Employers under scrutiny in E Cape blitz inspection

The Department of Employment and Labour has slammed employers in the wholesale and retail sector for non-compliance with the Basic Conditions of Employment Act in the Eastern Cape’s Sarah Baartman District.

The department is undertaking a two-week long blitz, which kicked off with 45 inspections conducted in different sectors in the Sarah Baartman District.

Twelve inspections were conducted in the wholesale and retail sector. Three were conducted in the hospitality sector, 21 in miscellaneous sectors and nine in the farm sector.

Four compliance orders and one written undertaking due to underpayment of employees were given out in the wholesale and retail sector, with the employers being given 14 days to comply.

“The inspections saw a total of alleged 71 foreign nationals apprehended by Home Affairs Department and SAPS, with 68 of them being male and three female. Amongst these immigrants are nationals of Lesotho, Malawi and Zimbabwe,” the department said.

The department said those who were arrested will appear in court on Wednesday.

Employment and Labour inspectors are scattered in operation, along with the Sarah Baartman District Municipality, Departments of Home Affairs and Health, as well as the South African Police Service (SAPS) in an effort to scrutinise compliance with labour legislation in and around Addo and Kirkwood.  

The aim of the inspections is to educate and enforce compliance with labour legislation, ensure compliance with the National Minimum Wage Act, Basic Conditions of Employment Act, Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act, including the Immigration Act, and administer on-site vaccination.

“The department has noted with concern the rife allegations of exploitation of workers, in particular foreign nationals within certain sectors of the economy and areas within Sarah Baartman District. It is therefore the responsibility of the law enforcers to ensure those found to be delinquent face the full might of the law,” said the provincial Head of Department, Nomfundo Douw-Jack.

Inspections will continue in Kirkwood and Addo until 17 September 2021. – SAnews.gov.za

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