Labour department sites lack of resources, capacity in hospitality sector

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Department of Employment and Labour says lack of resources and capacity is impacting its ability to do its job properly.

The department’s Chief Director for Labour Relations, Thembinkosi Mkalipi, was reacting to the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) campaign of ensuring that the employment ratio in the hospitality sector had a preference of locals.

Party leader Julius Malema visited Johannesburg restaurants on Wednesday asking for information on foreign employees versus the number of South Africans employed at the businesses.

Mkalipi says people should refrain from doing the inspection on their own and instead share the information with the department.

“If we are going to open up this process for everybody to go out and do an inspection, it’s going to affect productivity, it’s going to affect operations of companies, it’s going to affect employment and when it affects employment, it affects the citizens. We are not going to inspect in the numbers that people would want us to do because we never have those kinds of resources. We are not going to be able to visit. I mean I hear the workers say, they have never seen inspectors in establishments, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that inspections are not taking place. We are not going to be able to put an inspector in each and every establishment.”

Visit at Kream restaurant

During his visit to the Kream restaurant at Mall of Africa in Midrand, EFF leader Julius Malema vowed to continue pushing for all restaurants in South Africa to employ more South Africans than foreign nationals.

The party has called on businesses to make sure that at least 60% of their staff are South Africans.

Malema says he wasn’t shutting down any shops, and that this was not a xenophobic call, but that it would stop employers from exploiting foreign nationals, whose rights, he argues, were undermined when there were no South African workers in a company.

In the video below, Malema gives feedback on his visit to restaurants: 

-Additional reporting by Abongile Dumako