ILO Declaration and Convention, Five Year Plan, Plans for 1999 and Report on Labour Market Review

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Employment and Labour

03 November 1998
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Meeting Summary

A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.

Meeting report

3 November 1998

Documents Handed out:

ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work
Progress on Implementation of 5 Year Plan of the Department of Labour (See appendix)

This meeting was a review of the Department's activities over the last 5 years. Tribute was paid for what had been achieved and it was felt that this was a department that could look back with pride. Secondly the Deputy Director-General enlarged on certain aspects of the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and its follow-up adopted by the conference at its 86th session in Geneva on 18 June 1998.

The Deputy Director General took the meeting through the slide presentation and as copies of these were to be make available, I will confine my minutes to highlight his more specific comments.

Review of the Department for the past 5 years
1 Problem faced at onset:
- out of date legislation
- serious problems with the labour market
- many different Departments of Labour or Manpower, e.g. Homelands
- lack of adequate staff or unrepresentative staff
- out-of-date systems and approaches to labour market legislation

2 Achievements
- Introduction of Labour Laws Act 1994 (58 pieces of legislation repealed under this Act)
- Establishment of Nedlac 1994
- Public Holidays Act 1994
- Labour Relations Act of 1995, which has subsequently been amended.
- Basic Conditions of Employment Act 1997
- Skills Development Act of 1998
- Employment Equity of 1998

Still outstanding is the Skills Development Levies Bill which will be introduced as a money bill by the Minister of Finance. The Deputy Director-General felt that with all the above legislation in place the department would be able to operate efficiently, unlike the situation at the time of the takeover.

The progress can be attributed to:
Ministry committed to change
Strong and committed leadership
Hardworking and committed staff
Resolute execution of plans
Influx of change agents at all levels

3 Strategy
The following are the categories that access the services of the department:
working poor
organised workers
organised employers
small business and their workers

The department intends promoting:
collective bargaining
building of capacity of Trade unions and Employer organisations. (this will take the form of training in Unions, e.g. shop stewards etc. to ensure they are … with current legislation.)
end publication and overlaps. (e.g. have a single inspectorate instead of 3 as at present)
restructure labour centres
restructure funds, particularly UIF

Management and staff
Intend to appoint a Chief Director of Human Resources (staff complement +-7000) and ensure that there is management in place to manage all staff.
Plan to:-
institute client orientation (how to deal with public)
improve attitude and morale of staff
infrastructure and systems developed to assist clients,
improve physical environment of Labour Centres
increase focus on prevention (i.e. injuries at workplace etc.)

What should still happen
Restructuring of Labour Centres and Provincial offices
Greater decentralisation
Decentralisation of information in respect of Workmen’s compensation Fund
Gather and collect more labour market information
Information technology to be intergrated.

Issues for 1999
Implement the Basic Conditions of Employment Act
Implement the Employment Equity
Restructure the OHS (health and safety)
Restructure the UIF

Particular focus on these 2 subjects in order to bring legislation to parliament by middle of next year.

ILO Conference in Geneva, 18 June 1998
The governing bodies of this organisation are to meet in Geneva later this week to follow up the conference as above.

All 7 conventions on fundamental principles and rights have been adopted by the Republic of South Africa.

A further 3 conventions are before NEDLAC for ratification

2 conventions are to be tabled in parliament for notification of having been adopted.

The Deputy Director-General said that African countries are these days playing a leading role in the affairs the ILO, but he is of the opinion that there is still much work to be done in lobbying, e.g. continued use of child labour.

It is proposed to appoint an International Director who would strengthen the administrative capacity on international activities and represent the country mainly in ILO, OAU etc affairs.

Regarding the OAU Social Affairs Commission, South Africa plays a major role on this commission. There is a considerable inter-departmental consultation approach. The same situation applies to SADC and ARLAC (African Regional and Labour Centre)

Implementation of 5 Year Plan: progress

Progress on Implementation of 5 Year Plan
Department of Labour
Deputy Director General
Department of Labour
Mr Les Kettledas

What input will focus on
• What challenges the Department faced in 1994
• What we have achieved in respect of transformation
• What still remains to be done

What did we face in 1994?
• Out of date and inappropriate legislation.
• Serious problems in the labour market that we were expected to address.
• Many different departments of Labour and Manpower.
• Lack of adequate staff and unrepresentative staff.
• Out of date systems and approaches.

What did we do to address the problems?
• Minister's Five Year Plan
- focused on legislative reform.
• Strategic Plan for Department
- A focused on institutional change.
• Comprehensive Labour Market Commission
- focused on development of policy.

What have we achieved?
• Legislative change
• Integration of Labour Laws Act, 1994
• NEDLAC Act, 1994
• Public Holidays Act, 1994
• Labour Relations Act, 1995
• Basic Conditions of Employment Act, 1997
• Skills Development Act, 1998
• Employment Equity Act, 1998

Still to come
• Skills Development Levies Bill

What have we achieved?
Strategic Plan of the Department
• New vision, mission and value
• A New structure for parts of the Department
• Business planning processes
• Budget aligned to our objectives
• Projects to take the restructuring forward
- Decentralisation and Delegation
- Restructuring of inspection services, employment services and labour centres
At Policy level
• Approach to the labour market that balances flexibility and protection
• Finalised employment strategy.
• Internal human resource policies on affirmative action, HIV/AIDS, recruitment, selection and bursaries etc.

Reasons for progress
• Ministry committed to change.
• Strong and committed leadership at senior and middle level.
• Hard working and committed staff.
• Resolute execution of plans.
• Influx of change agents at all levels.

Key elements of transformation
• Strategy
• Structure
• Personal development.

Will discuss
• Mission
• Values
• Target audience/clients
• Objectives
• Approaches

Strategy: 0ur mission
• Create environment for growth and productivity
• Promote stable and sound labour relations
• Enhance skills
• Eliminate inequality and discrimination •
• Improve conditions.

Strategy: 0ur values
• Efficiency and effectiveness
• Representativeness
• Diversity
• Democratic practices
• Transparency
• Accountability
• Sound labour relations
• On going learning.

Strategy: 0ur clients
• Unemployed
• Working poor
• Organised workers
• Unorganised workers
• Organised employers
• Small business and their workers.

Strategy: Our objectives:
• Promote economic efficiency and productivity
• Promote the development of relevant skills and prevent the loss of skills.
• Support the creation of opportunities for employment.
• Promote collective bargaining and sound labour relations.
• Promote equity in employment and eliminate work place discrimination
• Ensure reasonable wage levels and prevention of exploitation in line with the level of development of our country.
• Ensure health and safety in employment and adequate care and benefits in occupational illness or injuries in employment5
• Ensure efficient and adequate unemployment insurance.

Strategy: Our approaches
Prevention is better than cure
• increasing focus on providing information, education and training.
• Being pro-active - not only addressing complaints
Promoting 'voice regulation'
• promotion of collective bargaining
• build capacity of trade unions and employer organisations
• make policy with trade unions and employers at NEDLAC.
Integration and rationalisation of services
•end duplication and overlaps
•single inspectorate
•restructure labour centres
•restructure funds.
Management by objectives
•business plans with goals, activities that need to be met within time frames.
•Activities linked to budget.

Strategy: Our approaches
• Client orientation
• professional service
• improve attitude and morale of staff
• infrastructure and systems orientated to help clients
• improve physical environment of labour centres
• increased focus on prevention.

Structures: What has happened?
• Changes to head office organogram
- New chief director Human Resource Management to be responsible for management of staff and transformation/planning in Departments
•Fund brought closer to the Department.
• Functions being decentralised to provinces and programme managers, especially in respect of admin & personnel

Structures: What should still happen?
• Restructure labour centres and provincial offices in line with new services to be provided
• Greater decentralisation and delegation.
• Possible contracting out of services provided by the Department e.g. payment of UI benefits.
• Decentralisation of information in respect of Compensation Fund.
• System to gather and collect labour market information
• lnformation technology plan to link together our different computer systems.

Personnel Development: What has happened
Consolidation of staffing
• filling of vacancies
• more representative staff
• Human Resource Policies developed
• affirmative action
• bursary
• acting etc

PersonneI development: What is still happening?
Team work emphasised
• move away from routine work.
•AII programmes meant to allocate % of budget for training
• Training programme for department.
• Restructuring can't proceed without training
• Training needs to be given in respect of new laws.

Personnel development: What must still happen?
Introduction of Performance Management System
• staff to be evaluated according to performance.
• performance contracts to be signed by DD's and above.
• job agreements for AD's and below
• to be implemented this year.

Way forward: Key issues for 1999
• Implement Basic Conditions of Employment Act
• Implement Employment Equity and Skills Development Legislation
• Implementation of employment strategy
• Social Plan
• Restructuring of OHS Competencies
• Restructuring of UIF
• Implementation of information technology plan.
• Project on decentralisation and delegation
• Project on inspection, labour centre and employment service restructuring
• Personnel development
• Implementation of policies
• Training

Way forward: Conclusion
Learn lessons of last few years. Need to ensure:
•systematic planning
•mature approaches
•realistic time frames
•care for staff


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