Employment and Labour Deputy Minister Boitumelo Moloi recently urged employers to adhere to the country’s labour laws. During a recent inspection by the Department of Employment and Labour’s team at Dasbosch Boerdery, the Deputy Minister emphasized the need for a cooperative approach to ensure employers comply with the law and avoid punitive measures from the inspectorate.
The Inspection at Dasbosch Boerdery
Dasbosch Boerdery is a farm in Porterville, Western Cape, that cultivates grapes and citrus fruits and employs 400 workers during the peak season from May to October. The Department of Employment and Labour’s inspection aimed to verify the farm’s compliance with existing labour laws and regulations.
The Importance of Compliance
According to Moloi, the Department seeks to ensure that all employers operate within the boundaries of the law and treat their workers fairly. Although the farm complied with some labour legislation, such as the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act and the Unemployment Insurance Fund, the farm was found to lack proper documentation, audited financial statements, and payroll data. Consequently, Dasbosch Boerdery has been given 30 days to rectify these issues or face sanctions.
Importance of Proper Documentation for Workers
It was also discovered that out of the 83 foreign workers employed at the farm, only 30 had proper documentation. The Department of Home Affairs will address this issue, and a follow-up inspection will be conducted. This highlights the importance of ensuring that all workers, regardless of their nationality, are treated fairly and according to the law. Proper documentation allows for better protection of workers’ rights and prevents exploitation.
Employers Should View Inspectorate as an Ally
During the inspection, Moloi praised the farm for its cooperation and good manners, contrasting it with the hostile attitude of some employers. The Deputy Minister highlighted the importance of working together, stating that employers should view the inspectorate as an ally rather than an adversary. When businesses are open and transparent, it creates a more conducive environment for fostering better working conditions and a positive relationship with the Department.
Stakeholder Engagement Session
In other news, Employment and Labour Minister T.W Nxesi, Moloi, and the Department’s Director-General, Thobile Lamati, will address a stakeholder engagement session on the recently-amended Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases (COID) Act and the newly-assented Employment Equity (EE) Act. The event aims to educate stakeholders on the changes in these acts, ensuring that businesses are aware of their obligations and can implement the necessary adjustments.
Department’s Budget Vote for 2023/24
Following the stakeholder engagement, the Department of Employment and Labour’s Budget Vote for 2023/24 will be presented in the National Assembly at 14:00. The Budget Vote will provide an overview of the Department’s plans and priorities for the upcoming fiscal year, emphasizing its commitment to enforcing labour laws and promoting fair working conditions for all South Africans.