South Africa: Labour Department Engages Agriculture Sector

The Department of Labour is set to engage farmworkers, farmers and labour tenants to assess the working conditions and level of compliance with various pieces of labour legislations.

"Whilst there are many model compliant employers in the agricultural sector, unfortunately there are still too many cases of non-compliance and near slave-labour conditions, ill-treatment, unfair dismissals and many other challenges.

"The Department of Employment and Labour through its Inspection and Enforcement Services is determined to tackle these challenges head-on," the department said in a statement.

The visits will be done by Minister of Employment and Labour, Thulas Nxesi and his deputy Boitumelo Moloi, together with representatives of the departments of Justice and Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Reform in farming areas in Kimberley (Riverton) and Douglas in the Northern Cape on Friday.

The visits are a continuation of a programme that conducts farm inspections. The programme which started last year, has done visits in the North West and the Western Cape.

These inspections typically assess the levels of compliance with labour and occupational health and safety legislations.

The Department of Justice is participating because of the possibility of legal action.

The Department of Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Reform has an interest, particularly in relation to safeguarding the rights of labour tenants, and workers living on commercial farms.

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