The Department of Employment and Labour hosted an Agriculture sector seminar in Hoedspruit, Limpopo province under the theme: “Paying the National Minimum Wage is The Right Thing To Do".
The seminar targeted agriculture sector employers, employees, employer organisations and trade unions. The seminar was preceded by an agricultural sector inspection blitz, the results of which indicated the need for an advocacy session with sector stakeholders.
When describing the seminar's purpose, the Department's Advocate Fix Bede stated that the emphasis was on payment of the National Minimum Wage (NMW), registration of workers with the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), registration of workers with the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (COIDA), and referral of disputes to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation, and Arbitration (CCMA).
Dr Naidoo of the Department's Inspection and Enforcement Services (IES) division told several agricultural sector employers who attended the seminar at the Hoedspruit Municipal Hall in Hoedspruit that it was clear that the Limpopo Province was dealing with some labour legislation issues, and that this seminar was a visibility showing of the Department to confirm the Department's openness and accessibility.
Because the Department exists to regulate labour markets, it promotes job growth. The Department never intends for employers to fail as a result of business closures as this has a negative impact on communities. When it comes to labour legislation, there is a lot to take in, but this seminar was just one among many engagements to help employers and employees in the sector understand these laws.
The CCMA Commissioner, Mr Ephraim Dikotla, who presented on the NMW and BCEA-related cases in the agriculture sector with the CCMA in Limpopo revealed that there are 162 cases which were reported for 01 April 2021 to 31 March 2022 period and reported that there are 14 cases for the 01 April 2021 to 31 May 2022 period. Some of the cases reported with the CCMA were related to “claim for failure to pay any amount owing in terms of the NWMA, dismissal for operational reasons related to NWMA, unilateral changes to terms and conditions of employment with the NMWA". Mr Dikotla said 138 cases reported for the period of 01 April 2021 to 31 March 2022 and 14 cases reported for 01 April 2021 to 31 May 2022, were not related with the NMWA for the overall 162 cases during the period of 01 April 2021 to 31 March 2022 and 01 April 2021 to 31 May 2022.
The Agriculture sector LP compliance level in Limpopo for the 2020 to 2021 return of earnings (ROE) season, which was presented by Mr Kaizer Makgamatha of Employment and Labour's Compensation Fund and Employer Services revealed that there are still 2226 registered employers with the CF and 1007 ROEs and invoices received, 73 invoices paid, estimated 45 percent of ROE submission, estimated 7 percent level of compliance and the estimated number of players in the sector (as per google search) is at 32000.
The Department has and continues to emphasise its availability and will return to Limpopo to address specific issues that employers and employees wish to be addressed.
Employers in the agricultural sector are urged to comply with labour laws. It is important to remember and remind everyone that before these laws were enacted, there was massive public participation, which also allowed employer and employee organisations, trade unions, and civil society to provide input into these laws before they were passed in parliament, and now all that is required is compliance to these laws.
The Department of Labour strives for a labour market which is conducive to investment, economic growth, employment creation and decent work by enacting its mission of; regulating the South African labour market for a sustainable economy through appropriate legislation and regulations, inspection, compliance monitoring and enforcement, protection of human rights, provision of Employment Services, promoting equity, social and income protection and social dialogue.
For Media Inquiries contact:
Provincial Communications Officer: Limpopo Province
082 908 1833
Issued by: Department of Employment Labour
© 2019 - The South African Department of Employment & Labour