Six companies face possible prosecution over employment equity
The Department of Labour’s Inspection and Enforcement Services branch has announced its intention to take six companies to court for prosecution for failure to prepare employment equity plans "and reporting to the Director-General on plans that do not exist‚ which amounts to misrepresentation".
The companies are Gooderson; Clientele Legal; Clientele Life; Mazor Aluminium; Mazor Steel; and Spanjaard Limited‚ the department said in a statement on Monday.
Department of Labour Chief Director Statutory and Advocacy Services‚ Advocate Fikiswa Mncanca‚ said the companies will be taken to the Labour Court for prosecution.
Mncanca said in addition‚ the companies will be taken to Magistrate's Court for misrepresentation.
She said the six companies have already been sent letters of intention to prosecute.
Mncanca said last week (14-18 August) 12 companies were scheduled for visits‚ and out of the 12‚ only six were visited and thy were also found not to be complying with the provisions of the EE Act.
She said the other six - JSE Limited; Safic Pty Ltd; Phumelela Gaming; Cullinan Holdings; Reubex Pty Ltd and EOH - were issued with recommendations and given 60 days to comply with contraventions.
The department said the referrals are part of a National Director-General Review announced by the Department of Labour last week to inspect 72 JSE Securities-listed companies to ensure compliance with employment equity.
"The initiative is part of achieving the department’s outcome to promote equity in the labour market."
The National Director-General Review team started with the inspections in July and these will continue until December 2017.
Mncanca said: “We have been talking about transformation and nothing seems to be happening.
Transformation should not just end in paper. Also‚ transformation should not happen just because the Department of Labour is conducting national DG Reviews.
“The department ‘has arrived’ to enforce compliance with EE legislation.”
Companies that do not have a plan face a fine of R1.5-million. Those failing to prepare EE plans will also be subjected to a penalty of R1.5-million. The department warned: "Repeat offenders face harsher penalties".
In May‚ Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant said the 2016 Employment Equity Report points to a painfully slow pace of transformation in the South African labour market.
She said the state of affairs left the department with no option but to consider adopting harsher consequences for non-compliance.
The report showed that white people occupied 68% of the country’s top management positions in the public and private sectors‚ six times the group’s economically active population.
Africans made up only 14.4% of top management‚ but this group dominated the unskilled employees level at 83%.
The Labour Department said it received 26‚255 employment equity reports in 2016‚ a 4.8% increase on 2015.