Following in EFF footsteps? Labour department to conduct ‘mega-blitz inspections’ at restaurants and hotels

25 January 2022 - 10:00
By Unathi Nkanjeni
Labour department to conduct a series of hospitality inspections across the Western Cape this week to ensure businesses are following the proper employment protocols. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/Andrey Bayda Labour department to conduct a series of hospitality inspections across the Western Cape this week to ensure businesses are following the proper employment protocols. Stock photo.

The labour department is conducting “mega-blitz inspections” at hospitality venues this week to ensure businesses are following proper employment protocols.

The inspections, which will be led by inspector-general Aggy Moiloa, chief inspector Tibor Szana and the Western Cape provincial chief inspector David Esau, are set to take place until Friday in the Cape Town metropole, Cape Winelands and Overberg regions of the Western Cape.

The team consisting of specialists will check for compliance of occupational health and safety, minimum wage and the unemployment insurance fund (UIF).

The Department of Home Affairs and SA Police Services (SAPS) will also form part of the blitz inspections to ensure all institutions such as hotels, bed and breakfast facilities and restaurants are fully inspected.

Esau said, considering the effect Covid-19 has had on the sector in the last two years, it was important to reinforce compliance to labour laws and ensure employers still uphold the basic conditions in the workplace, while also maintaining the health and safety of workers at all times.

He said employers can ensure that their house is in order before inspectors make their way to their premises.

“We are changing how we do things by informing employers prior on the necessary documents that we need when we arrive. With this approach, employers have no reason to tell us they did not prepare the necessary papers for us.

“We are leaving no gaps for excuses. Books that are in order should be able to save both the employer and the inspector time to do the necessary inspection”, said Esau.

Some of the documents the inspectors will be looking for include an attendance register for the last two months, signed employment contracts/letters of appointment of employees and information about remuneration (payslips/envelopes), overtime, leave pay for the last two months.

Other documents employers are expected to produce are: unemployment insurance and Compensation of Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (COIDA), these registration numbers and proofs of last payments, a copy of the CIPRO certificate, and a list containing the names and ID numbers of all employees.

Last week, EFF leader Julius Malema and a handful of party members and supporters visited a number of restaurants in Midrand, Gauteng, to assess the employment ratios of South Africans and foreign nationals.

The party said it found that restaurants Kream, Ponto and Doppio Zero were complying with hiring policies.

Malema told journalists the visits would not be a one-off event.

“We will be visiting different institutions from time to time. This is not a one-off thing. We will also visit different institutions, especially where we get tip-offs, in the security industry, hospitality industry and farms,” he said.

He reiterated the visits should be not be used to instigate xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals.

“The confrontation should not be with the employees. No foreigner should be a target of assault by any of our people. No person should speak of [wanting] 70% or 90% SA [employees]. That’s the kind of madness we don’t want to hear.

“All we want is a fair representation on the shop floor, and if that’s the case we are more than satisfied because foreigners are at home when they are here,” said Malema.