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.


Numsa strike won’t affect Gautrain service as contingency plan in place to keep trains running, operator claims

BusinessLive reports that Gautrain operator Bombela Operating Company has moved to reassure passengers that train services will not be disrupted by the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) strike that commenced on Monday. Union members downed tools in support of wage increases demands. “There is no agreement, there is no offer [from Bombela], so the strike continues,” Numsa spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola indicated. In July 2023, Numsa signed a one-year wage deal for an 8% increase, which expired last month. Numsa’s primary demands include a 13% wage increase for all employees (reported elsewhere to have been reduced to 9%).   Gautrain spokesperson Kesagee Nayager said: “The company has implemented contingency plans to ensure that Gautrain customers are not adversely affected by the planned strike that commenced this [Monday] morning due to an impasse regarding wage negotiations. Gautrain train and bus services have been operating as usual since the start of operations this morning. We will keep customers updated in this regard.” Nayager did not respond to questions about how many workers had abandoned their posts, what wage increase the company was proposing and its response to Numsa’s other demands. Numsa is also demanding that Bombela cover 60% of employees’ medical aid costs and increase the housing allowance to R2,000 a month. “It is an indefinite strike until the demands are met,” Hlubi-Majola indicated.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Luyolo Mkentane at BusinessLive. Read too, Gautrain says it's operating as normal amid strike action by workers, at EWN

Numsa confirms that Gautrain wage increase demand dropped from 13% to 9% during negotiations

Business Report writes that National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) members striking at Gautrain have amended their wage increase demand from 13% to 9%. Phakamile Hlubi-Majola, spokesperson, Numsa confirmed that the trade union was seeking a 9% hike. The trade union embarked on a strike against the management of the Bombela Operating Company (BOC) on Monday. “When we went into wage talks we were at 13%, by the time we deadlocked we were at 9%.   We have been willing to move our demands significantly in order to try to accommodate the employer.   Unfortunately we have not seen the employer moving in the same way. They simply offered us 5.6% and they have [not] dealt [with] any other demands. They have not tried to sort of meet us. Unfortunately as long as that is the case we are going to remain very far from each other,” Hlubi-Majola said.   The trade union’s other demands include: 60% of medical contribution by the BOC, with employees to contribute 40%; a housing allowance of R2,000 per employee per month; compensation for additional hours due to the BOC having changed its work-week from a five-day to a six-day operation; equal treatment in terms of bonuses; and full-time shop stewards

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Dhivana Rajgopaul at Business Report. Read too, Gautrain strike: Numsa rejects 5.6% offer, demands better pay and bonuses, at News24

Numsa agrees to CCMA’s request for conciliation with Gautrain to resolve wage strike

SABC News reports that the National Union of Mineworkers of SA (Numsa) has confirmed that it has accepted a request from the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) to participate in a conciliation process with Gautrain. Employees affiliated to Numsa on Monday commenced industrial action over a wage dispute. The union is demanding a revised 9% increase and guaranteed bonuses, among other items. According to Numsa spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola, they have been open to engagement. “This opportunity gives us a chance to hopefully deal with some of the other demands so that we can resolve this strike. There are other demands that we have to surface. The issue around the bonuses. Bonuses are a reflection of the performance of the company. Gautrain would not be able to reach any type of performance without ordinary workers certainly the blue-collar workers who are actually responsible for the performance of the Gautrain. So it is our view that if the bonus is a guaranteed bonus then it’s a bonus that must be paid to everyone,” she pointed out. CEO of the Gautrain Management Agency, Tshepo Kgobe, said they were determined to resolve the strike so that employees could return to work. “We’ve managed this morning’s peak, we are managing this afternoon’s peak. We will continue to manage over a period of time. The biggest challenge that you sit with is that when you have limited staff, the issue of rotation comes into play. So every company has a business continuity plan, we have implemented ours and it’s working out well. But it’s unsustainable and therefore that is why we have taken the time to make sure that the parties come back onto the table to negotiate,” he indicated.

Read the original of the report in the above regard by Viola May at SABC News


Brazen criminals overpower, rob and hijack two KZN cops

The Witness reports that police have appealed to community members to help identify the criminals who overpowered, robbed and hijacked two police officers in Umbumbulu, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), on Friday.   KZN police spokesperson, Brigadier Jay Naicker, said two police officers from SAPS Umbumbulu were on patrol on Friday morning when they stopped a suspicious vehicle with four occupants. “As the police officers were searching the men, they were attacked and overpowered. The suspects robbed the police officers of firearms as well as the keys of the police vehicle,” said Naicker. The criminals then fled in their own vehicle as well as the police vehicle. The hijacked police vehicle overturned heading towards Pietermaritzburg on the R603 Umbumbulu. The suspects then fled the scene in their car. All police officers, as well as other law enforcement, were immediately notified and the suspects were spotted in close proximity to where the robbery occurred. Police in Umbumbulu registered a case of armed robbery.   All available resources have been mobilised to hunt down the suspects.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Zama Myeza at The Witness

Farm workers demand transparency and to be consulted on pesticide regulations

GroundUp reports that about 70 people from organisations and unions representing farm dwellers and workers protested outside Parliament in Cape Town on Friday calling for transparency and consultation over regulations on pesticides. This was not the first time the organisation has protested outside Parliament over the issue. The picket followed recent regulations by the former Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, which gazetted guidelines for exemptions on pesticide use. The department has now been split into two ministries, with DA party leader John Steenhuisen as Minister of Agriculture. According to Colette Solomon, director at Women on Farms Project, the process to date has not been transparent and has not involved farm workers and dwellers. Vainola Makan of the Surplus People’s Project said farm workers’ “right to health has been taken away”. In response, Steenhuisen said he would have an open door policy. “There is no need to protest. They are most welcome to meet me directly and raise their issues and concerns,” he indicated.   Organisations that joined the picket included African Centre for Biodiversity, the Commercial, Stevedoring, Agricultural and Allied Workers Union, South African People’s Tribunal on Agrotoxins, Sovereign Agroecology and Food Empowerment, and Ubuntu Rural Women and Youth. In a joint statement, the organisations also rejected the draft regulations for hazardous chemical agents of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, which falls under the Department of Employment and Labour.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Liezl Human at GroundUp

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Krugersdorp children in danger of poisoning from abandoned mines, UP scientist says, at Mining Weekly


Mpumalanga mirrors Gauteng, recruits over 1,00 ‘AmaPanyaza’ to fight crime

IOL News reports that the newly reappointed MEC of community safety, security and liaison in Mpumalanga, Jackie Macie, has announced that the province will recruit more than 1,000 crime prevention wardens in a bid to enhance crime-fighting efforts. Macie said that the deployment of crime prevention wardens (CPWs), commonly referred to as AmaPanyaza, would not only help address crime but also contribute to reducing unemployment. The recruitment drive of crime prevention wardens in the province follows in Gauteng premier Panyaza Lesufi’s footsteps in the fight against unemployment. Last year on Youth Day, Lesufi launched the Nasi Ispani initiative, which saw the introduction of over 6,000 people crime prevention wardens.   Meanwhile, Macie said the initiative was vital because of the high levels of gender-based violence and the surge in crimes in the communities. The jobs will be for those individuals who are involved in crime prevention initiatives in communities but who are unemployed and meet the requirements to apply. Applicants must apply for posts in areas where they reside. The crime prevention wardens will be stationed in all 90 police stations across the province, and will work under the supervision of the police. “Their duties amongst other things include patrolling crime hotspots, do search and seizure operations, assist with stop and search operations and assist with identifying any other criminal or suspicious activities in communities,” Macie indicated.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Simon Majadibodu at IOL News


Telkom has cut its workforce by 70% over the past decade

Moneyweb reports that over the past 10 years, Telkom has shrunk its workforce dramatically as the shift from fixed-line to mobile accelerated. More than 70% of staff numbers were cut over the period. In March 2014, it had 19,781 employees across the business – which at that point comprised Telkom, Trudon (its Yellow Pages subsidiary) and Swiftnet (its towers unit). By March 2024 there were just 5,845 staffers in Telkom, fibre and networks subsidiary Openserve, and property unit Gyro. This excluded the 4,032 staff at subsidiary BCX as Telkom only acquired that business in 2016 and so it was not included in the 2014 numbers.   Even at BCX, there have been sharp cuts, with total staff 32% lower than the nearly 6,000 people employed at the business at the end of March 2016. However, this excluded 1,200 Telkom Enterprise staff that were moved to BCX during 2016/17. With that factored in, BCX employee numbers are nearly 45% lower. Telkom executed a massive voluntary severance and early retirement programme in 2015 and 2016. More than 4,400 jobs were cut as part of that exercise. That ‘reset’ the base of Telkom staff from the 19,000 level to around 14,000 in early 2016 (excluding BCX). Because of the acquisition of the ICT services provider, total staff across the group actually spiked to 20,000 in March 2016. The core Telkom business had 11,000 employees in March 2017, nearly 2,000 lower than the previous year (not including the 1,200 staff who were moved to BCX). Another round of voluntary early retirement packages and voluntary severance packages to employees was then seen in 2023.

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


TymeBank appoints new CEO as it looks to future international listing

BusinessLive reports that TymeBank announced a leadership shake-up on Monday, redeploying CEO Coenraad Jonker to oversee its overseas expansion in his new role as executive chair of Tyme Group. Jonker has served as TymeBank CEO for just over two years. He will be succeeded by Karl Westvig, who now serves as TymeBank’s CEO for retail and business banking. According to the bank, Westvig brings extensive leadership experience in lending and fintech, along with a proven track record, to his new role.   TymeBank is one of the world’s fastest-growing digital banks and the first to reach profitability in Africa.   Tyme Group now has 12.5 million customers. “I think the big job that I had in the last two years was to get the business to profitability to make sure that the business is commercially sustainable, and we are at a point where the commercial sustainability of the business is in place,” Jonker indicated. His strategic placement overseas feeds into the objective of the businesses to be internationally listed by 2028. Jonker will be based in Singapore and will support the growth of the business in the Philippines. TymeBank chair Thabani Jali commented: “TymeBank has reshaped the banking landscape in SA and is on course to reach 10-million customers this year. We believe the time is right to redeploy key executives into positions that will best serve both TymeBank and the group.”

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Noxolo Majavu at BusinessLive. Read too, TymeBank announces new CEO as it eyes public listing, at BusinessTech


AutoZone enters voluntary business rescue, but union left in the dark

Moneyweb reports that automotive parts retailer and wholesaler AutoZone is in financial distress and has been placed in voluntary business rescue. This follows a resolution taken by the AutoZone Holdings board of directors on 1 July 2024, with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) confirming that it registered an application by AutoZone to be placed in voluntary business rescue on 2 July. The board’s resolution expressed a belief that there were reasonable prospects for the rescue of the company, which has about 1,452 employees.   Business rescue will give the company “breathing space” to allow its rescue practitioners to explore all approaches and opportunities. No liquidation proceedings have been initiated by AutoZone or against the company, and the company is not involved in any major litigation. About a quarter of the employees are members of the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa), and about 21% are members of the Motor Industry Staff Association (Misa). Martlé Keyter of Misa said on Monday she was appalled to read about AutoZone entering into business rescue proceedings in the press. Keyter said Misa had not been notified by AutoZone of its intention to enter into business rescue proceedings despite the fact that 317 of the employees were Misa members. Misa established that employees were served with letters on Friday.   “A transparent consultation would have assisted Misa to give informed advice to its members who fear that they will not get their hard earned salaries and might even face job losses.   Misa’s legal department will get in contact with AutoZone and its Business Rescue Practitioners to participate in the process and protect the interest of our members,” Keyter indicated.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Roy Cokayne at Moneyweb


Capitec fires 12 rogue employees who manipulated debt orders to get commissions

BusinessLive reports that a forensic investigation conducted by Capitec has resulted in the bank firing several employees who participated in a debit order switch manipulation scheme to unduly earn commissions at one of its branches. The lender received a tip-off that some employees at its KwaMashu Midway Crossing Branch in KwaZulu-Natal had devised a scheme to deceive the company into thinking that they were successfully getting consumers to switch their financial products to the bank. Capitec’s forensic services department found the implicated employees had manipulated the banking system by capturing external bank account numbers that did not belong to clients during debit order switch submissions. This was done with the intention of increasing the number of debit order switches to qualify for the bank’s “branch team awards”. A total of 12 service consultants were implicated in the scheme and fired as a result. Companies in the competitive banking sector fight for market share by, among other schemes, enticing consumers to switch their financial products including home loans and investments. The country’s lenders also seek to get clients to switch accounts, particularly those into which their salaries are paid.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Kabelo Khumalo & Noxolo Majavu at BusinessLive. Read too, Debit order scheme: Ex-Capitec employee fails in bid to overturn debarment, at Fin24

Former Transnet manager loses ‘out of time’ R57m dismissal appeal

BL Premium reports that a Transnet corporate governance manager, regarded as a forensic “champion”, was himself fired by Transnet over fraud charges. Years later, he tried to sue the company for R57m. However, the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) has dismissed his claim, ruling he was out of time, thereby setting precedent for when claims must be brought that apply to every SA court. Sanoj Jeewan was employed at Transnet in 2006 and co-ordinated investigations into forensic fraud. Years later, after a forensic investigation, Transnet laid charges against Jeewan. These related to findings of participating in fraudulent schemes with an external recruitment company. He was eventually dismissed in 2010. Jeewan referred the dismissal to the Transnet bargaining council, arguing the dismissal had been “procedurally unfair”.   The bargaining council ruled in Transnet’s favour. In 2015, Jeewan instituted a claim for R57m against Transnet in the High Court.   Jeewan argued that Transnet had wrongly fired him and as a result he was missing out on payment until retirement that he calculated to be R57m. In response, Transnet argued Jeewan’s claim had “prescribed”, in other words had lapsed. In terms of SA law, claims must be lodged within three years of when claimants believe they have been wronged. Jeewan’s claim stemmed from an alleged wrongful firing in 2010, Transnet said, but he only acted in 2015.   The SCA agreed with Transnet that Jeewan had lodged his claim out of time. The court stressed that the countdown for a claim started running when a person was “fully aware” of all the aspects needed to lodge a court claim.

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

Other internet posting(s) in this news category

  • Woman wins case against Woolworths after she was fired for submitting suspicious sick note, at IOL News


Ann Ashworth’s exit sparks tensions at Comrades Marathon Association

The Witness reports that these are tense times at Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) as the organisation behind the iconic race battles to contain the fallout from a spat involving its former race director and 2018 women’s champion Ann Ashworth, and a suspended board member.   Ashworth left Comrades’ House in Pietermaritzburg under a cloud after posting a bitter social media message lamenting that she had “worked herself to the bone” yet had “no medal to show for it”. Just days before her one-year contract ended at the end of June, Ashworth was informed that her contract would not be renewed. She claimed in her social media post that CMA’s decision not to extend her contract had more to do with internal wrangles than her competency as race director. Last Friday, the CMA also announced the suspension of a board member for remarks she had allegedly made in a WhatsApp message, accusing Ashworth of leading an attempted coup by signing up 400 “vanilla” members. The post elicited an outcry with accusations that the remarks were inflammatory. CMA chairperson Mqondisi Ngcobo said the CMA had not been acting under pressure by suspending the board member, but were guided by CMA rules. A well-placed source advised that the CMA was “expected” to counter possible legal action from Ashworth with charges that she had breached the confidentiality clause within her contract. Ngcobo refused to be drawn into commenting on the wrangle, stating that it was an “employee and employer” matter.

Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Jerry Barnes at The Witness


  • Support GNU to ensure 'decisions are made in interests of SA', Public Service Commission tells public servants, at News24
  • SA marks 100 days without load-shedding, but risk persists, says Cyril Ramaphosa, at BusinessLive
  • Despite increase in national minimum wage, workers suffer as employers forced to reduce work days, at The Witness
  • Why domestic workers should be paid at least R40 an hour in South Africa, at BusinessTech
  • Eskom employee, service provider in court over theft, fraud at Hendrina power station, at News24


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