South Africa: Labour Investigates Trucking Industry Employment Complaints

11 September 2019

The Department of Employment and Labour has conducted inspections in the road freight and logistics industry amid complaints that South African drivers were losing out due to truck companies employing foreign nationals.

The department's Director-General, Thobile Lamati, revealed this on Tuesday to the Select Committee on Trade and Industry, Economic Development, Small Business Development, Tourism, Employment and Labour, during an oversight visit to the Supported Employment Enterprises centre in Ndabeni, Cape Town.

The committee met with the department to discuss the latest developments in the road freight and logistics sector following the torching of trucks driven by foreign nationals on South African roads.

Lamati told the committee that a joint inspection task team comprising the Departments of Employment and Labour; Home Affairs; Transport; Police; the National Bargaining Council for Road Freight Industry and the RTI confirmed the prevalence of foreign nationals employed as truck drivers.

Other findings include non-compliance with Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) legislation, failure to pay overtime, Sunday work, holiday rate and implementation of incentive schemes. The inspection also discovered non-compliance with the Basic Conditions of Employment Act.

The committee also heard about the lack of a "labour migration policy" in South Africa. The department said a process was underway to develop one, and will soon be tabled before the Cabinet.

"We now have a clear understanding of what is happening and we will continue getting regular updates from the department and other relevant stakeholders on the matter. It is work in progress. An attack on any worker, foreign or local, is a criminal offence and cannot be condoned," said committee chairperson Mandla Rayi.

Rayi said they will meet with other select committees and the departments they exercise oversight on, so they can deal with the situation before it spreads to other sectors.

The committee was also briefed on the annual performance plans of the Supported Employment Enterprises, which are entities of the Department of Labour that provide work opportunities for people with disabilities.

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