Workers' rights under spotlight in E Cape

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

As South Africa joined the globe in commemorating International Workers’ Day on Monday, Director General of the Department of Labour Thobile Lamati is expected to embark on an inspection blitz at various work places in the Eastern Cape this week.

Lamati will visit the Port Elizabeth Labour offices on Wednesday to look at service delivery issues there focusing on the Compensation Fund and Unemployment Insurance Fund client matters.

On Thursday, he will, together with a team of inspectors, carry out an inspection blitz at wholesale and retail, construction and chemical sector companies in East London.

“These sectors are amongst those where most vulnerable workers are and where there is non-compliance with the Basic Conditions of Employment Act and Occupational Health and Safety Act. The visits will assist in pinning down employers who contravene the law and is also aimed at ensuring that the rights of workers are not infringed”, said Lamati on Monday.

He added that Workers month recognises the rights and responsibilities of employees.

“The department wants to ensure compliance with labour legislations and encourage a healthy and safe working environment. It also entrenches good governance by ensuring that employees treat clients with respect and integrity whilst upholding Batho Pele Principles,” he said. 

Meanwhile, the Department of Labour in the Free State will commemorate this year’s Workers Month by visiting a number of workplaces in and around the province to interact with workers on matters of mutual importance. 

“These visits will see workers being given a platform to air their views about the services of the department and suggest ways the department can better serve them.  On the same token, workers will be taken through a variety of services the department offers, they will also be advocated on their rights and obligations insofar as those services are concerned,” said the department.

“We took a resolution as the Department that our service delivery interventions should be in keeping with the challenges, concerns and experiences of our clients.  It makes no sense to develop ways and means to address service delivery bottlenecks, if those ways and means are not informed by views and inputs from the very same end user for which the services are meant,” said the Chief Director: Provincial Operations in the department Nomfundo Douw-Jack.

She said trade unions have been invited as observers during the department’s May Month activities. –

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