SALGA Labour Law Seminar
Under the theme ‘Advancing an Effective Labour Relations System that Promotes Compliance and Good Governance’ SALGA hosted the inaugural Local Government Labour Law Seminar in March this year.
One of the objectives of the seminar was to create an enabling environment for effective advocacy and constituency immersion on SALGA programmes and interventions in the arena of employment/labour law and labour relations management.
Key speakers for the seminar were Rio Nolutshungu, SALGA Municipal Institutional Development Executive Director; Chairperson of the Essential Services Committee Advocate Luvuyo Bono; Senior CCMA Commissioner Kaizer Thibedi; Sandile July, Director of Werksmans Attorneys; Department of Labour Deputy Director for Advocacy and Stakeholder Relations Zoleka Ntshoza; Senior Counsel at Hogan Lovells Paul Kennedy; and Avhatakali Tshivhase, Principal Stakeholder Officer from the Compensation Fund.
Focusing on the ‘Handling of Organisational Rights Demands and Management of Minority Trade Unions within the Local Government Sector,’ Sandile July highlighted that municipal employees often feel conflicted when joining a new trade union as the South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) is the main trade union recognised within municipalities. “This often results in new trade unions going on strike, which they are rightfully entitled to do,” as Section 23(1) entrenches the right to fair labour practices, however, Section 23(5) does not create a legal duty to bargain if the employer does not want to recognise the trade union.
Zoleka Ntshoza focused on the Employment Equity Act, which incorporates two elements – the elimination of unfair discrimination and the implementation of affirmative action and measures to enable equitable representation of employees from a different race, gender and disability groups in the workplace. It is evident that municipalities fail to transform as they do not comply with Section 20(2), which requires a designated employer to prepare and implement an employment equity plan that will achieve reasonable progress towards employment equity. This plan must state all elements as set out in section 20(2) of the Employment Equity Act. The Department of Labour has found that employment equity plans within municipalities do not comply with the provisions of section 20(2) and there is no correlation amongst the analysis, planning and the report.
Avhatakali Tshivhase concluded the day’s presentation as he shared information on the compensation fund regarding injuries and diseases within the workplace. He stated that the compensation fund only applies to accidents that “arise out of and in the course of an employment and results in a personal injury, illness or the death of an employee. The employee must be busy doing his work during normal hours and injuries can be either visible or invisible. If there is no personal injury the claim will be repudiated.” He went on to explain that it is the employee’s responsibility to report the accident as soon as possible. If that employer fails to report the accident, the employee has to complete a Notice of a Claim and claim for compensation, thereafter, the employee must assist his employer to obtain the medical reports.
SALGA will continue to facilitate various kinds of knowledge-sharing sessions including coaching and mentorship programmes to enable knowledge sharing.
Performance management vital for service delivery
SALGA hosted the inaugural annual local government Performance Management Seminar on 22 March 2018. The local government inaugural annual Performance Management Seminar was held on 22 March 2018 under the theme ‘Performance Management: A Propeller towards Effective Service Delivery and Good Governance’. About 600 delegates from municipalities across South Africa attended the seminar, which brought together industry thought leaders in the performance management sector and speakers from municipalities, government and academic institutions as well as municipal representatives.
The speakers included Rio Nolutshungu, Executive Director for Municipal Institutional Development at SALGA; Thembelani Vanqa, Senior Manager at Auditor-General SA; Lelane Janssen Van Rensburg, Executive Manager at Productivity SA; and five speakers from Stellenbosch University’s School of Public Leadership (SPL) – Dr Zwelinzima Ndevu, academic head; Dr Marthinus Van der Merwe, lecturer; Dr Nimrod Llewellyn Mortimer, supervisor for masters and PhD students; June Wirth, specialist in HR management advisory; and Attie Butler, pioneer of PMS and shared services in local government.
All the speakers concurred that organisational culture has an impact on the performance management and productivity of its employees. In his opening address, explaining the value proposition of the local government performance management seminar, Rio Nolutshungu said: “Municipalities are responsible for delivering services to citizens, however, they need to professionalise their systems, structures and processes through performance management.”
Therefore each municipality is legally required to develop a performance system that will enhance organisational efficiency and effectiveness, account for the use of municipal resources and indicate the achievement of outcomes. “Performance management is the interplay of finding the balance between the organisation’s strategic direction, the organisational culture and key responsibilities,” explained Thembelani Vanqa. Furthermore, it is important to move away from the culture of measuring performance management on a yearly basis.
According to Dr Marthinus Van der Merwe, “organisational and individual performance must be linked” and, if possible, “information should be automated by means of the ICT systems of the municipality.
“When setting the right targets for your KPIs, ensure that targets are absolute and in proportional percentages. Targets further need to be defined relative to the internal and external benchmarks, as well as relative to global best practice. It is vital to note that performance is not always about the result, but it is also on how you get to the result and how effectively you are doing things to achieve that result.”