The Department of Employment and Labour Inspection and Enforcement Services in the Western Cape are conducting mega-blitz inspections. Targeting the hospitality industry, this annual inspection was delayed last year due to the global pandemic.
Part of the visit by the department is to establish what impact COVID-19 had on the industry.
This establishment at the upmarket Camps Bay in Cape Town is among the first this week to be visited by the department. Informed of the visit before the time, each establishment is required to provide certain documentation.
A team consisting of specialists checks for compliance of occupational health and safety, minimum wage and the unemployment insurance fund.
The hospitality industry is one of the biggest job creators in the province. During the pandemic, a special fund was put in place to assist businesses in this sector to retain as many jobs as possible.
“Through the TERS fund which in this particular sector was the last extended sector up until October last year, which then gave them some hope so that they don’t lose the complete workforce because that was the intention that when we recover we can bring the workforce back and this is what we are testing now to see how many people have come back to work so that the labour market can be activated again,” says Provincial Chief Inspector at Department of Labour in Western Cape, David Esau.
Part of the scheduled visits is to get a clear picture of the pandemic’s impact.
“We want to see whether the tourism part can kick in again and that is why it is so important to see what was the impact of COVID-19, can businesses survive, can businesses start up again, can the state assist in getting these businesses back up again because you know the unemployment levels are high so we’re now in the recovery phase and this is the recovery process that we are going through now,” Esau adds.
This establishment says COVID-19 wreaked havoc on its business. Operating as a guest house, visitor numbers have been very low. But it says today’s compliance visit with the department went well.
“The visit from the department, I think is necessary for the businesses to comply with the acts and that we should follow the rules and regulations that the government has put in place so I think it was necessary,” says Manager Andrew Godongwana.
500 establishments will undergo inspection this week across the province.