Questions & Replies: Labour

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Reply received: May 2012


980: Mr A P van der Westhuizen (DA) to ask the Minister of Labour:

(1) (a)(i) Why and (ii) on what date in the 2011-12 financial year was one of her department's mobile offices written off, (b) when was it purchased, (c) how many kilometres did the specified mobile office travel during its service period and (d) what was the cost of replacing the mobile office;

(2) whether the replacement mobile office had been procured through an open tender process; if not, why not; if so, (a) what amount was tendered by each specified bidder, (b) to whom was the contract awarded and (c) in terms of what criteria was the winner identified as the preferred bidder? NW1156E


(1) (a)(i)The mobile truck was involved in an accident.(b)The truck was purchased on the 31 January 2005.(c)The truck travelled 69718km before it was involved in an accident.(d) The truck was not replaced.

(2) The mobile truck was not replaced.

Reply received: May 2012


882. Mr A P van der Westhuizen (DA) to ask the Minister of Labour:

(1) How many labour inspectors were in the employ of her department in each of the nine provinces in the (a) 2009-10- (b) 2010-11, and (c) 2011-12- , financial years;

(2) how many workplace inspections in each of the nine provinces in the (a) 2009-10 (b) 2010-11 and (c) 2011-12 financial years;

(3) whether any trends in terms of productivity were identified from the information gathered during the inspections; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details of the trends ;

(4) what has been found to be the probability that an employer will be visited by a labour inspector in a given year in each specified province

(5) whether her department has any plans to improve the productivity of labour inspectors; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details? NW1060E




(a) 2009/10

(b) 2010/11

© 2011/12









North West




Western Cape












Free State




Northern Cape




Eastern Cape










(a) 2009/10

(b) 2010/11

© 2011/12

























North- West




Northern- Cape












3. The trend since 2009/10 to 2011/12, number of inspections increases as the department appoints more inspectors.

4. The number of inspectors as at 2011/2012 is 1018 against a huge number of workplaces in this country therefore there is a need to increase the number of inspectors yearly pending on the allocation from Treasury.

5. Currently the department has the intention of creating additional 120 new posts. Furthermore the department intends embarked on a structural competency training programme for all labour inspectors. The department is also envisage to build a reliable inspection and enforcement case management

Reply received: May 2012


788. Dr L L Bosman (DA) to ask the Minister of Labour:

Whether any officials from (a) her department and (b) any entities reporting to her were on an official visit to Bloemfontein in (i) December 2011 and (ii) January 2012; if so, in each case, what (aa) is the (aaa) name and (bbb) position of the specified official, (bb) was the (aaa) purpose and (bbb) date of such visit and (cc) was the cost of (aaa) transport, (bbb) accommodation and (ccc) other expenses? NW959E

Minister of Labour replied:


None of the officials of the Department`s entities reporting to the Minister of Labour have visited Bloemfontein during (i) December 2011 and (ii) January 2012.

Reply received: April 2012


783. The Leader of the Opposition (DA) to ask the Minister of Labour:

Whether any study has been conducted regarding the number of jobs that will be lost to the economy if labour brokers are outlawed; if not, why not; if so, (a) how many jobs will be lost, (b) what will be the overall impact on the gross domestic product of the country and (c) what are the further relevant details?

Minister of Labour replied:

It has never been the intention of the Department of Labour to outlaw labour brokers and hence no study of the kind referred to in the question has been conducted.

The Labour Relations Amendment Bill, 2012 which was approved by Cabinet on 20th March 2012 for submission to Parliament, is enhanced to protect workers placed by temporary employment services and to regulate employment of employees earning below an earnings threshold on fixed-term contracts or as part-time employees.

Reply received: March 2012


667. Mr D A Kganare (Cope) to ask the Minister of Labour:

(1) Whether her department has conducted any investigation into the Wine Industry Ethic Trade Association (WIETA); if not, why not; if so,

(2) whether recommendations were made on the type of sanctions the said company should implement to ensure that its members comply with the Labour Laws; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details with regard to (a) implementation of time frames and (b) penalties envisaged without affecting (i) productivity, (ii) employment and (iii) job creation in the (aa) agriculture and (bb) farms of the wine industry?


1. WIETA is a multi-stakeholder, non-profit voluntary organisation which (AS IT CLAIMS) actively promotes ethical trade in the wine industry value chain through training, technical assessment and audits to assess members' compliance with its code of good practice. Stakeholders include producers, retailers, trade unions, non-governmental organisations.

2. In 2011, the Human Rights Watch published a report entitled "Ripe with Abuse", cataloguing the state of Human Rights Conditions in the South Africa`s Fruit and Wine Industries.

3. Some members of the WIETA challenged the accuracy of the report and its findings.

4. As you may know Honorable Member that the Human Rights Watch report came out when I had already published four Bills for public comment. Coincidentally, the Bills cover a number of areas and I am quite certain that some of the concerns raised in the Human Rights Report and those contested by WIETA will be taken care of.

5. For these reasons, the need to investigate these issues became irrelevant as they were already overtaken by the publishing of the Bills for public comment.

You will be pleased to know that I am keeping a watchful eye on the state of compliance within the sector.

Reply received: March 2012


618. Mr A P van der Westhuizen (DA) to ask the Minister of Labour:

(1) (a) On which provisions of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA), Act 1 of 1999, did she rely to procure the services of a certain company (name furnished) for the rendering of Information Technology services and (b) what is the nature of the services that have been procured through the said company;

(2) what estimated amount will be payable to the said company in the (a) current financial year and (b) 2012-13 financial year? NW784E


(1) (a) Accenture has been appointed to assist the Department of Labour utilising Treasury Regulation 16A6.4.

(b) Accenture services are currently broken up into two phases. Phase one was to conduct a current environment assessment towards the information phase of the Public Private Partnership exit, and to assist with the exit plan, through resources and subject matter expertise. Phase II is to develop an ICT strategy, setup a programme management office to mange the PPP exit, and to provide skills required for the exit.

(2) The total amount for the two phases is estimated at R10 million.

Reply received: May 2012


576. Dr L L Bosman (DA) to ask the Minister of Labour:

(1) Whether her department has an internal audit unit; if not, why not; if so, (a) how many staff members are employed in the unit and (b) what (i) is the structure and (ii) are the functions of the unit;

(2) whether the audit committee considers the internal audit reports; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details;

(3) whether she holds meetings to discuss (a) the internal reports and (b) their findings with the audit unit; if not, why not, in each case; if so, (i) on what dates since 1 April 2010 has each specified meeting taken place and (ii) what are the further relevant details? NW741E

Minister's Reply:

1. The Department of Labour has an established Internal Audit Unit. The Unit is complemented by a total of twenty (20) officials as follows:

· 1X Director

· 1X Deputy Director

· 4X Assistant Directors

· 8X Senior Internal Auditors

· 4XAuditors

· 2XAdmin Staff

The Unit reports administratively to the Director General and functionally the Audit Committee. The main function of the Internal Audit Unit is to provide independent assurance and consulting internal audit services in line with the Internal Audit Standards and Public Finance Management Act. The functions are clearly defined in the Internal Audit Charter which is approved by the Audit Committee.

2. On a quarterly basis, Internal Audit Unit presents reports to the Audit Committee in Audit Committee meetings. These reports are approved and further noted by the Audit Committee for follow-up on management actions.

3. There has not been any meeting of Internal Audit Unit and the Minister of Labour for the period stated however, Internal Audit reports are presented at the Annual and Mid-term Evaluations of the Minister.

Reply received: April 2012


490. Mr I M Ollis (DA) to ask the Minister of Labour:

Whether she met with the internal audit committee in the (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12 financial years; if not, why not; if so, (i) on which dates did they meet and (ii) what are the further relevant details? NW639E

The Minister of Labour Replies:

The Minister of Labour did not meet the Audit Committee during the 2011/12 financial year. However, there is a planned meeting with the Internal Audit Committee in the month of April 2012. The meeting will focus on the following:

· readiness of the Department with regard to the year-end final audit processes by Auditor General

· reports of the audit committee during the year

· issues of concern from the audit committee

· recommendations of the audit committee to the Minister

Reply received: April 2012


448. Mr S C Motau (DA) to ask the Minister of Labour:

(1) Whether she has been informed that (a) the Workmen's Compensation Fund (WCF) office in Pretoria is severallyunder-resourced with regard to office equipment and (b) low staff morale has affected its productivity; if so,in each case, what measures has she taken to improve the situation, if not,

(2) whether she intends to investigate the matter; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details? NW595E

The Minister of Labour responds as follows;

1(a) The Minister has been aware of the resource challenges at the Compensation Fund and has since approved the new organisational structure in March 2011 which includes additional staffing to accommodate the decentralisation of the services of the Compensation Fund to all provinces in South Africa. The Compensation Fund has tabled the new structure to the Departmental Bargaining Chamber for approval. The Minister has instructed the Compensation Commissioner to fast track the process in order to roll-out the decentralisation project and implement the new organisational structure. On the question of Equipment the department has a Private Public Partnership with Siemens IT Services for the provision of IT equipment in the whole department. The Minister is also aware that Siemens is currently implementing the Financial and the Claims Management Systems at the Compensation Fund, and we are still awaiting the impact of the roll-out of the new IT systems on service delivery.

1(b) The Minister is not aware of the low staff morale at the Compensation Fund, However, it is always anticipated that when new systems are implemented there would be teething problems which may impact negatively on productivity and morale. The Minister is informed that there is a Change Management and Training interventions currently being implemented at the Fund to improve on the performance on the new systems.

2. Although the Minister is satisfied with the explanations provided by the officials but there is ongoing focus to turn the situation around and therefore any concrete evidence brought forward would be appreciated.

Reply received: March 2012


407. Mr D A Kganare (Cope) to ask the Minister of Labour:

Whether her department has launched an investigation into (a) the functioning of the administration of the Compensation Commission, (b) the functioning of its Information Technology (IT) system, (c) the recovery of its shortfall of nearly R1 billion in compensation and (d) that all (i) applications are being processed within seven working days and (ii) complaints are being (aa) attended to and (bb) settled; if not, why not, in each case; if so, what are the relevant details in each case? NW543E


(a) There has been no formal investigation into the Compensation Fund. However, the operations and functioning are under scrutiny to identify challenges and improve services by the organisation. With regards to the functioning of the organisation, its services are currently being decentralised to provinces, with road shows currently in progress to brief stakeholders.

(b) A new Information Technology system has been deployed by the IT partner for the claims and finance environments, but initial systems and aligned process problems are being experienced. These are being addressed with the service provider, and electronic information submission is being reviewed with other stakeholders. A session was held with the South African Medical Association recently, and follow up sessions with medical interconnect service providers.

(c) A project is also underway to recover the shortfall.

(d) Compensation claims submitted for registration and adjudication are processed within two months of receipt, depending on whether all information has been provided and the complexity of the claim. Employers are obliged to report an accident within seven days of the accident in the working environment.

(ii) All complaints received are attended to, responded and settled within seven working days of receipt.

Reply received: April 2012


396. Mr A P van der Westhuizen (DA) to ask the Minister of Labour:

Whether she intends to develop and launch an online registration initiative for employers to register their employees with the Unemployment Insurance Fund; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details? NW448


The Unemployment Insurance Fund has an electronic system called U-filing, which it has been using since 2006.

The U filing system facilitates secured online services for the Employer to declare the employee information to the UIF and to pay the UIF contributions. The U-filing system can be accessed at the following address:

To utilise the UFiling online system, to declare workers, an employer needs to register with the UIF as an employer to obtain a UIF reference number. Once registered the employer can access online services by applying for access to activate their profile. More than 39000 employers currently make use of this facility.

An employer can apply for registration with the UIF, at any one of the more than 125 labour centres or they can simply call the UIF call centre on 012 337 1680 for assistance with registration. Application forms for registration can also be downloaded from the Department of Labour's website.

Reply received: April 2012


226. Mr AP Van der Westhuizen (DA) to ask the Minister of Labour:

1. Whether, with respect to the Sectoral Determination 13 published in the Government Gazette on 18 January 2012, the published version contained an error regarding the figure for the weekly minimum rate applicable from 01 March 2012; if so, (a)(i) when was the error discovered and (ii) how;

2. (a) Which official was responsible to sign off on the accuracy of figures before submitting it to the Minister;

3. (a) How, and (b) when will this error be rectified;

4. Whether any measure has been identified to avoid a recurrence of these errors in future; if not, why not; if so, what are they? NW247E

Minister of Labour replied:

(1) (a) It is correct that the amendment to the Farm Worker Sectoral Determination published on 18 January 2012 contained an error in relation to the weekly minimum rate level. It should be noted that this error is not a result of a wrong calculation or an erroneously submitted calculation to the Minister for approval but it was a result of Government Printers capturing the incorrect figure. On publication and release of the government gazette, the error in printing was detected and the necessary process to effect a correction notice was immediately set into motion.

(i) The error was discovered immediately when the Government Printers released the publication in a form of a Government Gazette and when a copy of the Gazette was forwarded to the Department.

(2) Since the error occurred at the Government Printer, it would be inappropriate for me to respond to this question as the officials in the Department forwarded the correct information to the Government Printer.

(3) (a) The Department has already published a correction notice in the Government Gazette to effect the correct weekly minimum wage. It is anticipated that the notice will be published before the end of February 2012.

(4) Yes; there are measures put in place to avoid the recurrence of such errors. This includes amongst others, to request government printers to submit the print ready copy of the notice for proof reading before publication.

Reply received: May 2012


320. Mr I M Ollis (DA) to ask the Minister of Labour:

(1) Whether the Minister has considered the most recent recommendations made to the Department by the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA); if not, why not; if so, what steps have been taken to implement the recommendations;

(2) Whether she met with the internal audit committee in the (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12 financial years; if not, why not; if so, (i) on which dates did they meet and (ii) what are the further relevant details? NW639E


(1) Yes, the Department developed an audit action plan which was implemented to address the SCOPA recommendations in respect of adverse audit findings. The aforementioned is evident in the fact that the Department received an unqualified audit report for the 2011/12 financial year.

(1) The Minister of Labour had a meeting on the 18 April 2012 with the Audit Committee Members of the Department of Labour, Unemployment Insurance Fund and the Compensation Fund; and the Internal Audit. The meeting of the 18 April 2012 resolved on the following:

2.1 Frequency of meetings – it was resolved that the Minister will meet the Audit Committees at least twice in a year.

2.2 Presentation of the Audit Committee Reports – the Audit Committee presented their reports and all reports were noted and recommendations were also accepted. The recommendations included improvements in the management of Department Performance Information and Information Technology environment; improvements in overall financial management and management of audit processes in the Compensation Fund.

2.3 It was further agreed that due to the nature of concerns from the Audit Committee of the Compensation Fund, a special meeting was scheduled for 23 April 2012.

The special meeting of the Minister of Labour and Compensation Fund was held on the 23 April 2012. The Meeting was attended by the Minister, Audit Committee of the Compensation Fund, Internal Audit and Management. The meeting of the 23 April 2012 resolved on the following:

2.4 The Minister noted and appreciated the Audit Committee Report for the year presented on work done by the Audit Committee.

2.5 The Director General and the Compensation Commissioner presented an Action Plan based on the recommendations of the Audit Committee and it was resolved that the Director General will monitor the implementation, and further progress will be presented to the Minister meeting in future.

Reply received: April 2012


189. Dr D T George (DA) to ask the Minister of Labour:

(1) Whether her department has an inspectorate that investigate cases of child labour; if not, why not; if so, (a)(i) how many personnel members are there at each inspectorate and (ii) what are their post descriptions and (b) in which province is each office of the inspectorate situated;

(2) whether any cases of child labour have been investigated since 1 January 2008; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, (a) how many cases have been investigated in each year since 1 January 2008, (b) in which province did each case occur, (c) what was the nature of the work done by the children and (d) how many cases ended in a successful conviction?

The Minister of Labour replied:

  1. Yes, (a) (i): Limpopo has 74 inspectors, Gauteng 203 Inspectors, Free State 11 Inspectors, North West 83 Inspectors, Eastern Cape 30 Inspectors, KwaZulu-Natal 197 Inspectors, Western Cape 88 Inspectors, Northern Cape 37 Inspectors, Mpumalanga 14 Inspectors, (ii) Each Inspector in each Labour Centre is assigned with the responsibility to monitor, investigate all allege illicit practices of child labour in the Cluster (b) nationally.

2. Yes,

a. No. of cases investigated from 2009

b. in which Province did each occur

c. what was the nature of work done by children

how many cases ended in a successful conviction

5 cases from 2009 to 2011


Hospitality Sector, wholesale and retail,

2 were successful and one case is Pending (still open in the Department of Justice)

8 cases from 2008 to 2011

Free State

Farm Work

2 cases were successful

9 cases from 2008 to 2011


Farm Labour, Domestic labour, Taxi Car Wash, Construction, Retail, Commercial sexual exploitation & pornography, Hazardous work and Iron and Steel

None; the following has happened

There were 14 children rescued; 4 child labour cases were recommended for prosecution; only 1 case has thus far been prosecuted with no conviction. There are 3 cases in court currently. Some of the cases are being withdrawn from the court roll.

2 cases from 2008 to 2011

North West

Agriculture/ machine operator

Case referred to the Public Prosecutor

1 case in 2011

Eastern Cape


Case was successful

1 case in 2009



Case was lost because the Farmer removed the two boys from the farm

3 cases in 2011

Western Cape

The outcome of the investigations revealed that the allegations were unfounded.

No cases have been reported.


23 cases from 2010

Northern Cape

Wholesale and retail, farming

1 case was successful

Reply received: April 2012


147. Adv A de W Alberts (FF Plus) asks the Minister of Labour

(1) If, as a result of the President's visit to white squatter camps in the west of Pretoria, and his undertaking that the poverty amongst white people will be looked at, she or her department had a study done about the unintended consequences of affirmative action which led to an increase in unemployment amongst white people; if not, why not; if yes (a) who did the study, (b) when was it done and (c) what the findings of the study were;

Minister of Labour replied:

No, the department did not conduct such a study because there is no correlation between affirmative action and the poverty amongst white people living in squatter camps. People living in White squatter camps are no different to millions of other racial groups who live in squatter camps. Poverty anywhere affects people everywhere – government is constantly engaging in activities to alleviate poverty among all race groups on an equal basis.

(2) are any measures in place to address the negative consequences of affirmative action, if so, which measures; if not why not?

No there are no measures because there is no correlation between Affirmative Action and the increase of unemployment amongst Whites. It is important to highlight that even with Affirmative Action, we still remain with the same racial disparities that our country has inherited along racial lines – almost 98% of poor people in the country remain Black.

(3) Does she have any intention to do such a study in the future; if not, why not; if yes, what are the details relating to the study?

Please note that the department does not intend conducting a study of this nature, and if we did, it will be certainly be all encompassing to determine the vulnerability of all people that live beyond the poverty line irrespective of their race, gender or disability.