Parliament continues to improve the legislative landscape to consolidate workers’ victories and rights
CAPE TOWN, South Africa, May 30, 2018,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- The National Assembly, during its plenary sitting on Tuesday afternoon, passed the Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Bill, the Labour Relations Amendment Bill, the National Minimum Wage Bill and the Communal Property Associations Amendment Bill. These Bills will now go to the National Council of Provinces for concurrence.
Parliament continues to improve the legislative landscape to consolidate workers’ victories and rights. As we conclude commemorations for Workers Month – during the year in which we also mark the 100th birthday of the founding president of democratic South Africa, Nelson Mandela – Parliament has amended two existing laws, while also considering a new one to ensure that the laws governing employer-employee relations in South Africa further bolster the successes achieved since the advent of democracy in 1994.
The National Minimum Wage Bill – a new Bill introduced by the Minister of Labour in November last year – aims to provide for a National Minimum Wage and establishment of the National Minimum Wage Commission, with clear functions and composition. Once passed into law, it will advance economic development and social justice by improving the wages of the lowest paid workers, protecting them from unreasonably low wages, promoting collective bargaining and supporting economic policy. It will ensure that the pervasive, entrenched exploitation of workers in various sectors of the economy is put to a stop.
The two Acts being amended are the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) and the Labour Relations Act (LRA). Amendments to the BCEA seek to repeal provisions dealing with sectoral determinations and the Employment Conditions Commission and to provide for daily wage payments applicable to certain employees, among other matters. Proposed amendments to the LRA include, amending section 32 of the Act to provide for the process and criteria for extending bargaining agreements to non-parties by the Minister of Labour.
The Communal Property Associations Amendment Bill was also passed. This Bill provides for the establishment of a Communal Property Associations Office and the appointment of a Registrar of Communal Property Associations. Amongst others, the Bill also provides clarity on the objectives of communal property associations and aims to extend the application of the Act to certain labour tenants who acquired land. It also provides for the improved protection of the rights of communities in respect of movable and immovable property administered by an association.
Tuesday’s sitting also approved the legislative proposal from the Standing Committee on Finance to amend the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) Act of 2004 to promote transparency and good governance within the corporation. To achieve this, the committee proposed amendments to achieve the following objectives:
Restructuring the composition of the PIC so as to incorporate key stakeholders
Expanding the objects of the PIC to ensure the corporation promotes, facilitates and supports the buying of property by depositors and economic growth
Providing greater transparency in the operations of the PIC through publication or tabling of various directives, regulations and reports, including greater parliamentary scrutiny of draft regulations.
Rule 273 (1) of the National Assembly’s Rules (of 26 May 2016), empowers committees of the National Assembly to introduce Bills in the Assembly through legislative proposals. The legislative proposal given the go-ahead today will now go through the normal procedure for consideration of Bills, including public participation.
Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Parliament.