Department of Employment and Labour 2023/24 Quarter 1 Performance; with Ministry

NCOP Trade & Industry, Economic Development, Small Business, Tourism, Employment & Labour

24 October 2023
Chairperson: Mr M Rayi (ANC, Eastern Cape)
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Meeting Summary


In a virtual meeting, Minister of Employment and Labour and his Department delivered a performance report for the first quarter of 2023/24 achieving 20 out of 22 planned targets, reflecting a 91% performance rate. Significant achievements included increased inspections, resolution of non-compliant employers and job placements. The Minister touched on the Department of Employment and Labour (DEL) and Thuja Holdings R5 billion agreement which had been suspended pending an investigation.

Committee members raised questions on underperforming provinces, preferential procurement policy for Supported Employment Enterprises (SEE), more frequent updates on cases referred for prosecution, strategies to reduce irregular expenditure, uninspected homemade product businesses, status of prosecuted cases, penalties for non-compliant employers, and skills programmes within Public Employment Services.

The Inspector General emphasized the importance of quality information from inspections and spoke to challenges in Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Western Cape and Northern Cape along with the impact of vacancies on inspection performance.

In closing, the Chairperson spoke of the necessity of obtaining a comprehensive report on the UIF and Compensation Fund.

Meeting report

Opening Remarks by Minister
Minister Thulas Nxesi expressed his view that accountability, openness and transparency was a cornerstone of South Africa's maturing democracy. He stated that the auditing for the UIF and Compensation Fund annual financial statements had not been completed yet, and as such, both the Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces and the Speaker of the National Assembly had been written to, as he was required to report delays to Parliament.

The two Funds were grappling with a misalignment between financial year-ends. The Companies Act of 1971 of 2008, in Section 30 subsection 1, states that a company must prepare the financial statements within six months of the end of the financial year or such shorter period as may be appropriate to provide the required notice of the annual general meeting. It stipulates that a company must have a financial year ending on the date set out in the company's notice of incorporation, and this date could be any date of the calendar. A misalignment existed as section 14(b) of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) stipulates that the accounting officer for a department trading entity or constitutional institution must prepare financial statements for each financial year in accordance with generally recognized accounting practice and must submit those statements within two months after the end of the financial year. There was a significant time gap between the Companies Act and the PFMA and that is why they were consistently submitting late.

His statement was not meant to justify other problems of the UIF and Compensation Fund but he was solely addressing the late submissions. Both Funds had been battling with this misalignment amongst other challenges, and various attempts had been made to address it. This challenge was not the only one encountered by the two Funds. The Committee was likely aware of other challenges that he had identified as systemic and structural, and to confirm his suspicions, a diagnostic investigation had been commissioned. The diagnostic report confirmed his observations about the challenges with the two Funds. His approach to complex matters was to prefer a patient approach to uncover the root cause of the problem rather than solving only the symptoms.

He and his team had taken it upon themselves to review the operations of the two Funds, focusing on South Africa's priorities, good governance, responsive and enhanced service delivery, improved business process systems, reviewing and aligning scales to ensure the requisite skills to manage Funds of this nature in the future. They were currently conducting a series of meetings with various stakeholders to discuss the recommendations from the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) diagnostic report. The report took 18 months to complete and had been shared with Cabinet. The process of implementing the recommendations was ongoing, and it addressed structure, vision, systems, IT systems, cybersecurity, and the culture of work in the public service, emphasizing the importance of commitment from employees.

He emphasized that the recommendations did not include privatization, despite rumours suggesting it. They might bring in experienced individuals from the private sector in specific areas but had no intention of privatizing the Fund. It was important to ensure the programmes delivered by the Funds remained accessible, free and supportive of massifying skills and creating employment opportunities in the country.

The Minister touched on the Department of Employment and Labour (DEL) and the Thuja Holdings agreement, which had been suspended pending an investigation. The project involving UIF, Productivity SA and Thuja Holdings had been suspended at the end of 2022, leading to significant cost savings for the country. He described the irregular nature of the agreement between the DEL Director General and Thuja Holdings and the subsequent investigation process. There was a conflict of interest involving the Productivity SA chairperson who was the main director of Thuja Holdings. He had dismissed the Productivity SA chairperson and appointed a new acting chairperson. The investigation report was being processed and legal action to set aside the Thuja agreement was being pursued.

Minister Nxesi noted the DEL DG, Mr Tobile Lamati, had tendered his intention to resign as of 30 November 2023. DEL had informed the President and it was awaiting the President's response and decision. Employee matters should be left to the relevant space, and the Select Committee's role was to focus on oversight of the Department and the Executive. He had provided the Select Committee with information on contemporary matters of interest, and he hoped that no members of the Select Committee would accuse him of hiding anything in the future.

Department of Employment and Labour: Performance Quarter 1 of 2023/24
Ms Marsha Bronkhorst, DEL Chief Operating Officer, highlighted the accomplishments and areas where the department fell short during Quarter 1 as well as challenges across its four programmes: Administration, Inspection and Enforcement Services, Public Employment Services, and Labour Policy and Industrial Relations.

Overview of Performance
Ms Bronkhorst stated that an indicator is achieved only if met completely; any deviation, even by 1% or 2%, is considered a non-achievement. During the first quarter, the department had 22 planned targets and achieved 20 of them, reflecting a 91% performance rate. This was a substantial improvement compared to first quarter of 2022-23 when it achieved only 71% of their indicators. This significant jump indicates its commitment to improving its performance.

Provincial Performance
Ms Bronkhorst covered the department's provincial performance and the programmes where provinces failed to meet targets such as Inspection and Enforcement Services (IES) and Public Employment Services (PES)

Detailed Analysis of Programme Performance
The presentation delved into the performance of each of the department's programmes, including Administration, Inspection and Enforcement Services (IES), Public Employment Services (PES), and Labour Policy and Industrial Relations (LP and IR).

The Administration programme was unable to complete the threat and vulnerability assessment to identify and assess threats of disruptions, which are essential for business continuity. The second challenge in Administration was the filling of vacancies. The creation of 3 570 new posts in Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) provincial offices presented difficulties in time and capacity. This surge in vacancies resulted in an increased vacancy rate, although it is striving to address it.

Inspection and Enforcement Services (IES)
IES was tasked with conducting a significant number of inspections ensuring non-compliant employers and workplaces were served with notices. It achieved these targets effectively. Another success in IES was the recovery of underpayments for vulnerable workers. The programme recovered substantial amounts under the National Minimum Wage Act, Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act, and Unemployment Insurance Contributions Act.

Public Employment Services (PES)
PES was successful in registering work seekers, especially in the youth category. The majority who registered were aged 15-35, highlighting the PES impact on the youth labour market. PES exceeded its target for registering job opportunities and providing employment counseling. However, job placement still remains a challenge, and only a fraction of the goal was achieved.

Labour Policy and Industrial Relations (LP and IR)
LP and IR had one unachieved indicator of a draft research report that was delayed due to issues with data sets, reflecting the complexities of research and data analysis in the department. The programme excelled in other areas, including the submission of annual equity reports and public registers. There was progress in the development of two key policies, the National Employment Policy and the National Labour Migration Policy.

Achieving National Development Plan Goals
While some areas, such as employment creation and equity in the workplace, presented challenges, there were promising signs in policy development and other areas. DEL is actively working to address the gaps in achieving these goals and is committed to making improvements.

Audit Action Plan 2023/24
DEL had 45 audit findings in 2022/23 which is a decrease from the previous year. There was progress in addressing these findings, with 16 already completed, and the rest in progress. DEL's internal audit had reviewed these and the results are being submitted to National Treasury and the Auditor-General.

DEL spent 23% of its budget in the first quarter, aligning with the required 25%.

Acting DG Sam Morotoba explained that DEL had brought along all the chief directors at provincial level due to the significant role played by labour centres and mobile units in DEL operations. The presentation focused on the Department of Employment and Labour and its four programmes. It did not cover the DEL entities – NEDLAC, CCMA, Unemployment Insurance Fund, Compensation Fund and Productivity SA.

Mr Morotoba highlighted that DEL had recently completed its audit and tabled its annual report. Looking ahead to the new financial year starting on April 1st, the department was conscious of its fourth quarter performance, which stood at 91%. The Committee had received materials for reference. The presentation provided insights into which branches achieved all their targets, challenges faced by provinces, and the corrective measures being implemented to enhance the outcomes in the upcoming Quarter 2 report. To ensure that the Committee received accurate and region-specific information, the heads of provinces were present to answer questions and clarify any provincial concerns.

DEL Chief Financial Officer, Mr Bheki Maduna, presented the details of the budget expenditure.
He compared audit action plan implementation rates. In 2021/22 DEL had 59 audit findings (29 on financial management; 23 on corporate services; 5 on irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure; 1 on BEE non-compliance). It managed to resolve 26 of 29 findings in financial management, 8 of 23 in corporate services, and 4 of 5 findings on irregular expenditure. This led to an implementation rate of 38 out of 59 findings in comparative terms.

The Department faced 45 audit findings in the 2022/23 audit which was a decrease from the 59 findings in 2021/22. The audit concludes around the end of June, and the AG finalizes it in July and August. During the first quarter of 2023/24, DEL had mainly addressed the low-hanging fruit in its audit action plan, totalling 16 findings. The implementation rate would be evaluated and monitored as the quarters progressed. The audit action plan had been developed and submitted to to internal audit had recently completed assessing its adequacy. The results had been presented the previous day and would be provided to National Treasury and the AG. Progress reports would be presented on a monthly basis, and if requested, the Committee could also receive progress reports on a quarterly basis (see document).

Ms M Moshodi (ANC, Mpumalanga) inquired about Minister's actions about the leaked letter of resignation from the DG which had been received late October and was already in the media. She asked if the Minister had conducted an investigation to identify the person responsible for leaking the letter. What actions did he intend to take in response to the individual who had disclosed the department's information?

Ms H Boshoff (DA, Mpumalanga) referred to the letter the Minister had submitted to the President on the DG's intended resignation. She inquired if the Minister could provide an estimate of the expected response time from the President. Would the DG continue to be a part of the Department until a formal response was received from the President or were arrangements in place during this interim period?

The Chairperson addressed the Minister and said COSATU had been calling for the UIF to be placed under administration. He acknowledged the Minister's commitment to following due process and that this can be time-consuming. The Chairperson sought clarity on the indication that the reason the call for administration had not been made yet was due to the consensus to allow these processes to unfold as they should.

Minister's response
Minister Nxesi replied to a question about COSATU's call to place the Fund under administration. The frustration expressed by COSATU was due to the slow speed of processing claims. He emphasized that this frustration did not imply that the Funds had collapsed, as they had indeed achieved positive outcomes. However, there were areas of service delivery not meeting expected standards. COSATU's call for administration was, in essence, a call for improving systems and enhancing service delivery. Privatization was not the preferred solution as DEL aimed to improve systems and provide training. He intends to present the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) report at Nedlac and engage with stakeholders to discuss its implementation.

On the timeline for the President's response to the DG resignation, he could not speculate about that. The appointment and dismissal of the DG did not fall within the Minister's authority but went through Cabinet, with the President as head of Cabinet. Therefore, the Minister was following the established procedure. Once the process was finalized, he would report back to the House. The DG had provided a resignation date of 30 November to allow for follow-up on any matters.

On the leaked letter, Minister Nxesi mentioned that the focus should not be on expending significant resources chasing such minor leaks, as leaks were encountered frequently in various forums. There had been communication from the DG via WhatsApp messages on his decision, and it was unclear if the leak originated from one of those messages. Instead, it was important to concentrate efforts on implementing decisions and addressing the larger flow processes. The decision to suspend the project had resulted in savings of R5 billion.

Since the Minister had to leave early due to other commitments, the Chairperson excused him.

Ms N Tafeni (EFF, Eastern Cape) expressed concern about the difficulties faced by families of deceased government workers in obtaining UIF benefits. She asked for the reasons it was challenging for these families to receive the money. She sought solutions for why family members could not access UIF benefits on behalf of the deceased.

Mr M Mmoiemang (ANC, Northern Cape) raised concern that the Business Continuity Plan target in Programme 1: Administration had not been achieved. More information was sought on the progress in addressing this, especially the threats and vulnerability identified during inspections.

He asked about measures taken by DEL to address provincial performance in Inspection and Enforcement Services where the set targets were not met, particularly in the Northern Cape.

The third question related to an indicator concerning the percentage of non-compliant employers resolved out of court through statutory services, with a specific focus on the performance in the Western Cape. The number of job seekers registered on employment services was also discussed, and it was observed that the Western Cape had underperformed in terms of the set targets. DEL was asked about the measures in place to rectify this situation and if progress had been made in addressing these under achievements.

On the CCMA role in the current economic context, given inequality and inadequate service delivery, there was an express need to capacitate the CCMA. There were concerns about the potential impact of current fiscal constraints on the CCMA 2024 strategy. Were there plans to increase available resources to ensure the CCMA could effectively fulfill its role in promoting healthy labour relations and negotiations in the labour market?

There was a need for National Treasury and DEL to explore alternative funding and financing sources to support the growth and expansion of Supported Employment Enterprises. DEL was asked about progress in this and its efforts to secure resources.

Mr Mmoiemang found the emerging coordination among government departments interesting in the context of job creation, particularly the Presidential Employment Stimulus. He highlighted concerns about lack of coordination and sought information on attempts being made to enhance coordination among government departments. This new policy mandate for job creation was of critical importance as was the need for partnerships between private sector, civil society, trade unions and other stakeholders in labour market programmes. He asked about the Department's progress in mobilizing development partners to assist unemployed individuals in finding jobs and career paths, the support DEL could provide to these partners within government programmes, and the policy strategies, including social compacts, it was considering to address unemployment and mobilize social partners.

Ms Boshoff pointed out that a broader perspective should be taken, not limiting the focus solely to the Western Cape, as three other provinces had also not performed well. DEL should give an explanation on the underlying issues. Could it be that they are understaffed? She asked for the reasons for this underperformance with the aim of determining how to improve performance in these provinces.

On Supported Employment Enterprises (SEE), is there an existing policy in place or have there been engagements by government on potential preferential procurement for the SEE to enhance their prospects.

Ms Mashodi asked about the strategy mechanism to address the irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure, which had not been dealt with comprehensively. Had the employment of youth, women and people with disabilities been considered by the Department? What were the number of pending unresolved cases and the reasons for the delays? In relation to a quarter one indicator, She noted that her province, Free State, had achieved 100% performance in a quarter one indicator and she commended this.

The Chairperson explained that the purpose of the meeting was to invite the Minister and the Department to provide a briefing on the first quarter of the 2023-2024 annual performance plan. However, they had also been hearing about certain concerns in the public domain, which prompted the request to the Minister to address those matters in addition to the regular presentation. The Committee would review its programme and, if agreed on, they would have a separate briefing on the UIF and Compensation Fund. Senior management of the department was present and would provide reports on their programmes, including an overview of UIF, and would address the questions that had been raised during the meeting. This would allow the Committee to address both the official performance plan and public concerns.

He enquired about the news of workers being locked down in the mine. He also asked about the inspection and enforcement of spaza shops selling uninspected homemade products. These businesses were expected to be registered with the DEL. It is unclear if inspections were being conducted in workplaces where expired and dangerous food was being sold to the public. He asked for updates on prosecution of cases and their outcomes.

The Chairperson highlighted the need for more comprehensive narrative information alongside numerical data when dealing with the department. He raised concerns about penalties for non-compliant employers and when reports on the department's performance on these penalties were received. On public employment, the Chairperson wanted information on skills programmes, especially distinguishing them from counseling services and aligning them with priority number three of the Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF). Lastly, the Chairperson inquired about labour organizations, their registrations, denials, and potential deregistration in the first quarter. He voiced a concern about the lack of narrative accompanying public employment statistics and requested for future breakdowns of numbers by sector to gain a clearer understanding of work seekers' placements.

Department response
Acting DG Morotoba noted that the Inspector General and provincial heads where provinces had underperformed would speak to the reasons and challenges and the remedial action put in place to ensure performance would be achieved by the second quarter. He would address Public Employment Services (PES). Responses to questions about DEL entities would come more when those entities presented. On Labour Policy and Industrial Relations (LPIR), the LPIR Deputy Director-General was currently consulting.

Inspector General, Ms Aggy Moiloa, addressed the IES questions. The affected provinces would be invited to provide more detailed information on the concerns raised. Three provinces – Limpopo, Mpumalanga and Northern Cape – had underperformance in inspections. Vacancies had a significant impact on Limpopo and Mpumalanga. Both provinces had made improvements in the second quarter, despite the absence of a full establishment. The need to maintain effective planning despite the absence of a full establishment was also important.

On inspections underperformance, quality of information played a crucial role. Since 2021/22, the online system had been utilized for reporting purposes. In cases where inspections were conducted, but they did not meet the required quality standards, they were disregarded due to their inability to provide competent inspections in terms of information quality.

A distinct situation was observed in the Northern Cape, which necessitated a unique approach. A combination of factors were identified as contributing to this. The COO and the Inspector General had jointly initiated a project to address the Northern Cape factors, with the COO taking the lead.

For the Western Cape, vacancies were a contributing factor for the underperformance in the referral of non-compliant employers. The presence of a vacancy in Statutory and Advocacy Services impeded the province's ability to address such cases. The status of filling the vacancy was not entirely clear but the head of the province was present at the meeting.

On inspections in spaza shops, she explained that the informal economy including businesses such as hairdressers and street vendors, posed unique challenges due to the nature of existing laws. DEL had not made significant inroads into this sector in the past. However, recent efforts had been made to address this issue. While inspections had taken place in a few provinces, the focus had primarily been on advocacy-related activities, advocating for compliance with relevant laws and policies in the informal economy.

The Inspector General noted the suggestion to provide updates on cases referred for prosecution to the NPA or labour courts. Cases referred to the NPA tend to have a lengthy settlement process. She cited two cases, the Rheinmetall incident in Somerset West in 2018 and an old Tongaat matter in KZN, as examples of cases submitted to the NPA. There were small-scale penalties in the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) domain due to the leniency of existing laws, with an admission of guilt penalty set at R250. To address this leniency, a review of the OHS Act was a future consideration. Case updates would be made more frequently in future.

Mr Mawele Ntamo, DEL Western Cape Chief Director: Provincial Operations (CDPO) noted the underperformance of PES and IES in the Western Cape. The province faced capacity constraints due to vacancies as the Statutory and Advocacy Services Unit was a specialized area requiring legal expertise. Inspectors were unable to undertake this work because only lawyers could. With resignations and understaffing, they had only one individual assigned to this role, resulting in insufficient performance at 24%. Lack of capacity led to delays in processing cases, prompting a request for support. Head office provided assistance and other provinces extended their help to address this. Unfortunately, the moratorium affected this vacant post. However, lawyers from other areas were seconded to address this specific issue. There was improvement in the second quarter, indicating satisfaction with the progress made.

PES underperformance was observed in work seeker registration, with a deficit of approximately 636 registrations to meet the required indicator. The province heavily relied on walk-ins at labour centres for registrations, affecting the strategy. Additionally, some centres were delayed in capturing the work seeker registration forms, contributing to the underperformance.

A positive development was the procurement of mobile units facilitating outreach across the province. This approach reduced dependence on individuals visiting labour centres and enhanced the capacity to reach rural areas, including Vredendal, Beaufort West and farming communities. These efforts aimed to expand and increase reach.

Northern Cape CDPO, Mr Zolile Albanie, noted underperformance in the IES domain, particularly the indicator for number of inspections conducted. The challenge had been persisting for some time and steps have been taken by management to address this. Northern Cape had been grappling with a significant turnover of inspectors. For example, Postmansburg labour centre had only one inspector instead of four. There had been a series of resignations from that office.

The De Aar labour centre had three inspectors with two of those inspectors underperforming and measures had been taken to refer them to employee wellness services. The challenge arises because the IES target is linked to individual inspectors, making recovery difficult when there is significant underperformance. They had organized what could be termed "blitz inspections" where inspectors congregated in a particular area to conduct more inspections than they would under normal circumstances. An obstacle with this approach however is that it yielded limited results, with approximately 86 inspections falling short of the target.

Quarter 2 indicated that these challenges persisted, especially due to inspectors who had resigned. The recruitment and training of new inspectors typically required an extended time period. While efforts had been made from the province side, the Inspector General had highlighted the need for broader intervention from head office, particularly in addressing management-related issues. The COO would provide commentary on this matter. The province underperformed and continues to face challenges but they were committed to taking action and determined to rectify this particular indicator.

Mr Mandla Sibanyoni, newly appointed Mpumalanga CDPO, noted the challenge of IES underperformance. Mpumalanga faced considerable struggles with this. Connectivity problems were experienced at some points, while at other times, the inspectors exhibited slowness and a lack of familiarity with the IT system's modus operandi, resulting in missed opportunities to upload all conducted inspections. Inspections exceeded the set targets; however, the primary challenge lay in capacity.

In the subsequent quarter, the province took measures to change the status quo. The target was met after forming several verification committees and conducting work sessions to improve understanding of the system's operation. As a result, all the inspectors became well-versed in managing the system. He pointed out that this improvement was reflected in the numbers. Despite a number of inspectors being transferred or resigning, the impact was not as significant as previously mentioned. They successfully conducted inspections, and the primary challenge revolved around system operation and ensuring satisfactory quality assurance. Although several inspections were discarded, the devised plan greatly assisted the province.

Ms Bahumi Matebesi, DEL Deputy Director-General: Corporate Services, replied that a target was set to complete the Business Continuity Plan (BCP) by the end of the financial year in March 2024. The development stage is currently underway and approximately 80% of the plan has been completed. This progress includes the completion of the business impact analysis, vulnerability and threat analysis, and the approval of the disaster recovery plan (DRP) by ICT. Components such as the incident management plan will contribute to the completion of the BCP.

On cases not being finalized, there was a capacity constraint at the outset. These cases are under risk management investigation, particularly those related to corrupt activities within the department. The target for the year, and even for the quarter, was 75%. In Quarter 1, 30 cases were received and 19 finalized, representing a completion rate of 63%, falling short of the 75% target. There were 23 cases that could not be finalized due to their complex and complicated nature. Such cases are typically referred to SAPS, SIU and NPA for further handling. In response to the capacity issues, DEL appointed a panel of service providers to handle forensic investigations within the department. Additionally, a hotline had been established within the department as part of their effective ethics management initiatives.

Mr Bheki Maduna, DEL CFO, explained that additional allocations to CCMA are currently not feasible due to the fiscal pressures being experienced by both the department and government. A budget reduction process was initiated and Treasury conveyed that DEL needed to effect a R79.4 million cut to the present fiscal year. Nevertheless, work should still continue using the available allocations, despite the financial challenges faced by government.

On irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure, the irregular expenditure incurred was particularly in the realm of ICT processes and procurement. Engagement with the Chief Information Officer (CIO) and the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) has been initiated to rectify these processes, ensuring strict adherence to legislation and addressing the irregular expenditure. The CFO conducted the initial engagement, with the commitment to continue efforts to address the irregular expenditure and enhance understanding of the supply chain management (SCM) process, especially within the Office of the CIO, for ICT procurement.

The Acting DG replied that efforts have been made to secure additional funding for Supported Employment Enterprises (SEE). Donor funding from the EU had been obtained and several programmes are currently being run. In the previous year, funding was successfully transferred from the department's savings to support SEE's ICT and compensation of employees. This action was taken in response to the challenges faced during the COVID years.

The cost containment exercise referred to by the CFO led to budget reductions for some entities. However, SEE was shielded from these reductions as it would have experienced severe difficulties. For the role of DEL in employment coordination, particularly with the Presidential Youth Employment Initiative (PYEI), a budget of about R300 million was allocated. This funding was subsequently transferred to G-Tech, Jobs Fund and Harambee to aid the Department in coordinating various programmes under the PYEI. Despite the programme being announced by the Presidency, its administration is overseen by the Department, which manages the process through the Jobs Fund and, in turn, employs several agencies as part of an extension to report on these initiatives.

On support to development partners beyond PES, several forms of support are facilitated through the UIF. Funding is provided to both CCMA and Productivity SA for the implementation of the Temporary Employer / Employee Relief Scheme (TERS). Funding is channeled through the UIF to Productivity SA for implementing turnaround solutions, while the CCMA receives assistance for job-saving measures through the allocation from the Labour Policy and Industrial Relations (LPIR) programme. The UIF and Compensation Fund have allocated over R2.5 billion for various partnership-based interventions with employers who wish to engage in training initiatives and employment-saving schemes.

The policy to support SEE is under the jurisdiction of National Treasury. The Preferential Procurement Bill was designed to benefit organizations such as SEE, as well as the youth, women and individuals with disabilities. Meetings have been held, submissions made, and the Department is currently awaiting conclusion and sign-off to ensure that entities like SEE can benefit. The objective is to foster job creation and address gender, youth and individuals with disabilities, as outlined in the presentation with detailed information on race, disability, gender and age.

The DG noted that the entire Skills Development Act has been transferred to the Department of Higher Education. However, certain aspects of the Act remain within DEL managed by IES. For instance, compliance enforcement of employment conditions in the workplace for learners in apprenticeships and internships falls under IES. The determination of working conditions and income of learners is assisted by Labour Policy and Industrial Relations to ensure compliance.

As for PES, the primary focus lies in counselling and the referral of young people to various educational programmes which remains under the department's responsibility. The registration of private employment entities and temporary employment services continues to be carried out by the Department of Employment and Labour, with specific sections on registration falling under the Skills Development Act. DEL provided advice to the Department of Home Affairs on corporate and individual visa applications for foreign nationals seeking to work in South Africa. This service is not officially part of the Annual Performance Plan (APP) but it is provided, and reporting is done accordingly to complement the work on migration and address legislative gaps.

A question was raised about trade unions, including those deregistered, and Mr Morotoba advised that there was a comprehensive breakdown in the second presentation. On the request for a sector breakdown where placements occurs, the Acting DG replied that the second impact analysis included extensive details on this.

The Acting DG mentioned strikes in the mining sector. In cases where legal strikes cannot be resolved and parties are unable to reach an agreement, the Department typically intervenes by deploying the CCMA to assist in resolving the dispute. DEL is closely monitoring the situation and intends to assess if further intervention is possible. They are in contact with provincial colleagues who are closer to the situation and are seeking additional information from labour centres to determine the department's potential role in addressing the incident.

Deputy Minister closing remarks
Deputy Minister Boitumelo Moloi said that despite all the challenges faced by the department, the report indicates that DEL is actively engaged in achieving the performance target percentages. There is notable progress in its ongoing efforts which is praiseworthy.

She wished to impress upon the Select Committee the importance of it participating in inspections. This would provide them with insights into the challenges faced by inspectors on the ground. She suggested sharing the inspection schedules, some of which are planned and known, while others remain unannounced to target non-compliant factories and companies. The existence of numerous non-compliant companies was acknowledged, with an emphasis on the fact that it may not necessarily fall within the responsibility of the national department to conduct inspections.

The Deputy Minister extended gratitude to the Department as well as the Committee for their dedication to keeping the department accountable. The Ministry remained committed to encouraging high performance and enhancing service delivery. She affirmed their readiness to respond to any requests for further information.

In closing, the Chairperson reiterated the necessity of obtaining a comprehensive report on the UIF and Compensation Fund. The attendees were thanked for their participation. The Committee staff, and guests, including PMG and other media, was acknowledged. Appreciation was expressed.

Meeting adjourned.


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