Employment and Labour Minister, Nxesi promises to ramp up inspections as he delivers his budget vote
24 May 2022

In an effort to ramp up its inspections, the Department of Employment and Labour’s inspectors will visit 839,000 workplaces over the next five years, this was said by Employment and Labour Minister, Thulas Nxesi.

Delivering the department’s Budget Vote this evening (24 May) under the theme: "Facilitating jobs, social protection and decent work" – Nxesi said the target was set to ensure compliance with labour legislation, improve conditions of work and protect workers.

"Following the appointment in 2020 of an additional 500 Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) inspectors the inspectors’ work was beginning to yield results. In 2019/20 there were 28,000 OHS inspections. In 2021/22, this jumped to 62,000 inspections conducted by Quarter 3," Nxesi said.

He said last year there were 36,000 compliant and 26,000 non-compliant employers. The most common forms of non-compliance relate to: General Safety Regulations, COVID-19 directions, Hazardous Chemical Substances Regulations, Environmental Regulations for Workplaces, Electrical Installation Regulations and Facilities Regulations.

At the thrust of this inspections programme, he said was the establishment of a national roving team and development of national mega blitz inspection plans to cover backlogs and priority areas.

Nxesi said the budget seeks to strike a balance by leveraging its existing programmes to intensify its employment mandate, whilst continuing to play a regulatory role in the labour market to promote safe and decent work, and provide social protection to workers.

The Minister said plans to reconfigure the Department to strengthen the employment mandate was underway, however, this tasks would be made all the more difficult by the unprecedented levels of unemployment – currently standing at 35.3%.

On matters of governance he said the Department has received a favourable unqualified report from the Office of the Auditor-General South Africa in the 2021/22 financial year and envisaged another unqualified audit opinion in the year under review. The same applies for the CCMA and Productivity SA, he said the department was also anticipating improved findings for the two Funds {Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) and the Compensation Fund (CF)}.

"Plans are being implemented to fundamentally review the organisational architecture, systems and processes of the Funds. This will not happen overnight – and there are no short-cuts. We can agree that the key to improved performance is strengthening good governance, and fighting fraud and corruption," Nxesi said.

He said following forensic work in the case of the UIF Covid-19 Ters programme, more than a billion has been returned in irregular and illegal payments.

The Compensation Fund continued to ensure that Medical Service Providers are paid, he said of the 533,000 claims received as at 31 December 2021, 87% were finalised within 40 working days of receipt.

The Fund paid a total of R 3.3 billion towards benefits, of which 93% was paid within five working days.

The Unemployment Insurance Fund played a significant role during the lockdown as part of a drive to cushion workers and businesses. Over R64 billion has been spent by the UIF towards COVID-19 TERS benefits - helping sustain economic activities across every province and community, he said.

In response to the July riots, TERS funded another programme: Workers Affected by Unrest (WABU). To date, over 4,000 employees were paid the relief at an expenditure of about R14 million.

The Minister said in response to the jobs crisis, the UIF has created and saved jobs through investment with the Industrial Development Corporation to the tune of R5 billion over five years.

Through the UIF Labour Activation Programme (LAP), the Department contributes to training of the unemployed as part of government initiatives to stimulate the creation of jobs in the labour market.

For the 2022/2023 financial year, the UIF’s LAP has set aside a budget of R3.1 billion to fund the Training of the Unemployed, normal TERS, and Business Turnaround and Reengineering. LAP programmes facilitate the training of recruits, and the creation and sustaining of jobs.

On the policy and legislation front Nxesi said South Africa has ratified the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 190 concerning the elimination of violence and harassment in the workplace.

In a drive to ensure stability and inequality in the labour market, the Department has extended 26 collective agreements to non-parties, he said.

The Minister said following the 6.9% adjustment of the National Minimum Wage which increased rates from R21.69 to R23.19 per hour effective from March 1, 2022 – more than 892,000 domestic workers and 800,000 farmworkers are now beneficiaries.

In fulfilling the employment mandate - 59,000 unemployed work seekers were placed in employment opportunities through the department’s Public Employment Services (PES) branch.

PES drives the implementation of the labour market policies, including the provision of free career counselling, job placing, retraining and up-skilling - strives to create an enabling environment for employment. In the previous year 839,000 work seekers were enrolled by the Department on its Employment Services of South Africa (ESSA) system, 257,000 work seekers were provided with employment counselling services by the Department’s employment counsellors, 124,000 job opportunities were canvassed with employers.

In addition, he said in 2021/22 a total of 991 workers with disabilities and 48 administrative staff were subsidised. A total of R20.9 million was paid to these workers as at the end of Quarter 4 of 2022 to support this employment programme.

Meanwhile, the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA’s) - section 189A processes for the period 01 April 2021 to 31 December 2021 resulted in 44% of jobs being saved - 14,000 jobs of those employees threatened with retrenchment.

According to Nxesi the Employment Equity Amendment Bill has now been passed by Parliament- legislation intended to expedite the pace of transformation in the labour market, while the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases (COID) Amendment Bill has also been completed.

He said the other pieces of legislation for legislators’ consideration include the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Amendment Bill and the Employment Services Amendment Bill. The draft National Labour Migration Policy (NLMP) has been released for comment, he said.

For media inquiries contact:

Sabelo Mali

Ministerial Liaison Officer

082729 5804



Teboho Thejane

Departmental Spokesperson

082 697 0694






Issued by: Department of Employment and Labour