SA News | 14 July 2023
The Employment and Labour Department is looking into imposing significant fines against unlawful labour practices by employers as the number of violation of basic employee registrations increase.
“One of the things we are going to be harsh on is that some of the employers violate labour laws, and we come back to them and we find they did not correct because we start by corrective measures.
“And they continue to violate labour laws, and then they get a fine in court but the fine is insignificant to them and they continue to violate labour laws,” said Minister Thulas Nxesi.
The Minister was addressing the employers of the Golden Ridge Estate during farm inspections on Wednesday.
The Golden Ridge Estate is a farming estate in Kirkwood in the Eastern Cape and the second biggest gross domestic product (GDP) contributor in the province.
“Now part of the law which we are cooking is that if we are to find you [as an employer in violation of labour laws] and if we have given you warnings to do the corrective measures, and for the third time we find you violating, we are going to deal with your profits and a certain percentage of your profits.
“And we send a very clear message,” he warned.
The Minister further explained the department’s current stand on the Employment Equity Act to the farm owners.
He also touched on the lack of training and mentorship of certain sectors of the population on farms.
“The most sensitive issue, which I must emphasise, is the question of the foreign nationals amid high unemployment in South Africa.
“You can employ them provided they are legal and provided they have papers. But it must be a particular quarter. You have the security sector and the retail sector, but we cannot come up with something which is a one size fits all. It’s going to depend on the various sectors,” he added.
The Minister also embarked on the ‘Taking Services to the People’ initiative where he visited the Tamboville Community Multi-Purpose Centre in Kariega.
“It’s a very strong programme where we feel that some of the people are not closer to Labour Centres, and then it means we must be able to provide service closer to them. Tons of the services we are bringing are the UIF [Unemployment Insurance Fund] and the Compensation Fund.
“We’re also looking at the Employment Services where we’ll do career counselling for the young people on how to deposit their CVs in a central database which will be available to all the employers, both private and public,” he explained.
‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.