Dawn cuts 700 employees in six months

Business Report writes that financially troubled Distribution and Warehousing Network (Dawn) retrenched and terminated the employment of more than 700 employees and labour-broker staff across the group in the six months to September. The listed manufacturer and distributor of plumbing and hardware brands, which last week received a firm offer which, if successful, would lead to its delisting from the JSE, said on Friday that the largest portion of the terminations was based on operational requirements.

In November last year, Dawn reported that it had retrenched about 1300 people in the past two years, and in that month had handed retrenchment notices to a further 143 people in its Wholesale Housing Supplies (WHS) business. Edwin Hewitt, the chief executive of Dawn, said the group’s management and board had decided to close DPI, the group’s pipe-manufacturing business, while WHS, its main sanitaryware and hardware trading and distribution business, was restructured further. He said “crippling strike action” in the plastics industry, which to date had lasted seven weeks, had placed severe strain on the business and the group.

by Roy Cokayne

Placing new nurses going smoothly, says government

BusinessLive writes that Virtually all SA’s newly qualified nurses have been placed in public sector posts for 2019, a senior health department official assured MPs on Wednesday. In contrast to the last-minute scramble to find positions for new nurses in previous years, the process of placing nurses who qualified in 2018 has gone smoothly, according to the department’s chief operating officer, Gail Andrews.

A total of 3,535 nurses qualified in 2018, of whom 3,470 had already been placed, she told parliament’s portfolio committee on health. SA nurses have been given priority, and the handful of nurses who have not been offered posts in the public sector are foreigners who are studying in SA, she said.

by Tamar Kahn

Seven Anglo employees make top 100 women in mining list

Mining Weekly reports that seven female Anglo American employees made it onto the Women in Mining’s annual 100 Global Inspirational Women in Mining list. The judging panel found that Anglo subsidiary De Beers Consolidated Mines CEO Mpumi Zikalala and Anglo subsidiary Kumba Iron Ore Kolomela mine overseer Dineo Phaladi have especially persevered in the face of adversity, found solutions to challenges and empowered others by being a voice and role model for diversity and inclusion.

The Anglo employees were selected among 650 nominations from around the world. The list aims to showcase the range of female talent within the global mining industry and to identify inspirational role models to encourage future generations of women to consider mining as a career choice. Women in Mining MD Nichole McCulloch said although amazing talent has been showcased, the industry cannot remain complacent, since there is a lack of female representation at the leadership level.

by Marleny Arnoldi

President Ramaphosa to announce effective date for National Minimum Wage

President Cyril Ramaphosa will tomorrow, Friday, 7 December 2018, proclaim the effective date for the National Minimum Wage at a ceremony with stakeholders in Kliptown, Soweto. This occasion will acknowledge the contributions made by representatives of government, business, labour and community under the auspices of the National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC) to achieve the consensus that produced a national minimum wage that is currently set at R20 an hour.

This rate is subject to future adjustments in terms of the National Minimum Wage Act. The President recently signed the National Minimum Wage Bill into law along with the Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Bill and Labour Relations Amendment Bill which were negotiated by NEDLAC at the same time as the national minimum wage.

Date: Friday, 7 December 2018
Time: 14:00
Venue: Walter Sisulu Square, Kliptown

Concourt rules on debt collection notices

GroundUp writes that many people are familiar with those dreaded letters from the furniture store, cellphone company or clothing chain notifying the customer that they are in default of their credit instalments and must urgently pay up, seek debt assistance or face legal action. These notices are required by the National Credit Act so that credit providers can use the courts to track down defaulters. In a judgment handed down by the Constitutional Court last week, the court clarified that in order to be valid, these notices must specify the exact amount that is owed by a customer.

the court also addressed the question of whether a default notice served on a consumer in terms of the National Credit Act may omit to mention the amount of money that is owed. The notices served on the CTCHC beneficiaries simply said they were in default without any indication of how much they owed. It was not necessary for the court to address this question, but it did so because of the impact this question has on thousands of South Africans receiving debt notices every day. The Constitutional Court held that a default notice that does not tell the defaulter how much he or she owes, does not fulfil the function of the notice, which is to assist the consumer to make the necessary arrangements to bring payment up to date. For a notice to be valid, it must state the amount owed.

by Wilmien Wicomb

Teaching is not an essential service so teachers may strike

BusinessLive reports that the Essential Services Committee has determined that school managers and support staff are not essential services, effectively upholding their right to strike. However, it has declared a small group of services provided at boarding schools to be so, in order to protect pupils in the event of industrial action. Only boarding house parents, sanatorium services and security at boarding schools have been designated essential services.

The committee said there was no basis in law to designate basic education as an essential service or to limit or prohibit the right of principals and deputy principals to strike.  The committee said catering and cleaning services in schools were not to be designated essential services because in the event of a protected strike, there was time to make alternative plans. This decision was welcomed by the South African Democratic Teachers. Union.

by Tamar Khan

Motorists at wits’ end as licence card delays linger

The Mercury reports that frustrated drivers who have been waiting for months for their driving licences are fearful of festive season roadblocks, as they continue to drive without licences due to the severe backlog in the delivery of licence cards.  A labour dispute has led to a nationwide backlog in the issuing of driving licence cards, with some motorists having waited for up to four months. In October the Department of Transport advised all those waiting for their new driving licences to get a temporary licence. However, drivers said their temporary licences had also expired. The department then promised to send information on what concessions would be given to drivers in this predicament – however, no response was received by the time of going to print.

The backlog is a result of industrial action that started in July at the Driving Licensing Card and Account (DLCA) in Gauteng. In KwaZulu-Natal, the issuing of driving licences would usually take three to six weeks for delivery of the new licence card but since the strike, some people have waited for more than four months. The wait may be even longer as the entire production team at DLCA has not been allowed to work until they sign their contracts.

by Kailene Pillay

COSATU welcomes the Supreme Court of Appeals ruling clearing COSATU

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) welcomes the ruling by the Supreme Court of Appeals that upheld our appeal against the Equality court’s ruling that found COSATU not guilty of anti-Semitism and hate speech.

The Israeli lobby (SA Jewish Board of Deputies) took both COSATU and its International Secretary to the Equality Court falsely accusing the federation and its official of anti-Semitism and hate speech. COSATU will study the ruling with its lawyers and issue a comprehensive statement later on this matter.

Eskom implements Stage 2 load-shedding

eNCA writes that Eskom has started implementing Stage 2 load-shedding from 9am. It is likely to continue to 10pm. Eskom said in a statement this was as a result of a shortage of capacity due to a number of generating units still out of service.

The power utility is encouraging people to check load-shedding schedules on the municipal or Eskom websites. “We continue to appeal to residents and businesses to use electricity sparingly during this period. “Please switch off geysers as well as all non-essential lighting and electricity appliances to assist in reducing demand,” Eskom said.

See video report below:

Land expropriation a step closer

eNCA reports that the National Assembly has adopted the Constitutional Review Committee’s report, taking another step towards changing the Constitution to allow for land expropriation without compensation. In total, 209 MPs voted for and 91 against the change, but it’s still a while before it becomes official as legislation still needs to be formulated, considered, and debated.

After months of public comment and debate, the Constitutional Review Committee recommended the Constitutional change. The National Council of Provinces will debate and vote on the proposal, followed by a motion to expedite the now adopted reported to be tabled in the National Assembly this week still.

Watch video below: