Businesses owe R22m for employment-equity penalties
The Department of Labour has claimed more than R23m from 360 employers prosecuted for not complying with the Employment Equity Act.
However, only R1.3m has been paid so far, says the department’s director-general, who briefed the parliamentary portfolio committee on labour about the rate of transformation, among other issues.
The Commission for Employment Equity has warned that it will go after unyielding employers who fail to transform their businesses or to submit the required data on progress.
Department of Labour director-general Thobile Lamati told the parliamentary committee that section 53 of the act would be used as an additional measure to force employers to comply until the government’s transformation targets were reached.
If the section was invoked, businesses would first have to prove to the labour minister that they were compliant by applying for a certificate if seeking to do business with any organ of the state.
The department would not stop at that, as legislative provisions were also being revised, Lamati said.
"The rate of transformation at senior management level does not respond to the transformational agenda of the country. The department is looking at proposed changes in terms of the legislative reform process."
The portfolio committee also heard that the labour market lost altogether 946,323 working days due to 122 work stoppages, amounting to a loss of R161m to the economy. Most of the stoppages were due to compensation demands.