SA HR news roundup: CCMA makes second vax ruling, ANC might retrench

A Prasa internal audit finds 3,000 “ghost employees” on the state-owned entity’s payroll.

The CCMA has made its second judgement on mandatory vaccination policies in the workplace, upholding the employer’s decision to dismiss an unvaccinated employee. The ruling party is expected to retrench staff as it announces that it will “urgently address staff issues” and state rail agency Prasa finds 3,000 “ghost employees” during an audit.

ANC to “urgently address staff issues”
The ANC has been urged to immediately start retrenching staff to restore the party's financial health, according to media reports. It is understood that the matter was discussed at the ruling party’s recent national executive committee meeting.

It has previously been reported that ANC employees have not been paid timeously and have embarked on a stayaway in protest against non-payment of salaries.

According to a statement released by the ANC, following its NEC meeting, one of the urgent organisational renewal tasks for 2022 will be to complete “the organisational design project and budget and urgently address staff issues within the law and our own strategic priorities”.

Prasa finds 3,000 “ghost employees”
The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) said 3,000 “ghost employees” had been revealed during a widescale audit.

This means that of the 17,000 employees on Prasa’s books, only 14,000 could be verified as real people.

The payments to these mystery employees is part of R28 billion in irregular expenditure reported to the National Treasury.

CCMA makes second vax ruling
The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) has within weeks issued its second decision relating to mandatory vaccination policies in the workplace and upheld the employer’s decision to suspend an employee.

The CCMA found that the decision of the employer to suspend the employee was not taken on a whim, due process was followed, that the employer’s requirement to vaccinate was a “reasonably practical step” in ensuring employees’ safety as envisioned by the Occupational Health and Safety Act, and there was a clear commercial rationale.

Clover strike expected to intensify
Unions supporting striking workers at Clover said the strike will continue and action against the company intensified.

Workers are demanding that Clover stop plans for further retrenchments, factory closures and salary cuts. They also demand that the company reinstate all dismissed workers.

Unions are now calling for the strike, which started in November 2021, to expand to factory sit-ins, night vigils and mobilising for broader community participation.