NUM protest march against AngloGold Ashanti postponed

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) Matlosana Region protest march against AngloGold Ashanti has been postponed. This is due to the disaster management department’s failure to grant the union permission to march on the 01 August 2017. The NUM resolved to march after the company issued Section 189 process of the Labour Relations Act to retrench 8 500 workers at its two operations in Matlosana and Carletonville.

The protest march will now take place as follows:
Date:  03 August 2017
Time:    15H00 to 19H00
Venue:  Umzimuhle shopping Centre to Anglo Gold office at No1 Vaal Reefs

For more information, please contact:
Masibulele Naki: NUM Matlosana Region Education Secretary: 073 333 7745
Livhuwani Mammburu:  NUM National Spokesperson: 083 809 3257

Patients plan to sue Pietermaritzburg private hospital over bogus doctor

Sunday Tribune reports that patients treated by an unregistered doctor at the Daymed Private Hospital in Pietermaritzburg plan to sue the facility. Four patients who were treated by Cuban national Juan Luis Yings Elutil, known as Dr Omar, said last week that they were horrified.  Elutil, who was caught after an investigation by medical aid firm Discovery Health, was arrested by police two weeks ago and charged with fraud by the Health Professionals Council of SA (HPCSA) for practising while unregistered for 14 years.

The hospital is owned by Dr Navind Dayanand, who last week denied knowing Elutil was unregistered.  Last week, the Mountain Rise police station sent out a statement stating that the case against Elutil had provisionally been withdrawn in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court, but this was died by the National Prosecuting Authority.

by Nabeelah Shaikh

Home Affairs offices remained closed again on Saturday

EWN reports that offices of the Department of Home Affairs across the country were not open on Saturday. The department asked the public to remain patient as its dispute with staff over Saturday working hours remained unresolved.

Spokesperson David Hlabane indicated that discussions between the department and unions have not reached a conclusion.  He added that the unions were demanding that workers be paid overtime for Saturdays, while the department maintained that it could not afford that.

by Katleho Sekhotho

Striking NHLS employees to discuss new offer on Monday

EWN reports that striking employees at the state-run National Health Laboratory Services (NHLS) will discuss a new salary package offer from management when they meet on Monday. Members of the National Education Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) and the Public Servants Association (PSA) have been on strike since last Wednesday.

Union members have accepted a 7.3% wage increase, but they are demanding other benefits such as housing allowances and increases in medical aid subsidies.  Nehawu’s Khaya Xaba confirmed that a new offer was on the table and said:  “We’re taking that offer back to our members, they will give us the go ahead on whether to accept it and whether we should end the strike.”

by Tebogo Tshwane

NUM Matlosana Region to embark on a protest march against AngloGold Ashanti

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) Matlosana Region will embark on a protest march against AngloGold Ashanti after the company issued Section 189 process of the Labour Relations Act to retrench 8 500 workers at its two operations in Matlosana and Carletonville.

The Protest March will take place as follows :
Date:      01 August 2017
Time:      15H00 to 19H00
Venue:    Umzimuhle shopping Centre to Anglo Gold office at No1 Vaal Reefs.

For more information, please contact:
Masibulele Naki: NUM Matlosana Region Education Secretary: 073 333 7745 or Livhuwani Mammburu: NUM National Spokesperson: 083 809 3257

NUM strongly condemns the searching of women while naked at Sibanye Gold Cooke Operations.

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) strongly condemns the searching and stripping of women workers while they are naked by the male security officers at Sibanye Gold Cooke operations in Westonaria. 51 workers were suspended for refusing to be stripped naked and searched. This came after the Gauteng commercial radio station KayaFM95.9 exposure highlighting the abuse of women at the mine’s Cooke 3 Shaft. This is the worst violation of their human right and degrading to their dignity.

The NUM says it has fought for women to work in the mining industry and it did not fight for them to be abused,  harassed, assaulted and violated by anyone. NUM members who refuse to be searched wer assaulted and handcuffed using cable tiers. The Sibanye Gold management at Cooke operations is refusing to meet with the leadership of the NUM branch. The NUM leadership says that it had asked the management on numerous occasion for the meeting to take place but the management does not even bother to respond.

Strike at radio station to continue

DispatchLive reports that Mdantsane FM workers have vowed to continue with their strike until the entire Mdantsane FM board comes to listen to their grievances. Disgruntled presenters, newsreaders and producers turned off the radio and sat peacefully at their Mdantsane City mall studios, hoping the management would come and talk to them. Hours later, the station manager, Xabiso Gqirana, had neither arrived to talk to staff nor even called.

On Monday the station fell silent after negotiations with management stalled. The protest is over allegations of mismanagement of funds and non-transparency from management. It is alleged that Gqirana is the only one who knows what money comes in and is spent by the station. Stipends were not being paid out and there was very little communication between workers and management, strikers said. Mdantsane FM management remains mum on the strike.

by Sisipho Zamxaka

Billions lie unclaimed in miners’ retirement funds

BusinessLive reports that some R30bn lies unclaimed from the pension and provident funds of former miners who worked under apartheid but never received their money, according to Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi. At the Smart Investments in Health conference in Johannesburg on Wednesday, Motsoaledi told delegates that the payment mechanisms for mining compensation and pension fund distribution had proved to be inefficient and that efficient systems were needed to standardise processes.

Motsoaledi indicated that only 6,500 people had been compensated to the value of R220m so far, with about R88m of that going to foreign nationals.  The money is due to 3.5-million workers in Southern Africa whom the health department says it is unable to trace.  Some had not left their addresses and could not be found, Motsoaledi indicated.  Mines compensation commissioner Dr Barry Kistnasamy said the unclaimed benefits were under a social protection fund.  “This problem goes back many years and these are large amounts of money that are due to workers,” he said.

by Michelle Gumede

Anglo, gold producers set aside substantial funds for lung disease settlement claims

Bloomberg News reports that South African mining firms, including Anglo American, are preparing a billion rand settlement with as many as 100,000 former workers who suffer from debilitating and deadly lung diseases caused by exposure to dust from working underground. Anglo has set aside $101m (R1.3bn) in preparation for a potential settlement, while Gold Fields expects to pay about $30m (R388m) to end a class action lawsuit, the companies said in separate statements on Thursday.

AngloGold Ashanti, Sibanye Gold and Harmony Gold are among 32 respondents named in the suit, which would be the country’s biggest class action.  Richard Spoor, a lawyer representing claimants, indicated:  “Significant progress has been made towards a settlement, such that companies are feeling comfortable enough to quantify their liabilities.  It’s still a process but I’m fairly optimistic we will be able to conclude something within the course of this year.”  A settlement would bring an end to almost a decade-long fight to compensate the hundreds of thousands of mine workers who contracted silicosis.

by Kevin Crowley

NHLS requests urgent meeting with unions in attempt to end strike

EWN reports that the National Health Laboratory Services (NHLS) has asked for an urgent meeting with unions to thrash out a deal to end the current strike that commenced on Wednesday. The employer has proposed a timeline around how and when labour-related agreements would be implemented, which is what led to the strike.

There has moreover been agreement on a 7.3% salary hike.  The NHLS acting CEO Shabir Madhi said they would be meeting with union leaders on Thursday afternoon.  He stated:  “The timeline for this is really what’s in dispute, both agreements were actually signed previously but there weren’t any specific timeline that was stipulated in the previous agreement.”

by Mia Lindeque