The farming sector in the Sarah Baartman District, in the Eastern Cape, will come under the spotlight when inspectors from the Department of Employment and Labour conduct a blitz in the Addo and Kirkwood areas.
In a statement on Wednesday, the department said the two-week long inspection will commence on 6 September and conclude on 17 September.
The integrated approach will involve the district Municipality, South African Police Services (SAPS), Departments of Health and Home Affairs.
“The aim of the inspection is to educate employers and employees on Sectoral Determination No 13 (Farm Sector), enforce compliance with labour legislation, advocate on Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) and the implementation of safety measures in the workplace during the scourge of this communicable disease; COVID-19.
“Compliance will be viewed on all conditions of employment as prescribed by the sectoral determination for this vulnerable industry,” said the department.
In addition, Home Affairs’ immigration office and SAPS members, together with the Sarah Baartman District Municipality, will be looking at the employment of illegal immigrants by farmers.
“Whilst employers in this sector may see our inspections as a witch hunt, the truth is that we want to assist them in making sure that workers are safe at their workplaces and all labour laws are complied with,” said Chief Director for Provincial Operations Nomfundo Douw-Jack.
“It is unfortunate that the department will be rigid to those sectors who do not comply hence we partake in these Inspections. All loopholes will be addressed immediately to create a healthy and safe working environment.”
As the custodian of labour laws, the department must at all times ensure labour related matters are effectively managed through advocacy, inspection and enforcement for compliance of employers.
Two advocacy sessions for employees will be conducted on 18 September at 4pm.
Source: South African Government News Agency