The first day of the week-long Department of Employment and Labour Mega Blitz inspection in collaboration with the Department of Home Affairs’ Immigration Services and the South African Police Services has already resulted into the arrests of about eight undocumented foreign national employees and two employers in the Pretoria CBD today, 26 September 2022.
Today’s mega blitz inspection was led by the Department of Employment and Labour Inspector-General Ms Aggy Moiloa, where the eight foreign national employees and two employers have been arrested at the MHC World store in the downtown of the CBD on Du Toit Street and Johannes Ramkhoase Street in Pretoria.
The week-long inspections in the Gauteng Province are measuring the employers’ compliance with the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA), Sectoral Determination, including the National Minimum Wage (NMW) Act, Unemployment Insurance Act, and the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act.
The Spar stores around Pretoria are currently under investigation as well.
“In this particular workplace, I think it’s about eight people that we arrested. They were found not to have the right documents because they are foreign nationals. The right documents in terms of the work visas and work requirements in that space. So, it was the inspectors from Home Affairs that arrested them, so a short while ago they were dispatched for further processing,”said Ms Moiloa.
“In terms of the immigration law, when you find such (discrepancies or non-compliance), the employer also gets arrested. Because they would have violated the Immigration Act. The employer was taken alongside the people that were found not in position of the right documents,”added Ms Moiloa.
The Inspector-General said the mega blitz inspections are also formed by various teams “flooding” areas in and around Gauteng in Silverton, Midrand and other places.
The national multi-stakeholder mega blitz inspections started in the later part of 2020 in the Eastern Cape and the Gauteng Province is the eighth, then followed by the Northern Cape.
“So far as the Department of Labour goes, what we look out for is to test compliance with the various basket of legislation that we enforce. If national statistics are anything to go by, we are not expecting great compliance levels. We haven’t found that there are great compliance in the past.
“So we will be inspecting up to Thursday and on Friday we have got a session or seminar where we are going to sort of take stock but also take time to reflect with our stakeholders around the compliance in and around GP.said Ms Moiloa.
The Department of Employment and Labour has also issued immediate prohibition notices against the use of eight other employees at the store, due to the contravention of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
The prohibited employees were found to be unqualified to work without proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as suitable shoes and uniform while working in the packing of appliances area. According to the regulation and the Act, no one is supposed to work in hazardous areas unless they are provided with the proper PPE. Hence, such employees will not be rendering their work until their employers provide them with proper PPE.
However, the Act provision is further stating that the prohibited employees are still entitled to their salaries even when they are off duty as prohibited by the Department until their employers comply.
There were also two employees who had bought their own work uniform which the law is against and “for those two, the employer has to pay them back their money,”.
For media enquiries contact Mishack Magakwe, Provincial Communication Officer: Gauteng Province