Western Cape labour department recovers over R2m in non-compliance

The department of employment and labour inspection enforcement services in the Western Cape has recovered more than R2-million during compliance inspections in the 2021/2022 financial year.

Of 30 252 inspections conducted, 8 809 workplaces were found to be non-compliant, according to principal inspector Desmond Brown, who said 804 of these workplaces have been referred for prosecution.

Brown was speaking at the Unemployment Insurance Fund media briefing in Cape Town on Wednesday. He shared that 143 of 227 workplaces inspected in terms of compliance with the Employment Equity Act were declared non-compliant, noting that the inspectorate has referred 10 of these workplaces for prosecution.

“The 14 374 inspections conducted in relation to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) and National Minimum Wage Act (NMWA) revealed that 554 workplaces inspected were found to be non-compliant, and of those, 79 were referred for prosecution resulting in the recovery of R712 472.24 on BCEA and R649 665.48 for NMWA,” he said.

Brown also revealed that of 2 428 inspections conducted in terms of compliance with the Unemployment Insurance Act legislation, 1 198 were found non-compliant, saying 257 of them were referred for prosecution and the inspectorate recovered R579 762.21.

In terms of the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act, 638 of 1 189 workplaces were declared non-compliant and R621 540.07 was recovered.

This revelation comes a week after Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi raised concerns that compliance levels remain low after two decades since the enactment of the Employment Equity Act, which was meant to transform the labour market.

Speaking at the launch of the 22nd CEE Annual Report and Public Register on Thursday, Nxesi said there is a need for the department to crack down on non-compliance, adding that South Africa is very slow in terms of transformation.

He added that the department needs to “push hard for transformation”.

According to Brown, “the national Department of Employment and Labour inspectors and employer auditors are responsible to administer the Unemployment Insurance Act and Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act.

“Chapter 10 of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act gives powers and functions of inspectors to promote, monitor, and enforce compliance with labour legislation.

“It is the duty of inspectors to advice employees and employers of their rights and obligations; conduct inspections; investigate complaints; endeavor to secure compliance by securing undertakings or issuing compliance orders; contravention notices; prohibition notices and referral to court,” said Brown.

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