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SALGA hosts inaugural Local Government Labour Law Seminar


Posted: 29 March 2018


Under the theme “Advancing an Effective Labour Relations System that Promotes Compliance and Good Governance,” SALGA held the inaugural Local Government Labour Law Seminar on 23 March 2018, at the Birchwood Hotel & OR Tambo Conference Centre in Boksburg.

One of the objectives of the Seminar was to create an enabling environment for effective advocacy and constituency immersion on SALGA programmes and interventions in the arena of employment/labour law and labour relations management.

Key speakers for the Seminar were SALGA Municipal Institutional Development Executive Director Mr Rio Nolutshungu, Chairperson of the Essential Services Committee Advocate Luvuyo Bono, Senior CCMA Commissioner Mr Kaizer Thibedi, Director of Werksmans Attorneys Mr Sandile July, Department of Labour Deputy Director for Advocacy and Stakeholder Relations Ms Zoleka Ntshoza, Senior Counsel at Hogan Lovells Mr Paul Kennedy as well as Principal Stakeholder Officer from the Compensation Fund Mr Avhatakali Tshivhase.

Focusing on the ‘Handling of Organisational Rights Demands and Management of Minority Trade Unions within the Local Government Sector,’ Mr Sandile July highlighted that municipal employees often feel conflicted when joining a new trade union as the South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) is the main trade union which is recognised within municipalities.

“This often results in new trade union’s going to strike and they are rightfully entitled to do so," as Section 23(1) entrenches the right to fair labour practices, however, Section 23(5) does not create a legal duty to bargain if the employer does not want to recognize the trade union.

Moreover, Ms Zoleka Ntshoza focused on the Employment Equity Act which incorporates two elements - the elimination of unfair discrimination and the implementation of affirmative action and measures to enable equitable representation of employees from a different race, gender and disability groups in the workplace.

It is evident that municipalities fail to transform as they do not comply with Section 20(2) which requires a designated employer to prepare and implement an Employment Equity Plan which will achieve reasonable progress towards employment equity and the plan prepared, must state all elements set out in section 20(2) of the Employment Equity Act.

The Department of Labour has found Employment Equity Plans within municipalities do not comply with the provisions of section 20(2) and there is no correlation amongst the analysis, planning and the report.

The Seminar then concluded with Mr Avhatakali Tshivhase presenting on the compensation fund regarding injuries and diseases within the workplace.

Mr Tshivhase stated that the compensation fund only applies to accidents that “arise out of and in the course of an employment and results in a personal injury, illness or the death of an employee.”

The employee must be busy doing his work during normal hours and injuries can be either visible or invisible if there is no personal injury the claim will be repudiated.

It is the employee’s responsibility to report the accident as soon as possible. If it happens that employer fails to report, the employee has to complete a Notice of a Claim and claim for compensation, thereafter, the employee must assist his employer to obtain the medical reports.

As SALGA aimed to create enabling an environment for effective advocacy and constituency immersion in the arena of employment/labour law and labour relations management, SALGA will continue to facilitate various kinds of knowledge sharing sessions as well as coaching and mentorship programmes to enable knowledge sharing.
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