Do 60% of South African workers

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) claimed that 60% of SA workers earn R5 000 a month or less. Is the ANC alliance partner right? Calling on “big business” to take discussions on a national minimum wage seriously, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) last month highlighted worker salaries. National spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said that there was “an increase in the rate of the working poor”, adding that more than 60% of South Africa workers receive a salary of less than R5 000 per month.

Are earnings in South Africa that low? Africa Check looked into it. Data from Stats SA Asked for the source of the statistic, spokesperson Pamla referred Africa Check to Statistics South Africa (Stats SA). The statistics agency publishes an annual Labour Market Dynamics report that provides data on employment, the labour market and worker income in South Africa. The most recent one is for 2014.

Victory for workers and Cosatu

On 15 March 2016, the South African Parliament adopted the Revenue Laws Amendment Bill. This Bill represents a huge and a major victory for workers and COSATU in particular because officially government has agreed to COSATU and workers’ demands; to stop the Taxation Laws Amendment Act’s compulsory annuitisation of provident funds. Now, workers do not need to fear that they will be forced to convert their provident funds to retirement annuities by stealth, since this has been stopped.

Workers do not need to resign and cash out their provident funds, because they can still access their savings as before. COSATU has been very consistent is urging workers not to resign because we knew that we only lose the rights we do not defend; and the federation was clear in its commitment to defending the workers money and their right to choose. COSATU’s engagements with the ANC, SACP, Presidency, Government and Parliament have been successful.

Striking workers block University of the Free State main entrance

Striking workers at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein have blocked the main entrance at the institution with their vehicles.

Traffic entering the university has been disrupted and some staff members have had to use other entrances to enter the premises.  National Education Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) affiliated workers are chanting slogans, demanding a 7% increase.  The police had been negotiating with protesters.

NUM disturbed operations at Lily Mine to resume without recovery of bodies

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) says it’s disturbed that operations at the Lily Mine will resume next month despite the fact that three workers are still trapped underground after a shaft caved in in February.

The mine confirmed last week that work would begin after major investment by a Canadian company.  Operations were halted at the mine in Mpumalanga after the collapse.  Pretty Nkambule, Yvonne Mnisi and Solomon Nyerende have still not been found after rock falls complicated rescue efforts.  NUM spokesperson Livhuwani Mammburu said:  “We asked the company to first rescue those workers, it’s a worrying situation for the families because they need to find closure.”