NUM signswage agreement with Petra Cullinan Diamond Mine

NUM signed a one year wage agreement with Petra Cullinan Diamond Mine. The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is pleased to announced it had yesterday, 18 July 2018, signed a substantive one year wage agreement with Petra Cullinan Diamond Mine.

The signed wage agreement is structured as follows:
– Wage increases in the categories A & B is 8.5%
– Wage increases in the category C is 7%
– Living out allowance in categories A & B is R 1 400 per mont
– Housing allowance in category C increased to R2 825 per month
– Medical Aid in categories A & B is R970 per month
– Medical Aid in category C is R2 370 per month
– Company pension fund contribution in the categories A & B is going to be 8.5%

The parties also agreed that there will be an additional salary adjustment for the periods July, August and September 2018. The NUM is pleased that this wage negotiations was amicably concluded without hiccups, it only took two hours to reach an agreement. The NUM wishes to express its sincere gratitude to its members at Petra Cullinan Diamond Mine for the manner in which they behaved during the negotiation period. “Our members are excited and they gave us this mandate to sign the agreement,” said William Mabapa, NUM Deputy General Secretary.

Worker killed in fall-of-ground incident

Mining Weekly reports that an employee at Harmony Gold’s Tshepong mine, in Welkom, has died in a fall-of-ground incident on Thursday. An investigation into the incident is under way. “Management express their deepest condolences to the deceased employee’s family, friends and colleagues,” Harmony said in a statement.

Harambee’s ‘dating service’ approach to work gets young people employed

Thomson Reuters Foundation reports on Harambee, a South African “youth employment accelerator” that links talent-hungry businesses with promising unemployed youngsters.   “The best description I’ve heard is that we’re a dating service and a finishing school,” said Lebo Nke, an executive at the social enterprise, which since 2011 has helped more than 50,000 youths find work.  In SA, a record 5.5-million young people are searching for work unsuccessfully, many living in slums far from big employers.  To change that, Harambee sends young recruiters into deprived townships and collects contacts of young people hoping for jobs.  It then invites some into its offices for a day to gauge their interests and skills, test their analytical thinking, and help them create an e-mail account and CV.

It also offers advice on everything from how to dress for a job interview to the kinds of questions they might be asked.  Those without interview clothes can pick up an outfit free.  Young people who show promise for challenging jobs get additional assessment and then vocational training — as much as eight weeks for call-centre work — once a specific opportunity is identified.  Candidates then wait to be called for an interview when one of the 425 businesses Harambee partners with— from Nando’s restaurants to Microsoft and Standard Bank — come looking.  Employers pay a share of Harambee’s spending to prepare a candidate if they hire one.

by Laurie Goering
Ref: Business Live

Court orders education minister to fix law on school infrastructure

Dispatch Live reports that the Bhisho High Court has ruled in favour of Equal Education’s application to compel the minister of Basic Education‚ Angie Motshekga‚ to fix the “loopholes” in the legislated minimum norms and standards for school infrastructure. The court ruled on Thursday morning that some of the regulations in the norms and standards were unconstitutional and invalid‚ and ordered the minister to amend them. The case‚ which was brought to court two years ago‚ was finalised on Thursday. The minister was also ordered to pay the applicant’s costs.

EE argued that the loopholes in the law have allowed government to get away with not fixing schools and impede on pupils’ rights to safe and dignified schools. Equal Education provincial leader Luzuko Sidimba said this is a victory for the education lobby group and for every South African pupil. Speaking outside the court‚ Department of Basic Education spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga said they welcomed the court ruling and would use the ruling to “fix their mistakes”.

by Aretha Linden

The Post Office strike is finally over

TimesLive reports that the strike at the South African Post Office (Sapo) is over. Sapo and trade unions the Communication Workers Union (CWU)‚ Democratic Postal Workers Union (Depacu) and the SA Postal Workers Union (Sapwu) reached an agreement on salary negotiations on Wednesday. Their strike started on July 3. All Sapo employees will get a 6.5% salary increase‚ backdated to April 1.

The working hours for permanent part-time employees have been increased from 21.5 hours to 27.5 hours per week. “Five hundred of these positions are earmarked to be phased in as permanent full-time employees in due course‚ following an appropriate process‚” Sapo said. “Accumulated mail is expected to take roughly 20 work days to be processed.” Sapo added that they had migrated 2.2-million South Africa Social Security Agency beneficiaries to the new SASSA/SAPO issued gold card.

by Nico Gous

Gold producers offer insulting wage increases says NUM

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has noted the pittance or insulting wage offers from the gold producers tabled today. They had offered annual wage increases of up to R550 to miners and up to 4.5 percent for artisans, miners, and officials. These wage offers are not even close to what the union’s members are demanding.

The NUM views this as an insulting wage offer and said that will take this pittance of a wage offer back to its members for them to make a final decision. All the stakeholders will reconvene next week Wednesday and the unions will report back to the plenary the mandate from the members. The NUM is still demanding R9 500 for the surface workers, R10 500 for the underground and 15% for the artisans, miners, and officials.

World-first sanitaryware machine a launch pad for rural jobs

The Citizen reports that a machine that will produce the world’s first biodegradable menstrual hygiene pads has been unveiled at the historic Liliesleaf Farm, as part of the Nelson Mandela centenary commemorations. The hygiene technology was launched by the Nelson Mandela Foundation in collaboration with Cintron Energy Drink and Aakar, an Indian empowerment company, at the farm in Rivonia where Madiba’s fellow Rivonia triallists were arrested ahead of the treason trial which began in 1956.

Various materials are used in parts of the sanitary napkins that are finally amalgamated as one pad, making it easier for a self-help group of women to work on a unit in a rural area. The product is reportedly “100% compostable”. There is no plastic in the pads. This eliminates the need to incinerate them after use, since they break down in about six months. The foundation said the machine would produce 2 000 to 2 500 pads a day. Each unit will be placed in a rural setting, giving 13 to 14 locals jobs. At least 25% of the pads produced will be given away for free to disadvantaged women and girls. The products from these units will be sold through store supply chains across the country. The date on which distribution will start is still to be confirmed.

by Chisom Jenniffer Okoye

Anglo American closes its defined benefit SA pension fund

Moneyweb reports that Anglo American has advised pensioners that it will close the Anglo American Corporation Pension Fund (AACPF). The AACPF is the defined benefit fund that employees of Anglo’s Johannesburg Corporate Office were members of. The fund has been closed to new members for almost two decades after the company introduced a defined contribution pension fund. The AACPF has no contributory members and is primarily a pensioner fund.

The closure will affect 2 030 pensioners and five employees who have retained their past service in the AACPF. Future pensions will be paid by Momentum. AACPF pension benefits will continue to be payable to members of the fund for the next three to four decades.

by Ingé Lamprecht

Bargaining council orders Putco to pay bus wage increases

Fin24 reports that the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) is confident of a favourable decision in its dispute with Golden Arrow, following the Bus Sector Bargaining Council’s decision on Monday which was in their favour and against Putco. This is according to the union’s spokesperson Zanele Sabela who spoke to Fin24 after the council ordered that Putco pay 7% of the 9% wage increase outlined this year – and pay the remainder in January of 2019.

The two bus operators sought exemptions from the wage agreement which brought an end to the national bus strike earlier this year. The disputes related to the agreed wage increases for 9% in the 2018 period and 8% in 2019. Both Putco and Golden Arrow contested these increases at the bargaining council, with Putco claiming they could not afford to pay in line with the two-year wage agreement. Sabela said there was little room for Golden Arrow to plead poverty in its bargaining council submissions, as the operator’s profits jumped up 11% to R300m this year. Sabela said the union and Golden Arrow would make submissions to the bargaining council in Cape Town on Tuesday and that after taking submissions the bargaining council would take two weeks to make a finding.

by Khulekani Magubane

KZN nurses call for health MEC to step down

GroundUp reports that hundreds of nurses from across KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) marched to the provincial legislature in Pietermaritzburg on Monday seeking to get the MEC for Health, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, removed. “Can we get a MEC who knows what he is doing?  This is the third march this year.  We are short staffed and overworked,” said disgruntled nurse Bongekile Khomo who has to take care of 60 patients in one ward.

Most of the nurses who marched from Alexandra Park to the legislature were part of the United Nurses Forum, which said that nurses were short staffed in health institutions, with nurses working in rural areas suffering the most.  Zithembiso Nzuza accepted the memorandum on behalf of the speaker of the KZN legislature and confirmed that they were aware that a memorandum had been handed over to the office of the premier in May.  The premier apparently tasked the department to attend to the issues.

by Nompendulo Ngubane