Categories: South Africa

Labour law amendments hinder employment

Stricter labour laws will result in further job losses, according to industry experts.

Recently gazetted amendments to existing labour legislation stipulate that contract workers employed for longer than six months be given the same benefits as those permanently employed.

They also seek to regulate labour brokers more strongly. Since the amendments have not yet been finalised, it’s difficult to predict exactly what they’ll encompass, but industry experts aren’t hopeful. “Strict labour laws constrain the economy terribly,” said Ian Ollis, DA MP and spokesperson for labour. “In this economic climate, the laws should be relaxed to encourage employment and enhance the ease of doing business.”

Ollis added that although the amendments don’t seem as harsh as Cosatu wanted them to be, they’ll still “make life for employers more difficult.” Anton Rabe, chairperson of Agri SA’s labour committee, said farmers aren’t alone in feeling stricter labour laws hamper employment, pointing out that minister in the presidency Trevor Manuel and finance minister Pravin Gordhan also previously said labour laws need to be relaxed in order to create more jobs.

But the fact that government is going ahead with the amendments points to “politicking” and the fact that business isn’t as high a priority as it should be, added Rabie. Ollis warned that implementing the laws will be expensive and small businesses will find it especially difficult to absorb the extra costs.

Dr Theo de Jager, farmer and deputy president of Agri SA, said that because government has made it very difficult to employ people and let them go if there’s a problem, farmers have found ways to make do with minimal labour through mechanisation. “I’ve stopped planting certain crops on my farm because they’re too labour intensive. I also stopped the last pick of my litchi trees because the labour costs more than the fruit is worth,” he explained.

Dr De Jager added that if farmers were given the right to fire an employee, in excess of 300 000 jobs could be created within the agricultural sector.

Recent Posts

Leafroll virus in vines can be beaten – here’s how

Leafroll virus is a serious threat to South Africa’s viticulture industry: it shortens the lifespan of vineyards and has a…

2 days ago

Farmers welcome sharp decline in fuel prices

The large drop in the diesel price that can be expected for December, as announced by the Automobile Association (AA)…

3 days ago

A healthy profit from pasture-raised eggs

As a technician specialising in the installation and repair of gates, Rico Vergotine had little reason to be interested in…

3 days ago

Israeli-inspired chickpea burgers

Veganism is a growing global trend, and many of us will serve dinner or lunch to a vegan guest at…

3 days ago

EkoNiva producing more than 1 300t of milk a day!

EkoNiva-APK is a leading milk producer in Russia and Europe. Sophisticated technology and facilities are largely behind its success.

4 days ago

Agri leaders respond to recommendation to amend Constitution

The Joint Constitutional Review Committee has adopted a resolution that Section 25 of the Constitution must be amended to allow…

4 days ago

This website uses cookies.