SA HR news roundup: Renewed focus on transformation, job market improves

President calls on youth to join the public sector.

Pnet’s Job Market Trends report shows that hiring activity is up 18 percent from March 2020 to March 2022. The government is renewing its focus on transformation, with the Employment Equity Amendment Bill and a new Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Advisory Council. Meanwhile, miner Sibanye-Stillwater reaches a wage agreement with unions, following almost three months of strike action.

President calls on youth to join the public sector

Government is intensifying its drive to remove red tape for job applications in the public sector. This is according to President Cyril Ramaphosa, who was speaking at a Youth Day event in the Eastern Cape.

The president also challenged the youth to reform the public sector: “We want our young people to be in the public service. By bringing them in, we want them to be part of the modernisation of the public service, to contribute to the innovative applications that we want to bring to the public service and also to increase the capacity of the state,” he said.

New wave of transformation legislation

The legislative process for the Employment Equity Amendment Bill is expected to be concluded in September 2022, with Songhai Advisory noting that the bill will allow the Employment and Labour minister Thulas Nxesi to set employment equity targets for different business sectors. The minister can set targets for different occupational levels, sub-sectors or regions.

In addition, president Cyril Ramaphosa has set up a new Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Advisory Council including members from the Competition Commission, labour unions and the black business community.

Their task will be to propose ways to improve representativeness in board and executive roles, create an equitable workforce, expand black skilled labour and increase the overall participation of black people in the economy.

Job market starts to recover

Pnet’s Job Market Trends report reveals that the number of vacancies in the country is reaching record highs. Hiring activity is up 18 percent from March 2020 to March 2022. The first quarter of 2022 also showed an 8.5 percent increase in job openings compared to the last quarter of 2021.

In the first quarter of 2022, the sectors experiencing an increased demand for talent are: medical and health (130 percent); security and emergency services (128 percent); manufacturing and assembly (125 percent); and legal (120 percent).

Employment opportunities have also increased by over 100 percent within the design, media and arts sector, as well as the science and technology; information technology; admin, office and support; restaurant, hospitality and cleaning; and maintenance and repair sectors.

Sibanye-Stillwater, unions reach wage deal

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) have signed a three-year wage agreement with miner Sibanye-Stillwater.
The deal was concluded after almost three months of strike action, during which time employees were locked out of Sibanye’s gold operations.