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DoL’s CF winds its arduous national roadshows aimed at promoting the benefits of decentralisation

by lloyd last modified 2012-03-21 21:22

26 March 2012

The Department of Labour’s (DoL) Compensation Fund (CF) will tomorrow conclude its national roadshow campaign which seek to promote the concept of decentralisation with a seminar in Emalahleni (Witbank) tomorrow (March 27) at Protea Hotel.

The campaign which is intended to impel the operational efficiency of the Compensation Fund started early last month. The concept of decentralization, is an initiative whereby services of the Compensation Occupation Injuries and Diseases Act (COIDA) will now be extended and rendered at provincial offices of DoL, rather than be centralized at the CF’s head office in Pretoria (Tshwane) as has traditionally been the case.

The initiative to introduce decentralisation in the provinces is intended to bring COIDA services closer to the people and stakeholders while at the same time eliminate bottlenecks in regard to delays in payments to clients.

In a recent presentation before the Select Committee on Labour and Public Enterprises on the department’s strategic direction for 2012 DoL Director-General Nkosinathi Nhleko said the Fund was peculiar in that it was both a medical scheme, while on the one hand it was an insurance of ‘some sort’.

Nhleko said, “our goal is to efficiently administer the Fund and be run like an insurance scheme, while also tapping into the database of the SA Revenue Services to expand its collection base”.

The concept of decentralization was piloted in 2009 in Limpopo, Free State, Kwa-Zulu Natal and Eastern Cape provinces with a view of improving the turn-around time in processing claims. In December 2010, the Fund extended the pilot to the remaining provinces of Gauteng; North West; Northern; Western Cape and Mpumalanga.

The Compensation Fund Commissioner, Shadrack Mkhonto accompanied by board’s Chairman Mongezi Mngqibisa, have been leading a delegation on these national briefing sessions.

The decentralisation is expected to be implemented in the new financial year which starts in April 2012. It is expected that from this restructuring the CF head office will remain lean while a number of job opportunities may be created in the new operational structure especially in the provincial operations.

Before the decentralization the turnover time for registering and adjudication was about 90 days and this has now been reduced to less than 60 days, and the Fund believes there was still room for further improvement.

A key feature of the decentralisation is an attempt to move away from manual processing to the introduction of electronic system.

The key message at the roadshow was explaining what the decentralization process was all about? Why was it being implemented? What impact will it have on the service providers, and service delivery!

The roadshows took a form of bilateral sessions. In one session in the morning at 9am the Commissioner engages the provincial management and COID staff about the CF decentralisation process and other developments that are taking place at the Fund. The other session starting at 12-midday include engagement with stakeholder representatives such as organised labour, medical providers, business organisations, shop stewards, etc.

The Compensation Fund is a public entity of the Department of Labour whose core function is to compensate workers against injuries, disability, illness, diseases and death sustained during work.

Issued by: Department of Labour 

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