Compesation for injuries or diseases emanating from the workplace

1. What is COIDA?

COIDA is the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act, 130 of 1993. The mandate of this act is to provide compensation for disablement caused by occupational injuries or diseases sustained or contracted by employees in the course of their employment or for death resulting from such injuries or diseases. It must also provide for rehabilitation and reintegration of employees into the workplace.


Occupational Health and Safety first in the workplace

1. What is OHSA?

OHSA is the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 181 of 1993. The mandate of this act is to provide for the health and safety of persons at work and for the health and safety of persons in connection with the use of plant and machinery; the protection of persons other than persons at work against hazards to health and safety arising out of or in connection with the activities of persons at work.

COSATU Mpumalanga to lead a protest march to Lily Mine

The Congress of South African Trade Unions in Mpumalanga will stage a protest march to the Lily mine Management in Barberton on the 12th June 2016. The purpose of the protest is to demand that the mine management prioritise the recovery of the three workers who are still trapped underground since February 2016.

COSATU is angered by the fact that it is almost four months since the three workers, Pretty Mabuza, Yvonne Mnisi and Solomon Nyendere were trapped inside the container as a result of a rock fall that happened on the 5th February 2016.

The COSATU protest march will be supported by the community of Lowville and all the progressive structures in the province. The protest march which will start at 10h00 at the Low’s Creek Garage and proceed to the Lily mine and will be led by COSATU National Office Bearers and the NUM National Office Bearers.


Striking SA firefighters return home

A team of South African firefighters dispatched to Canada to fight a massive wildfire in the oil sands region is heading home after a pay dispute, South African officials said on Thursday. Working on Fire, a South African government-funded organisation that trains firefighters, said a senior management team was on its way to Alberta assist with their demobilisation and return home. At issue is how much pay the firefighters should receive for their work in Canada.

During their deployment, Canadian authorities agreed to cover accommodation and meals, while each fire fighter would also receive a daily stipend of C$15 (R175) for discretionary purchases, according to Working on Fire. In addition, after their return home, each firefighter would receive an “out of country daily allowance” to the rand value equivalent of C$35 (R408) a day. They were also to receive the regular wage they earn at home.
“We wish to categorically state that the quoted amount of $21 per hour is incorrect and was never agreed to with anyone,” Working on Fire said, referring to the media reports. It added in a statement that each firefighter signed the agreement on pay before coming to Canada.


Public Enterprises Minister launches Eskom nuclear training initiative

BDLive reports that Eskom has initiated a major training programme for nuclear operators, saying it will train 100 artisans as operators at its Koeberg plant to meet SA’s requirements in the future.

The programme, launched by Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown in Cape Town on Thursday, is a strong vote of confidence by government and Eskom for an expanded nuclear energy sector in the future.  The Koeberg-Eskom programme is the latest in several initiatives to gear up for SA’s proposed nuclear build, which government has said will involve the construction of 9,600MW of new capacity.  Others include training programmes with Russia, France, China and South Korea, where SA students are being trained in a variety of skills.  However, there is a raging debate on the affordability of new nuclear plants, which due to new safety standards have become enormously expensive to build.

Report by Carol Paton

Fawu, grain processors avert strike with wage deal

Fin24 reports that SA’s biggest grain processing and logistics companies and the Food and Allied Workers Union (Fawu) representing workers have reached a wage agreement, averting a strike.

The pact, signed on Thursday, means that workers will get a wage increase of between 6% to 8% from companies, including Senwes, NWK, OWK and Suidwes.  Workers were seeking above-inflation increases.  Demands included an increase of at least R500 a month and a minimum wage of at least R4,500.  Other requests included an extra month of pay annually, performance bonuses and a housing allowance of R850.

By Tshepiso Mokhema

Surplus Labour Army – By DR

South Africa is at a crossroad right now. Labour and capital are constantly going head to head with each other, gunning for the dismissal of the other, government at the centre, trying desperately to please both of the warring sides, giving the other a priority then to the detriment of the other. When two giants go at each other, it’s the grass that suffers.

COSATU rejects the Institute of Race Relations ‘ self serving proposals on the economy

COSATU is fully supportive of any attempts to discuss and
explore a developmental model that will be people centred, and acknowledge the South African economic and social history and dynamics and also unite all social partners.

This economic crisis has exposed the shortcomings of neoliberalism and all those, who are still placing only neoliberal policies on the table and are pressuring the National Treasury to implement, will face stiff resistance from COSATU. We need to come up with policies that will rescue the poor from poverty, create jobs for the unemployed and not just to please and pacify the sovereign rating agencies.

No green light for Lily operations until buried container retrieved

The Citizen reports that Lily Mine would be able to resume operations in about eight to 10 months when full funding has been obtained, but permission will not be granted until a container in which three employees has been trapped for months is retrieved.

Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane indicated:  “Firstly, the container must be retrieved, and all safety precautions must be taken before mine workers can resume their duties.”  Operations at the Vantage Goldfields mine near Barberton were halted in February after a cave-in,  yet three employees are still unaccounted for.

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has expressed concern over the decision to resume operations and believes the mine should rescue the workers first.

By Batlile Phaladi

Looming strike action in grain sector

Food and Allied Workers Union (Fawu)is set to go out on strike in the grain industry.  It served eight employers in the grain industry with a strike notification on Monday when wage negotiations failed. The eight employers are OVK, VKB, Suidwes, Senwes, Grain Field Chickens, GWK, NWK and Obaro.

In a statement, the union said workers were battling with the high cost of living and employers were offering increases far below their demands. The workers are demanding 9% wage increase, or an additional R550 a month per employee across the board, whichever is the greater.  Among other demands, workers want an annual guaranteed 13th cheque as well as a housing allowance of R850.

Both parties resumed talks on Wednesday to try to resolve the stand-off. The employers are offering between 3% and 8%.  Fawu has indicated that, as the talks have deadlocked, a strike will start on Friday.