DURBAN – The Department of Employment and Labour’s Inspection and Enforcement Services (IES) in KwaZulu-Natal is to embark on mega blitz inspections targeting the wholesale and retail sectors.
The inspections are set to take place from February 7 to 11.
Department spokesperson Nhlanhla Khumalo said while the national roving team will focus on eThekwini Metro, Pietermaritzburg, Newcastle, Kokstad, and Ulundi regions, local inspectors will conduct the same inspections in all other regions.
Examples of retailers in the sectors include large distribution centres, chain stores, SMMEs, informal, township, and rural-based outlets, including spaza shops; supermarkets, general dealers, food and beverage outlets, pharmaceutical businesses, and businesses that specialise in textiles, clothing, footwear, home furnishings, appliances, equipment, hardware, paint, and glass, as well as automobile dealers and repair shops.
Khumalo said the inspectorate would also conduct a joint inspection of the road freight and logistics industries in Phoenix and Isipingo.
Compliance checks will be conducted under the National Minimum Wage Act, the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, the Unemployment Insurance Act, and the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act.
Khumalo said the Department of Home Affairs and the SAPS will also participate in the blitz to ensure that all institutions, including supermarkets and spaza shops, are thoroughly inspected.
“Inspectors will not only test compliance and address non-compliance, but the mega blitz will also serve to advise, educate, and provide technical information and support to both workers and employers about the inspectorate’s services,” he said.
Provincial Chief Inspector Mncedisi Khambula said given the impact on the sector in recent years as a result of the July unrest and Covid-19, he believes that it is crucial to reinforce compliance with labour laws and ensure that employers continue to adhere to basic working conditions, while also ensuring workers’ health and safety at all times.
Khambula said employers should ensure that their house is in order prior to inspectors arriving.
“We are altering our standards by informing employers to prepare the necessary documents prior to our arrival.
“Employers have no reason to inform us that they did not prepare the necessary paperwork for us, if we take this approach. We are not allowing for any justifications. Ordered books should save both the employer and inspector time during the inspection process,” he said.
Khambula added that many businesses impacted by the July unrest and Covid-19 in the wholesale and retail sectors are now back up and running.
“While we support economic recovery, we do not support worker exploitation. It is crucial that we get on the ground and assess whether the working conditions are still being met," he said.
Some of the documents required during the inspection include:
- Attendance register (last two months).
- Signed employment contracts/letter of appointment of an employee.
- Information about remuneration (pay slips/envelopes), overtime, leave pay (last two months).
- Unemployment Insurance Fund registration number, as well as proof of last payments.
- Compensation of Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act registration number, as well as proof of last payments.
- A copy of the CIPRO certificate.
- A list with the names and ID numbers of all employees are some of the records.
The mega blitz inspections are to be led by Inspector-General Aggy Moiloa, Chief Inspector Tibor Szana, and Khambula.