FRIDAY, 7 APRIL 2017 In our Friday roundup, below are summaries of our selection of South African labour stories that have been published since mid-morning on Thursday, 6 April 2017.
OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH & SAFETY Police killings back in the spotlight SABC News reports that police killings have once again come under the spotlight with 79 officers having lost their lives between 2015 and 2016. On Thursday, close to a 100 police officers from Diepsloot embarked on a peaceful march against what they call a lack of safety in the area. Almost 100 cases of murder have been investigated at the Diepsloot Police Station in the past year and police feel that the scourge of crime in the community puts their lives at risk. “After much engagement with the community, we realised that we were not safe and that we needed to do something. We can’t help the community because we are killed,” said SA Police Service Diepsloot spokesperson Constable Jenny Morata. Police have also urged community members to assist in the fight against crime. This short report is at SABC News Other internet posting(s) in this news category – Memorial for 15 SA soldiers killed in CAR, at News24 MINING LABOUR Amcu’s Mathunjwa key figure in ending strike at Harmony’s Kusasalethu mine Miningmx reports that Joseph Mathunjwa, president of the Association of Mineworkers & Construction Union (Amcu), is thought to have personally intervened in the unprotected strike at Harmony Gold’s Kusasalethu mine that ended on Thursday morning. Amcu members were heavily represented in the action, which was driven by the local branch of Amcu. Mathunjwa said he would not condone unprotected strike action and ordered branch members back to work. Harmony said in an announcement on Thursday that after “six days of ongoing unprotected industrial action at the mine, Harmony management and Amcu leadership have reached an agreement, and all employees reported to work this morning.” In terms of the agreement between union members and Harmony management, the company will press ahead with disciplinary action against employees who staged an underground sit-in in January, as well as those engaged in the latest strike action. The actual lost production could be as much as 15 days, however, said Marian van der Walt, spokeswoman for Harmony. Read this report by David McKay in full at Miningmx BHP Billiton seeks to bring women to the table Bloomberg reports that BHP Billiton is taking diversity lessons from banks and law enforcement to achieve a gender-balanced workforce by 2025 and to promote women into top executive roles. The miner has held talks with companies, including Australia & New Zealand Banking Group, on policies to boost female recruitment and retention, according to BHP chief of staff and head of geoscience Laura Tyler. BHP, which in October announced its target for gender balance, sees a clear commercial case for changing its workforce. Tyler noted: “The sites that are most diverse, and where people say they are most able to speak up and feel inclusive, are delivering our strongest results and our better safety results.” BHP, where women account for less than a quarter of senior managers, is seeking to prepare a larger pipeline of female staff with the skills and experience necessary to be top executives. It is seeing some progress in areas including its finance and legal teams. To achieve gender balance among about 26,827 direct employees, BHP will need to overturn meager recent progress in the mining sector. Women accounted for 17.6% of Melbourne-based BHP’s employees in the 12 months to June 2016. That compares with 17% in 2012. Read this report by David Stringer and Matthew Winkler in full at BusinessLive
Other labour posting(s) in this news category – Harmony shares soars as strike ends, at Business Report Other general internet posting(s) on mining – Mining lost in deep, dark hole, at BusinessLive – Nothing off table as Lonmin pursues value in low platinum price environment, at Mining Weekly
INDUSTRIAL ACTION / STRIKES / LOCK-OUTS Social development strikers in Gauteng assault non-strikers at their homes Netwerk24 reports that a number of non-striking employees of the Gauteng Department of Social Development (DSD) have been seriously injured, with one of them admitted to intensive care, after they were assaulted at their homes by strikers. A nationwide strike by about 6,000 social workers, care givers and nurses has been ongoing since 13 March. No end is in sight, notwithstanding a court interdict against the strikers. Amongst other things, they are demanding salary increases of 14%. The violence broke out on Wednesday. According to DSD spokesperson Mbangwa Xaba, the strikers attacked the non-strikers at their homes. He said the injured were from Ekurhuleni, Johannesburg and Soweto. A DSD vehicle was set alight at the Senawa service centre in Soweto. The provincial department called on negotiators from the national department and the National Education Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) to find a solution because “we don’t want to experience loss of life.” Xaba also said the DSD might be forced to suspend services if things continued in the present way. (Loosely translated from Afrikaans) Read this report by Reneilwe Dhludhlu in full in Afrikaans at Netwerk24 (limit on access) Ongoing Nehawu strike delaying court processes Daily News reports that the ongoing strike by members of the National Education Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) in the social development department is delaying justice for many awaiting-trial prisoners and families of the victims of crime. Nehawu members are demanding more favourable working conditions and salary increases. Court cases requiring reports by social workers have had to be adjourned, some for more than two months. Such reports are used by the courts to help determine a criminal’s sentence. On Wednesday, advocate Moipone Noko, the KZN provincial director of public prosecutions, confirmed that the Nehawu strike had caused delays in many cases that needed the services of social workers. She said it was not only the criminal courts that had been affected, but the children’s courts, adoption and foster care processes. The strike has reportedly also caused disruptions in child and youth care centres. Read this report by Sne Masuku in full at Daily News Other internet posting(s) in this news category – Elundini Local Municipality social development workers on a go-slow, at RNews LABOUR AND POLITICS Zuma to hold follow-up meeting with Cosatu after Easter weekend BusinessLive reports that President Jacob Zuma met Cosatu president S’dumo Dlamini and general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali on Wednesday, following a call earlier this week by the labour federation’s central executive committee (CEC) for Zuma to resign. Cosatu cited the president’s failure to consult it about last week’s cabinet reshuffle as one of the reasons he had to step down. Cosatu spokesman Sizwe Pamla said on Thursday that Zuma and the ANC’s top six officials would meet the CEC after the Easter weekend. It is unclear whether the federation, once among Zuma’s staunchest supporters, was asked to withdraw its call for him to go. Pamla said that any resolution taken by the CEC could only be reversed by that structure itself or at a Cosatu congress. Cosatu’s national office-bearers have no power to reverse resolutions taken by the CEC.
Read this report by Genevieve Quintal in full at BusinessLive. See too, Cosatu mum on outcome of meeting with Zuma, at eNCA. And also, Zuma praat man teen man met Cosatu en kry boodskap, at Netwerk24 (limit on access) LABOUR AND POLITICS SA saw small rise in job numbers year-on-year in December Fin24 reports that overall employment across non-agricultural businesses, such as factories, offices and stores, as well as national, provincial and local government entities increased by 90,000, or 0.9%, year-on-year between December 2016 and December 2015. Yet, the mining sector shed 4,000 employees over that period, Statistics SA indicated in its latest Quarterly Employment Survey (QES) on Friday. On a quarterly basis, employment grew by 18,000 jobs – from 9,672,000 in September to 9,690,000 in December 2016. Employment increases over the full year period occurred in trade (2.8%), business services (0.7%), construction (2.4%), manufacturing (0.5%) and community services (0.6%). Besides the mining and quarrying industry, a decrease in employment was recorded in the transport sector (-3.2%). The latest QES also showed that gross earnings paid to employees increased by R37.8bn (6.6%) in the period December 2015 to December 2016. Read this report by Liesl Peyper in full at Fin24 DTI approves R4.9bn incentives for clothing, textile sector Engineering News reports that SA’s clothing and textile sector has saved thousands of jobs with the assistance of the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI’s) production incentives programme within the Clothing and Textiles Competitiveness Programme. The DTI approved R4.9-billion in incentives, with more than R3.1-billion disbursed in the last financial year. “Throughout the sector, a number of companies that qualified and drew from both programmes were able to save 81,252 jobs, while an additional 9,672 jobs were created,” Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies said. Speaking in Durban this week at the Clothing Manufacturing Industry Sector Summit, he noted that this was an indication that the clothing sector was a significant labour-absorbing sector and that government needed to create more opportunities to keep it sustainable. “Whatever is needed to be done to protect the industry, it must be done, but it should be in the interest of industry development and to improve the local supplier base,” Davis told delegates. Read this report in full at Engineering News. See too, R5 billion boost for clothing and textile industry, at SABC News ‘Higher local content in SA-made vehicles could create 49,000 jobs’ Engineering News reports that achieving 60% local content on vehicles assembled in SA will have a significant impact on the economy, including the creation of 49,000 new jobs and the addition of R68-billion to the gross domestic product. This was said by Automotive Masterplan lead and B&M Analysts chairperson Dr Justin Barnes at the National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers of SA (Naacam) show held in Durban this week. He indicated that the development of an Automotive Masterplan was at an “advanced stage of development” and that more concrete details would be shared over the coming weeks. The Automotive Masterplan is set to replace government’s current automotive industry support programme, the Automotive Production and Development Programme (APDP), when it comes to an end in 2020. Naacam president Dave Coffey stated: “Given the fact that approximately triple the number of jobs are created in component manufacturing than in vehicle assembly, there is commitment across the board to deepen levels of local content. This responsibility falls as much with tier one component manufacturers as it does with [vehicle manufacturers].” Read this report in full at Engineering News Other internet posting(s) in this news category – Nelson Mandela Bay Cooperative Chamber boost for jobs, economy, at HeraldLive – SA needs to prepare as rise of the machines will result in fall in jobs – BusinessLive – Mcebisi Jonas: Creating jobs against all odds, at Daily Maverick RETRENCHMENTS / COMPANY JOB LOSSES Workers retrenched due to closure of Glencoe abattoir Northern Natal Courier reports that fifty-four workers have been retrenched following the announcement of the closure of the Glencoe abattoir. The facility will close down on 13 April. It is understood that consultative meetings have been held with the workers and unions and that staff will receive benefits in accordance with the laid-down legislation. Yet a spokesman for the abattoir could not release full details as negotiations were apparently still underway with the Food and Allied Workers Union (Fawu) and employees. The closure surprised workers who said they had been told that the business had been sold and would be rebuilt and expanded over the next twelve months. Workers were told at a meeting on 28 March that a decision had been made to shut the abattoir down and retrench all workers. Mayor Richard Mbatha expressed his concern and said the Council would be looking at ways to possibly assist wherever the municipality could. Read this report in full at Northern Natal Courier EDUCATION / SKILLS / TRAINING / QUALIFICATIONS Three Setas – Cathsseta, Sasseta and W&R Seta – remain under administration BusinessLive reports that three Sector Education and Training Authorities (Setas) remain under administration for various reasons. Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande said in a parliamentary reply this week that the Culture, Arts, Tourism, Hospitality and Sport Seta (Cathsseta) had been under administration since 2014 for consistently failing to meet its objectives and not acting on the recommendations of a forensic investigation commissioned by the board. The Safety and Security Services Seta (Sasseta) was placed under administration in 2015 for poor governance, which had resulted in mismanagement of the discretionary fund and serious irregularities in a number of contracts entered into, as well as noncompliance with the Skills Development Act and its prescripts. The Wholesale and Retail Seta (W&R Seta) was the most recent authority to be placed under administration because of its decision to pull out of the initiative to support the Rural and Township Economies Revitalisation Programme, even though the programme was part of its service-level agreement. There are 21 Setas that cover all work sectors. They receive more than R14bn in ring-fenced funds annually. Read this report by Bekezela Phakathi in full at BusinessLive Other internet posting(s) in this news category – Porsche training puts youth on road to success, at BusinessLive – Leadership gap trips up Eastern Cape education, at BusinessLive – North West wildlife college in development, at The New Age WEB LINKS TO LABOUR NEWS ARTICLES ON WEDNESDAY, 5 APRIL 2017 See our listing of links to labour articles published on the internet on Thursday, 6 April 2017 at SA Labour News
For daily reports, the following are among the sites routinely scanned: Business Day, The Times, The Star, IOL News, The New Age, Sowetan, News24, The Citizen, Fin24, Business Report, Moneyweb, Mail & Guardian, SANews.gov.za, Politicsweb, BizNews Daily Maverick, Eyewitness News, Cosatu Today, Mining Weekly, Miningmx, Engineering News