Representatives of the Departments of Labour and Home Affairs were also in attendance at the stakeholders’ meeting, providing feedback on the work they had carried out since the last Stakeholders Forum held on 9 July.
Officials from the Department of Labour reported that they had visited over 40 workplaces in the Overstrand area in the past two months and that all the companies, except for two, had cooperated with the inspectors. The inspectors did not find any companies who were paying salaries below the minimum wage and, overall, found a 60% compliance by these companies to the laws and regulations.
The department also interviewed a random sample of 1 080 employees and found that only 150 were foreign nationals. While not statistically valid, the officials said that this survey provided useful information.
From 1 October 2019, the Labour officials said they would be opening their “pop-up” office twice a month to allow employees and employers to visit them. Currently, Labour opens a temporary office at the Moffat Hall in Mount Pleasant once a month. The venue for the second visit has not been confirmed yet but it is hoped that the Moffat Hall will be able to accommodate the officials.
Labour inspectors will be increasing the amount of time they spend in the Overstrand from 1 October, travelling in vehicles that are clearly marked as being from the Department of Labour. They will also be promoting and educating employers about the Workers Compensation Fund.
In their report back, Home Affairs officials informed the stakeholders that, over the two-month period, 19 foreign nationals had been prosecuted and deported. Further prosecutions are still on-going.
The officials said they were encouraged by the number of businesses that had elected to go to Caledon for consultations with the Department of Home Affairs to ensure that they were complying with the immigration as well as work permit policies and procedures when employing foreign nationals. – Raphael da Silva