Skills Development Levies bill & Labour Budget: briefing

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Employment and Labour

09 March 1999
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Meeting Summary

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Meeting report

LABOUR PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
10 March 1999
SKILLS DEVELOPMENT LEVIES BILL; LABOUR BUDGET: BRIEFING

Documents handed out:
Skills Development Levies Bill [B28-99]
Presentation on Skills Development Levies Bill
Nedlac Report on Skills Development Bill
Annual Labour Department Report 1998
Explanatory memorandum of labour Budget

SUMMARY
The Skills Development Levies Bill, plus report, was accepted unanimously. The Labour budget was presented in detail by the Director General. The budget has been increased in all sectors except in personnel where, along with consultant fees and legal services, great savings have been effected. An internal audit to prevent fraud has been established. The Department has achieved its aims set out five years ago but complete transformation is still to come.

MINUTES
Skills Development Levies Bill

The committee agreed unanimously to forward the Skills Development Levies Bill, (B28-99), to the National Assembly. The DP and PAC were not present. On Mr Dexter's suggestion it was agreed to include in the Report accompanying the Bill, the recommendation that the annual percentage levy should be reviewed annually. It was also agreed that the amended report should be placed in members' boxes and need not be debated again.

Labour Department Budget
The Committee then considered the Labour Department Budget for 1999-2000. The Director General, Mr Sipho Pityana, presented the Budget with a detailed explanatory memorandum and slides. He was accompanied by six high-ranking officers of the Department. The Budget is due for debate in the House on Monday.

The Director General said that the key elements of the Department's 5-year project have been reached. With this Bill they will consolidate transformation. There is only the Unemployment Insurance Fund still to be completed before the end of this year.

The Department is concerned about the impact of labour legislation on the labour market. It is under constant scrutiny. Productivity is on the increase. South Africa serves on the governing body of the International Labour Organisation. South Africa's advisory statutory bodies have been restructured beyond recognition; tremendous strides have been made but transformation is not yet complete. The new parliament will have to draw up another five-year project.

An internal audit has been established which should prevent fraud. Communication through a range of publications has been established. Small business groups and companies have been provided with training. Large savings have been made in legal been services. More has been allocated to local centres and the department's activities have decentralised.

The inspectorate has been restructured. In future every inspector will be trained to check the implementation of all the labour laws. Eight implementation projects have been established with funding from the EU of R300, 000,000.

The new Budget provides for increased expenditure in all areas except for personnel where large savings have been reached through paring down and rationalisation.

Acting chairperson: Ms E Thabethe.

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