SA HR news roundup: Saftu plans national strike, workers’ high levels of financial stress

Eskom plans to bring back former employees to mentor staff.

Study shows that almost one in five employees are highly financially stressed, while the Universum Talent Survey highlights transformation as one of the HR areas that is widely viewed as urgent to address, with revised equity and transformation legislation coming into effect this year. Meanwhile, the South African Federation of Trade Unions announces plans for a national strike in August.

Eskom plans to bring back former employees

Eskom, which acknowledges that it does not have the skills to maintain its plants, is on a drive to bring back former employees to mentor and train staff.
During a recent interview CEO Andre de Ruyter said the proposal had received full support from the Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan.

Introducing a mentorship programme at Eskom is also on the list of interventions which have been suggested.

Employees are financially stressed

Most South African employees are financially stressed, according to Floatpays State of Employee Wellbeing Barometer. “Seventy-four percent of respondents rated their financial stress level as medium to high. Almost one in five employee respondents acknowledged that they were highly stressed,” explained Simon Ward, founder and CEO.
The inaugural study drew on both qualitative and quantitative methodology to survey workers who represent a broad demographic in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, province and monthly household income. The study positions employee wellbeing programmes as a catalyst for change in the country’s labour productivity trajectory.

And, according to Simon, the research shows that it’s the ordinary, everyday expenses that are the main cause of financial stress – transport, household costs, food and rent.

Urgent need to address transformation

The Universum Talent Survey 2022 reveals changes in the local talent landscape and several emerging trends globally.
“One of the biggest trends to look out for is the overarching evolution of the need for employees to belong,” said Pabi Mogosetsi, country manager for Universum Global South Africa, “Transformation is one of the HR areas that is widely viewed as urgent to address. With the revised equity and transformation legislation coming into effect this year, the issue is under the spotlight.”

The data shows that diversity, equity, inclusion, culture and values have become quite important to the talent population. These became more widely recognised over the past two years during the pandemic and have become important differentiators to talent, as have learning and growth opportunities.

Saftu plans national strike

The South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) is planning for hundreds of thousands to down tools on a day of national strike action in August.

During a press briefing, the organisation said there are several issues that the government has failed to resolve, from the country's power crisis to high unemployment levels. It also cited the increasing cost of living and a freeze on public sector wages.