DoL to host a series of Wholesale & Retail Sector hearings and Taxi Sector information sharing sessions to tackle outstanding and problem areas in the sectors
7 Sep 2012
The Department of Labour (DoL) is to host a drawn-out joint series of Wholesale & retail hearings and, Taxi Sector information sharing sessions respectively starting on Sunday (September 9) - with the first in a three-day schedule planned to be held simultaneously in both Mpumalanga and Northern Cape provinces.
The Department of Labour information sharing sessions with the taxi sector, and the wholesale & retail sector hearings will kick-off at 10am.
DoL’s Employment Standards (ES): acting director Titus Mtsweni said the common feature about the two gatherings (Wholesale & Retail hearings and taxi sector information sharing sessions) was that these relate mainly to the matter of prescribed minimum wage.
Mtsweni said the Wholesale and Retail Sector public hearings will focus on sectoral determination which prescribe minimum wages for a three year period. He said 2012 was the last year of the prescribed period and therefore wages should be reviewed in order to determine new minimum wages for the period 2013 onwards.
Sectoral determination entails aspects that deal with the protection of workers in vulnerable sectors/areas of work. The determination sets minimum working hours, minimum wages, number of leave days and termination rules.
“The Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) requires the Minister of Labour to consult with affected and interested parties prior to determining new levels of the minimum wages. In line with the requirements of the law,” Mtsweni said.
The department hearings will help the Employments Conditions Commission (ECC), a statutory body that advises Labour Minister on sectoral determinations and related matters to gather relevant information towards reviewing the minimum wages.
It is expected that inputs and submissions required during the public hearings should address the following issues amongst others in relation to the new minimum wage level: the ability of the employer to conduct business successfully; the impact which the proposed wages will have on poverty alleviation; the impact which the proposed wage will have on the creation and the retention of jobs; and, the impact which the proposed wage will have on the cost of living.
Meanwhile, Mtsweni said the Taxi Sector information sharing sessions were a follow-up engagement following a department conducted research into the Taxi sector as a result of concerns raised by the industry which hamper compliance with the determination.
The industry amongst other issues raised the following concerns: the impact that the Bus Rapid Transport has on the operation of the industry, the impact of the Taxi Recapitalisation programme on the operation of the industry, concerns regarding lack of subsidy from Government on the industry; and the effect of the current demarcation model applied in the sectoral determination.
The research process has been finalised and the department will now engage with the sector on the research findings and also seeking proposals in moving forward, said Mtsweni.
Mtsweni said the reason for holding some of the hearings/information sessions on Sundays was to accommodate the workers who might not be able to attend during weekdays. While those held during the week were targeting all role players including trade unions, employers, employer organisations and employees for both sectors.
“It should be emphasised that the taxi sector discussions will solely focus on the research report whilst wholesale and retail sector, will be about collation of inputs in relation to the review of the sectoral determination,” he said.
After the Mpumalanga and Northern Cape wholesale retail hearings and taxi sector information sharing sessions, the presentations will move to Gauteng and Western Cape provinces from (September 16-18), Limpopo and Free State from (October 7-9), Gauteng and Eastern Cape from (October 14-16), North West, KwaZulu-Natal from (October 21-23).
All morning hearings/and or information sharing sessions will start at 10h00 and the afternoon hearings/and or information sharing sessions will kick-off at 13h00.
For more information about the gatherings contact: Mtsweni on (012) 309 4907 or 083 521 0917.
Cell: 082 809 3195
Issued by: Department of Labour
7 Sep 2012
[ Top ]