The Department of Employment and Labour’s Inspection and the Enforcement Services Unit in the North West have raised concerns at the high level of non-compliance in the agricultural sector.

This follows blitz inspections in different sectors around the Dr Kenneth Kaunda District municipality.

The week-long inspections focus on compliance with Occupational Health and Safety (OHS), the National Minimum Wage (NMW) and the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA); and will see a number of sectors including hospitality, wholesale and retail, and agriculture being inspected.

“When we started, we did most of the inspections in this sector. We are aware that this is one of the most problematic sectors when it comes to compliance with the labour legislation and its prescripts. Indeed, we found a high number of non-complying establishments and this is not good,” Provincial Chief Inspector Boikie Mampuru said.

According to Mampuru, the province is concerned about the high level of non-compliance in the agricultural sector.

He said that most of the notices that were issued were amongst others for non-compliance with the National Minimum Wage Act, General Safety Regulations, Driven Machinery Regulations, Electrical Installation Regulations, Facilities Regulations and Environmental Regulations for the workplace.

Mampuru reiterated that the province will do everything it takes and will be guided by prevailing labour legislation to ensure that the employers comply to protect employees who are the ones who suffer at the end of the day.

The blitz inspections are expected to continue until Friday.

Deputy Minister to engage employers on economic growth

Meanwhile, the Department of Employment and Labour Deputy Minister Boitumelo Moloi and Director-General Thobile Lamati, will on Friday host a breakfast engagement session with employers and other stakeholders in Klerksdorp, North West Province.

The purpose of the breakfast session is to create a platform for strategic discussions on creation of partnerships that will boost the economy and employment of the region, and also create a conducive environment for economic growth, as the department believes that a “favourable economic environment would be a catalyst for job creation”.

“Different stakeholders in both private and public sectors have been invited to work together with the department and to also assist in developing the turn-around strategies to increase productivity levels and job opportunities in the area,” the department said.

Day of service delivery

The breakfast engagement session will be followed by delivery of a package of the department’s services to communities, in partnership with other government departments within the province.

The day of service delivery, to take place on Saturday, will focus mainly on the much needed services of the department, including Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) and the Compensation Fund (CF), as exacerbated by COVID-19 pandemic.

On this day, the department said it aims to reduce the long queues experienced by both labour centres in Klerksdorp and Potchefstroom, by ensuring that claims are processed and paid on the spot, if all the relevant documents are provided.

This is part of the Deputy Minister and the Director-General’s efforts to bring services closer to communities, hence the project is named ‘Taking Department of Employment and Labour’s services to the people’.

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