Maputo — Mozambican Labour Minister Helena Taipo on Monday announced that a team has been dispatched to the southern town of Ponta do Ouro to inspect tourist resorts whose owners have been accused of breaking the country's Labour Law.
The inspection will cover 34 resorts in the region, reports Tuesday's issue of the daily newspaper "Noticias".
In Ponta do Ouro some foreign investors have been accused of abusing Mozambicans and sacking workers without just cause. The residents claim that this often ends up degenerating into poorly handled labour disputes due to the lack of regular labour inspections.
According to the district secretary of the Hotel Workers Union, Armando Xerinda, there are also complaints about the failure of employers to fulfil promises, a lack of overtime payments, late wage payments and massive layoffs.
Xerinda was speaking in Ponta Do Ouro on Monday during a meeting addressed by Helena Taipo.
The minister explained that previous routine inspections carried out by the Labour Inspectorate had failed to achieve the desired results.
"The failure of those inspections to enforce the country's laws meant that the same old problems were raised again during the recent visit of President Guebuza", lamented Taipo.
She added that her ministry must acknowledge that previous inspections were seriously flawed. Furthermore, a team of inspectors sent just last week to the region has been relieved of its duties and has had its report rejected.
The minister said that the new team will carry out inspections in the presence of the owners and not their representatives, to enable them to realise the scale of the problems.
"We can no longer allow foreigners to commit excesses or acts of racism against Mozambican nationals out of fear that we could be chasing away investment. Foreign investors also need us for the smooth running of their businesses", Taipo said. She added that "we must not let others take advantage of the prevailing disorganisation to further exploit our country's wealth".
Addressing a rally in Ponta do Ouro in May, as part of his "open and inclusive presidency", President Armando Guebuza warned, "investments in Mozambique are governed by the country's legislation.
Therefore, it is unacceptable to break those laws. All investors, irrespective of their origin and identity, are welcome provided they abide by Mozambican legislation and respect people as human beings".
According to the President, this is the only way "we are going to build the society of tolerance and harmony that we all want".