Oliphant picks occupational safety ace for new labour top job

Cape Town – Minister of Labour Mildred Oliphant announced on Tuesday that she has appointed Advocate Lehlohonolo Molefe as the registrar of labour relations for the department.

The appointment gives Molefe a critical position in smoothing relations between the state’s key bargaining councils, the National Economic Development Labour Council and the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration.

Molefe replaces Johannes Crouse, who retired from a 39-year career at the Department of Labour. Molefe himself comes from the Legal Services Unit within the department and is experienced in labour law. He started working at the Department of Labour as an inspector in 2006.

His appointment comes in the thick of a strike season, which has just seen a national bus strike come to an end and public service wage negotiations between unions and the state off to a rough start.

The objective of his job is to ensure the optimal use of the collective bargaining framework in order to promote cooperative labour relations and economic efficiency and growth.

“It is also to promote strong unionism and employer organisations and promote the establishment of councils in order to achieve sound and stable labour relations,” a statement from the department said.

Molefe obtained his senior certificate at Mandlenkosi Senior Secondary School and his L.L.B degree from University of the Western Cape.

He was admitted as Advocate of the High Court of South Africa in 2009. Between 2014 and 2016 he was legal practitioner in Legal Services and was later appointed senior legal practitioner.

He made his name at the department leading state action and legislation in the areas of occupational health and safety, leading state representations in tribunals on the matter.

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