Plans to establish government service delivery points in Durban townships

Friday, May 17, 2024

The Department of Employment and Labour in KwaZulu-Natal has announced plans to establish service delivery points within the township communities of Durban.

Provincial Operations Chief Director, Edward Khambula, made the announcement during an Employer Breakfast Session held at the KwaMashu Indoor Sports Centre, north of Durban, on Thursday.

Khambula said the Employment and Labour Service Delivery Office Points programme is in the pipeline for areas covering Inanda, Ntuzuma, KwaMashu (INK); and Umlazi township.

Khambula said the establishment of service points, which has been approved, will bring services closer to the communities. 

“We are trying to expand to other townships such as Umlazi as well, because we can see that it does not help for people to travel to town to receive services. We would like to plead with the community to use the service point offices properly,” said Khambula. 

The breakfast session, held in collaboration with the Department of Small Business Development, aims to provide a platform for small business operators to engage with the department, while informing and teaching them about various labour laws to comply with in the country. 

It also formed part of the department’s plan to get closer to the shopping centres and provide services to the people.
“Because we know that the small businesses in townships sometimes struggle to comply with labour laws, there has been a proposal for us to get closer to the people and teach them and clarify the manner that can assist them to comply without necessarily having to employ the services of consultancy agencies,” Khambule said.

Khambule said there are ways for employers and the small business community to mitigate and negotiate if a business is unable to comply with the labour laws, adding that the department provide assistance free of charge. 

“The department is fully aware of the challenge of unemployment and the state of the economy is dire. There is an exemption to apply from the department to mitigate certain non-compliance issues,” Khambula informed the employers. 

Instead of running away from the inspectors, Khambula urged the employers to seek guidance from the department in order to get guidance on how they can obtain an exemption. 

He emphasised that the department has no intention of closing down businesses, which will consequently result in unemployment.

“We have also heard that you can pay the money you owe through instalments so that the facility exists, and the officials are sensitive about it. The department is wary that an employee can lose a job due to its interventions,’’ Khambula said. 

Employment and Labour Minister, Thula Nxesi, is expected to attend the Jobs and Careers Fair to take place at Umlazi on Friday. –