Labour Portfolio Committee Programme

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Employment and Labour

29 June 2009
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Meeting Summary

After consideration of the individual items and schedule, the Committee adopted the Committee Programme 2009/10 without amendments. Members commented that oversight visits to the mines were of vital importance, given the public outcry concerning high rate of mining accidents and deaths. The Committee noted that labour brokering in South Africa continued to be an issue and that this called for urgent attention. It was also pointed that there was a need to have a discussion about the Compensation Fund, as people were interested in making presentations to the Committee.

The Committee also adopted the Draft Minutes for 2 June 2009 and 17 June 2009.

Meeting report

Consideration and Adoption of Committee Programme
The Chairperson advised Members to peruse the draft Committee Programme 2009/2010 and to make any changes to it.

Mr I Ollis (DA) stated that it was important to hold a discussion with the stakeholders regarding business and labour. He cautioned that there could be unintended consequences, in that the good labour laws may result in extra costs because thorough research on implementation was not done. He then suggested that an oversight visit needed to be made before the Committee went ahead with amendments.

The Chairperson responded that it was clear that members agreed that labour brokering continued to be an issue in South Africa. She emphasised the importance of identifying a clear definition of the terms employer and employee.

Mr Ollis remarked that there was a need to have a discussion about the Compensation Fund, and that there were people who were interested in making presentations to the Committee regarding the issue.

The Chairperson responded that presentations by outside people should be set aside for the time being. She added that Members were not familiar with all the issues and needed to be workshopped first.

Ms R Tsotetsi (ANC) advised that the Programme needed to be more specific with regards to what needed to be done during the oversight visits.

Mr E Nyekemba (ANC) stated that oversight visits to the mines were of vital importance, given the public outcry on this matter. He further stated that thorough investigations needed to be done by the Committee regarding the number of accidents and deaths that occurred within the mines. He emphasized that the public was looking to see what Parliament’s response would be regarding this crisis. If there was a failure to respond positively through interventions, the general public would lose trust in Parliament.

Mr A Louw (DA) fully supported Mr Nyekemba’s suggestion. He agreed that the public was indeed looking at whether Parliament was going to take action against the mines regarding the high incidences of deaths and accidents.

The Chairperson stated that dates of the oversight visits would not be publicized as these were meant to be surprise visits. She added that the Committee would notify the public that action would now be taken by Parliament. She emphasised that the Committee’s agenda was to reduce the rates of the accidents in the work places. She stated that the responsibility of the Committee was to create safer working conditions for all employees.

The Committee adopted the Programme without amendments.

Adoption of Minutes

The Chairperson proposed the adoption of the Draft minutes of Proceedings of 2 June 2009 and 17 June 2009.

The Committee adopted both minutes without amendments.

The Chairperson stated that the Committee would summon SETA on construction to appear before Parliament in due time.

The meeting was adjourned.

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