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Labour News

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... 

Govt still remiss in its consultation with private sector on Covid-19 lockdowns, says BLSA

By: Donna Slater     5th July 2021 Despite the improvements in government’s approach to tackling the Covid-19 pandemic and associated lockdown regulations, Business Leadership South Africa CEO Busi Mavuso says government has still not embraced consultation with the private sector. She points out this has been a case in point with... 

Seifsa has ‘high expectations’ that the economy will rebound this year

By: Simone Liedtke     29th June 2021 The Quarterly Employment Statistics (QES) data released on June 29 by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) reflect South Africa’s turbulent path to economic recovery amid the deepening negative impact of Covid-19 restrictions on the economy, the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of... 

New restrictions putting many jobs at risk, commentators warn

By: Donna Slater     28th June 2021 Following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement of the move to adjusted Alert Level 4 Covid-19 restrictions and the accompanying ban on alcohol sales, the South African Liquor Brandowners Association (Salba) is requesting government to reassess its measures and to focus on its vaccine rollout... 

Employment Equity report shows ‘slow progress’ of transformation 

By: Simone Liedtke     25th June 2021 Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi has called on Cabinet to “urgently review legislation and regulations”, stating that employment equity (EE) “needs to be seen as a catalyst for change”. Upon receiving the twenty-first iteration of the Commission for Employment Equity’s (CEE’s) annual... 

Vaccine registration for people 50 and over opens July 1   

By: Sane Dhlamini     25th June 2021 Acting Health Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane announced on Friday that South Africans aged between 50 and 59 years can register for the Covid-19 vaccine from July 1, with vaccinations for this age group scheduled to begin July 15. South Africa is battling a third wave of the pandemic, with... 

Acting Health Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane
Acting Health Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane announces that vaccine registration for people aged 50 and over opens July 1 (Camera: Kutlwano Matlala, Editing: Nicholas Boyd)

Pandemic has presented ‘economic reset’ opportunities

By: Sane Dhlamini     23rd June 2021 Deputy Minister of Employment and Labour Boitumelo Moloi said on Wednesday that while the Covid-19 pandemic has been catastrophic, it has, in many ways, presented a lot of economic reset opportunities in the process. She was addressing delegates at the launch of Switzerland's Institute of... 

Pandemic has presented ‘economic reset’ opportunities

Illovo, Jobs Fund project benefitting community  

23rd June 2021 Four years in, the Small-Scale Grower Cane Development project has recorded notable successes, with over 860 sustainable jobs created and 3 000 ha of cane developed on communal land owned by small-scale growers. Tasneem Bulbulia elaborates. 

Illovo, Jobs Fund project benefitting community
Illovo, Jobs Fund project benefitting community

Seifsa tables three-year wage offer

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     22nd June 2021 The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa), which represents 19 affiliated employer organisations, has tabled a three-year wage deal. This followed after negotiations were held with labour unions, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa, Solidarity,... 

South Africa’s labour law architect Mboweni sees need for change

By: Bloomberg     18th June 2021 Tito Mboweni, the architect of many of South Africa’s labour laws, said it may be time to review them to ensure they aren’t impeding economic growth. South Africa’s current finance minister told an investment conference on Thursday that when he served as the first post-apartheid labour minister... 

S Africa won’t budge on State wage bill, finance chief says 

By: Bloomberg     17th June 2021 South African Finance Minister Tito Mboweni told an investment conference the Treasury won’t back down on its insistence that any wage agreement for state workers mustn’t breach the government’s fiscal ceiling. Mboweni made the comments at a conference organized by JSE Ltd. and sponsored by... 

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni

Shoprite spends R700m over five years training more than 30 000 youths

By: Schalk Burger     15th June 2021 Retail chain Shoprite Group has spent more than R700-million over the past five years on skills development and training programmes to enhance the career options of South Africa’s unskilled and unemployed youth. It has trained 24 308 people in its own Retail Readiness Programme, provided 1 027... 

Nxesi issues new directive for workplace vaccinations

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     14th June 2021 Employers should find a reasonable resolution that accommodates all parties where employees refuse to be vaccinated for medical and constitutional grounds. This is contained in the new consolidated directive on occupational health and safety (OHS) measures in certain workplaces, which was... 

Showcase to be hosted to boost tech SMMEs

By: Donna Slater     9th June 2021 Fourth Industrial Revolution laboratory Forge Academy, in partnership with Nokia and the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) SMME Chamber, will host a showcase for small and medium-sized tech businesses and tech startups in Fourways on June 30. The showcase is aimed at highlighting... 

Survey shows African business leaders have positive outlook for 2021 

By: Donna Slater     9th June 2021 Professional services firm PwC’s twenty-fourth yearly ‘Global CEO Survey’ finds that CEOs have an improved outlook and record high optimism about the global economy, with 68% of CEOs in Africa believing growth will improve this year. This compares with 76% of CEOs outside of Africa being... 

Busa expresses concern over commission’s rejection of Burger King sale

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th June 2021 Business Unity South Africa (Busa) has noted with concern the Competition Commission’s recent decision to block the sale of Burger King by Grand Parade Investments to ECP Africa, saying it would have unintended consequences. The commission cited ECP’s lack of black ownership credentials as the... 

SAHPRA registers Janssen Covid-19 vaccine with conditions

By: Sane Dhlamini     7th June 2021 The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) announced on Monday the registration of the Janssen Covid-19 vaccine on March 31, with conditions. SAHPRA CEO Dr Boitumelo Semete-Makokotlela explained that one of the conditions is that the vaccine be manufactured under conditions... 

SAHPRA registers Janssen Covid-19 vaccine with conditions
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