Labour Minister lauds (DoL’s) inspection and enforcement for exceeding target
10 Jul 2012
The Department of Labour (DoL) has in the financial year ended March 31, 2012 conducted 172 300 workplace routine inspections, exceeding the 130 000 target set out, however ‘the jury is still out’ on whether the labour market was transforming, Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant said today (July 10).
Oliphant’s words were echoed by Labour Director-General Nkosinathi Nhleko, who asked the question on whether as a department, “Have we dealt with discrimination in the workplace”.
Nhleko said the inspection and enforcement (IES) branch of DoL would be the defining feature of the department’s work into the future.
The minister was addressing the Department of Labour’s Annual two-day Evaluation workshop of the 2011/12 financial year attended by the organisation’s top brass near Krugersdorp. The workshop was also attended by members of the Portfolio Committee on Labour as well as Select Committee on Labour and Public Enterprises.
According to Oliphant, the inspections and enforcement branch of the Department still formed a key part of the department’s work, and this was also demonstrated by eight blitz inspections she led nationally in the period under review.
She said lack of worker representation in farms and child labour constituted a ‘black dent’. She said it was critical that interaction between the department’s inspectorate and that of workers was strengthened. Oliphant said the Department would come hard on those who do not accord vulnerable workers the dignity and the rights as protected in the constitution.
Acting Deputy Director-General: Inspection and Enforcement Services Thobile Lamati said 135 807 complaints were lodged in the past financial year and 110 610 of those were settled within 14 days.
In a drive to reduce exposure to Silica 200 workplaces were inspected as part of a move to reduce exposure by at least 2%.
He added that there was still a long way to go on high risk sectors which include agriculture and forestry, chemical, construction, iron and steel to ensure compliance with labour and safety legislation. He said the department would soon be engaging chief executives of companies in these sectors on matters of non-compliance.
In the period under review 722 inspections were conducted in Iron and steel sector, 1 003 in construction, 144 in the chemical and 1 338 in the forestry sector.
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Issued by: Department of Labour
10 Jul 2012
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