14 July 2023 - NW1931
Mkhonto, Ms C N to ask the Minister of Employment and Labour
Following the visit of the Portfolio Committee of Employment and Labour to the Eastern Cape where the issue of unsafe queue conditions was raised, what steps has he taken to improve and/or remedy the situation, specifically at labour centres where persons are subjected to queueing on busy streets and must stand for long hours?
Honourable Mkhonto, firstly, let me indicate to you that on this matter we do share the same concern. Secondly, let me thank you for making follow up on this issue after the Portfolio Committee on Employment and Labour conducted an oversight visit to the Eastern Cape Province. Sometimes, matters of this nature benefit from progress after the investment of some consistency on them.
It is also important to state, adding to our shared view above, that as a Minister of Employment and Labour, I consistently visit all our Labour Centres found in every corner of our country. And as I supposed to do, I intervene in so many matters, some of them right on the spot.
I must say that there are many of those that are a model in particular for the Department, in general for the government and the country. But as you perhaps know by now, that we are so transparent and open that we hide no weaknesses, that may hold back the progress that we all must work towards.
I happen to know one of the Labour Centres where you witnessed, what is in your question. In the East London Labour Centre the route of getting sponsorship from business became unviable. Then, in that Labour Centre, they started a procurement process for 3m x 6m Heavy Duty PVS Gazibo x 8. This happened in October 2022. As the procurement process was underway budgetary constraints held it back. But it has now resumed in 2023/2024 Financial Year. Administrative and operational processes of that are at an advance stage, to such an extent that 500 chairs for those whom the Department has to provide services to, have been procured and distributed to all Labour Centres, including East London Labour Centre.
On days when there is inclement weather, the East London Labour Centre accommodates workers and others at the basement. Let me conclude replying to your question by stating that, for me the approach on many of these matters is not one of dealing with the symptoms but the other of digging deep up until the root-causes are found and uprooted, and more often than not, this particular course necessary and desperately needed as it might be, seldom deliver immediate desired results, with outcome and impact that would have been envisaged. One of its challenges is that some parts of the solution lie on partners that can only be persuaded to cooperate. But with all of that stated, we are on course Honourable Mkhonto.
Once again, thank you for your question.