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Dear Steel Industry employer


The Labour Court, on 15 February 2018, set aside the extension to non-parties of the MEIBC’s Registration and Administration Expenses Agreement by the Minister of Labour.

The Labour Court based its judgement on the failure of the Minister to fulfil her obligation to ascertain whether the prerequisite legal requirements to even warrant a request for extension by the MEIBC were met. In this case they clearly were not.

This agreement pertains to the period 10 August 2015 to 30 June 2016 and, although the agreement has already expired, the judgment still has very important practical implications, such as:

• the MEIBC can no longer enforce compliance in respect of Administration- and Dispute levies for this period, and

• the obligations of the Minister of Labour in respect of extension of any bargaining council agreements has now been clearly spelt out by the Court, which will compel the Minister to approach these requests with much more circumspection.

This judgement is the 5th Labour Court victory by NEASA since 2011, all involving Seifsa, Numsa and the Department of Labour. In our newsletter ‘Seifsa exposed’, the underlying irregularities leading up to these cases, in some cases even fraud, are dealt with in detail.

The underlying point of contention in all these matters, are the attempts by primarily Seifsa and Numsa, to the extend their Industry hostile agreements, with the help of the Department of Labour, to the majority of the Industry. During this period, the Steel Industry lost 100 000 jobs (25 percent of the jobs in this Industry) and it would have been much worse was it not for NEASA’s legal interventions.

While the Steel Industry is bleeding, as a result of SMME hostile arrangements forced upon them, the Department of Labour, instead of being an honest broker, became an accomplice. In every case they were forewarned that these attempts to extend were unlawful; the Department nevertheless went ahead and did what they desired all along – protecting vested interests; only to lose in court – without exception.

In his state of the Nation address on Friday night, State President Ramaphosa has pledged that Government, in 2018, will turn the tide on corruption. We will make sure that he is made aware of the irregularities in the Steel Industry, and the role Government departments played therein over the last decade.


Kind regards

“…how easily the tragedy of the Second World War could have been prevented; how the malice of the wicked was reinforced by the weakness of the virtuous…”

Winston Churchill