Pilots at Mango and cabin crew at SA Airlink embark on strike action

TimesLive reports that according to union officials, employees of two local airlines will be downing tools on Monday.  Pilots at budget airline Mango are launching a strike after wage negotiations with the company failed. Deon Reyneke of trade union Solidarity said employees were demanding an 8.5% increase, while the company was offering 6%.  Meantime, members of the SA Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu) at SA Airlink were also due to go on strike.

“The 110 workers are employed as cabin crew at the regional airline and are disgruntled that the company refuses to accede to their pay increase demand.  Workers are demanding a 32% increase while the company is only offering 10%‚” the union indicated.  It said the demand was fuelled by the fact that the company had increased pilots’ salaries by 32%.  Satawu also intends to address racial undertones at the company in that black female cabin crew are not allowed to wear their hair natural as the airline deems it unprofessional.

by Nomahlubi Jordaan

Mineworkers in dock for Marikana murders

eNCA reports that eighteen mineworkers, who face multiple charges including murder emanating from the violent strike at Lonmin Platinum Mine in Marikana four years ago, are expected to appear in the North West High Court on Friday. Ten people were killed in the days leading to the Marikana massacre on 16 August 2012, when 34 striking mineworkers were shot dead by the police.

The remaining 18 face charges of murder, robbery, malicious damage to property and unlawful possession of a firearm. They are expected to appear in the high court sitting in Mogwase for a pre-trial conference. The state alleges they killed two policemen, two Lonmin security officers and non-striking mineworkers. One of the accused, Anele Zonke, is already serving a 42-year prison sentence, having been sentenced in February for the 2014 murder of Samancor Chrome mine’s human resources manager Goodman Zalukano and the attempted murder of Thandi Zulakangana. When Zalukano and Zulakangana left a shopping complex in Kroondal, near Rustenburg, they were attacked by Zonke and his accomplices.

Ref: ANA

Government tardiness drives up costs of labour penalties

BusinessLive reports national and provincial government departments have shown a “hostile” contempt for labour courts and arbitration bodies in the past four years as a quarter of all arbitration awards issued against them were not complied with. This is according to a new report by the Public Service Commission into non-compliance by departments to awards where they were found to have treated employees unfairly.

Public Service Commissioner (PSC) Moira Marais-Martin said during a briefing in Pretoria on Thursday that while the scale of non-implementation was “not huge” there was an increase in costs because of litigation in terms of compensation for successful applicants. The PSC report said that government departments incurred arbitration awards of R166m between 2013 and 2016 and R94m in compensation costs. However, she said, many departments did not comply with arbitration orders, which drove costs even higher for departments. The report is due to be sent to the Department of Public Service and Administration for further consultation and discussion.

by Khulekani Magubane

School’s principal‚ management team removed following alleged molestation of grade R learners

The Staff Writer reports that Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi announced he has removed the principal and management team of a Soweto primary school where 83 grade R learners were allegedly molested by a guard. The school has not been named to avoid identifying the children. Initially‚ the number of learners allegedly molested was given as 54. However‚ the department said on Thursday afternoon it had been informed by officials sent to investigate that the number had risen to 83.

Lesufi said the man had appeared at the Protea Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday. He was remanded in police custody until next Wednesday. The department would engage with the school governing body soon to establish reasons why it should not be dissolved‚ Lesufi said. The department also said an independent body had been appointed to investigate all allegations levelled against the principal and her management. A counselling process was conducted by a team made up of education department officials‚ health and social department officials and the Teddy Bear Clinic.

Ref: SowetanLive

How garnishee orders keep gouging debtors despite a landmark ruling

In an informative and detailed report, BusinessLive writes that it has been 13 months since the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) handed down a landmark ruling on the illegality of certain practices in the administration of garnishee orders, but for many of the applicants in that case life is just as bleak. Activists claim that fee-gouging and fraudulent court orders continue unabated.  Emolument attachment orders (EAOs) are sanctioned by courts as a solution to the “problem” of debtor default.  Most of what is called “garnishees” in SA are actually EAOs.

Five main “loopholes” are used to abuse the Act, but the ConCourt dealt with only two.  Debtors report signing blank consent forms or being bullied into consenting to jurisdiction changes.  They also report consenting to judgment (a method of skipping through some of the main steps in obtaining an EAO).  There have been accusations of clerks being bribe and approving whatever is put in front of them.  Clark Gardner of Summit Financial Partners, which works with public and private payrolls to audit garnishees on the books, says the biggest issue with garnishees is garnishees not passed by the court.  “These are fraudulent orders,” he indicated.

by Kate Ferreira

Payouts by CCOD to injured miners triple after reforms

BusinessLive reports that the Compensation Commission for Occupational Diseases (CCOD) tripled the number of payouts it made to injured miners in the 2016-17 financial year compared to the year before. This suggests that the reforms driven by commissioner Barry Kistnasamy are starting to bear fruit. Just under 5,300 miners and former mineworkers received a collective R203.6m in the 2016-17 year, compared to the R79.3m paid out to 1,766 claimants the year before.

Briefing parliament’s portfolio committee on health on Tuesday, Kistnasamy conceded that the CCOD was still getting its books in order and only expected to table its 2016-17 annual report in 2018, but was at pains to demonstrate that the formerly dysfunctional organisation was making significant progress in tackling the massive backlog of miners’ claims.

by Tamar Kahn

Absa employee guilty on 359 fraud counts

TimesLive reports that an Absa employee was found guilty on 359 charges of fraud after a Hawks investigation found that he transferred money from a client’s account to his brother’s account without the knowledge of the client. Moses Moroe was a sales consultant for the bank at its Loch Logan branch in the Free State.

He was sentenced in the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday to eight years imprisonment‚ suspended for five years‚ provided that he pays back the money before July 2018. Hawks spokesperson S’fiso Nyakane said the 34-year-old had defrauded the bank of R366‚000 over two years. Moroe was dismissed from his job last October after the bank initiated a departmental trial.

by Petru Saal

Durban mops up after devastating storm

eNCA reports that at least six people died and many properties were affected, including a number of hospitals and schools. The death toll is expected to rise as many people are still missing. Motorists in the province have been warned to drive cautiously as some roads are still flooded while others are filled with debris.

All roads in the southern parts of Durban have been closed. The disaster management call centre is continuing to deal with high call volumes and urges residents to use the number only in emergencies.

Employees with mental illness still battle stigma in the workplace

BusinessLive reports that only one in six employees with mental illness say they feel comfortable disclosing their condition to their manager, according to an online survey conducted by the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag). The results highlighted the extent of workplace stigma about mental illness, said the advocacy group, which released the results of its survey to mark world mental health day tomorrow (October 10).

The survey included 499 participants, of whom four fifths (79%) were women. Just under a third of the respondents (29%) said they had not told anyone about their mental health issue. A little over half (56%) of the respondents said they had taken time off work during the previous year due to their mental illness. “Depression affects cognitive functioning such as decision making, concentration, memory and problem-solving abilities. Depression negatively impacts productivity. If an employee has depression but is at work, they are five times less productive than an employee who was absent due to depression,” said psychiatrist and clinical psychologist, Frans Korb.

by Tamar Kahn

Free bus rides for job seekers

Pretoria News reports that the City of Tshwane will be providing three busses to ferry job seekers from townships to town and dropping them off in the afternoon. This milestone project coincides with the planned opening of the Black Royal Mine in Bronkhorstspruit which is expected to create about 100 job opportunities during its first phase.

The mining company will be conducting its staff recruitment drive in one of the city’s regional offices in Bronkhorstspruit as part of the partnership between the mine and the City of Tshwane. MMC forRoads and Transport Sheila Lynn Senkubuge said this was part of the city’s contribution to creating and enabling an environment for economic growth.

by Sakhile Ndlazi