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Labour News

Nxesi calls for 'cool heads' to prevail amid labour strikes

By: Schalk Burger     7th October 2021 Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi on October 7 called for calm as employer organisation the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of South Africa (Seifsa) and union the National Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) remain in a deadlock over wage increases. Additionally, one of the... 

NUM gets behind Cosatu strike on October 7

By: Marleny Arnoldi     6th October 2021 The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has decided to join the October 7 national strike launched by Congress of South African Trade Union (Cosatu). The NUM has, therefore, issued a call to its members in the mining, energy construction and metals sectors to join planned activities across the... 

More equipment donated in the fight against Covid-19

1st October 2021 Integrated chemicals and energy company Sasol has donated mobile clinics, vaccine carriers, laptops, specialised World Health Organisation-approved medical refrigerators and freezers, as well as temperature loggers to the provincial health departments in Gauteng, Mpumalanga and the Free State to... 

A photo of a healthworker’s hands filling out a form at a table with Covid-19 vaccinations lined up in the foreground
SPREADING THE CURE Sasol is supporting Government’s vaccination rollout strategy by donating essential equipment and resources

Significant untapped potential in local waste economy

By: Darren Parker     24th September 2021 The current contribution of the waste economy to South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) could significantly increase if the importance of implementing the waste management hierarchy is fully recognised, says waste management company Interwaste human resources and transformation director... 

A photo of two informal waste reclaimers walking along the road dragging trolleys laden with recyclable waste
Photo by Reuters
UNDERVALUED Informal waste reclaimers perform a much-needed recycling service in South Africa with little support or appreciation

Engineering sector strike looms as wage talks deadlock

By: Donna Slater     21st September 2021 The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) on Tuesday announced that it would embark on a national strike in the engineering sector from October 5, after wage talks deadlocked. Numsa has deadlocked with employer associations in engineering, namely the National Employers... 

Reskilling programme for retrenched workers completes first run

By: Darren Parker     17th September 2021 The final intake of learners for the maiden year of the Road to Reskilling training programme is set to take place later this month in Gqeberha, in the Eastern Cape. The programme was conceived as a means of reskilling and recapacitating 300 previously retrenched workers in the automotive... 

A photo of a high-tech automotive manufacturing facility and workers
MITIGATING THE IMPACT The Road to Reskilling programme was borne out of the need to reduce the impact of anticipated retrenchments from Covid-19

Covid-19 vaccinations can be made mandatory

By: Khutso Maphatsoe     17th September 2021 Owing to the latest guidelines provided by the Department of Employment and Labour, which stipulates that Covid-19 vaccinations can be made mandatory by employers, companies would need to update their policies and procedures to ensure that they comply with the guidelines, which correspond with... 

Successful year for initiative

By: Darren Parker     17th September 2021 The Automotive Supply Chain Competitiveness Initiative (ASCCI) World Class Manufacturing (WCM) programme has enjoyed a high level of participation over the past 12 months and is on track to complete 21 projects by the end of the year, National Association of Automotive Component and Allied... 

 A photo of a pair of safety gloves resting on a skip filled with steel automotive components
LOCAL IS LEKKER Localisation requires commercial competitiveness founded on skilled and knowledgeable personnel

Brain drain must not dissuade development

By: Darren Parker     17th September 2021 To foster a sustainable automotive component manufacturing sector in South Africa, the risk of locally developed skills being poached by other countries must be accepted without dissuading development, says education and training services provider Tetelestai Holdings CEO Natalie Nelson.... 

A close-up photo of precision tooling in action with sparks flying
Photo by Adobe
BRIGHT SPARKS The National Tooling Initiative Programme has begun a targeted apprenticeship that funds 15 learners in the toolmaking trade

New Merseta chamber to positively impact on sector

By: Darren Parker     17th September 2021 The creation of an automotive component manufacturers chamber at the Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority (Merseta) has been a “game changer”, says National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers (NAACAM) executive director... 

A photo of a worker handling automotive components in a factory
Photo by Bloomberg
PLAYING ITS PART The creation of an automotive component manufacturing specific chamber at the Merseta enables this subsector to deal with its own unique skills issues

Initiative advances TVET system

By: Darren Parker     17th September 2021 Following its initial launch in March last year, skills development initiative High Gear and its partners are launching several technical vocational education and training (TVET) curricula upgrades over the next six months. The High Gear initiative is a collaboration between the National... 

A photo young black men and women being trained by an older white man in an automotive component manufacturing facility
PASSING THE TORCH The improved skills pipeline enabled by High Gear will contribute towards the automotive components manufacturing sector’s localisation and transformation objectives

UIF urges finalisation of outstanding Covid-19 Ters applications before December deadline

By: Donna Slater     15th September 2021 The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) appeals to employers to resolve any errors on their submitted Covid-19 Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (Ters) portal to enable the fund to finalise any outstanding claims. The UIF notes that claims cannot be finalised until certain corrections are... 

Municipality in support of niche and light industry

10th September 2021 According to Knysna Planning and Development MMC Mncedisi Skosana, the local leadership has been investigating ways of diversifying the area’s economic drivers and contributors. 

Metals, engineering industry wage negotiations deadline extended to Sept 14

By: Donna Slater     3rd September 2021 The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) reports that its affiliated employer associations – the National Employers Association of South Africa and the South African Engineers and Founders Association, have agreed to extend the deadline for concluding wage... 

An image of Seifsa CEO Lucio Trentini
Seifsa CEO Lucio Trentini

Gender mainstreaming seen as ‘transformative approach’ to include women in infrastructure

By: Simone Liedtke     25th August 2021 When properly addressed and implemented, gender mainstreaming is a transformative approach with a great potential for social change, a panel of speakers addressing the first-ever Women in Infrastructure Summit on August 24 agreed. Gender mainstreaming is, however, a long-term strategy, as every... 

Partnership formed to teach rural women excavator skills 

25th August 2021 A partnership between Nkwe Platinum, Zijin Mining Group and Sany Southern Africa has resulted in six women from rural Limpopo being provided basic excavator operating skills. The initiative is part of all three companies’ corporate social investment drive and their efforts to empower women during... 

Nkwe Platinum Image
Partnership formed to teach rural women excavator skills

Failure to heed warnings about a disease like Covid-19 a bigger risk than the disease itself – Whitfield

By: Donna Slater     24th August 2021 The major risk posed by Covid-19 is not the disease itself, but instead humankind’s inaction to heed calls that such an event could lead to the crippling of global economies and other systems, independent broadcaster, journalist and writer Bruce Whitfield said on August 24. He gave the keynote... 

SA's unemployment rate hits record 34.4%  

By: News24Wire      24th August 2021 Unemployment has hit a record high of 34.4%, or 7.8-million jobless people. Stats SA released the Quarterly Labour Force Survey for the second quarter on Tuesday. This is the highest unemployment rate recorded since the survey started in 2008. The unemployment rate was previously 32.6%. The... 

Unemployed people standing in line

New research finds employers ‘mistrust’ people to work remotely

By: Simone Liedtke     24th August 2021 While only 35% of employers trust their staff fully while working remotely, only 19% say productivity decreased since employees transitioned to remote working, an observation which creates “quite the paradox”, notes research conducted for electronics company Ricoh, by UK public relations firm... 

Impasse between government and labour sets tone for a testy day at the ConCourt

By: News24Wire      24th August 2021 Despite a hard-won public service wage deal being reached in late July, public service unions and government departments will on Tuesday return to the Constitutional Court where labour representatives are appealing a Labour Court ruling excusing government from sticking to a wage deal that dates... 

Legal gavel

Demand for vaccines requires boost to enable full reopening of economy

By: Donna Slater     23rd August 2021 Despite an anti-vaccination contingent in South Africa’s society, Business Leadership South Africa CEO Busi Mavuso says common sense and rationality prevail for the most part in terms of acceptance and a willingness to get vaccinated – a factor that could soon mean the complete reopening of the... 

New strike patterns have been emerging in recent years, says postdoctoral fellow 

By: Donna Slater     12th August 2021 An increase in strike action can be correlated with an increase in favourable economic conditions within a country, region or industry, as has been the case, for the most part, over the past 50 years, says University of the Witwatersrand Society, Work and Politics Institute postdoctoral fellow... 

An image of Eddie Cottle
Influences behind a shift in strike action trends

Employment, Labour Minister outlines interventions by dept following recent civil unrest

By: Simone Liedtke     11th August 2021 Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi has outlined interventions by the Department of Employment and Labour on how it will be assisting affected workers across the KwaZulu-Natal province following recent civil unrest. The Minister says the department is collating all the necessary workers’... 

Increased interest in temporary employment services

By: Darren Parker     6th August 2021 More of human capital solutions provider Workforce’s agricultural clients are agreeing to the value that Workforce Staffing – a temporary employment service provider subsidiary of Workforce – can bring to the table. Workforce Africa MD Darren Hollander tells Engineering News that compliance... 

A photograph of Workforce Africa MD Darren Hollander
DARREN HOLLANDER In the agriculture sector, which mostly requires unskilled labour, not enough is being done to upskill workers

PwC report highlights need for increased focus on diversity, inclusion and ESG

By: Donna Slater     5th August 2021 Professional services firm PwC’s ‘Executive directors’ practices and remuneration trends’ report, released on August 5, finds that companies’ journeys to what it says is “fair pay” requires them to embrace inclusivity and diversity, as well as an internal culture of belonging. In defining what... 

From a coal-to-gas conversion to a microgrid factory, Eskom builds Komati’s just energy transaction case 

By: Terence Creamer     3rd August 2021 State-owned electricity utility Eskom is hoping to transform the workshops at the Komati power station – identified as the flagship site for the piloting of a broader ‘just energy transition’ programme that couples decarbonisation with social upliftment – into a factory capable of manufacturing... 

Photograph of the Komati power station
A file photo of the Komati power station, which has generated electricity since 1961

OHS report calls for consolidation of legislation

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     30th July 2021 Although South Africa has a progressive occupational health and safety (OHS) legislation regime, it needs to fast-track the process of consolidating the related legislation and create a national policy on OHS, the Department of Employment and Labour’s (DEL’s) ‘Profile of Occupational Health and... 

Busa welcomes easing of restrictions, others caution of damage already done

By: Donna Slater     26th July 2021 President Cyril Ramaphosa’s July 25 address to the nation and the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions from adjusted Alert Level 4, to adjusted Alert Level 3, has been welcomed by Business Unity South Africa (Busa), while the South African Liquor Brandowners Association (Salba) has expressed concern... 

Report calls for freeze on new coal, warns of risks if energy transition is delayed  

By: Terence Creamer     23rd July 2021 South Africa should freeze investment in new private coal plants, as delaying South Africa’s “inevitable” transition away from the carbon-emitting energy mineral will cause economic damage, a new Trade & Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS) analysis on the country’s coal value chain states.... 

An image of a coal mining vehilce with a power station in the background.

Biovac/Pfizer vaccine partnership will boost mRNA hub – Nzimande 

By: Sane Dhlamini     23rd July 2021 The Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation Dr Blade Nzimande has congratulated the Biovac Institute for its partnership with Pfizer and its German vaccine partner BioNTech which will see the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine being manufactured in South Africa for distribution within... 

Picture of Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation Dr Blade Nzimande
Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation Dr Blade Nzimande

Young African project leaders highlighted

23rd July 2021 Industry association Project Management Institute (PMI) announced its second yearly Future 50 list, which features 50 rising leaders using bold and innovative thinking to transform the world through notable projects. The 50 standout project leaders, highlighted in a new digital experience on the... 

Photo of two engineers working on site
LEADING THE WAY The 50 individuals on the Future 50 list are changemakers whose range of projects exemplify the power and potential of transformation

Basa requests urgent meeting with Patel to save industry on the brink of collapse

By: Donna Slater     21st July 2021 In the wake of the recent civil unrest, which resulted in 161 liquor outlets and distribution centres being looted and damaged in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, the beer industry is urgently calling for the alcohol ban to be lifted so that legal businesses can operate. Enabling liquor business to... 

Report shines light on empowerment of women in green industry

By: Donna Slater     20th July 2021 The virtual launch of a assessment report on the Empowerment of Women in the Green Industry Policy on July 20 has been welcomed by Trade, Industry and Competition Deputy Minister Nomalungelo Gina, who delivered an address at the event. The report is the result of the collaboration between the... 

Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi laments youth unemployment crisis in South Africa

By: News24Wire      20th July 2021 Young unemployed South Africans had "it tough" even before the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi. And, now that the full effect of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions is being felt, they find themselves in a situation that's deteriorating more and more with... 

UIF opens applications for extended TERS payments

By: Schalk Burger     19th July 2021 Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi has signed a direction for the Unemployment Insurance Fund to implement a third extension of the Covid-19 Temporary Employer-Employee Relief Scheme benefits. The Unemployment Insurance Fund will open the system for applications from July 19 and commence... 

Alcohol industry laments sales ban extension

By: Donna Slater     12th July 2021 The South African Liquor Brandowners Association (Salba) and National Liquor Traders (NLT) note their disappointment in President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision to extend the current ban of alcohol sales by another two weeks. In a joint statement, the two organisations suggest that the decision to... 

Salba requests excise duties deferment to offset liquor prohibition implications

By: Donna Slater     6th July 2021 The South African Liquor Brandowners Association (Salba) states that the current 14-day ban of alcohol sales declared by government on June 27 has left it with “no choice” but to request that the South African Revenue Service (Sars) provide extended payment terms on the excise duties currently... 

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