Labour: claim about farm visits ‘misleading’

2011-08-11 00:00

THE Department of Labour has said the claims by agricultural labour consultants that labour inspectors are required to apply for appointments with farmers in writing before paying inspection visits to any farm were untrue.

Siyanda Nxawe, the Labour Department deputy director-general for inspection and enforcement services, said it has come to the department’s attention that agricultural labour consultants are advising their clients and farmers that the department’s officials are required to issue written notices before inspections.

The consultants are allegedly telling some of their clients and farmers that under the Basic Conditions of Employment Act the labour officials are required to issue written notices to the farmers about the inspection.

“This is completely inaccurate and misleading to the farmers who are willing to work with the department and comply with the legislation,” said Nxawe.

He added that the Basic Conditions of Employment Act and Occupational Health and Safety Act empowers inspectors to enter any workplace without prior notice, but that the department is aware of the high level of rural violence and crime, and it has therefore taken steps to ensure that labour inspectors are identifiable.

Nxawe added that any lock-out of inspectors could result in a fine or imprisonment.

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