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Cape businesses warned to brace themselves for Labour inspectorate inspections

Western Cape principal labour inspector Desmond Brown. Picture: Mwangi Githahu/Cape Argus

Western Cape principal labour inspector Desmond Brown. Picture: Mwangi Githahu/Cape Argus

Published Jul 5, 2022


This article first appeared in the 1 July 2022 edition of the Cape Argus newspaper.

Cape Town - Industries and businesses across the Western Cape have been warned to expect inspectors from the Labour Department to visit soon.

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The visits are part of ongoing inspections with regard to compliance with the Employment Equity Act, Basic Conditions of Employment Act and National Minimum Wage Act.

Lack of compliance by employers has already led to hundreds of prosecutions in the last financial year.

Principal inspector Desmond Brown said the Employment and Labour Department’s Inspection and Enforcement Services (IES) in the province had recovered R2.5 million, by way of fines, during inspections conducted over the 2021/2022 financial year for non-compliance with labour legislation.

Brown told reporters that of the 30252 inspections conducted, a total of 8809 workplaces were found to be non-compliant and of those, 804 were referred for prosecution.

“In terms of compliance with the Employment Equity Act, of the 227 workplaces inspected, 143 were found to be non-compliant and 10 were referred for prosecution.”

He said that the 14 374 inspections conducted in relation to both the Basic Conditions of Employment Act and the National Minimum Wage Act revealed that 554 workplaces inspected were found to be non-compliant.

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Of those, 79 were referred for prosecution resulting in the recovery of R712 472.24 on Basic Conditions of Employment Act violations and R649 665.48 for National Minimum Wage Act infringements.

Brown said that with respect to inspections conducted in terms of compliance with the Unemployment Insurance Act legislation, of the 2 428 inspections, 1 195 were found to be non-compliant and of those, 257 were referred for prosecution, with the inspectorate recovering R579762.21.

At the start of the year the department led what it called “a mega blitz” of inspections led by Inspector General Aggy Moiloa accompanied by officers from the Department of Home Affairs and the police, who were on hand to ensure that all institutions were fully inspected.

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Speaking about the department’s labour inspectors’ and employer auditors’ responsibilities, UIF governance deputy director Smiso Nkosi said they were responsible for administering the Unemployment Insurance Act and Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act.

Nkosi said: “All employers must be ready for us, we are coming to audit them.”

Meanwhile, UIF commissioner Teboho Maruping said that as a result of media reports about employers being arrested and appearing in court for Temporary Employer-Employee Relief Scheme (Covid-19 TERS) related fraud, more employers were now returning monies to the UIF on their own accord.

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He said R3.4 billion had been voluntarily returned to the fund by employers who had wrongly benefited from the Covid-19 TERS scheme.

“As we anticipate more arrests and convictions through our investigative partnerships with law enforcement agencies and our follow the money project, we expect that more employers will continue coming forward and to pay back money to the fund.”

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