25 November 2016

 proudly-southafrica

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) is relieved and pleased that the rating agencies have decided not to downgrade South Africa. FEDUSA maintains that it is important for the social partners; labour, business and government to work together and improve inclusive economic growth and employment creation said Dennis George FEDUSA General Secretary.

It is imperative for the social partners; labour, business and government to use this opportunity to reform the structural constraints in the economy, to unleash the collective power of the South African people, to support inclusive economic growth and employment creation. The weakness of the South African economy is locked within the weak labour relations system, as well as the lack of co-operation between the social partners to foster higher economic growth argues George.

George says it is prudent that the social partner leaders recognise the future growth prospect lies within their hands to improve economic growth performance and to implement measures to further enhance structural reforms and strengthen future inclusive economic growth performance. FEDUSA is deeply committed to work with the Minister of Finance and National Treasury to place the economy on a new path to bring young people into the world of work.

 

[296 words]

FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

 

For interviews:

Dennis George

FEDUSA General Secretary

084 805 1529



22 November 2016

 

unemployment-1

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) is disappointed that the percentage of unemployed people has increased from 26, 6 percent in the second quarter of this year to 27, 1 percent in the third quarter according to figures that have been released by Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) today.

Mining, manufacturing and community and social services were the hardest his sectors while agriculture, construction and financial services recorded gains in the number of employed people.

“The increase in unemployment can be directly linked to the fact that South Africa requires higher inclusive economic growth to support employment creation,” said FEDUSA General Secretary Dennis George.

“The leadership of the social partners should now focus on finding sustainable solutions to the constraints that have been identified as a requirements for greater savings and investments, and more productive use of capital by a better skilled workforce”.

There are also many policy alternatives that social partners could explore harness to achieve higher inclusive growth, concluded George.

163 Words

- ENDS -

FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

 

For interviews:

Dennis George

General Secretary

0848051529

Issued by

Frank Nxumalo

FEDUSA Media and Research

Email: research@fedusa.org.za

Cell: 060 676 9145

 



20 November 2016

2016congress07

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) has elected new National Office Bearers (NOBs) at the end of its two-day 6th National Congress held in Boksburg on the East Rand.

Veteran FEDUSA trade unionist Godfrey Selematsela has been elected President unopposed.

The rest of the NOBs: Marte Keyter (Deputy President), Christopher Kloppers (Vice President, Finance), Eddie de Klerk (Vice – President Education and Training), Jacque Hugo (Vice- President for Youth and Development) and Dorothy Ndlovu (Vice- President for Social Justice) has been nominated unopposed. The Vice-President for Public Enterprises remains vacant as there were no names put forward at the close of nominations.

Selematsela believes that the Congress was a huge success: “The Congress went very well. We were able to deal with Congress resolutions that take us forward. I believe that the Congress has given us a mandate to deal with issues that affect workers and the working class with particular reference to corruption in both the private sector and public enterprises,” Selematsela said.

“It is our firm belief that the team of men and women that has been elected today will work together to ensure that the mandate of the Congress is implemented”.

Selematsela said his election place a responsibility to diligently execute the mandate of the Congress on his shoulders.

“I have gone through FEDUSA structures in the past 18 years holding different positions at both affiliate and federation levels. I think I have got what it takes to take the union federation to the next level. I count myself to be servant leader guided by the will of the people”.

Meanwhile FEDUSA General Secretary Dennis George said the union federation has committed itself to a to tripartite driven economic growth process that will be both jobs rich and also promote decent employment for all.

“FEDUSA, business, government and the community have agreed to engage each other to secure higher inclusive growth by introducing policies that will remove blockages and constraints,” George said.

Congress also mandated the union federation to pursue strategies that could result in the prosecution of errant company directors who fail to comply with their obligations set out in the Companies Act, 2008.

“Such directors should face the prospect of being declared delinquent under certain circumstances. In terms of Section 162 of the new South African Companies Act 2008, a company, a shareholder, a director, company secretary or prescribed officer of the company, a registered trade union that represents employees of the company, or any other representative of the employees of the company, may apply to court for an order declaring such a person delinquent or under probation,” said George.

“A register of delinquent directors should be made available to the general public, to expose corrupt practices as well as name and shame directors declared delinquent”.

The Congress also passed another important resolution mandating the union federation to combat the scourge of base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS).

“Research by the Federation has revealed that the amount of corporate tax a company pays in any one country can be determined by how aggressively the company seeks to shift its profits to other lower-taxed countries or tax haven,” concluded George.

“BEPS constitute a serious risk to tax revenues, tax sovereignty and tax fairness, and rob the country of much needed resources for development. National Treasury found that corporate tax revenue in South Africa declined from 7.2% of GDP in 2008/9 to 5.5% in 2009/10 and 4.9% in 2010/11.

“This ratio recovered marginally in 2011/12 to 5.1%, but went down to 4.9% in 2012/13. This decline in corporate tax revenue was a major concern for FEDUSA because our members contribute their tax directly SARS”.

 

608 Words

- ENDS -

FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

For interviews:

Dennis George

General Secretary

0848051529

Issued by

Frank Nxumalo

FEDUSA Media and Research

Email: research@fedusa.org.za

Cell: 060 676 9145



18 NOVEMBER 2016

deputy-president-cyril-ramaposa

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minister of Labour, Ms Mildred Oliphant, President of FEDUSA, Mr Koos Bezuidenhout, General Secretary of FEDUSA, Mr Dennis George, President of COSATU, Mr Sdumo Dlamini, President of NACTU, Mr Joseph Maqhekeni, Leadership of SATUCC and ITUC Africa, President of Business Unity South Africa, Mr Jabu Mabuza, Delegates, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

More than sixty years ago, in the months leading up to the Congress of the People in Kliptown, a call went out to the people of South Africa.

It was a call for them to speak of their trials and tribulations, their hopes and aspirations.

It said:

We call the miners of coal, gold and diamonds. Let us speak of the dark shafts, and the cold compounds far from our families. Let us speak of heavy labour and long hours, and of men sent home to die. Let us speak of rich masters and poor wages. Let us speak of freedom.

Let us speak of the good things we make, and the bad conditions of our work. Let us speak of the many passes and the few jobs. Let us speak of foremen and of transport and of trade unions; of holidays and of houses. Let us speak of freedom.

This was a clarion call for decent work and a decent life for all.

It is a call that resonates across time, and which finds expression here, in the 6th National Congress of FEDUSA.

It was a call made by black and white South Africans for a fair and just society where the humanity and inherent dignity of workers is recognised, valued and promoted.

It was a call to end the exploitation of the working class.

It was a call to end inequality, poor wages and sub-human living conditions.

It is a call that we have yet to fully answer.

By placing the struggle for decent work at the centre of our national endeavour, FEDUSA – and the labour movement at large – is defining the path to a better society.

At its essence, decent work is about human solidarity and the partnerships we need to forge to lift the living standards of the South Africans who toil in our mines, factories, farms and harbours.

We look to this Congress to promote engagement among all social partners to urgently implement propoor programmes that advance social justice and social inclusion and enhance the quality of our freedom.

It should proclaim that no person can be free until all people are free.

The privileged in our society must realise that for as long as a decent life remains the preserve of a few, their prosperity will be fleeting.

They must realise that an injustice to one, is a threat to all.

They should pay heed to what the American abolitionist, Frederick Douglass, said more than a century ago:

He said:

“Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organised conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.”

When we agreed in 1994 to form a united, non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous South Africa, we rejected a society based on the oppression of one by another.

We entered into a social compact to create a more humane society that protects the most vulnerable among us.

Now, 22 years later, as we reflect on the tremendous achievements of our democracy, as we deliberate on the enormous challenges we must still overcome, let us resolve here that the time has come for a new social compact.

Let us resolve that the needs of our people are so great, the extent of their deprivation so severe and their desire for meaningful progress so relentless, that we must work with urgency to forge a social compact for profound economic change.

The prevailing economic environment makes this task all the more imperative.

South Africa’s economy, like the global economy, has slowed.

Global production is down and demand is weak.

This poses a severe challenge to our job creation efforts.

It undermines our poverty reduction programmes.

Currently, 5.7 million citizens want to work, but are unable to.

A further 2.4 million of our citizens are now discouraged from seeking employment.

Almost 45% of unemployed South Africans have been looking for work for more than three years.

Households are struggling to make ends meet.

Families are struggling to adequately nourish, clothe and educate their children.

Many businesses are experiencing difficulties.

Confidence is low.

Worries about a potential ratings downgrade are weighing heavily on the minds of citizens and investors alike.

And yet, this harsh reality presents a unique opportunity for us to work together to reshape our destiny.

We need greater collaboration among our social partners, capable leadership and a common vision.

We need decisive action to steer our country from despair to hope, from a narrative of lack to a story of opportunity, from a chronicle of deprivation to a testament of prosperity.

We have the means to make that a reality.

We have a commitment from all social partners and a shared interest in growing an inclusive economy, creating decent jobs and improving the living conditions of our people.

We also know what is possible.

Since President Jacob Zuma met with the CEOs of South Africa’s leading companies in February this year, government, business and labour have been working closely together on several measures to stimulate economic growth and job creation.

The social partners have undertaken joint roadshows to meet investors to answer their concerns and to present our shared approach to the economic challenges that confront us.

As part of these efforts, business has led the establishment of an investment fund to provide small businesses with access to finance.

Already, around R1.5 billion has been committed by several companies.

Consultation is continuing on a youth employment initiative, which will see companies coming forwards to place young people in one-year paid internships, giving them crucial exposure to the world of work and significantly improving their chances of finding permanent employment.

But the ambitious target of one million internships within three years will only be achieved if government, business and labour each play their part.

Another signal of the determination of the social partners to work together to build the economy are the deliberations in Nedlac on labour stability and a national minimum wage.

As the representatives of FEDUSA to the Committee of Principals would attest, we are extremely close to reaching agreement on measures to promote labour stability and strengthen collective bargaining.

The provisions contained in the draft code of conduct on collective bargaining, industrial action and picketing, together with significant improvements to the Labour Relations Act, present the promise of a new era in the South African labour market.

This weekend, the social partners at Nedlac will be considering the final report of the Advisory Panel on the introduction of a national minimum wage.

The panel’s recommendations – which are well researched, balanced and considered – give us confidence that agreement on the national minimum wage is imminent.

Agreement among the social partners on a national minimum wage will mark a seminal moment in our decades-long struggle to create decent work and a decent life for all.

After extensive, difficult and occasionally fraught deliberations, the social partners are poised – after more than 60 years – to realise one of the fundamental economic demands of the Freedom Charter.

In the work they have done, in the commitment they have shown, in the differences they have overcome, these constituencies have laid the ground for an enduring partnership to fundamentally transform our economy.

Through their efforts, a new social compact is taking form.

It is a social compact for decent work.

But it is far more than that.

For when more people have decent employment, we are better able to pursue sustainable and inclusive economic growth.

Decent work improves incomes, which wage-earners and their families spend in the economy.

This spending fuels the growth of enterprise, especially small businesses.

Small businesses in turn are able to hire more people.

Decent work increases tax revenues that we can use to fund social measures to protect those who cannot find a job or are unable to work.

This is also a social compact for inclusive growth.

We can say our growth is inclusive if it takes place in areas where the poor live.

We can say our growth is inclusive when it creates jobs that are suited to the skills and capabilities of our people.

We can say that growth is inclusive when it reduces the prices of food, fuel, clothing and transport.

We can say that growth is inclusive when people have land, when they have a stake in the economy and when they are able to acquire skills.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is by working together that we will navigate through the current storms to achieve economic prosperity.

We are the engineers of sound macroeconomic policies that anchor our efforts to achieve inclusive growth.

We have a transparent monetary policy that enables citizens and foreign investors to make informed business decisions.

Our budget policy framework and budget statements continue to prioritise support to the poorest.

We continue to prioritise capital investment, while keeping debt service costs at manageable levels.

Our government is committed to cutting waste and improving efficiency in public spending, while protecting and improving social services for the poor.

We are continuing in our efforts to improve investor confidence and create an environment where businesses can thrive and employ more South Africans.

We are maintaining our massive investment in economic and social infrastructure.

Through our industrial policy, we are prioritising spending on growth-enhancing job creating activities.

We are succeeding in attracting new foreign investment into developing our industrial capacity.

It is by working together with all our social partners we can grow our economy faster and employ more people.

As an essential representative of the working people of this country, as a valued social partner and as an agent for economic and social change, FEDUSA needs to play a leading role in forging this new social compact.

 

It needs to continue to be a force for unity within the labour movement and a force for progress across society.

This Congress is a testament to the role that FEDUSA has to play in charting a new path for our country.

It is a testament to your commitment not only to advance the interests of your members, but to struggle tirelessly for a better and brighter future for all the people of South Africa.

I thank you.



 17 November 2016

2016congress63

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keynote address by the Minister of Labour, Mrs Mildred Oliphant, on the occasion of the FEDUSA 6th National Congress, aptly themed; “decent work and decent life for all.”

Programme Director
The President of FEDUSA; Mr Koos Bezuidenhout
General Secretary, Mr Dennis George
Leadership of the esteem Congress Delegates
President of COSATU, Comrade Sdumo Dlamini
President of NACTU; Comrade Joseph Maqhekeni
Leadership of the COSATU and NACTU affiliates, here Present
Executive Secretary of SATUCC
General Secretary of ITUC Africa
President of Business Unity South Africa: Mr Mabuza
Distinguished Guests
Members of the Media
Ladies and Gentlemen
Special guests

Good Day; Goeie Dag; Molweni, Dumelang, Sanibonani…

I am indeed humbled by your invitation to come and share some my thoughts with you on this special occasion. I hope you will agree with me that, this congress takes place at the time when the global economy is going through a difficult patch. The International Monetary Fund estimates global growth in the territory is by far lower than that of the same period in 2015.

It is notable that the advanced global economies are also growing at slower pace than previously anticipated. Falling investment trends have had a negative impact on trade and have affected workers throughout the world. Global industrial production and global trade remain stagnant resulting in some countries resorting into protectionism.

Whilst these stances may benefit workers in their industries, it would no doubt impact workers negatively in other countries.  If you add impact of Brexit phenomenon occasioned by the UK referendum to leave the European Union and the instability in the Middle East which others argue that these prevent the global recovery from taking momentum.

The theme of this congress; Decent Work and Decent Life for All” cannot be divorced from the current global economic trends.  Therefore in dealing with the sluggish and uncertain economic recovery must remain one of the key priorities in our national discourse. Decent life for all is very much depended on how our own economy is doing.

Whilst the said rebalancing of growth in China is providing long-term opportunities for industries, it is also threatens jobs as a result of its impact on trade and on commodity prices.  We have also observed that at the centre of the increase in the migration of people from economically depressed regions to countries that present better opportunities, has a lot to do with the changing global economic dynamics.

We witness far more frequently these days, the depressing incidents of people drowning in the Mediterranean Sea trying to escape poverty and conflicts in North Africa. There is no doubt that the majority of them are workers and their families who are fleeing their homes in search of a better life.

In some developed economies, the migration crisis has led to xenophobic and anti-immigrant sentiment. The BREXIT vote in the UK, the political climates in many European countries and the threats of building walls to keep migrants out of the United States, are but some examples of this.

What is to be done, individually and as a collective, is the critical question that deserves attention from all of us.  I am aware that others cannot resist the temptation of using the time of difficulties to apportion blame. In wealthier countries, the migration crisis has in turn led to increased xenophobia and anti-immigrant sentiment. The BREXIT vote in the UK, the political climates in many European countries and the rhetoric about building walls in the United States, are all examples of this.

While we have limited control over what other countries do and how those things affect the global economy, we have some degree of control over our own economic environment. Managing our environment is the responsibility not only of government, but ours as the society and social partners.

The National Development Plan calls for a five percent growth as the pre-requisite to make a visible dent of our triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality. Whilst this sound like a toll order given the global economic situation, I believe that if we work together, like we did in addressing the impact of the 2008/9 global economic crisis, we can come up with credible interventions.  I am sure that you are aware that the global economy is receiving attention from global fora such as the G20 and BRICS.

It is incumbent on all of us to be seized with policies that will promote our efforts to create jobs, address unemployment, improve people’s employability and promote decent work. This congress presents an excellent platform to craft sustainable interventions in pursuit of decent work and better life for all.

I have noticed that the African and international perspectives are well catered for in this congress if one looks at the line-up of speakers. We can all learn from one another on how we deal with issues that affect our lives, and strengthening our efforts to close the gap between the rich and the poor.
The current global economic challenges require unity of purpose from all of us. Workers must unite to respond effectively to the challenge of unemployment, inequality and poverty in the world especially, in Africa.  As you embark on your deliberations please remember Leon Grobler’, the Chief Operating Officer of UASA, who passed away in December 2015 and who played an important role in the life of FEDUSA.  Leon Grobler was committed to the ideal of Decent Work and it is appropriate that your theme for this year’s Congress is decent work and a decent life for all.

In the words of the ILO Director General; “the primary goal of the ILO Decent Work Agenda is to promote opportunities for women and men to obtain decent and productive work in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity.”

We can be proud as South Africans that of progress we are making in advancing all four pillars of decent work, namely;  The promotion of fundamental principles and rights at work; The promotion of employment and income opportunities.

The expansion and improvement of social protection coverage, and the promotion of social dialogue and tripartism.  These pillars indeed provide the lens through which we can measure our progress in creating decent work.

The implementation of the 9 Point Plan has continued to yield positive results and there has been steady progress in re-vitalising agriculture and the agro-processing sectors, growing the oceans economy and growth in the private sector investments.

Despite the overall decline in employment, the 9 Point Plan reflects a significant number of jobs retained and sustained and new jobs created as a result of government programmes.  The Expanded Public Works Programme has reported over 740,000 job opportunities being created.  Job creation and opportunities for SMME’s, co-operatives, township and rural economies is at the centre of all the initiatives taking place under the 9 Point Plan.

The focus on creating jobs and new opportunities will continue and will be important for formalising employment for those in the informal sectors of the economy.

In this regard, the EPWP is actively seeking to graduate beneficiaries of the EPWP into formal employment.

Collective bargaining is central to our labour market policy and to the Labour Relations Act. Trade unions must indeed continue recruiting more members, to ensure efficient, orderly and stable collective bargaining to address workers’ needs. This will no doubt enhance decent work and improved livelihoods of our people.

We must always bear in mind that at the centre of our labour laws is the quest to advance economic development, social justice, labour peace and the democratisation of the work place. This Congress gives you the opportunity to reflect on your gains in this regard and to consider how best to advance the developmental agenda which our labour dispensation seeks to facilitate.

The current collective bargaining situation in South Africa does, however, raise a number of concerns.  Unity in the labour movement has been weakened with a greater fragmentation among trade unions and federations.  It remains essential for strong collective bargaining for organised labour to have a strong, unified voice.

Social dialogue between government, business and labour also draws on the unity and strength of constituencies.

The slogan, “workers united will never be defeated” has a special significance especially in the context of challenges facing the unity of the trade union movement in South Africa today.  We have stood for non-racialism, non-sexism and we have stood for democracy.  There can be no compromise on these principles and at the present time, it may be necessary to re-commit to these principles.

A challenge that continues to face collective bargaining is the need to expand the traditional agenda of bargaining to begin addressing a broader range of issues that impact on conditions of employment.  An important issue in the South African context is to support the transition from the informal to formal economy.  Employer and worker organisations should consider ways of ensuring representation and voice for organisations in the informal economy in the process of developing collective agreements.

Guidance can also be given by the institutions of collective bargaining to those seeking to make the transition to the formal sector and finding ways of extending access to social benefits and support to informal operators in different sectors.

Trade unions will need to be mindful of the risks that the introduction of a national minimum wage can pose to collective bargaining arrangements. While the commitment to introduce a national minimum wage is unquestionable, we must be careful that it does not supplant collective bargaining.

The current process of engagement between the social partners in NEDLAC on the issue of the national minimum wage and labour market stability, is reaching finality.  Once that process is concluded, there is likely to be a phase of public consultation before a national minimum wage is introduced.  Whilst we need to deepen dialogue the debate around the introduction of a national minimum wage, we should also be mindful of the realities and evidence relating to the effect of minimum wages.

Today the introduction of a national minimum wage has become a common policy intervention in countries as diverse as the United States, Germany, Malaysia, Botswana and Kenya.  In fact, ninety percent of International Labour Organisation (ILO) member states have a minimum wage system in place.

Let us not forget that South Africa already has minimum wages established through collective bargaining and through sectoral determinations under the Basic Conditions of Employment Act.  What is now under consideration is a single national minimum wage, established as a minimum wage payable to those in employment and which will be enforceable in law.

There are those who argue as though minimum wages are an entirely new concept to the South African labour market and that a national minimum wage will inevitably destroy jobs.  Of course, it is well known that the demand for labour is sensitive to its price.  The Employment Conditions Commission grapples with precisely this issue every time it recommends a new minimum wage for a sector.

The price of labour and how it will affect supply and demand must also be in the mind of every person engaged in negotiating a collective agreement.  Research has shown that where minimum wages are set at a reasonable level they have no significant employment effects, on way or the other.

A critical factor in introducing a national minimum wage is to balance social benefits against potential employment losses, particularly in light of the current high unemployment rate. What this points to is the fundamental importance of the level at which a national minimum wage is set.  We need a robust debate on this issue in the country and we need contributions that will assist government and the social partners in arriving at an informed decision about the most appropriate level at which to introduce the national minimum wage.

Equally, we need to be mindful of the measures that are being considered in NEDLAC to enhance labour market stability.

Introducing a national minimum wage should be accompanied by measures to strengthen collective bargaining and to ensure that industrial action is peaceful, that it does not infringe on the rights of others and that strike action does not undermine the sustainability of business enterprises.

We will need to bear in mind that we are still trying to convince investors that South Africa is still a good place to invest. As a country, we urgently need investment which will go a long way to address issues of poverty and job creation. We acknowledge the support that FEDUSA has given to the joint efforts engage international investors and the ratings agencies.

We will continue to call on your support and that of all our social partners in dealing with the key challenges facing or country.  We owe this to ourselves and to many South Africans who have built their hopes of defeating poverty and unemployment on us. We wish you well in your deliberations and we look forward to your contributions in the war against unemployment, poverty and inequality.

I thank you.



16 November 2016

 

mcebisijonas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Media Colleagues

Please note that Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas will also be addressing FEDUSA 6th National Congress on Thursday (17/11/2016) at Birchwood Hotel, Boksburg focussing on the following issues:

  1. Higher inclusive economic growth and employment
  2. Strengthening social partnership between Government, Business and Labour to implement solutions
  3. Good corporate governance, state capture, corruption and ethical leadership in government, business and labour

FEDUSA Congress will also debate the Resolution on State Capture and Corruption, where the Federation will discuss the prosecution of errant company directors who fail to comply with their obligations set out in the Companies Act, 2008, and such directors should face the prospect of being declared delinquent under certain circumstances. In terms of Section 162 of the new South African Companies Act 2008 (“the Act”), a company, a shareholder, a director, company secretary or prescribed officer of the company, a registered trade union that represents employees of the company, or any other representative of the employees of the company, may apply to court for an order declaring a person (i.e. a director) delinquent or under probation. Errant company directors who fail to comply with the obligations set out in the Companies Act, 2008, will now face the prospect of being declared “delinquent” under certain circumstances. The word “delinquency” carries criminal connotations, with the most telling and damning being a person guilty of serious antisocial or criminal conduct. The register of “delinquent directors” must be made available to the general public, to expose corrupt practices as well as name and shame directors declared delinquent.

FEDUSA Congress will also discuss the burning issue of Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) because the research of the Federation revealed that the amount of corporate tax a company pays in any one country can be determined by how aggressively the company seeks to shift its profits to other lower-taxed countries or tax haven. BEPS constitute a serious risk to tax revenues, tax sovereignty and tax fairness, and rob the country of much needed resources for development. National Treasury found that corporate tax revenue in South Africa declined from 7.2% of GDP in 2008/9 to 5.5% in 2009/10 and 4.9% in 2010/11. This ratio recovered marginally in 2011/12 to 5.1%, but went down to 4.9% in 2012/13. This decline in corporate tax revenue was a major concern for FEDUSA because our members contribute their tax directly SARS.

Please confirm your attendance to Frank Nxumalo at research@fedusa.org.za.

 

For Interviews:

 Dennis George

FEDUSA General Secretary

084 805 1529

 

Kind Regards

Frank Nxumalo

FEDUSA Media and Research Officer

Cell: 060 676 9145

Email: research@fedusa.org.za

- ENDS -

FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.   



16 November 2016

6th-national-congress

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Media Colleagues

You are cordially invited to attend the Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA)’s 6th National Congress on the 17-18 November 2016 at the Birchwood Hotel in Boksburg, under the theme: “Decent Work and Decent Life for All”. Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is scheduled to deliver the keynote address on Friday at 9:00H which is expected to focus on issues of transformation in the entire system, skills development and an update on plans to introduce a national minimum wage. The Congress deliberation will revolve around three panel discussions on decent work and social justice, and the roles of the public and private sectors in promoting decent work. A media conference is scheduled for 13:00H on Friday but one-on-one interviews can be arranged with our General Secretary and other National Office Bearers. The Minister of Labour Ms Mildred Oliphant will address Congress on Thursday.

- ENDS –

FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

For Interviews:

 

Dennis George

FEDUSA General Secretary

084 805 1529

 

Kind Regards

Frank Nxumalo

FEDUSA Media and Research Officer

Email: research@fedusa.org.za

Cell: 060 676 9145

 



14 November 2016

 

fitch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A senior team from the Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) led by General Secretary Dennis George will meet with credit rating agency Fitch in Johannesburg on Wednesday. Fitch will be visiting South Africa from 14 – 16 November to review her sovereign credit rating or ability to service her debt. In the last credit rating conducted earlier this year Fitch placed South Africa one notch above junk status.

The Fitch delegation will be led by Jan Friederich, its lead analyst for South Africa who will be accompanied by Jermaine Leonard, Director MEA Sovereign and James McCormack, its Global Head of Sovereigns. Discussions will revolve around key developments in South Africa’s labour market environment.

“The leadership of social partners should embark on a process that would see South Africa enjoy higher inclusive economic growth,” George said.

The objective should be to introduce new policy measures to achieve greater savings, investment, and more productive and innovative use of resources by a better skilled workforce. Stronger labour productivity growth would also see a corresponding growth in the economy’s ability to absorb a higher number of job market entrants, concluded George.

- ENDS -

FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.  

 

For interviews contact:

 

Dennis George

FEDUSA General Secretary

084 805 1529

 

Issued by

Frank Nxumalo

FEDUSA Media and Research Officer

Cell: 060 676 9145

Email: research@fedusa/org.za



12 November 2016

myeni

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) has strongly condemned the statements by South African Airways (SAA) Board Chairperson, Ms.Dudu Myeni, for blaming the airline’s dire financial woes on legitimate benefits accruing to its pilots. FEDUSA’s response comes in the wake of a letter that Myeni has written to Parliament in which she blames the pilots’ benefits of plunging SAA into financial doldrums. FEDUSA’s General Secretary Dennis George says Myeni’s attack on the pilots’ benefits is unethical and shows her lack of vision as the leader of a vital state owned enterprise. Moreover, it is an absolute insult to the collective bargaining process that unfolds annually between the parties and smacks of arrogance when a diversion is being created to redirect attention from Ms. Myeni, argued George.

George says FEDUSA will lobby Parliament for Myeni to appear before the Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises. FEDUSA considers the statement to be both irresponsible and unjustifiable as the salaries extended to pilots at SAA, remains totally on par with industry standards and completely in line with competitive operating airlines in South Africa. Ms. Myeni’s statement has been received with utter dismay and shock, which FEDUSA can only contribute towards blame shifting in order to justify the R5, 6 billion loss recorded by SAA following its recent submission to Parliament on 15 September 2016, after much threats and lambasting by Finance Minister Gordhan and opposition parties for initially neglecting to present financial statements for the past two financial years.

FEDUSA will not hesitate to continue to expose undue practices at the airline following previous correspondence and engagements with Former Minister Nene, Minister Gordhan, Minister Brown and Deputy President Ramaphosa on the complete lack of Good Corporate Governance at the airline. George remained unapologetic that Ms. Myeni should refocus her attention on ensuring that an effective turnaround strategy is implemented and that the Board remains focused and engaged on restoring the airline towards profitability.

The South African Airways Pilots Association (SAAPA), an affiliate of FEDUSA has also pointed out that attacking the pilots’ legitimate benefits will not work as a strategy of turning its fortunes around. Pilots shoulder a huge responsibility and are committed to all safety standards in chartering domestic and foreign passengers in the ever – increasing air travel market.   If the government is unwilling to pay its pilots market related salaries and offer them decent working conditions, they would be left with no choice but to leave for other airlines, concluded George.

- ENDS –

 411 Words

 FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

 

For interviews:

Dennis George

General Secretary

0848051529

 

Issued by

Frank Nxumalo

FEDUSA Media and Research Officer

Cell: 060 676 9145



 world-day-for-decent-work

 

 

14-16 November 2016

Birchwood Hotel, Boksburg, Gauteng, South Africa

 

MEDIA ALERT

10 November 2016

 

 Dear Media Colleagues

 South Africa’s three biggest trade union federation, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), the Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) and the National Council of Trade Unions (Nactu), under the banner of the BRICS Trade Union Forum, invite members of the media to a two days African Trade Union Leaders Workshop, from 14-16 November 2016 in Johannesburg. As the only representatives of the African working class in the BRICS countries, the three federations want to place issues that affect workers throughout the continent at the centre of the BRICS Summit that will be held in South Africa in 2018. Ninety three delegates representing trade union federations from Africa, Brazil, China, Russia and South Africa have confirmed their participation. Please kindly confirm your availability by replying to this media alert.

 

Issued by

Sizwe Pamla                 

Cosatu                                 

sizwe@cosatu.org.za                             

Cells: 060 975 6794                                                    

 

Frank Nxumalo 

Fedusa Media and Research Officer   

research@fedusa.org.za   

060 676 9145                         

 

Themba Makeleni       

Nactu   

thembamakeleni@gmail.com

076 411 2736



9 November 2016                        

 

concourt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) welcomes the Constitutional Court ruling that has overturned a Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) ruling,ordering SARS to reinstate Jacobus Johannes Kruger, an employee who had used the k-word against his manager.Kruger was dismissed by Pravin Gordhan, who was SARS Commissioner at the time, about nine years ago, following an internal disciplinary hearing.

 

FEDUSA General Secretary, Dennis George, said the Concourt ruling lays a firm guide that should befollowed by all workplaces in the country for dealing decisively with the scourge of racism. Racism remains intolerable and there should be no place in South African society for bigoted individuals, irrespective of colour or creed, argued George.

 

FEDUSA is in full agreement with the sentiments expressed by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng that the seriousness of the matter “bears testimony to the fact that there are many bridges yet to be crossed in our journey from crude and legalised racism to a new order where social cohesion, equality and the effortless observance of the right to dignity is a practical reality”

George stated further that the ruling is also in line with one of FEDUSA’s key founding prescripts, that the federation should all times strive to promote a democratic labour environment and society, free from any unfair discrimination against gender, religion, race, culture or political beliefs or any other form of unfair discrimination against any individual or group of people, concluded George.

 

- ENDS –

242 Words

FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

For interviews:

Dennis George

General Secretary

0848051529

Issued by

Frank Nxumalo

FEDUSA Media & Research Officer

Tel No. 011 279 1800

Fax No. 011 279 1820

Cell Phone 060 676 9145

 



04 NOVEMBER 2016

 

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) welcomes and supports the recommendation by Government to extend the Employment Tax Incentive (ETI) scheme by another two – year period, in light of the expiration of the sunset clause on 31 December 2016. FEDUSA believes that the two – year extension period will afford all social partners the opportunity to critically analyse the outcome and uptake of the scheme which encourages youth employment by both small and large businesses, said FEDUSA General Secretary Dennis George.

 

FEDUSA’s engagement on the proposed extension of the legislation by way of the NEDLAC process will be further enhanced, when additional submissions will be presented to Parliament’s Standing Committee on Finance on Wednesday, 09 November 2016 by FEDUSA’s General Secretary. The federation’s position on the ETI has been mitigated by the presentation of empirical evidence, satisfying all concerns that no displacement of older workers is evident. Moreover, FEDUSA’s support of the regulation of temporary employment services, commonly referred to as Labour Brokers, was further mitigated as the evidence presented outlined that labour brokers did not benefit extensively from the ETI, argued George. However, FEDUSA remains fully opposed to the proposed introduction of a R20 million cap on the incentive, which would by intention only act as an inhibitor and limit the opportunity to absorb and expand the skills base and competitiveness of both employees and businesses, emphasized George. Whilst Treasury shows that ETI claims in 2013/14 amounted to

134 923 jobs and 686 402 jobs in 2014 / 15, FEDUSA believes that this upward trend should be encouraged and not stifled.

 

According to George, these positive developments and policy interventions can only contribute towards the collective actions championed by the social partners, demonstrating total commitment to the promises made during the international investor roadshow and the 2016 South Africa Tomorrow Investor Conference in New York. FEDUSA believes the ETI offers some solution to addressing the structural challenges of unemployment, whilst attempting to increase the levels of employability and experience of both unemployed youth and graduates who fail to secure formal employment.

 

Constructive interventions and collaboration that paves the way for more sound and stable economic and labour relations must be encouraged to ensure rapid and inclusive economic development, argued George. FEDUSA remains committed to working together with all social partners in the spirit of deepened collaboration, to find workable solutions that will lead towards economic prosperity, poverty eradication and equality, concluded George

 

- ENDS -

 

[ 404 words ]

FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

 

For interviews:

Dennis George

General Secretary

0848051529



3 November 2016

 

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) welcomes the release of the Public Protector Report that has been ordered by the North Gauteng High Court. Although the observations of a corrupt relationship between the Gupta family and high ranking government officials and executives of state owned enterprises such as Eskom, SAA, Denel and Transnet; are yet to be tested in court, they form a solid basis for a thorough investigation by a judicial commission that President Jacob Zuma must appoint within 30 days headed by a judge appointed by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng.

FEDUSA General Secretary Dennis George is particularly concerned about the allusion to an improper relationship between Eskom Chief Executive Brian Molefe and the Guptas that led to the manipulation of coal supply agreements that saw the power utility silently awarding a R564 million to Tegeta, a company owned by the Gupta Family and President Zuma’s son Duduzane.

For example cellphone records show that there were at least 58 conversations between Molefe and Ajay Gupta between August last year and March this year. The same records locate Molefe 19 times in Saxonwold, the posh suburb in Johannesburg in which the Gupta village is situated.

George says FEDUSA will continue with its ruthless campaign against the looting of state assets and resources and has now formed a Section 77 Protest Action Task Team that will demand a forensic audit of all State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) with immediate effect and which must be completed within three months, the appointment of an Accountability officer or Ombudsman for the SOEs and a Worker Director on the Boards of SOEs in the long term.

FEDUSA would like to thank institutions like the National Treasury and Director General Lungisa Fuzile for their commitment and hard work to ensure good corporate governance and efficiency of spending by departments concluded George.

- ENDS -

FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

 

For interviews:

Dennis George

General Secretary

0848051529



31 OCTOBER 2016

 

gordhan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) has welcomed the announcement by National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) head Shaun Abrahams this morning that he will drop fraud charges against Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.

FEDUSA General Secretary Dennis George also welcomed the withdrawal of summons against Gordhan’s co-accused Ivan Pillay and Oupa Magashule.  This whole thing was politically motivated because there was never any real evidence,   if one looks at the damage that was done to South Africa’s currency and all that while this circus was going on is unacceptable,” George said.  He further stated that FEDUSA’s campaign against state capture, corruption, and cadre deployment will continue until we have ensured that State Owned Enterprises operate in terms of their mandate and can support inclusive growth and employment creation.

For interviews:

Dennis George

FEDUSA General Secretary

084 805 1529

FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

Kind Regards

Frank Nxumalo

Media and Research Officer

Cell: 060 676 9145

Email: research@fedusa.org.za



21 October 2016

 

minimum-wage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) President Koos Bezuidenhout and General Secretary Dennis George will attend the NEDLAC Committee of Principals meeting on Saturday 22 October 2016, which will be chaired by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to receive the technical progress reports on the National Minimum Wage and Labour Relations Task Teams. It is important for the social partners in NEDLAC to complete the reforms to the labour market and to provide certainty on the National Minimum Wage and the Labour Relations amendments said Dennis George, FEDUSA General Secretary.

The introduction of good faith bargaining through a code of good practice to strengthen orderly collective bargaining and workplace peace, while exercising the right to strike as envisaged by the Constitution is a major victory for workers. FEDUSA believes that the success in stabilising the economy and increasing production has been aided by the federations assertions that in the course of wage negotiations a balance should be sought between pay rises and job security, to ensure that wage demands do not have a potential negative impact on employment, emphasised George. Within this context, it is important to pay attention to the warning of Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, at the event of the NEDLAC 21st Annual Summit held on the 09th of September 2016, that “Business needs to respond by demonstrating its commitment to constrain excessive executive pay and preserve jobs even during periods of economic stress

According to Africa Ranking, South Africa is the 5th country in the world with the biggest pay gap, where the CEOs are paid averagely 140 times more than the average salary of their employees. The gap reaches as high as 725 times, with the highest ranked CEO in the top ten remuneration pool being awarded R122 million per annum and the tenth position receiving R48 million respectively. To add insult to injury on the Deputy President’s call to constrain executive pay, on 03 October 2016, one of the leading retailers in the country awarded a whopping R50 million bonus to their CEO, driving the respective total income for the year to a staggering R100m.

The introduction of the National Minimum Wage and Labour Relations is only the beginning, to start to address the pay gap, which is fundamental to promote trust, mutual understanding, dialogue, accountability without violence, and intimidation. FEDUSA looks forward to dialogue with the leaders of business, government and organised labour in NEDLAC on Saturday morning, concluded George.

[408 words]

FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

For interviews:

Dennis George

FEDUSA General Secretary

084 805 1529



12 October 2016

 

gender-violence

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Leadership of the Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) expressed its dissatisfaction with the Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training, following its exclusion from the newly appointed Ministerial Task Team to deal with Sexual and Gender – Based Violence (SGBV) at Higher Education Institutions around the country. Whilst efforts made by Government is commendable to ensure adequate protection from sexual assault and gender – based violence of both learners and academic staff, it is unacceptable that Organised Labour has currently been excluded from the Task Team, said FEDUSA General Secretary, Dennis George.

Social dialogue is one of the four strategic pillars of the Decent Work Agenda and FEDUSA’s inclusion as a key stakeholder is unquestionable, where its affiliated unions, the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU), South African Parastatal and Tertiary Institutions Union (SAPTU) and the Tertiary Education National Union of South Africa (TENUSA), represents the vast majority of academic and non – academic personnel at universities around the country.  NTEU, SAPTU and TENUSA have raised much concern on the continued escalation of these sensitive and serious matters on a regular basis, where SGBV – incidents have occurred between students, lecturers and non – academic staff employed at institutions. Continued victimisation as a result of resistance must be eradicated, as the predatory nature of these despicable perpetrators are perpetuated by the deafening silence from stakeholders, insisted George. Moreover, the federation will act without fear, favour or prejudice to ensure that a voice will be given to those who fall victim to these horrendous crimes, emphasised George.

Although the composition of the appointed Task Team is well considered, FEDUSA believes that inputs and contributions from Organised Labour as one of the key social partners, remains crucial. In light of the current intricacies facing the higher education landscape, FEDUSA therefore calls on Minister Manana to ensure that an inclusive process is maintained that will embrace collaborative efforts by all stakeholders, as a way of finding long – term and effective solutions to both academic personnel and students, concluded George.

[ 333 words (excluding heading)]

- ENDS –

FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

For interviews:

 

Dennis George

General Secretary

0848051529



12 October 2016

 

summons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) is deeply concerned about the timing of the formal summons that was served on Minister Pravin Gordhan by the National Prosecuting Authority to appear in court, said FEDUSA General Secretary Dennis George. Minister Gordhan is charged for fraud for approving an early retirement for Ivan Pillay, and then extending his contract.

FEDUSA holds the view that everyone is as a defendant, innocent until proven guilty. As one of the most sacred principles in our justice system, the prosecution is obligated to and must therefore prove its case beyond reasonable doubt. South Africa has a fair and equitable justice system, which is governed by rules that apply to everyone, taking into account individual needs and circumstances, argued George.

FEDUSA was part of the delegation that just returned from New York who met with investors and engaged with rating agencies to fight off a possible credit-ratings downgrade. It is distressing that the rand has already lost three percent of its value against the dollar following the news that the Finance Minister was served a formal summons for his involvement in the so-called rogue unit at South African Revenue Service, concluded George.

[193 words]

FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

For interviews:

Dennis George

FEDUSA General Secretary

084 805 1529



07 October 2016

 

fedusa_logo original

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) is deeply distressed by the announcement made this afternoon on the Quarterly Employment Statistics (QES), June 2016, that South Africa’s formal sector employment shrank by 67 000 jobs in the second quarter of this year. This is certainly a very worrying factor to FEDUSA as the social partner delegation comprising of Government, Business and Labour leaders, headed by Minister Pravin Gordhan returns from the South Africa Tomorrow Investor Conference this evening, to convince rating agencies and investors that the social partners are working together to challenge the structural problems in our country, said FEDUSA President, Koos Bezuidenhout.

The biggest quarter-on-quarter declines were seen in the community, social and personal services industry, with 48 000 jobs being lost, reflective of the temporary jobs that were created by the IEC during the recent local government elections. FEDUSA believes that urgent intervention is now necessitated, as the continued decline in the manufacturing (textile, clothing and leather), mining and agricultural food, beverage and tobacco products) industries raises serious alarm bells, where 3 000, 1 000 and 7 000 job losses were recorded respectively in the quarter ending in June 2016. The eighth consecutive decline since the fourth quarter of 2014 in the mining industry is deeply distressing and raises much doubt about the overall effectiveness of the Mining Phakisa interventions, argued Bezuidenhout.

Although the quarter to quarter figures show a decrease in employment, but on the whole there was an annual increase of 30 000 jobs between the second quarters of 2015 and 2016. Similarly, remuneration increased very slightly with gross earnings paid to employees rising by R32m or 0.01% in the quarter, from R523.3bn in March to R523.34bn in June. Average monthly earnings, including bonuses and overtime payments, for all industries in the formal nonagricultural sector increased 3.7% from R17,396 in February 2016 to R18,045 in May 2016.

FEDUSA therefore insists that the Steering Committee of Ministers and Trade Union Leaders hasten their commitments and prioritise preparations for the Jobs Summit to be held later this year, stressed Bezuidenhout. South Africa’s high unemployment is one of the contributory factors that have been constraining consumer spending and stifling inclusive economic growth, concluded Bezuidenhout.

[367 words]

FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

For interviews:

Koos Bezuidenhout

FEDUSA President 

082 372 0020



07 October 2016

 

NEDLAC logo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) has noted that NEDLAC certified that the application of COSATU complied with the provisions of Section 77 of the Labour Relations Act. This provision provides protection for their members to participate in the protected protest action and the normal practice of no work and no pay applies.

FEDUSA was not part of the proceedings in NEDLAC and therefore our members are not protected. FEDUSA will therefore not participate in the protest action to be held on 07 October 2016.

FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

For interviews:

Riefdah Ajam

(Acting) FEDUSA General Secretary

 079 696 2625



05 October 2016

  

teacher-day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) today salutes and celebrates World Teacher’s Day under the theme “Valuing Teachers, Improving their Status” in honour of the crucial role that teachers play in the education system worldwide. 2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the 1966

ILO / UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers, in line with the new Global Education 2030 Agenda adopted by the world community one year ago. The National Development Plan (NDP 2030) stipulates that education, training and innovation are central to South Africa’s development, in order to build strong and coherent institutions to deliver quality education to serve the needs of the society. Undoubtedly, teachers have a crucial role to play in the foundation of achieving this goal and ensuring that as South African’s we are able to transcend the barriers that are currently preventing us from reaching our full potential, said Chris Klopper, FEDUSA Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of the Suid Afrikaanse Onderwysers Unie / South African Teachers Union (SAOU).

 

World Teachers’ Day represents a significant token of the awareness, understanding, and appreciation displayed for the vital contributions that teachers make to education and development. Our teachers inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning that perpetuates epistemology, allowing them to compete as active contributors in the global arena. FEDUSA will therefore continue to be an active advocate of the 2030 Education Agenda, pledging to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”, emphasized Klopper.

 

FEDUSA acknowledges that in executing this crucial function, teachers must be adequately trained, recruited and remunerated, motivated and supported within well-resourced, efficient and effectively governed systems. Similarly, the federation believes that the teacher salaries should reflect the importance to society of the teaching function and should also provide teachers with the means to ensure a decent life and an extension of social protection. Undoubtedly, teachers and lecturers alike are driven by an unwavering passion to educate and transfer knowledge and skills and should be empowered through the provision of decent working conditions, well-resourced, safe and healthy working environments. However, FEDUSA denounces any forms of intimidation, attacks and deliberate sabotage attempts to erode the profession of its worth and raid committed students of achieving their ambitions. Learning must continue, and FEDUSA will ensure that the Departments of Basic and Higher Education remain committed to co – constructing inclusive and workable solutions to escalate the nobility of the profession and extend world class education to our learners, argued Klopper.

 

FEDUSA will continue to engage Government to ensure the provision of developmental programmes that will address teacher and learner support for a more qualified, motivated and professionally supported population of teachers and lecturers, that will shape our future generations for the next 50 years, concluded Klopper.

 

[460 Words]

 

- ENDS -

 

FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

 

For interviews:

 

Chris Klopper

FEDUSA Vice President

083 708 7733

 

 

 

 

 

 



03 October 2016

 

 higher-education

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Embargoed until 12:00 – 3 October 2016

FEDUSA Statement

Honourable President

Honourable Minister, Deputy Ministers and distinguished delegates

Good morning, Goeie more, Molweni.

 

The Federation of Unions of South Africa and our Affiliates, the South African Parastatal and Tertiary Institutions Union (SAPTU) and the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) are deeply concerned with the current state of unrest, destruction of property, intimidation, and violence. Our Constitution outlines that everyone has the right to basic education, adult education and further education which the State, through reasonable measures, must make progressively available and accessible for rich and poor.

The unlawful destruction of property is completely unacceptable and we condemn these actions by anarchist elements in the strongest terms.  Let us not make the mistake of assuming that this is being carried out by protesting students only – these are the actions of criminal elements, who have absolute disregard for the real and legitimate concerns of students calling for free education.

The main contributors to funding education are the workers and citizens.  Workers are showing us their tax contributions, where some of them contribute between 25-30% of their monthly income to education in this country, whilst citizens contribute through VAT payments on food and transport amounting to 14%. We call on government to urgently introduce worker education at all our higher education institutions, in order to spread the production of new knowledge.

FEDUSA is also concerned that the constitutional rights of lecturers, students and workers are violated by rebel elements that made their position clear to shut down our institutions of higher learning. Our affiliates SAPTU, NTEU and TENUSA warned us that the opportunities for future generations of students will be severely undermined if academics exit the higher education sector en masse.  This will cause the teaching and research capacity to collapse across the country.

FEDUSA calls on the government to work with Vice-chancellors to restore peace and order on each campus across the country through the provision of the necessary security support.  The Fees Commission must continue to produce its work.  Freedom of movement, speech and expression must be guaranteed on all our campuses and nobody has the right to undermine the constitutional rights of our people. These rogue elements and deliberate sabotage attacks must be removed.

Whoever the groups are and whatever their desired outcomes may be, one thing is certain – it is no longer business as usual.  The demand for free education has caused all of us to look long and hard at the plight of the poor and marginalised.  It has to make us think deeply about the prevailing trend of costly higher education.

It cannot be that a poor child, whether the child is white, coloured, indian, or black, is denied the opportunity to a quality tertiary education simply because they are poor.

The result of the zero percent increase last year has caused a funding crisis for many of our institutions. As a result, these universities and many others will be forced to cut significant spending on their operational budgets and the biggest expense item on any university budget is staff costs.  FEDUSA calls for a moratorium on any notion of possible retrenchments.  Our branches warned us that they were served with section 189 notices for universities to start with the consultation process to retrench a number of academics. Our call is for free education for the poor, but not at the expense of employment within the sector.

We believe that the outcome of today’s meeting must be a commitment to the constitutional rights of making education progressively more accessible.  This means that we need at least a 3-year plan in which, subsidised higher education becomes progressively more and the cost to students becomes significantly less – not just stagnant.  It needs to drop.

Lastly colleagues, let us work together to find meaningful solutions.  Quality education has the potential to stimulate the economy and create more jobs, which in turn grows the ability of government to meet the demands of a maturing democracy.

For interviews please contact:

Dennis George

FEDUSA General Secretary 084 8051529

Advocate Ben van der Walt

SAPTU General Secretary 0832608548

Grant Abbott

NTEU General Secretary 0834396369

 



fedusa_logo original

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) was requested to attend the New York 2016 South Africa Tomorrow Investor Conference that will be held in New York from 4 to 5 October 2016, said Dennis George FEDUSA General Secretary. Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan will lead the social partnership delegation consisting of the South African Reserve Bank Governor, a large number of Business and Labour leaders with the Johannesburg Stock Exchange to promote our country as an investor destination and leading power of the African continent.

 

Engagements with rating agencies and investors are critical for the country to ensure rapid inclusive economic growth and decent jobs are created for our people. Essentially, investments are critical for any developing country and the social partner leaders are optimistic that the New York 2016 South Africa Tomorrow Investor Conference is an ideal platform to promote the opportunities for new investments.  This initiative is a follow-up of the successful international investor roadshow that was held earlier this year, where we were able to convince rating agencies and investors that the social partners are working together to challenge the structural problems in our country, said George.

 

It is not only about international investment, domestic investment is critical – similarly, this is when citizens invest in their education, a newly married couple invests in buying a new home, an entrepreneur starts a new small business, and likewise when improvements or expansions to investments are necessitated for developmental progressions, emphasized George. It is important that all investments contribute towards decent job creation and inclusive economic growth, concluded George.

 

[317 words]

 

FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

 

For interviews:

Dennis George

General Secretary

084 805 1529



23 September 2016

 

 flag_of_south_africa_svg

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) joins the nation in celebrating Heritage Day (Braai Day) and encourages all citizens to come together to celebrate the rich cultural heritage and diversity of our rainbow nation.  FEDUSA joins hands with the South African government in advancing the 2016 celebrations underthe theme “Reclaiming, restoring and celebrating our living heritage”, said FEDUSA Vice President: Social Justice, Martlé Keyter.

Heritage Day gives every South African the chance to proudly display and revel in their achievements as a nation, and look forward to a peaceful and prosperous future.  Not only do we embrace our cultural heritage and diversity, but we attempt to advance the wisdom and nation – building strides of our global icon and formerPresident Nelson Mandela on declaring Heritage Day one of our national public holidays. Let us use this day not only to celebrate our rich and varied cultural heritage, but use it as an opportunity to drive the power of collective nation building as our economy still faces much turbulence, emphasized Keyter.

It is important to promote our South African culture and identity, whilst we call on all citizens to increase their spirit of patriotism and embrace the Proudly South African ideals that encourages all citizens to value each other and the country.Let’s light those Braai Day Fires tomorrow, but advance the fires of respect, understanding, transparency, accountability and good governance, so that God continues to Bless Africa, concluded Keyter.  Nkosi Sikelela I Africa!

 

[246 words (excluding heading)]

- ENDS -

 

FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

 

For interviews:

Martle Keyter

Vice President: Social Justice

082 856 2496



23 September 2016

 

 Portrait of a successful medical team at work

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) is outraged by the continued lack of accountability and dismal deterioration of public healthcare institutions that has now resulted in the shocking revelations by the Department of Labour following non-compliance in terms of workplace health and safety amongst others. Results of inspections conducted in the public health care sector throughout the 9 provinces, presented gross levels of non – compliance and FEDUSA holds Minister Aaron Motsoaledi personally responsible for this damning state of affairs, said FEDUSA Deputy President, Masale Godfrey Selematsela.

It is unacceptable that enabling and safe working conditions are not in place for our membership who are engaged in the majority of public hospitals across the country. Whilst their commitment to upholding and tending to our frail and incapacitated family members is unquestionable, the consequent results of inadequate and now absent health and safety standards ultimately places substantial risk to both themselves and their patients overall, argued Selematsela.

Minister Motsoaledi, his MEC’s and Provincial Head of Departments (HOD’s) should be held accountable for the direct contravention of both domestic and international laws that South Africa is obligated to. It is shameful that the results of 407 inspections conducted in all nine provinces in the public health care sector in 2014/2015‚ showed that an overwhelming amount of 316 institutions did not comply. Article 3 of Convention 155 clearly outlines that “protecting the health and safety of ALL workers, wherever workers are required to perform duties”, whilst Article 19(f) stipulates that “the employer cannot require workers to return to a work situation where there is continuing imminent and serious danger to life or heath”. How do the respective MEC’s and the HOD’s expect our affiliated union members from the Health And Other Service Personnel Trade Union Of South Africa (HOSPERSA) to perform their duties when the worst performing provinces such as the Eastern Cape, Gauteng and Limpopo display shocking non – compliant rates of 18%‚ 9% and a shameful 0%, respectively? Consequently, our members are being perpetually exposed to direct health and safety hazards where severe shortages of protective equipment such as N5 masks and retractable syringes, used to treat infectious patients and prevent cross infection of TB as well as protect against needle prick injuries, are simply inaccessible. FEDUSA is therefore not surprised that reported cases of Multiple Drug Resistant (MDR) TB infections by HOSPERSA members are sharply increasing in the Eastern Cape. It is seriously questionable whether the provision of primary health care under the auspices of the intended NHI will succeed under these prevailing circumstances, insisted Selematsela. To add insult to injury, evidence of rat – infested institutions are available, where these disease – carrying rodents will add further burden to the evident health and safety inefficiencies. We certainly have a very long way to go if we want to achieve our NDP 2030 Vision for Health, argued Selematsela.

FEDUSA applauds the Department of Labour for effectively implementing its mandate to ensure inspection and compliance in all economically active sectors of the economy. The federation will be calling for an urgent engagement session with the Presidency to ensure that the necessary interventions are implemented to rectify and address the matter expeditiously. FEDUSA views the situation as a state of emergency and will not hesitate to continue the fight for safe and secure working conditions that will ensure decent work and decent life for all our members. Should FEDUSA fail to attract Government commitment to an urgent collaborative process to fix the problem, the federation may then reserve the right to report the transgressions to the International Labour Organisations (ILO) enforcement committee, in terms of Convention 155 on Occupational Health and Safety, concluded Selematsela.

[606 words (excluding heading)]

- ENDS -

 

 FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

 

For interviews:

Masale Godfrey Selematsela

FEDUSA Deputy President

083 653 3021



19 September 2016

 

5th_Congress President Zuma

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) today welcomed the announcement by President Zuma that 27 December 2016 has officially been declared a public holiday, in terms of section 2A of the Public Holidays Act. FEDUSA is elated that the President has acceded to the federation’s request, following the communique submitted to the Presidency earlier this year, said Dennis George, FEDUSA General Secretary.

Section 2(1) of the Public Holidays Act 1994, stipulates that “whenever a public holiday falls on a Sunday, the following Monday shall be a public holiday”. In this instance, 26 December 2016 is also a public holiday, resulting in the overlap, which has now by way of the Presidential Proclamation ensured that our members and fellow South African citizens are still rightfully able to enjoy their full 12 paid public holidays, emphasized George.

In averting disadvantageous practices, FEDUSA believes that the advancement of Decent Work and the spirit of fostering sound labour relations will act as drivers of further economic development for our members, concluded George.

[170 words]

 

FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

 

For interviews:

 

Dennis George

General Secretary

084 805 1529

 

Riefdah Ajam

Parliamentary Officer

079 696 2625



19 SEPTEMBER 2016

Minister Blade Nzimande

Minister Blade Nzimande

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) remains cautiously optimistic after the announcement this morning by Minister Blade Nzimande, on recommendation by the Council of Higher Education that an up to 8% increase in student fees will be applied for the 2017 academic year. FEDUSA welcomes Government’s commitment to finding a balanced approach to the volatile situation, to ensure that stability and world – class tertiary education prevails, said Dennis George, FEDUSA General Secretary. Moreover, FEDUSA applauds the added measures extended to support children of all poor, working and middle class families with a household income of up to R600 000 per annum including the so-called “missing middle” who will experience no fee increase in 2017.

FEDUSA together with its Education Sector partners, NTEU, SAPTU, TENUSA and SAOU are satisfied that academically deserving, but financially needy students will be fully subsidized. It is unacceptable that any student should be excluded from quality Higher Education due to their economic circumstances. Students from poor families should be supported, as this approach would assist in making higher education more inclusive, argued George.

Whilst FEDUSA noted with serious concern that the Tertiary Education Sector is in the throes of a funding crisis, the federation congratulates the Minister for applying collective wisdom and taking due cognizance of recommendations by our affiliated unions who have participated in the hearings during this time. Although FEDUSA believes that the recommendation is a reasonable above inflation-linked option, the federation cautions the Department of Higher Education and Training and the Council for Higher Education against unilaterally prescribing the percentage of wage increases for 2017, but not taking into account the autonomy of universities, emphasized George.

FEDUSA remains mindful that even with this announcement, many universities will still face financial challenges. To this end, we call upon the Fees Commission to expedite its findings and initial recommendation report before the end of the current year. The federation out rightly rejects any insinuations and statements about the retrenchment of university staff at all levels, both academic and support-related. Instead, FEDUSA encourages all university councils and management structures to openly engage with unions as critical stakeholders, who are legally obligated to negotiate with unions as enshrined in the Labour Relations Act, 1995 and respective collective agreements, added George.

FEDUSA and its affiliates in Higher Education remain committed to achieving a quality higher education system involving both university institutions and TVET colleges that will serve all sectors of society – students, lecturers, researches and ultimately the greater South African state at large. Moreover, the federation is cognizant that further discussions must be expedited under the auspices of the Presidential Commission to ensure that a constructive solution is crafted beyond 2017, to avert further downgrades of our institutions, and focus on restoring world class tertiary education with a robust research system to resolve the key skills deficits of the 21st century, concluded George.

[472 words]

FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

 

For interviews:

Dennis George

FEDUSA General Secretary

084 805 1529



09 September 2016

 

growth

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the occasion of its 21st National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC) Summit, the Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) is encouraged by the joint commitments of the social partners to advance collaboration, job creation and rapid economic growth. The Leadership of Government, Labour and Business acknowledged that the urgent measures needed to achieve rapid economic growth and the creation of decent jobs that are sustainable and equitable, is pivotal to advance the aspirations of Decent Work and Decent Life For All, said Dennis George, FEDUSA General Secretary.

The platform extend via the NEDLAC mandate furthermore remains crucial to advance social dialogue through constructive deliberations and collaboration that paves the way for more sound and stable economic and labour relations. However, FEDUSA reaffirms its position that whilst leadership should be shown and is expected from labour to avoid economic unrest, the same goodwill and maturity is necessitated by Government to ensure both political and economic stability which ultimately impacts on our membership and citizens as a whole, argued George. FEDUSA therefore applauds Deputy President Ramaphosa for acknowledging that a well-run government should not be at war with itself.

FEDUSA eagerly awaits the expected announcements on the planned interventions in key sectors of the economy, the stabilization and reform of state-owned companies, youth employment programmes and private sector co-investment in infrastructure, emphasized George. The current open conflict within government and perceived lack of coherence must be ended immediately, if we want to sustain the recent good news of the 3,3% quarter on quarter GDP figures, argued George. Whilst FEDUSA has been at the forefront of the call to seek a balance between pay rises and job security, the federation remains deeply concerned that excessive executive pay must be constrained at all times, emphasized George.

FEDUSA remains committed to working together with all social partners in the spirit of deepened collaboration, as we look forward to co – constructing workable solutions to increase inclusive economic growth at the upcoming Jobs Summit, concluded George.

[ 332 words (excluding heading)]

- ENDS -

FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

For interviews:

Dennis George

General Secretary

0848051529



07 September 2016

 

GDPGROWTH

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) welcomes the announcement made yesterday that the second quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grow by 3,3%.  FEDUSA certainly welcome this much – needed increase in the estimates that would act as a dilution to the string of political shudders that has been blurring our key focus over the past weeks, said Dennis George, FEDUSA General Secretary.

FEDUSA is encouraged by the announcement and believes that this much – needed reprieve will act as a positive signal to investors, ratings agencies and markets after the recent weakening of the currency. The statistics highlights that this is the fastest quarter-on-quarter rise in economic activity since the fourth quarter of 2014, emphasised George. FEDUSA is elated that the mining and manufacturing industries contributed over half of the 3,3% rise, after contracting by 18,1% in the first quarter of 2016. This strong recovery in the mining industry is clear testament of the positive strides that can be made through collaborative partnerships after the Mining Phakisa interventions. Similarly, a rise in the production of motor vehicles helped manufacturing expand by 8,1%, the highest expansion since the fourth quarter of 2013. This is corroborated by data from the expenditure side of the economy, showing a substantial rise in exports of passenger and goods-carrying vehicles. This clearly presents a positive outlook and the federation remains cautiously optimistic of further improvements to the industries, where FEDUSA membership enjoys a large percentage of the representation, said George

However, FEDUSA remains gravely concerned that the agriculture industry continued to show further declines, by posting its sixth consecutive quarter of economic decline. It is important for the ten person Steering Committee of Ministers and Trade Union Leaders to meet as a matter of priority, to prepare the proposals for the Jobs Summit to be held later this year emphasised George. These proposals must respond to and address the fundamental aspects of reaching higher levels of Inclusive economic growth, accompanied by unconditional commitment from the social partners to restore confidence in the economy and dissolve any speculations of a recession, concluded George.

[346 words] 

FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

FOR INTERVIEWS:

Dennis George

General Secretary

084 805 1529



24 AUGUST 2016

 

Hawks-Pravin-Gordhan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) welcomes and supports the decision of the Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan not to present himself to the Hawks today at 10h00, said FEDUSA General Secretary Dennis George.

The alleged charges against Minister Gordhan are entirely unfounded, on the basis that the Head of the Hawks, General Ntlemeza, confirmed in his letter dated 20 May 2016, that Minister Gordhan is not a suspect in the investigation of the Hawks. FEDUSA remains committed in its conviction that the rule of law should be applied to all South African citizens, without prejudice, fear or favour. However, the federation will not hesitate to raise the strongest objection to the use and abuse of law enforcement agencies, as a vehicle to settle political scores. This is simply unacceptable, as wastage of precious time and resources cannot be condoned, that ultimately leads to unwanted shocks and under recovery of market gains that sets both workers and businesses on a deeper downward spiral, argued George.

Minister Gordhan should remain committed to dedicating his time to guide our economy, financial systems and institutions, in partnership with Labour and Business, insisted George. While our economy faces serious head winds in very difficult and unpredictable economic environments, we should at all costs avoid undue and irreparable political distractions, but unconditionally focus on restoring higher inclusive economic growth in order to create decent jobs for our people, concluded George.

[226 words]

FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

For interviews:

Dennis George

FEDUSA General Secretary

084 805 1529



24 AUGUST 2016

 

 

pravin-gordhan-310x205

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) is concerned that the letter to summons Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan to appear before the Hawks on Thursday 25 August 2016 at 10h00 has already destroyed investor confidence resulting in a weakened Rand from R13.21 to the dollar to R13.90 said Dennis George, FEDUSA General Secretary. The Hawks’ letter of the summons was leaked to the media at the same time as it was delivered to the attorneys of the Finance Minister.

It is workers who will suffer when the economy goes into a recession and it is abundantly palpable that the battle between SARS and the Minister of Finance is once again raging out of control. Moreover, ratings agency downgrade will be disastrous for the economy as well as for workers. The South African Reserve Bank has already reduced its forecast to zero percent growth for 2016, compared to 0,6 percent as previously predicted said George.

FEDUSA is of the opinion that pressure is being placed on Minister Gordhan because of his unwillingness to agree to a SAA request for government support until a new board has been appointed. Former Finance Minister Nene was removed after refusing the acquisition of new aircrafts. President Zuma has now taken a direct interest in the management of state-owned companies, including SAA, from Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, which were previously placed under National Treasury following a Cabinet Lekgotla concluded George.

The credibility and safeguarding of Treasury, as the key government ministry remains crucial, to avoid further instability and volatility. Downgrade to junk status may well become a looming reality if the President pursues an ill-fated #3in1 blow at the Treasury. FEDUSA therefore calls on President Zuma to put the interest of the country and workers first, and allow the Minister of Finance to rescue SAA and all State-Owned Companies without fear or favour, concluded George.

[296 words]

FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

For interviews:

Dennis George

FEDUSA General Secretary

084 805 1529



23 AUGUST 2016

 

gordhan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) is disappointed that Cabinet at its recently held Lekgotla from 16 to 19 August 2016, failed to effectively intervene in the chaotic state of governance affairs and leadership at the Board of South Africa Airways (SAA) and other troubled SOC’s said Dennis George, FEDUSA General Secretary. FEDUSA demands that Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, urgently appoints an administrator to replace the Board at SAA, while candidates for a new, independent board and chairperson could be appointed.

The Board of SAA has failed to submit its annual financial statements to the registrar of companies in Hong Kong. This inaction by SAA has compelled the registrar to give SAA until 6 September 2016 to submit their financials, or face possible deregistration. Should SAA be deregistered, then the company would no longer be able to fly to Hong Kong. It is reported that SAA needs a further R5 billion government guarantee and funding, to reinstate the company as a going concern.

FEDUSA finds it very strange that President Zuma should oversee the strategy of all state-owned companies, including SAA. This is a ministerial function, unless it is intended to protect those who are busy with state capture, emphasised George. Moreover, section 66 of the Company Law is very specific in this instance “The business and affairs of a company must be managed by or under the direction of its board, which has the authority to exercise all of the powers and perform any of the functions of the company.”  FEDUSA is completely convinced that this decision is incorrect in terms of the principles of good corporate governance, as there is no need for the creation of a special presidential co-ordinating committee, argued George.

Even, the National Development Plan is clear that the shareholder ministry (National Treasury and Public Enterprises) should be responsible for ensuring that SOCs are viable and financially sustainable, and that their assets are maintained and renewed, concluded George.

[325 words]

FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

For interviews:

Dennis George

FEDUSA General Secretary

084 805 1529

 



15 AUGUST 2016

                                                                                                                                 

sustainability

 

 

 

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) has rejected the calls by the South African Union of Students (SAUS) to shut down campuses and to make the higher education system ungovernable said FEDUSA General Secretary, Dennis George. This calls comes in the response to a report by the Council on Higher Education (CHE) that fees should increase by a percentage linked to inflation.  The same student groups are also calling for the Fees Commission ineffectiveness which is a waste of time.  They further called for the universities across the country to be shut down, despite the fact that no announcement(s) has been made as yet, on whether there will even be an increase at all!

FEDUSA, together with their affiliated unions’ within the Higher Education section, namely; NTEU, SAPTU, and TENUSA, call on all stakeholders to remain calm and allow the Minister some time to properly apply his mind and to consult widely.  This being said, clarity on fees for 2017 needs to be given as soon as possible as universities are entering their budgeting cycle for the new financial year.

FEDUSA,  also cautions the students against statements that incite violence and condemn in the strongest terms all attempts to sabotage the higher education system by creating chaos on campuses.  These actions will only interrupt the rights of students who wish to diligently study and obtain their degrees.  The noble goals and objectives of the “#FeesMustFall’’ movement is also being demolished by provocative agents whose main agenda seems to be to create an anarchist state and not to advance the plight of the poor and academically deserving students.

South Africa’s history has shown that it is possible to find lasting solutions to very difficult and deeply dividing issues through robust, yet peaceful discussions.  A revolution is not always won in the streets.  Therefore, FEDUSA appeals to all stakeholders to engage in the Fees Commission and not assume its outcome before it is even granted a chance to succeed. Henceforth, one of the federation’s affiliated unions in the higher education sector, NTEU, will be presenting an oral submission to the Fees Commission on 01 September 2016 in East London, following the establishment of the Commission, its call for written submissions by 30 June 2016 and its mandate to inquire into the feasibility of a fee-free higher education and training in South Africa.

FEDUSA as a progressive trade union movement is also calling on government to engage with academic employee unions across the various campuses.  These colleagues have a wealth of knowledge and experience.  We are concerned that Labour has been excluded from the consultation processes until now.  This is also a matter that should be discussed at NEDLAC as it has a wide impact on Labour, Government, Business and Communities, concluded George.

[462 words]

FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

 For interviews:

Grant Abbot

NTEU General Secretary

083 439 6363

Dennis George

FEDUSA General Secretary

084 805 1529

 

 



12 August 2016

 

happy woman 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Federations of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) joins hands with all South Africans in celebrating and honoring the historical month ofAugust, Women’s Month. The contribution of women is often overlooked and undervalued in assisting with the development of our country, stated Martlé Keyter, FEDUSA Vice President Gender,Social Justice and Youth Development.

In the corporate sector women are still severely underrepresented in executive management, leadership and decision making positions. FEDUSA calls for urgent collective intervention to improve the status of women in the corporate sector and society.  Empowerment is a social process involving change at the level of individuals, organizations, communities and society as a whole.  The empowerment of women necessitates a process of change in which patriarchal relations are challenged, so that the traditional complimentary package of resources and services provided are shared and maintained, argued Keyter.

It is important to introduce a new strategy to promote the economic empowerment of women through mentorship, capacity building, skills development, and to ensure gender equality. Further, investment in women could eliminate inequalities and poverty in order for South Africa to advance itscompetitiveness as a globalplayer, said Keyter.

The Federation recognices that gender equality and the empowerment of women contributes to the full enjoyment of all human rights, economic and social development. Innovative approaches and partnerships are urgently needed to upscale the empowerment of women concluded, Keyter.

- ENDS -

FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

For interviews:

Martlé Keyter – Will be available from 11:30

FEDUSA Vice President Social Justice

082 856 2496

Brenda Modise

Social Justice Office

073 531 5339

 



10 AUGUST 2016

 

changing nature

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) and the two sister federations COSATU and NACTU will be meeting with Productivity South Africa to discuss the challenges of workplace transformation and the changing nature of work said Dennis George, FEDUSA General Secretary.

Although globalisation offers new opportunities for growth and expansion, it also creates conditions that result in greater instability, insecurity and inequality, particularly against workers in developing countries, argued George. FEDUSA feels it is important for Organised Labour to develop the capacity to pursue strategies to improve competitiveness of local-based enterprises in domestic and global markets and to effectively implement the industrialization policy with Government and Business, said George.

In the past, trade unions were not keen to support programmes aimed at boosting productivity, as increased productivity at the enterprise level often led todownsizing and retrenchments of workers. However, both management and trade unions should realize that it is mutually beneficial to share the gains of productivity improvements, said George.

FEDUSA maintains that productivity improvements should lead to improvement of living standards for all workers, because the distribution of wealth in the country and at the workplace matters. It would also be totally unfair if a few senior and managerial staff claim a disproportionately large share, while the majority of workers are only given a small percentage of the revenue of the enterprises. Likewise, FEDUSA believes that this analysis should also be extended, to cover the entire economy through a national social accord, said George

[227 words]

FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

For interviews:

Dennis George

FEDUSA General Secretary

084 805 1529



08 AUGUST 2016

 

fedusa_logo original

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) has written a letter to the Democratic Alliance (DA) leader, Mmusi Maimane, to reiterate that worker rights should be respected and that no employee should be purged regardless of political affiliation, said Dennis George FEDUSA General Secretary. FEDUSA is of the view that the Democratic Alliance (DA) and other political parties will play a leading role in governing the key Metros following the 03 August Local Government Elections, and it now remainsimperative for all political parties to respect the constitutional rights of workers.

It is evident from media reports that there are conflicting views expressed by different spokespersons of the DAthat some candidates call for conducting of skills audits, while others indicate that outsourcing of core functions will become official policy. FEDUSA believes that panic and uncertainty will take root in the local government structures, with fear of purging, that could consequentlyundermine stability and have the converse effect of the economic gains that have been reported over the last 2 weeks. It is important for all stakeholders to contribute towards a legal framework that will ensure effectively service delivery and that the process is not undermined by wide spread corruption and incompetence. FEDUSA is of the opinion that the DA supports and respects the constitutional rights of all employees. The legal framework will thus ensure that the transitional periods are managed in a fair and impartial manner.

Whilst FEDUSA would insist on extending the full protection of the legal framework to all employees, the Federation also takes due cognizance of redeployed cadres and political appointees, which have in many instances resulted in large-scale inadequacies in service delivery, wide spread corruption and incompetence. The Federation is committed to working with Local Government to confront the triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality, on the premise that due procedure, transparency and accountability remains the key priority of good governance. It is imperative to develop our township economies through the introduction of entrepreneurship opportunities, whilst creating better working conditions and improving the performance of small and medium-sized enterprises to support job creation, concluded George.

[352 words]

FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

For interviews:

Dennis George

FEDUSA General Secretary

084 805 1529



04 AUGUST 2016

 

 local government elections 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA)-as the final results of the local government elections of South Africa are being computed, we would like to thank all South Africans for the manner in which they conducted themselves during the local government elections of 2016 said Dennis George FEDUSA General Secretary.

We are exceptionally proud of our people. FEDUSA extends our congratulations to the winning parties as theycelebrate their victories, however it is important for all parties to focus on the mammoth task at hand said George.

FEDUSA supports the notion of a responsive, accountable, effective and efficient developmental local government system as an inclusive platform to assist with the eradication of poverty and unemployment. Local governments must work together with our communities to find sustainable approaches to meet the social, economic and material needs, and to improve the quality of lives of all. Newly elected councilors must realize that they are the representatives of the entire community and it is important to strengthen the levels of trust to reduce the levels of protest actions said George.

The principles of participatory democracy demand that councilors involve citizens and communities in meaningful discussions about local government and developmental plans affecting people and communities. The newly elected local government councilors should focus on functional water and sanitation services, connection to the electricity grid, regular removal of refuse and maintaining unqualified financial audits of all municipalities. Local government could play a critical role to support township economic development and entrepreneurship, as an imperative source of job creation and SOMME development and economic growth. Local government must introduce urgent innovative measures to create a climate conductive for the development of small, medium and micro enterprises and entrepreneurial development concluded George.

[289 words]

FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

For interviews:

Dennis George

FEDUSA General Secretary

084 805 1529



04 AUGUST 2016

 PETROL STRIKE

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) supports the protected and peaceful strike of the employees in the petrol retail sector, where workers are demanding a 9% wage increase, while the National Petroleum Employers’ Association is offering 7%, said Dennis George FEDUSA General Secretary. FEDUSA agrees that it is important for profitable companies to introduce a living wage for workers at a level of pay to maintain a decent life with a dignified living standard. The living wage is based on a cost build – up of more elements to sustain a decent standard of living. The living wage is deemed to be a good guideline for large profitable companies to set entry – level pay for their workers

The remuneration section of Sasol’s 2016 annual report shows that the salary package of SASOL’s former Canadian CEO, David Constable, was structured at R50m for the year and given the way these things were structured, his package was likely to have ratcheted up still further in his final 12 months, after his contract expired in June 2016. Adding insult to injury is a June 2016 report by Fin24, outlining that Constable was ranked as the worst ever CEO appointed by a major South African company, losing the company billions of rands.

The PWC Executive directors, practices and remuneration trends report for 2016 shows that the total guaranteed package (TGP) levels and increases given to CEOs, CFOs and executive directors increased by between 8.7% to 12% for the median increases. These calculations are based on the average upper quartile and median total guaranteed packages of R6.4 and R3.94 million excluding cash bonuses and restraint of trade payments argued George. The table below illustrates the salary packages of CEO companies in South Africa in 2014:

CEO Company Salary
Alan Clark SAB Miller R122 million
Nicandro Durante BAT R118 million
Andrew Mackenzie BHP Billiton R89.8 million
Julian Roberts Old Mutual R87.2 million
Mark Cutifani Anglo American R85 million
Simon Crutchley AVI R63.1 million
Ian Hawksworth Capco R63 million
DE Constable Sasol R53.7 million
Whitey Basson Shoprite R50 million
Sifiso Dabengwa MTN R48 million

 

FEDUSA supports the notion that executive pay and worker salary should be aligned with business performance. However, FEDUSA remains steadfast that the fruits of total factor productivity must be shared within the enterprise, insisted George. Remuneration committees and the social and ethics committees of leading companies should play a central role in ensuring that company wage policies form the basis to safeguard entry-level wages of workers and other employees, permitting a dignified life for all. The wage policy should support other benefits that the company may provide, as well as guidance and education regarding financial wellness, affirmed George.

FEDUSA is of the opinion that the demands of the workers in the petrol sector is reasonable and calls on the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) to intervene in the deadlock to facilitate an outcome that will support our principle of a living wage for workers. Whilst FEDUSA is pleased that much – needed relief has been given to cash – strapped consumers through the decreased prices of fuel, diesel and paraffin by 99, 74 and 88 cents per litre respectively, the prevailing situation, if not contained with urgency, could have damaging effects for motorists, commuters and businesses alike who are dependent on road transportation to sustain their livelihoods, concluded George.

[557 words]

FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

For interviews:

Dennis George

FEDUSA General Secretary

084 805 1529

 



02 August 2016

 SABC-Logo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the occasion of its 80th anniversary of being the faithful voice of the citizens, the SABC as our public broadcaster is congratulated by the Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) for this achievement and honour. Recent court cases and rhetoric regarding “censorship and other draconian one-sided measures” to seemingly protect the citizens of South Africa, similar to what transpired during the dark gloomy days of apartheid, inspired the leadership of FEDUSA to request an audience with Government to request clarity and solutions to this festering problem. FEDUSA has written, notwithstanding using the correct protocol in these matters and not just to “fling criticism” at the government as so many other parties have done, to approach the Secretary General of the ANC to intervene in the continual trend of lack of leadership, accountability and poor management at the SABC.

FEDUSA believes the corrective action in resolving the current crises, which is costing the tax-payers millions of rand, lies in the accountability to the citizens of the country as the SABC’s clients and not to one, or two elected or appointed persons, who might have forgotten that they don’t own the SABC but merely were given the honour in managing it as the official mouthpiece of all South Africans. In today’s democratic environment it was a complete surprise to hear the embattled Chief Operations Officer saying it’s “his way or no way”! In addition, we didn’t know that one self-proclaimed specialist has so much power over a state asset!

We were informed that the Parliamentary Committee on Communication (and the SABC) will only deal with this crises after the municipal elections (16 August 2016 was suggested date) and, seemingly only after they have secured their own places in society before they will conjure to discuss a crises which is then more than a month old! Astounding to say the least! What must ordinary citizens then think is the value of their vote when we receive such a reaction from the highest office? Recent outcries and negative sentiments surrounding broadcasting policy and the consequent labour court ruling has cast serious doubts on the national broadcaster’s credibility to execute its key operational and strategic mandates. The conduct of senior management and Board Members of the SABC has posed real and potential damage to the reputation of our country through media, said FEDUSA General Secretary, Dennis George.

FEDUSA welcomed the announcement by the National Executive Committee of the Ruling Party on Communication and Press Freedom, following the recent developments at the SABC, alongside the ruling by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) against any form of censorship imposition at the SABC. Whilst FEDUSA is encouraged by the pronouncement that the management and Board of the SABC will only learn the hard way at a cost of millions of taxpayers’ rand to fight battles which are doomed from the onset, the long term repercussions of the Board’s inability to provide strategic direction and advance the principles of good corporate governance, may be disastrous, insisted George.

FEDUSA is if the opinion that it is important to deal with management and the board of the SABC in a proactive manner, by not allowing the situation to fester until after the local government elections. The recent occurrences at the SABC are totally unacceptable and contrary to the values as enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic, argued George.

Seeking to inspire change through enriching, credible, relevant and compelling content that is available to all, should remain the continued and ultimate focus of the SABC. Loyal subscribers and listeners deserve nothing less. Deviating from its mission to strive to educate, inform and entertain all audiences accessing SABC services, in the face of perceived coercion, could ultimately lead to eventual self – destruction, insisted George. FEDUSA has therefore called on the ANC’s National Executive Committee to urgently meet with the federation’s leadership to engage in constructive dialogue on communication and press freedom, with the intent of strengthening good governance and ethical leadership at the SABC, concluded George.

The SABC belongs to the Nation, not to anybody else! FEDUSA will protect its members’ rights in this regard!

[ 688 words (excluding heading)]

- ENDS -

FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

For interviews:

Dennis George

General Secretary

0848051529

 

 

 



22 July 2016

 

Interest-Rates

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) welcomes the decision by the South African Reserve Bank’s (SARB) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) earlier this afternoon to leave the interest rates unchanged. The MPC’s mindfulness and due cognizance of recent mitigating factors that have led to this decision is certainly one that is accommodating the needs of the working class, who have been straddled by rate hikes, said Dennis George, FEDUSA General Secretary.

FEDUSA is encouraged by the outcome and believes that the strength gained by the currency coupled with the announcement that motorists will receive some much – needed reprieve with the massive drop in petrol prices as of 01 August 2016, will bode not only well for consumers in terms of increasing the disposable income, but likewise for savings and growth prospects for many businesses’ operational overheads, affirmed George.

Whilst FEDUSA acknowledges that inflation remains under pressure due to external factors, continued efforts much be channelled into protecting the savings of retired persons, private individuals, as well as the interests of our members. An increase in the repo rate would certainly have dealt another blow to already over-indebted consumers. This decision by the MPC will certainly contribute towards positive economic growth prospects, which has certainly brought a welcoming relief at a much needed time. Moreover, this decision demonstrates further commitment at achieving higher levels of inclusive growth, following assurances to Rating Agencies earlier this year, concluded George.

[217 words]

FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

 For interviews:

Dennis George

General Secretary

084 805 1529



 18 July 2016

PIET BOTHA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Botha Family,

MEC Donald Grant,

The President, General Secretary, National and Provincial Leadership of UNTU,

PRASA Board Member(s),

Metrorail Regional Manager,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentleman,

All Protocol Observed

It is with great sadness that we received the news of the passing on of Comrade Piet “Biltong” Botha, long – serving member of UNTU in the Western Cape. The entire FEDUSA Family mourns his untimely and very tragic passing as we stand alongside in extending our sincerest condolences to you Tania, your children Nadia and Brendon and the immediate and extended members of the Botha family, his UNTU and Metrorail family, during this period of bereavement and remembrance of a life that once was, a family man, a worker and a unionist who will be sadly missed.

On behalf of our National Executive Committee we hereby salute Cde Piet who died not in vain, but at a time when he sought to advance and improve his competencies through a training initiative at that unfortunate time at Netreg Station in Bonteheuwel, in the pursuit of decent work and a decent life for all. We trust that the family will take comfort in the fact that he has made his contribution for the betterment of workers. It would only be befitting, that FEDUSA dedicates the start of our new training intervention, “Skills and Leadership Development : Drivers of the Skills Revolution” in his memory at the Paarl / Worcester session next month. We shall hoist the FEDUSA flag at half-mast for the remainder of this week in remembrance of his contribution. Similarly, his name will be forever remembered, as we include his details in the remembrance plaque at FEDUSA House for all our fallen comrades who have passed on in the line of duty.

MEC Grant, PRASA Board Member, Willie Steenkamp, Regional Manager, Richard Walker and all affected stakeholders in the Western Cape, the time for concretised action to take place is now long overdue. Ironically, as stated at the memorial service on Thursday, 14 July 2016, train services were running at 83% on the day of the fatal occurrence. Why must tragedy always spurn on inaction? Why does insufficient political will allow for sabotage attacks to continue on coaches, signal equipment and other rail infrastructure in Cape Town, that threatens daily working class survival and infuriates work seekers, bread winners and parents. And why, why, are our train drivers and members shackled with the immovable scars of post traumatic disorders, when overcrowding, criminal activities and sheer desperation of suicides, face them head on, in execution of their duties.

Whilst FEDUSA supports the implementation of the Nine-Point Plan of Action by Government prioritising the urgent interventions designed to accelerate inclusive economic growth and create decent jobs, state reform and boosting the role of state-owned companies and transport infrastructure in this tragic instance, must be fast tracked. The long term strategy by PRASA to modernise its fleet to ensure a more efficient transportation service will take time. Time that our members, commuters and members of society to do not always have on their side. The real and imminent threat to the safety and security of our members and society, remains the maintenance and repairs of the ageing infrastructure.

The Criminal Matters Amendment Bill, 2015, assented to by President Zuma in December 2015, criminalises tampering with, damage or destruction of essential infrastructure which may interfere with the provision of basic services to the public and is punishable by law. MEC and PRASA Board Members, what recourse is in place for the Botha family now. FEDUSA, in consultation with UNTU, will be calling for an urgent engagement session with the Presidency, Minister of Transport, PRASA, Transet and the Railway Safety Regulator to ensure the highest level of intervention in this matter. As a priority, FEDUSA will be prioritising the campaign for the reinstatement of the railway police, as contracted private security providers are insufficient to deal with the problems.

Tania, the Botha Family, UNTU Members, and the entire working class communities that Piet and our members serviced daily, rest assured that FEDUSA will not allow this to be just another incident. The struggle for justice continues !

Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.

Thank you,

 



17 July 2016

  mandela

 

 

 

 

 

 

“We can change the world and make it a better place.  It is in your hands to make a difference”- Nelson Mandela.

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) and all its affiliated unions join hands with the entire South African nation in honoring and celebrating the life and achievements of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, the father of our nation. Mandela Day is a call for action to all South African citizens to take up the challenge and follow in the footsteps of Utata Madiba, a man who inspired people to take on the burden of leadership in addressing the world’s social injustices when he said that “it is in your hands now”. FEDUSA will continue to champion the fight for social justice, bring about change, improved conditions for all women and children, and advance the notion of Decent Life and Decent Work For All, said Martlé Keyter Vice President, Gender, Social Justice and Youth Development.

FEDUSA views Mandela Day as a continued strife for liberation, justice and equality and encompasses these ideals throughout the month and year in the federation’s activities, as this celebration of Madiba’s life and legacy is a global initiative to honor his life’s work and to change the world for the better.  Nelson Mandela believed South Africa’s freedom would not be achieved if women and children remained oppressed, hence the tabled resolutions emanating from FEDUSA’s recently held Youth Development Initiative echoes these very ideals, affirmed Keyter.   Mandela Month presents a great opportunity to advance women’s rights and in collaboration with the Gauteng Department of Community Safety, FEDUSA as part of the Labour Sector, will dedicate its 67 minutes to volunteer at a women’s shelter by delivering winter warmth at Ikhaya Le Themba Shelter for Abused Women and Children, in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.

FEDUSA promotes equality, fights against discrimination and campaigns for the rights of the vulnerable groups like women and children amongst others. We recognize that each and every individual deserves a right to a decent life through prospects that will enable them to improve their quality of life.  FEDUSA believes that our children and women are our greatest treasure, they are our future. Those who abuse them tear at the fabric of our society and weaken our nation.

The federation supports the social inclusion of all women and children. FEDUSA encourages all citizens to support and take care of our beloved children and women to make Mandela Day an everyday phenomenon, so that we can all contribute to the creation of a better South Africa, for all of us to live in, concluded Keyter.

[332 Words]

- ENDS -

FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

 For interviews:

 Martle Keyter

Vice President : Gender, Social Justice and Youth Development

082 856 2496

Dennis George

General Secretary

0848051529

 



07 JULY 2016

resolutions

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) in collaboration with the Confederation of South African Workers Union (CONSAWU) today concluded its three – day Youth Summit in Johannesburg.  The Summit culminated with concretised priorities aimed at strengthening grassroot development to build resilient Federations that can be the alternative voice of working people within the context of implementing decent work and decent life for all, outlined in a five-year plan of action.

The following is the full and unedited text of the declaration :

  1. We, the young workers of trade unions together forming the Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA), in collaboration with the Confederation of South African Workers Union (CONSAWU) gathered at Holiday Inn Airport Hotel, Boksburg, for our first Youth Summit.
  2. Our deliberations over the past three days were aimed at priorities that needs to be addressed in strengthening the grassroots through visible leadership and engage at all societal and communal level, to build resilient Federations that can be the alternative voice of the working people within the context of implementing decent work and decent life for all, especially youth and women as the more marginalized group of the societ
  3. The summit delegates were unanimous in asserting that the following priority areas should be addressed and a five-year plan be implemented:

3.1.       Gender Equality

There must be ongoing education on gender equality.

We challenge the perception about gender equality being a male versus female subject as well as the indoctrinate the cultural and social behaviours we have inherited. We agree to advocate gender equality on the basis of human rights (LGBTI included) and through strengthened commitment and capacity on gender equality and to improve women representation.

3.2.       Youth Unemployment

There is a recognised mismatch between what the job market demands and the trajectory society has placed us youth.

One of the key signifiers being the reality that a qualification alone is not sufficient for obtaining a job.  Likewise, the pressure to obtain a qualification has created a similar obstacle to attaining work and limits the youth in gaining work experience.

We believe that that creation of decent jobs is possible through entrepreneurial programmes for youth, vocational training and creation of permanent employment on Government programmes such as EPWP.

3.3.       HIV/AIDS

Breaking the chain of stigmatisation is crucial as well as the ongoing education and support of those affected by it. We believe that HIV/AIDS has to be recognised as a chronic illness and that organisations be mandated to have policies that support HIV positive employees, minimise stigma and discrimination. We charge Government to ensure that its entities and organisations adopt a Workplace Wellness model to address HIV/AIDS issues holistically versus the current approach of HIV/AIDS committees.

3.4.       Minimum Wage

We petition Government to fully explore the impact of a national minimum wage on job security, expecting concise discussions and competent roll-out, once determined. We support a national minimum wage to assist workers living below the concept of a decent living.  We charge government and NEDLAC to be vigilant when weighing the scales between a national minimum wage and job security.

3.5.       Access to Higher Education

We believe that free higher education and vocational training will contribute to the individual youth’s ability to work towards a decent job for a decent living. An individual can work whilst studying, but only the minority has access to funds for education.  We propose that the imbalance of interns being unemployed after the completion of their training be addressed. We believe that government and business should commit in offering bursaries and employ beneficiaries on completion of their qualification or training.

[600 words (excluding heading)] 

- ENDS -

FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

For interviews:

Dennis George

General Secretary

0848051529



6 July 2016

 mubarak

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) wishes all Muslims a blessed and peaceful Eid Mubarak today after the observation of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting, in which Muslims strengthen their spirituality and abstain from food and drinks among others from sunrise to sunset said Dennis George FEDUSA General Secretary.

FEDUSA President Koos Bezuidenhout conveys his best wishes on behalf of the National Executive Committee of the Federation to our Muslim community and thank them for the positive contribution they have made to contribute towards creating decent work for decent life for all. Bezuidenhout said it is important for all South Africans to spend time deepening our spirituality and reflecting on what can make our country a better place.

FEDUSA is grateful to our Muslim community as they commemorate this important day EID-UL-FITR and express the hope that their deliberations will result in more contributions towards the upliftment of the lives of millions of our people and the building of a better South Africa for all, concluded George.

[ 169 Words]

- ENDS -

FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information

For interviews:

Dennis George

0848051529

 



04 July 2016

 unemployed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) is deeply distressed by statistical data released earlier today, outlined in the Quarterly Employment Survey (QES). The findings captured from the mining, manufacturing, electricity and gas, construction, retail, business and community and personal services sector, clearly indicates a 0,2% reduction in employment, amounting to 15 000 job losses in the first quarter of the year. These figures come as a total disappointment within the context that the social partners committed to work together to stabilise the economy and improve the country’s growth potential, said Dennis George, FEDUSA General Secretary.

The South African economy is clearly still not recovering from the onslaught of financial, global and self – inflicted political thrashings, whilst the mayhem activated by the recent British exit from the EU continues to hamstring economic growth and progress. In the retail trade sector, 27 000 jobs were lost, 7 000 people were retrenched in the hotels and restaurants industry and employment in the mining sector contracted for the sixth consecutive quarter by 4 000 employees in the first quarter of 2016. This presents a grave challenge to the affected industries, where FEDUSA membership enjoys a large percentage of the representation. Government has agreed with Labour (COSATU, FEDUSA and NACTU) that a task team consisting of four cabinet ministers with six leaders of Labour be established to develop urgent short and medium measures to be adopted at the Jobs Summit.

Whilst the federation supports the implementation of the Nine-Point Plan prioritising urgent interventions designed to accelerate inclusive economic growth and create decent jobs through transforming the economy and increasing investments, FEDUSA believes that it remains important to approach these matters with a very proactive stance, to ensure that job – stimulating drivers, economic enablers and cost-cutting interventions remains the order of the day to improve economic growth and increase job creation, concluded George.

[347 Words]

- ENDS -

FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information

For interviews:

Dennis George

FEDUSA General Secretary

084 805 1529



04 July 2016

Mother and daughter holding hands in cafe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FEDUSA Youth Development Seminar 

Holiday Inn Boksburg

4 July 2016

Programme Director

FEDUSA President Koos Bezuidenhout

FEDUSA Vice President Martle Keyter

CONSAWU President Hector Sinuka

Members of the Social Justice Committee

Comrades and Friends  

On behalf of the leadership of FEDUSA it is indeed a privilege for me to welcome and address you on the important matter of youth development seminar. The predicament of young people in the South African labour market is even more dire than that of adults and the transition from school to decent work is burdened with difficulties. Long-term unemployment, discouragement and inactivity are higher amongst the youth than is the case with adults. FEDUSA will be championing the initiation as part of the 40th anniversary of the Soweto uprising by dedicating our programmes beyond the months of June towards repositioning and reclaiming young workers voice in the workplace.

Young people working in the informal economy of our country are faced with unashamed violations of their fundamental labour standards, which remains inescapable and there are increasing problems of exclusion, particularly towards the less-educated, young women and disabled young people. The Social Profile of Youth that was released in June 2016 reported that 3,7 million young people were unemployed in 2014 in South Africa and that only 1,6 million young people had worked before. The unemployment and jobless rates amongst young people are much higher than they are for adults.

Young people face a number of additional obstacles to employment compared to their older colleagues. Young people tend to lack work experience and have less employable skills. Employers may prefer tried and tested employees with proven work records than young people. The current global recession has clearly exacerbated these difficulties and indeed, has affected young people disproportionately.

Youth is a crucial time of life, when young people start realizing their aspirations, assuming their economic independence and finding their place in society. The transitions to adulthood and to the world of work often take place simultaneously, and this is a difficult time for many young people. However, if this transition can be made easier by effective assistance in making a good start in the world of work, it will positively affect young people’s professional and personal success in the future stages of life.

The route to decent work implies a smooth transition from school to a decent and permanent job that provides young workers with job security and satisfaction. The school-to-work transitionconcept is defined by the International Labour Organisation as the passage of a young person from the end of schooling to the first “career” or “regular” job. The definition of a career job is a subjective concept and implies a job that responds to the desire career path of the individual, while a regular job is defined in terms of duration of contract or expected length of tenure.

Young people in transition include all the unemployed, those employed in non-career or temporary jobs and  those who are working, but want to change jobs or return to education.  The leadership of FEDUSA established the youth programme under the Social Justice Committee to support and advocate for young people. Young people should not be inactive but rather be in education, employment or training. Young people should be enrolled after school on learnerships, apprenticeships or internships.

Research shows that most young workers found their jobs through family, friends or acquaintances. FEDUSA is sad that vocational training is not very popular among students, parents and teachers. Despite the fact that enterprises are mainly looking for workers with vocational skills for both manual and professional jobs. Vocational education and training (VET) is still considered to be a suitable option for “low performers” only. Bricklayers, plumbers, electricians and welders are good trades. You will not find an unemployed artisan. Artisans also embark on entreprenuerial ventures and are successful in creating employment and starting their own small businesses

Becoming an entrepreneur could be an alternative for a young person. Young people should have an entrepreneurial mindset and be willing to develop basic entrepreneurial skills and knowledge. It is therefore critical for government and business to create an enabling environment for enterprise creation. FEDUSA welcomes the joint R1 billion fund to support small businesses as this initiative could lead to job creation and inclusive economic growth.  The venture capital-type funding could assist targeted groups – especially black entrepreneurs, as funding plays a crucial role for a successful start-up.

Entrepreneurship is increasingly accepted as an important means and a valuable additional strategy to create jobs and improve livelihoods and economic independence of young people. It is an innovative approach to integrating youth into today’s changing labour markets. Although the crucial role played by entrepreneurship in driving economic development and job creation is increasingly understood, there has been little effort to look at it from a youth perspective. Young people are mostly treated as part of the general adult population, while their specific needs and particular entrepreneurial potential as well as their critical contribution to economic and social progress are underestimated.

In conclusion, the main focus for FEDUSA is the enforcement of labour protection measures for young people, maternity and annual paid leave, working hours, health and safety in the work place. It is crucial to introduce the national minimum wage. More importantly are employment counselling and career guidance, labour market information, labour market training, employment subsidies, public works and self-employment programmes.

We look forward to receiving the resolutions and declaration of the seminar and we trust your deliberations will strengthen our objective of creating decent work and a decent life for all.

I thank you and welcome you to this FEDUSA Youth Development Seminar

 

 



20 June 2016

 Labour & Government session - June 2016

 

 

 

 

 

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) supports the implementation of the Nine-Point Plan, which prioritises the urgent interventions designed to accelerate inclusive economic growth and create decent jobs through transforming the economy and increasing investments. The three interventions include stimulating job drivers, economic enablers and introducing cost-cutting interventions to grow the economy said Dennis George FEDUSA General Secretary.

FEDUSA, COSATU and NACTU will caucus this afternoon at NEDLAC to review the progress made to date with the implementation of the Nine-Point Plan. The three Federations will discuss new measures to strengthen working together between Government, Organized Labour and Business to support inclusive economic growth, including:

Resolving the energy challenge

  1. Revitalising agriculture and the agro-processing value chain
  2. Advancing beneficiation or adding value to the mineral wealth
  3. More effective implementation of a higher impact Industrial Policy Action Plan
  4. Encouraging private sector investment
  5. Moderating workplace conflict
  6. Unlocking the potential of small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs), cooperatives, township and rural enterprises
  7. State reform and boosting the role of state-owned companies, information and communications technology infrastructure or broadband roll-out, water, sanitation and transport infrastructure
  8. Operation Phakisa, which is aimed at growing the ocean economy and other sectors
  9. FEDUSA President, Koos Bezuidenhout, will lead the Federation’s delegation and argued that it is important to build on the collaboration of the positive engagements with the three rating agencies, Moody’s, Standard and Poor and Fitch and international investors, affirmed Bezuidenhout. However, whilst FEDUSA welcomes the developmental approach to catalyse economic growth, the federation believes that the critical service delivery constraints such as the filing of key vacant posts in the health sector in particular, will certainly assist in advancing the process, especially in the Eastern Cape, Limpopo, KwaZulu Natal and the Free State, concluded Bezuidenhout.

[ 297 Words]

- ENDS -

FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

 For interviews:

 Dennis George

FEDUSA General Secretary

0848051529

 



15 June 2016

youth day 2016                                                                                                                                                

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) celebrates national Youth Day under the notion that youth empowerment is the main building block to a sustainable future of the country, said Martlé Keyter, Vice President : Gender, Social Justice and Youth Development. As FEDUSA commemorates Youth Day in remembrance of the Soweto Uprising in the country, the integral role of our youth in liberating the country now more than ever towards economic enfranchisement, remains critical. For this reason, FEDUSA will be championing our initiatives as part of the 40th Anniversary of the Soweto Uprising, by dedicating our programmes, beyond the month of June, towards “Repositioning and Reclaiming Young Workers Voices in The Workplaces”, declared Keyter.

While young people remain the prospective future of any country, they are often faced with diverse and complex challenges. As we celebrate Youth Day, it is appropriate to acknowledge a range of such complex challenges facing our youth and devise beneficial processes and initiatives of building social cohesion, advancing economic prosperity and political stability in an inclusive and democratic way in order to reduce the economic and social challenges faced by our youth, added Keyter.

South Africa is crippled by high levels of unemployment which impact citizens in numerous ways. Young people are not spared from this. While the country’s economy is currently fragile and the Labour market cannot create enough jobs, youth unemployment continues to rise, with approximately 3.7 million youth being low skilled and lacking the necessary experience needed in the workplace. This results in low participation of youth in the Labour market and it becomes a key concern in relation to the well-being of youth and the general economic growth in the country. The challenges facing South African youth could lead to far reaching, over-arching socio-economic consequences for young people, putting them at a higher risk of falling into the cycle of poverty, criminal behavior, ill health and drug abuse. Efforts to tackle the scourge of youth unemployment therefore have to address structural factors relating to education and skills development. Unless improved through effective policy implementation, the current youth situation may lead to long-term detrimental impacts on the general economic, social and physiological well‐being amongst our youngmembers of society, maintained Keyter.

FEDUSA is of the opinion that if our youth are trained and educated to ensure that there are correct skills matches, the path for inclusive economic growth will be set. Henceforth, FEDUSA is currently implementing its nationwide training rollout to ensure that Skills and Leadership Development of our youth in particular, remains one of the key drivers of the skills revolution, said Keyter. In this regard, it is imperative to create an innovation channel for youth employment and to unlock the social innovation and entrepreneurism for young people through strengthening their capacities and development. SMMEs and entrepreneurship should be utilised as tools to generate sufficient employment opportunities for all young people in the country.  Additionally, providing young people with platforms to be part of the decision-making processes and encouraging their active participation in creating community change could be a key engine for creating sustainable economic growth and a better future.

 Forming a network of like-minded organisations that are dedicated to creating a more harmonious socio-environmental system through youth empowerment will also be key to ensuring that young people are actively involved in developing and achieving the objectives of the National Development Plan (NDP) 2030 in so far as economic growth and employment is concerned, emphasised Keyter. Increasing economic prosperity and creating a better future for the country requires dedication and collaborative efforts of active agents and citizens. In order to work towards a more sustainable future of the country, it is vital to instil elements that integral to changing knowledge, attitudes and behaviours. FEDUSA believes that the youth remains our future leaders and their empowerment is a crucial building block to a sustainable future of the country, concludes Keyter.

 (665 words)

 - ENDS -

 FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

 For interviews:

 Martlé Keyter

FEDUSA Vice President : Gender, Social Justice and Youth Development

082 856 2496

 Brenda Modise

Social Policy Officer 

073 531 5339 

 



3 June 2016

ratings agency

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) remains cautiously optimistic and cognizant of the current economic status as well as the position of the country on sub investments. Nonetheless, the South African Government has taken major steps to deliberate on the economic situation of the country with investors in the UK and USA, demonstrating their attentiveness with regard to the situation as well as their efforts to make sufficient progress to stabilize and restore fiscal strength. It is imperative for international rating agencies in their actions of rating, to acknowledge the intensified and collaborative efforts of social partners to foster sustainable growth and improve investment, said Riefdah Ajam, FEDUSA Parliamentary Officer.

With South Africa’s economy already vulnerable, a downgrade of the country’s credit rating will affect all citizens, as it will impact on the interest rates, exchange rates as well as the investor confidence. Furthermore, a deteriorating economy in the midst of poor performance and little growth, becomes more vulnerable to increased expensive borrowing rates, where lenders are less certain that their loans will be repaid. Ultimately, the cost of repaying the debt will be substantially higher and could lead South Africa into further indebtedness. Moreover, the impact of a downgrade will inflict serious harm on some retirement fund industries, as investors in the sector will be forced by their own rules to withdraw investments. It would be severely traumatic and disheartening to see long – term savings gains being compromised, insisted FEDUSA President, Koos Bezuidenhout.

FEDUSA is pleased that mindfulness and cooperation to cut wasteful and fruitless expenditure, to ensure that the country keeps spending within the announced ceiling. To illustrate the recent judgement of the Constitutional Court as well as the significantly improved municipal audits announced recently by the Auditor – General, are amongst others, proof that South Africa’s institutions are working together to ensure fruitful spending and improved investment, maintained Ajam. This is imperative as investment can indeed play a major role in fostering long-term growth and has the potential to counter act and to play a key role in crisis recovery strategies.

The collective efforts stemming from the UK and US investor Roadshow was certainly heralded as a success by FEDUSA, noting Moody’s decision to leave the country’s credit rating unchanged. Increased efforts and commitment by all the social partners to drive the current momentum to demonstrate solid outcomes, is now certainly necessitated. Government in collaboration with its social partners needs to put in place amicable mechanisms through which an investments enabling environment can be created, to ensure that the noble efforts of the investor roadshow is not undermined in any way, maintained Ajam. FEDUSA notes that a new turning point for South Africa may be on the cards, hence it remains critical to stimulate decent job creation and increased business innovation and support for jobs in order to foster inclusive economic growth, concludes Ajam.

 

478 words]

FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

For interviews:

Riefdah Ajam

FEDUSA Parliamentary Officer

079 696 2625

FEDUSA President

Koos Bezuidenhout

082 372 0020

 



24 May 2016

pravin-gordhan-310x205

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA), ALPA-SA and UASA had a constructive meeting with Minister Pravin Gordhan, Deputy Minister Mcebisi Jonas and Director General Lungisa Fuzile, where the trade union representatives were able to brief government about their concerns about the SAA board and senior management, as well as the lack of good corporate governance practices. FEDUSA made a recommendation that the same leadership who led SAA into the current financial and governance crisis cannot guide the airline onto a new path of sustainability and profitability said Dennis George FEDUSA General Secretary.

FEDUSA thanked Minister Gordhan, Deputy MinisterJonas and Director General Fuzilefor their exceptional leadership to convened the meeting, which is important to strengthen constructive collaboration and co-operation between Government and Labour to turn SAA around. The parties agreed to collaborate and work together through technical task teams to strengthen SAA and to further engage on issues such as operational improvements and transformation. All parties agreed that the current 20 percent of black pilots should be increased and would increase if SAA had a competent board, fit for purpose and was properly managed, could grow, increase routes and become profitable. Minister Gordhan thanked the pilots, ground staff, cabin crew and technical workers for the extraordinary high standards of safety within SAA and ask all workers to build the brand of the airline.

FEDUSA, ALPA-SA and SAAPA said it was crucial to ensure that the working environment within SAA is free of intimidation and fear concluded George.

[309 Words]

 FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

 For interviews:

Dennis George

FEDUSA General Secretary

084 805 1529



10 May 2016

NDP employment

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) is worried that the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) conducted by Statistics South Africa indicated that 355 000 jobs were destroyed during the January and March 2016. The massive job loses in the first quarter of 2016 would have a devastating impact on households, SARS will forego millions in tax revenue through PAYE and VAT collections, and the bearing of social cohesion would be disturbing for the country said FEDUSA General Secretary Dennis George.

The unemployment rate increased from 24.5 % to 26,7%, while the absorption rate deteriorated from 44.2% to 43,0%, whilst the labour force participation rate worsens to 58,7%. The National Development Plan (NDP) predicted that the unemployment rate would decline from 25% in 2010 to 20% in 2015 and 14% in 2020. The Quarterly Labour Force Survey illustrates that the employment framework proposed by the National Planning Commission for South Africa in not working.

NDP Objectives for Employment and Growth to 2030 with the high-level numeric targets for sustainable and inclusive growth include:

  1. A fall in the strict unemployment rate from 25 percent to 14 percent in 2020 to 6percent by 2030,
  2. A rise in the labour force participation rate from 54 percent in 2010 to 65 percent,
  3. About 11 million additional jobs by 2030.

The analysis shows that the number of employed people in the formal sector decreased in six industries. The largest decreases in employment were observed in Construction (88 000), Manufacturing (80 000) and Trade (40 000) industries according to Statistics South Africa. While, the number of employed people in the informal sector decreased by 111 000 argues George.Unemployment involves significant costs for unemployed persons and society. The unemployed person suffers a loss of income, shock and frustration, and in some situations unemployment can result in hunger, cold, ill health and even death. It is therefore imperative for government, labour and business to persistently work in collaboration to increase the employment intensity of the economy through partnership with the private sector and effective job creation mechanisms. Economic growth is driven by structural change, which usually has a cost associated with it in terms of unemployment because labour markets may not be flexible enough. Therefore improvement in productivity associated to changes in the employment protection legislation are also necessary to promote higher labour market flexibility, which will eventually encourage the promotion of reforms to combat unemployment and which, in turn, will promote higher economic growth, concludes George.

[417 words]

- ENDS -

 FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

For interviews:

FEDUSA General Secretary

084 8051529



11 May 2016

international-nurses-day2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) celebrates the International Nurses Day with our Nurses globally, under the theme “Nurses: A force for Change: Improving Health Systems’ Resilience”. ’This day brings awareness to the very critical role that nurses play in our primary care system and in society as care givers to many patients in and out of hospitals and to our vulnerable groups, disadvantaged and the elderly. This year’s theme also highlight the significant role and contribution of nurses that make to the resilience of health systems. It is therefore important for the country on this day to uphold and acknowledge this critical role of Nurses, said FEDUSA Deputy-Vice President Godfrey Selematsela.

While nurses are a key component of our hospitals and society and the backbone of the public health system, South Africa continue to face a challenge in that there is a huge shortage of nurses in crucial areas such as intensive care units, operating theatres, midwifery and mental health country wide especially within rural areas. About 133 127 professional nurses are registered with the SA Nursing Council nationally, nonetheless, only slightly more than half (68 105) work in public health. This critical shortage render nursing in crisis and has embedded worrying negative consequences such as the casualization of the workforce, particularly with the noted increase in agencies providing nursing staff on a temporary basis, added Selematsela.

Moreover, the critical shortage of nurses in South Africa could have serious implications for the implementation of a nurse-dependent National Health Insurance (NHI) system, particularly the shortage of professional nurses could be problematic for the effective roll out of the NHI as it will require an increased demand for specialist nurses, particularly school health nurses, primary healthcare nurses and advanced midwives to provide primary health care. For sustained change and assurance of an adequate supply of nurses, solutions must be developed in several areas such as education, healthcare delivery systems as well as policy and regulations, emphasized Selematsela. This shortage is not solely nursing’s issue, it requires a collaborative effort among nursing leaders in practice and education, health care executives, government, business and labour. Therefore, integration with the former bodies is necessary to work on decreasing the rising shortage of nurses in the country, through amicable solutions and providing training developments as well as more programmes and bursaries for citizens to study nursing. Government also bears the responsibility to fill all vacant posts in accordance with the resolution 1 of 2007, added Selematsela.

FEDUSA is of the opinion that it is significant in revitalizing nursing to improve management of health services, modernize resources for positive working environment and conditions, enhance procurement procedures and provide sub-optimal leadership in policy and implementation. The Federation promotes decent work and decent life for all and therefore supports improved health care systems for all. While it is fair for our citizens to receive effective, equitable and quality health care, it is also fair to ensure that our nurses as part of workers enjoy the maximum benefits of decent work and decent life including secure working conditions. FEDUSA therefore condemns the violent attacks on nurses by community members, maintained Dennis George, FEDUSA General Secretary.

The Federation would like to congratulate its affiliate HOSPERSA for taking the responsibility to ensure that the desires and grievances of our health personnel are addressed in accordance.

[ 556 words]

- ENDS -

FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

For Interviews, please contact

Dennis George

FEDUSA General Secretary

084 085 1529

 or

Godfrey Selematsela 

FEDUSA Deputy-Vice President

083 654 7359

 



04 May 2016

free market foundtion court dismissal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) welcomes the North Gauteng High Court Ruling to dismiss the Free Market Foundation application, as it was nothing less than a declaration that would undermine collective bargaining in South Africa and the existing labour relations system, said Dennis George, FEDUSA General Secretary.

FEDUSA supports and acknowledges the importance of preserving the constitutional rights of workers to bargain collectively. It is imperative, through collaboration and co-operation that trade unions and the social partners continue to protect the right to collectively bargain, so that workers’ rights can be represented and their quest for decent work and life be negotiated for at high level structures, added George. Moreover, collective bargaining agreements are fundamental to protecting and improving wages and working conditions of workers within the context of decent work. These agreements also makes it possible to counteract exploitation, to prevent a downward spiral in wages and enable an upward spiral, based on skills and productivity improvements which are critical for innovation and employment creation, emphasized George. The Minister of Labour will have a right to apply her mind on how to extend collective bargaining agreements.

FEDUSA therefore encourages all Federations and trade unions to reject any form of exploitation and attack on the fundamental rights of workers and to support and promote decent work and decent life for all workers at all levels, concludes George.

[230 Words]

- ENDS -

FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

 

For interviews:

Dennis George

FEDUSA General Secretary

084 805 1529



09 May 2016

rising levels of unemployment

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) is concerned about the increasing level of unemployment in the country. New employment data from Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) indicates that South Africa’s unemployment rate increased to 26.7% of the labour force in the first quarter of 2016. This is up to 2.2% higher as compared to the previous year. Taking into consideration the current state of the economy, the persistent rates of unemployment and the accelerated pace at which inequalities are increasing are major concerns which require critical attention, said Dennis George, FEDUSA General Secretary.

It is imperative for government, labour and business to persistently work in collaboration to increase the employment intensity of GDP growth through partnership with the private sector and effective job creation mechanisms, added George. Economic growth is driven by structural change, which usually has a cost associated with it in terms of unemployment because labour markets may not be flexible enough, leading to delays in the adjustment to such changes. Similarly, several works, e.g. Bassanini et al. (2009), report improvements in productivity associated to changes in the employment protection legislation. These changes promote higher labour market flexibility, which eventually encourage countries with initial high levels of unemployment to promote reforms, which, in turn, will promote higher economic growth

New data shows that South Africa’s unemployment rate increased to 26.7% of the labour force in the first quarter of 2016, up 2.2 percentage points from 24.5% in the fourth quarter of 2015.

StatisticsSA said that employment levels declined quarter-to-quarter in all industries except Community & Social services and Agriculture which grew by 51,000 and 16,000 respectively.

The biggest job losses were observed in Trade (119,000), Manufacturing (100,000) and Construction (77,000).

Employment declined by 2.2 percentage points, or 355,000 in Q1: 2016, which combined with an increase in the number of unemployed persons of 521,000 resulted in an unemployment rate of 26.7%.

However, on a year-on-year basis, employment was still higher in Q1: 2016 by 204,000 compared to the same period last year, StatsSA said.

[230 Words]

- ENDS -

FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

 

For interviews:

Dennis George

FEDUSA General Secretary

084 805 1529



19 April 2016

metrorail burning trains 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) wishes to express its utter dismay by the continued sabotage attacks on Metrorail’s coaches, signal equipment and other rail infrastructure in Cape Town that threatens daily working class survival. The federation downright condemns and is outraged that the situation now clearly points to wilful and malicious damage to state property by instigators who are hell bent on causing chaos in the lives of vulnerable train travellers on key routes, said Dennis George, FEDUSA General Secretary.

The daily commute to Cape Town’s business hub remains tense, with constant fears of delays of up to 3 hours on average daily. This is completely unacceptable as it places an undue burden and stress on students, work seekers, bread winners and parents who are faced with hefty fines for late collection of children at day care and after care services, along with forking out hundreds of rands for alternate transportation arrangements. The safety of passengers and FEDUSA members from its affiliated union, the United National Transport Union (UNTU), remains our key priority. Although FEDUSA notes the long term strategy by the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) to modernise if fleet to ensure a more efficient transportation service, the federation strongly believes that this process will take much time to implement. The real and imminent threat to the safety and security of our members and commuters, remains the maintenance and repairs of the infrastructure, insisted George.

Whilst the federation refrains from fuelling gossip mongering, we unfortunately cannot ignore the many rumours and increased chorus of who the alleged instigators are. The dire situation in Cape Town requires serious and urgent political intervention to allay all fears of further attacks, emphasised George. We certainly have an obligation towards the working class and the poorest of the poor, who are reliant on the service on a daily basis. Likewise, FEDUSA calls on business, the Chairperson of Prasa and the Western Cape Government to take due cognizance and extend an empathetic line regarding the pending crisis, as the federation is mindful and has been advised that Metrorail – issued statements clarifying the cause for employee lateness, is failing to have the desired impact in workplaces. Why should hard – working commuters bear the brunt of wage deductions for late coming, that is by no means their fault. It is clearly evident that this situation is leading to further deprivation of income and perpetuated impoverishment, argued George. To add insult to injury, the transport inflation figures released by Statistics South Africa in their February 2016 Consumer Price Index, cited and increase to 8.7% in February 2016 from 5.5% in January 2016.

The Criminal Matters Amendment Bill, 2015, assented to by President Zuma in December 2015, must be stringently enforced, as it is deemed offensive to tamper with, damage or destroy essential infrastructure which may interfere with the provision of basic services to the public. FEDUSA believes that the full arm of the law must take its cause, whether politically or criminally insighted, insisted George.

The federation will be calling for an urgent engagement session with the Presidency, Minister of Transport, PRASA, Transet and the Railway Safety Regulator to ensure high level intervention in this matter. An urgent investigation is likewise necessitated within the management structure of Metrorail, as the current situation compels our UNTU membership to engage in extended overtime, which may result in disastrous health hazards and consequential jeopardy to both members and commuters. Calls for the reinstatement of the former railway police is now a reality as the contracted private security providers are insufficient to deal with the problem.  Moreover, the sustainability of the service remains a priority. Staggering variances of the regional revenue fair performance as at 18 April 2016, highlights a staggering deficit of 27,1% for the month to date, whilst a damning loss of 60,5% has been recorded for the week to date since the torching of 3 trains, leaving 15 train sets out of service. Sadly, the on – time performance of Metrorail trains on the central lines is at an all – time low of 2%, as a result of delays and cancellations noted during this time. FEDUSA views the situation as a state of emergency within the rail operator and will not hesitate to declare an all – out war on those agents who continually rob our hard – working citizens of decent work, decent life and decent salaries, concluded George.

[725 words (excluding heading)]

- ENDS -

FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

For interviews:

Dennis George

General Secretary

0848051529



13 April 2016

allister coetzee - new boks coach

 

 

 

 

 

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) extends its full support and congratulations as the federation welcomes the appointment of Mr Allister Coetzee as the new Springbok Coach. Undoubtedly, sport and recreation has on many occasions positively contributed towards strengthening social cohesion and unified our people. Likewise the South African Rugby has been at forefront of uniting the nation, with the worldwide known success of the 1995 World Cup and victory over England in 1997. Mr Coetzee, bears a huge responsibility to ensure the success of the South African Rugby for the coming June Internationals and for the future, said Dennis George, FEDUSA General Secretary.

Nonetheless, the South African rugby landscape is bestowed with many challenges, with the key being the issue of transformation, that awaits the new coach. FEDUSA believes that the advancement of sport plays a critical role the in the process of transformation and that collaborative measures should be implemented, through a body that embraces all stakeholders in order to achieve significant grassroots development and to enhance the transformation process holistically.

FEDUSA engaged in a proactive and meaningful dialogue with the President of SARU regarding transformation in the South African Rugby landscape. It is imperative for the new Springbok coach to implement the strategic transformation plan and ensure effective grassroots development for a successful rugby future, emphasised George.

Moreover, it is important for stakeholders to collaborate and cooperate in working in a practical and sustainable manner, towards the achieving a proper, holistic and methodical transformation within South African rugby. Amidst the bleak economic clouds that hovers over our economy, now more than ever, South Africa is in need of some magic, that FEDUSA believes you certainly are capable of doing. The Springbok coach was already a hero when he played struggle rugby for Eastern Cape as scrumhalf and this is an ideal opportunity for him to made a positive contribution. The hopes of our nation rests on your shoulders; Go Bokke!

We wish Mr Coetzee, a meaningful career within the South African Rugby landscape during the next four years of his contract, as the Springbok Coach, concluded George.

[352 Words]

- ENDS -

FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

For interviews:

Dennis George

General Secretary

0848051529



MEDIA RELEASE

11 April 2016

investor roadshow

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) is satisfied that the constructive collaboration and co-operation between Government, Business and Labour in NEDLAC to market South Africa as preferred emerging country through the recently held international investment roadshows is bearing results. This is evident from the huge worldwide interests in the new South African R18bn 10-year-bond and the fact that the transaction was more than two times oversubscribed said Dennis George, FEDUSA General Secretary.

It is important for the National Treasury to use NEDLAC and the unique social partnerships to demonstrate the strength and value of our economic institutions such NEDLAC, the South African Reserve Bank and the banking system in the country to stimulate inclusive economic growth. The new South African R18bn 10-year-bond is the first international bond issued in two years. International investors explained to the Minister of Finance, Business and Labour representatives that political uncertainty is their foremost concern. FEDUSA is of the view that the Constitution Court ruling will strengthen the political uncertainty and it has already introduced certainty and the respect for the rule of law as well as our institutions.

It is further imperative for the social partners in NEDLAC to develop a path that would ensure rapid inclusive economic growth and support decent job creation and poverty eradication; as increased investment has the potential to stimulate inclusive economic growth and great collaborative action will improve future economic prospects.

FEDUSA acknowledges and is confident that the collective wisdom of the partners and the Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and the major steps Government has taken to deliberate the economic situation of the country with investors in the UK and USA, is starting to bear results. This demonstrates the cautiousness of our government and the Finance Minister with regard to handling the situation as well as their efforts to make sufficient progress to stabilize and restore fiscal strength, concludes George.

[309 Words]

FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

For interviews:

Dennis George

FEDUSA General Secretary

084 805 1529

 



MEDIA RELEASE

31 March 2016

Hawks-Pravin-Gordhan

 

 

 

 

 

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) welcomes the response by Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan to questions from the Hawks relating to the unproven rogue intelligence unit within the South African Revenue Service (SARS). The Minister’s commitment to the values of the accountability and transparency is commendable, taking due cognizance of the assertion by the Minister “that my legal advice is that I am not obliged‚ under any law‚ to answer the questions sent to me by the Hawks”. This certainly bodes well in the spirit of nation building; restoration of confidence and economic stability said Dennis George, FEDUSA General Secretary.

FEDUSA is encouraged by the manner in which the matter is being addressed by the Minister, to ensure that the vulnerability of the economy is not further compromised and remains stable in light of investor confidence and ratings pressures, emphasized George. The lawful establishment of the Hawks to perform very important functions for and on behalf of SARS in line with government’s commitment to crack down on crime generally and organised crime in particular should continue unabated.

However, FEDUSA urge SARS and other similarly established government entities to act with caution, taking due cognizance that the Sikhakhane Panel was mistaken in its conclusion that the establishment of the Hawks had contravened section 3 of the National Strategic Intelligence Act 39 of 1994. It remains crucial that these inter – governmental debates resulting in internal strife should be managed and contained within government structures to eliminate and avoid any undue instability, insisted George.

FEDUSA looks forward to the speedy resolution of the matter and is of the opinion that the National Treasury needs to implement the necessary measures that will restore stability, improve the economic climate and assure public confidence in our beloved rainbow nation, concluded George.

[336 words]

FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

For interviews:

Dennis George

General Secretary

084 805 1529



21 November 2017

 

nmw

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Federations of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) will study the National Minimum Wage (NMW) Report that was released by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to the Committee of Principals at NEDLAC on Sunday and report back to its structures.

The Report was drafted by a panel of experts that was appointed by Ramaphosa three months ago to conduct a research with all stakeholders and recommend a sustainable level of a national minimum wage. The panel of experts have recommended a minimum wage of R20 an hour which works out to about R3500 a month when based on a minimum of four hours a day worked.

The panel of experts pointed that if this figure is accepted by the social partners it will go a long way towards alleviating wage poverty as up to 47 percent of employed workers earn less than R3500 a month. According the Report, farm workers will be paid 90 percent of the NMW, which equates to about R3150 a month while domestic workers will be paid 75 percent of the NMW or about R2625 a month.

FEDUSA is concerned about the potential job loses as a result of the introduction of NMW and would like to have a bilateral meeting with the Panel of Experts to discuss the National Treasury and University of Cape Town’s Development Policy Research Unit argument that 715, 000 jobs could be lost. The panel of experts favoured the approach of the University of the Witwatersrand’s National Minimum Wage Research Initiative (NMWRI), which used the US Global Policy Model (GPM) and Dynamically Integrated Macro-Micro Simulation Model of South Africa (DIMMSIM) to illustrate a broad range of options to be deployed in response the the introduction of the NMW.  Moreover, the DIMMSIM suggests a fairly optimitic view of the impact of the NMW.  The panel of experts argues that

            “The model concludes that overall an NMW in South Africa would be a pro-poor measure that reduces poverty, especially among Africans, coloureds and rural communities. It also reduces inequality and improves economic growth. The wage adjustments, affecting at least 48% of full-time workers across sectors of the economy, help increase the average sector wage rates from below instead of disproportionately increasing the remuneration of high-skilled workers”.

FEDUSA think that it is important for the social partners to learn valuable lessons from investing more than 18 months to develop a new framework for the country to introduce a national minimum wage system and to amend the labour legislation to ensure sound and stable labour relations in South Africa.

421 Words

- ENDS -

 

FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.  See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.

 

For interviews:

Dennis George

General Secretary

0848051529

 

Issued by

Frank Nxumalo

FEDUSA Media and Research

Email: research@fedusa.org.za

Cell: 060 676 9145

 



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