Other Worker Reports

Mall of Africa to create 60 000 jobs

Gauteng Premier David Makhura officially opened the Mall of Africa. Developed by property developers Attacq and Atterbury, Mall of Africa was the largest in South Africa, and with more than 300 outlets, was valued at R4.9-billion upon opening for trade.

“By 2018, there will be 12 000 people working in Midrand’s CBD and, by the time the development of Waterfall City is complete, 60 000 people will be employed here,” he noted. The project supported local economic development and stimulated job opportunities. During the development phases, up to 14 000 contractors from diverse disciplines were working on site. “It is estimated that around 4 500 people will be employed by Mall of Africa.

Wits hires 11 black academics

THE University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) has hired 11 black academics across several faculties at a cost of R3.2m, as it attempts to transform the institution. Five more appointments will be made soon, Wits spokeswoman Shirona Patel says.In total, the university intends spending R45m on its transformation efforts and diversifying the academy.

“A committee has been established to oversee the implementation of this commitment (to increase the number of black staff). The first committee is responsible for making appointments and allocating grants to enable African and coloured staff to apply for promotion to the professoriate,” Ms Patel said.

She said Senate House had been renamed Solomon Mahlanghu, as proposed by students during the #FeesMustFall protest action last year.

Strike at CPUT

Striking workers at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) say that, while their frustrations with management are mounting, they will not take drastic action as they wait for a response concerning their grievances.
The staff members are demanding wage and housing subsidy increases.

On Friday, strikers threatened to shut down the institution.   University management held a meeting on Friday, but the joint union task team said it hadn’t received any feedback.  Spokesperson Ben Turner stated:  “We are not going to do anything that is irresponsible to the institution or our workers.  Management has decided to take strong action against us, but we’ll see what that entails and take the matter forward.”

Mine workers at Lily Gold Mine

Mine workers at Lily Gold Mine in Barberton have not been paid their April salaries, which were supposed to have been paid last Thursday.The mine suspended operations two months ago after three employees got trapped in a container that plunged into a massive hole.
The village is in distress as most of the locals are workers at the Lily Gold Mine since February 5; they have been idle at home. The mine has applied for business rescue and the appointed Business Rescue Practitioner remains hopeful that funds to pay the workers will be forthcoming

Employment equity crackdown on employers

The government will grant corporate SA a grace period of about six months before cracking down hard on noncompliance with employment equity (EE) plans. This was the warning on Monday by Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant after the latest report by the Employment Equity Commission (EEC) showed that white males continued to dominate the upper echelons of the corporate hierarchy.

The report highlighted the slow pace of transformation.  The minister indicated her department would begin implementing the penalty provisions in the Employment Equity Amendment Act, promulgated last year, if no progress was made.  These allow for penalties of 2% of annual turnover for a company that fails to implement its own EE plan.  This can rise to 10% for repeat defaulters.

Marikana killings: Widows plead for $9.1m from BASF

Johannesburg – BASF SE will face renewed scrutiny at Friday’s annual shareholder meeting about its sourcing of platinum from a South African mine where strikers were shot dead by police in 2012 – this time from two of the widows.Agnes Thelejane and Ntombizolile Mosebetsane, widows of mineworkers at Lonmin’s platinum mine at Marikana, north-west of Johannesburg, will ask Ludwigshafen, Germany-based BASF to pay €8m ($9.1m) into a fund to support the families of dead miners, South African bishop Johannes Seoka said at a press conference in Frankfurt on Thursday. Seoka, who raised the issue at last year’s meeting, will accompany them.

The public plea highlights the challenge of controlling suppliers while promoting humanitarian credentials, which BASF has actively done. Lonmin, the world’s third-biggest platinum producer by volume, supplies BASF with the metal to make catalytic converters used in cars. Strikes at the Johannesburg-based miner in August 2012, culminated in 44 deaths at Marikana and a government-commissioned investigation into the incident criticised Lonmin’s actions during the conflict.“They’ve got a moral obligation,” Seoka said of BASF. “We are determined and committed to the cause. Many people have died in those mines. Many people have died in the struggle to get employment, to get out of poverty.

The South African National Defence Force

The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has confirmed that a civilian doctor has been arrested on charges of alleged sexual assault on two new female soldier recruits at the SA Army Infantry School in Oudtshoom.

Spokesperson Brigadier General Xolani Mabanga said: “The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) confirmed that a civilian doctor was arrested by the Oudtshoorn police on Saturday, April 23, and was charged for alleged acts of sexual assault. The acts were committed over the period of the 18th to 21st April 2016, at the SA Army Infantry School in Oudtshoorn.”

“The civilian doctor is conducting his community service at the Unit’s sickbay,” Mabanga said. “He appeared in court in Oudtshoorn on Thursday, April 28 and was granted bail. He faces alleged charges of sexual assault, including rape, allegedly committed whilst he was conducting

medical examinations on two new female recruits under the Military Skills Development System (MSDS) at the SA Army Infantry School.”

Mabanga said Oudtshoorn police was investigating the alleged charges and that no further information could be supplied as the matter was still under investigation.

“The Department of Defence (DOD) will, concurrent to the SAPS investigation, invoke its internal processes to address the matter,” Mabanga said.The SANDF was cooperating with the investigations as “any legally-proven act of ill-discipline is not and will not be tolerated from any member in the employment of the SANDF, regardless of their social standing and or appointment within the organisation”.