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Welkom Sparta visited by Labour Department

12 May 2017

DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR WORKPLACE VISITS NECESSITATE THE INTENSIFICATION OF ITS VISIBILITY DRIVE

The information gaps and purported anomalies in workplaces visited during the Workers Month clearly suggest that the Department of Labour needs to intensify its drive to ensure visibility of its officials.  This was the impression the Department got during the visit to Welkom Sparta and other workplaces previously visited as part of its month-long commemorative Workers Month activities.

This visit which took place on the 08th of May 2017 saw multitudes of workers descending to three identified strategic areas to have a face to face interaction with Departmental officials.  These officials consisted of all competencies in terms of the core functions of the Department. This team was therefore made up of officials from Inspection and Enforcement Services, Unemployment Insurance Fund, as well as officials from Compensation Fund.

Crucial information pertaining to services, and the benefits thereof, offered by the Department was shared with workers.  Each branch of the Department made a comprehensive presentation about its services, how to access them and what workers stand to gain if they were to make effective use of these services.

A variety of complaints and questions were asked which related to, in the main, four of our pieces of legislation which are; Occupational Health and Safety Act, Employment Equity Act, Unemployment Insurance Act and the Basic Conditions of Employment Act.

Some workers complained about the unavailability and/or delays in the procurement of suitable protective gear.  Others complained about not being allowed to take leave to attend to their sick loved ones, whilst some lamented the management’s failure to ensure workers are fully aware of the employment equity plan of the company.  Some of their concerns related to the failure by the employer to report some injury on duty incidents for which they were the victims.

In response to this visit the Acting Chief Director: Provincial Operations Ms. Nomfundo Douw-Jack said; “These visits are not an end in themselves, they are just the beginning of our resolve to further strengthen and intensify our strides to ensure full compliance with labour laws”.

“We therefore undertake to re-visit Welkom Sparta in the near future to conduct a full inspection which will look into the level of compliance with all labour laws and complement that with the information session with the workers.  We will furthermore engage management in an effort to resolve issues and concerns workers raised.  We therefore see this visit as nothing but a perfect platform for us to further amplify our workings relations with the employer.  The working relations which will culminate in full adherence to our legislation, protected workforce and improved productivity”, she concluded.

Tankane Pitso