10 August 2017

South Africa: Labour Inspects 72 JSE Listed Companies

The Department of Labour's Inspection and Enforcement Services (IES) branch has initiated a National Director General (DG) Review to inspect 72 JSE Securities-listed companies to ensure compliance with employment equity.

The initiative is part of promoting equity in the labour market.

The National Director-General Review team started with the inspections last month and these will continue until December 2017.

The National DG Review involves a process of interrogating company's EE plans to assess whether the plan complies with legislation and is able to transform when put to the test.

According to the Department of Labour's Chief Director Statutory and Advocacy Services, Advocate Fikiswa Mncanca, the programme started with a review of the JSE Securities Exchange, which the department found wanting when it comes to EE implementation.

Mncanca said the DG review found that the JSE Securities plan was not complying in terms of Section 20 (2) of the Employment Equity Act. DG recommendations were issued and the CEO and her team signed the recommendations and agreed to address the shortcomings.

The JSE has been given 60 days to comply.

While the inspections and National DG reviews are in progress, the department is also busy with EE workshops across the country. The department started EE workshops in July to engage with stakeholders nationally to ensure compliance with EE legislation. The workshops will end in September in Gauteng.

"It is our responsibility to educate our stakeholders on the expectations, conduct inspections to check compliance and for those employers that are not willing to comply, refer them for prosecutions and enforcement compliance," Mncanca said.

Mncanca cautioned that if a company does not have a plan, it will be subjected to a fine of R1.5 million.

Those failing to report on EE plans will also be subjected to a penalty of R1.5 million. If a company has reported on EE plans, but is found not to have an EE plan, it will be taken to criminal court for prosecution and compliance will be enforced.

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