Straight & 2 Beers: Nxesi forced out of hibernation by the EFF

Johannesburg – South Africans were this week left flabbergasted when it emerged the country has a Ministry of Labour and Employment.

While many people have had a brush with the Department of Labour, most last heard of a minister of labour when Membathisi Mdladlana was the incumbent.

Many people took to social media to ask who the minister of labour was after the department rebuked the EFF when the red berets conducted inspections at Jozi restaurants this week.

Shocked South Africans could not believe it when it emerged that one Thulas Nxesi is labour minister.

The last time Nxesi was seen or heard in public, he was steadfastly defending the controversial Nkandla swimming pool seven years ago.

Nxesi was public works minister at the time when he justified the building of a swimming pool as a fire safe plan to protect thatched rondavels at the home of then president Jacob Zuma.

Nxesi disappeared from the public after many government officials got a bloody nose following their role in the Nkandla upgrades and Zuma was ordered to pay a portion of state money.

However, in the wake of the EFF conducting inspections at restaurants for their hiring practises, Nxesi came out of the woodwork to admonish the red berets.

The shrewd EFF ran rings around the labour ministry by undertaking the role that under normal circumstances should be done by labour inspectors.

However, few if any South African employers and employees have ever seen or heard from labour inspectors, which left them believing that the department does not exist.

Many people were equally flummoxed when they heard the department was given the extra mandate of creating employment when it was created in 2019. It is now called Labour and Employment Department.

“Unbelievable!” sighed the unemployed Mahlalela Hlalele. “How can we have a department dedicated to employment when unemployment is on the rise. What is it they do?”

The country’s unemployment stands at 32%, the highest it’s been since employment stats were published in 2008. The EFF has since shaken Nxesi’s ministry. The action by the red berets forced him out of hibernation.

His department’s inspection and enforcement service said it would embark on week-long mega blitz inspections targeting the hospitality sector this month.

This took yet many people by surprise as they were not aware that the department even existed, let alone had any inspectors. Hlalele said if it was not for the EFF and the Patriotic Alliance, he would never have known the country had an employment ministry.

Also read: Shock as Malema disbands EFF provincial command team

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