcome of visa, waiver and appeal applications to 31 December. The processing of many of these applications has been delayed and while the DHA has made progress on clearing the backlog, the extension will protect applicants as they wait, according to an emailed statement on Thursday. The announcement comes a day after Schreiber, a member of the Democratic Alliance (DA), was sworn in as a minister in ANC leader President Cyril Ramaphosa’s new cabinet, following 29 May elections. The ANC’s handling of the country’s visa regime has been criticised by employers for lengthy delays when they try to bring foreign technicians and executives into the country. Visa applicants can wait for more than a year to get a work permit, even as companies struggle to find skilled workers – despite high unemployment – due to failings of the SA education system. “The extension safeguards applicants, including those with scarce skills, from suffering adverse consequences or being erroneously declared undesirable while they await the outcome of applications submitted to the Department,” according to the statement.

Read the original of the short report in the above regard by Rene Vollgraaff at Moneyweb. Read too, New Home Affairs Minister grants temporary visa extensions for foreign workers, at Fin24


Labour Appeals Court quashes restraint of trade ban on ex-staff working within 300km of former employer

Fin24 reports that five ex-employees of an Ermelo car dealership, who were blocked from working within 300 km of their hometown in a restraint of trade case, have won their legal battle on appeal. The Labour Appeals Court (LAC) found that their former employer, Twenty Four Motors – trading as Ford Ermelo – overreached when it insisted they not work for another car dealership within 300km of the Mpumalanga town after they resigned. It also found that the Labour Court (LC), which first heard the case last year, erred in agreeing with their ex-employer that they be blocked from working "in any way whatsoever" for a year at a competitor.   "[Ford Ermelo] proved no evidence of confidential information, trade secrets, or trade connections held by the former employees that warranted protection. It was not proved that the appellants were aware of trade secrets or had trade connections," the LAC found. The five former employees of Ford Ermelo were part of a group of seven who resigned from the dealership in September following a change in how commissions were calculated. They soon found new jobs at a local second-hand car dealership. Ford Ermelo then sought to enforce its restraint of trade agreement against them, saying they had had "unfettered access to confidential information" about its clients, banks, service providers, and suppliers.   The LC last year agreed to enforce the contract despite the ex-employees having argued that this would render them "professionally inactive in their chosen trade." But, the LAC found that enforcing the restraint of trade would be unreasonable.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Jan Cronje at Fin24


Several municipal managers suspended in North West municipalities over past two months

SABC News reports that several municipal managers have been suspended or placed on special leave in five municipalities in the North West over the past two months. The affected municipalities include Kagisano Molopo, Naledi, Bojanala, Tswaing and Mamusa. At the same time, municipalities such as Madibeng, Ditsobotla and Lekwa Teemane are without permanent municipal managers. According to Dr Ben Bole, head of the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, the instability in administrative leadership at several municipalities in the province is a cause for concern and has severely affected the smooth running of municipalities. According to chairperson of the SA Local Government Association (Salga) in the North West, Khumalo Molefe, the deployment of quality political leaders at municipalities will resolve this instability. He commented: “It depends on the quality of municipal manager that we have and senior managers. It also at the same time depends on the quality of the council that is your councillors, your mayors, your speakers and whips that you have. Once the quality does not complement one another, the interconnectedness between the administration and the governance which is council collapses and it leads to fallout.” Meanwhile, the ANC in the province has placed the blame on the squabbles between the political and administrative leaders. The Auditor General has repeatedly raised concerns about the instability in administrative leadership in some municipalities in the province.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Zebilon Maine at SABC News


Two arrested for alleged driving license fraud at Vanderbijlpark Testing Centre

EWN reports that two persons were arrested on Thursday for alleged driving license fraud at the Vanderbijlpark Testing Centre. The pair was nabbed after the National Traffic Anti-corruption Unit made a surprise visit to the testing station. It is alleged that the officials found one of the suspects in a classroom, writing the learner's test for four other people who were not in the room under the supervision of the examiner. The Traffic Anti-corruption Unit said that all learners’ licenses that have already been issued would be cancelled. Road Traffic Management spokesperson, Simon Zwane, indicated: "The two, who were arrested by members of the National Traffic Anti-corruption Unit who were on a surprise visit at the Vanderbijlpark Driving License Centre, will be detained at Boipatong Police Station until they appear in court for the bail application, and police are still looking for other suspects."

Read the original of the short report in the above regard by Melikhaya Zagagana at EWN

City Power busts two more, including an employee, for cable theft and vandalism

TimesLIVE reports that City Power this week arrested an internal employee and an employee of a contractor for cable theft and vandalism, after arresting nine contracted guards at the weekend. An employee of one of City Power’s service providers was arrested on Wednesday, after being found with pieces of copper material. The worker, responsible for maintenance, was found at the Joburg CBD trying to leave work with the metal. The day before, a City Power official working in the security department was arrested on suspicion of theft. The employee allegedly stole copper pipes from scrap metal dealers under the guise of returning them to City Power premises. The two join a group of nine contracted guards linked to City Power who were arrested at the weekend during a joint intelligence operation, according to City Power spokesperson Isaac Mangena. He added that another two suspects were arrested in Booysens on Tuesday after being found digging up aluminium cable. They were found in possession of a stepladder, a 6m cable, a spade and cutting tools intended to damage infrastructure and they were charged with tampering with essential infrastructure and making illegal connections. In another incident, police raided three scrap metal dealers where bundles of City Power cables were found and confiscated. City Power CEO Tshifularo Mashava said she was concerned about the involvement of employees in theft and vandalism. She advised that City Power had reinforced its security operations with additional intelligence and technology to uncover internal perpetrators.

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


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