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southafricatoday.net17 May 2021 at 1:25 AM #34016
Labour problems will only get worse as long as ANC remains in power
With the labour market already shrinking because the government tore down instead of built up the economy over the years, the compounding effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and the accompanying stringent restrictions caused severe damage to South Africa’s labour environment.
The government is now trying to deny having had a hand in it and the pandemic serves as the perfect excuse for its own failure. It can, however, not be denied that the country’s labour problems started long before March 2020.
Likewise, the Department of Labour compensation fund has been letting workers down for 20 years now as it stumbled from one inadequate system to the next.
During a discussion of the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Amendment Bill (COIDA), all the flaws of the compensation fund system, from personnel problems to its inadequate management and control systems, were laid bare. It was stated that some workers have been waiting for more than 20 years for their claims to be paid out.
And yet the Department and other role players ignore these problems and the pleas of claimants to the detriment of everyone in the entire labour sector. In addition, the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) is also failing its members due to the additional burden of the temporary relief fund (TERS), which is, to make matters even worse, surrounded by allegations of widespread corruption.
It is lamentable that the Department’s budget cuts will also have a negative impact on the functioning of the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA), which is only just able to carry on doing its job with very little resources and an immense workload. How long its personnel will be able to carry on in this way remains to be seen.
And yet, year in and year out, the government pays billions of rand to public enterprises that are failing due to their own mismanagement and corruption. Every cent thrown down that bottomless pit is at the expense of the country’s workers and it serves as proof that the government does not really care about them.
The private sector is the biggest creator of jobs in the country. Thus, the government must create a favourable environment in which the country’s economy and businesses can flourish and create more jobs so as to ultimately, eradicate the income deficit of poor South Africans.
Unfortunately, that does not happen. Instead, the government blames the private sector for its own failures and intensifies legislation, such as Black Economic Empowerment (BEE), which increases the burden on the sector. The country’s economy as well as every person who is dependent on it is always on the losing side.
The government is turning a blind eye to this and maintains that it is doing everything that is needed to stimulate the labour environment. The truth is, however, that the Department is not executing its mandate of job creation and any further budget cuts will merely exacerbate the country’s labour problems.
Unemployment has reached its highest level ever. The pandemic merely shone the spotlight on the already existing problems and shortcomings. The country must not be left at the mercy of the ANC’s warped and failed ideology any longer.
Job creation must be the main focus. That is the only thing standing between the country and utter ruin. And no plan, no matter how good it is, will be successful as long as the current government remains in power.
Read the original article in Afrikaans by Heloïse Denner on FF Plus
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