Parliament - Jobs will be lost and the cost of doing business will
increase if proposed changes to South Africa's employment and labour
relations acts are passed in their current form, the DA said on Monday.
"If passed in their current form, the labour amendment
bills will exacerbate the unemployment crisis," Democratic Alliance MP
Andricus van der Westhuizen told reporters at parliament.
He was referring to the basic conditions of employment amendment bill and the labour relations amendment bill, both the subject
of public hearings before parliament's labour portfolio committee on
His colleague, DA MP Sej Motau, said a new regulatory
impact assessment (RIA) is needed before any decision ias taken on the
"We cannot gamble with the future of South African
workers. The DA therefore calls for a new RIA to be completed to
determine the effect of the current proposals on economic growth and job
creation before any decision is taken on this draft legislation," he
Motau said South Africa "has the highest unemployment
rate among developed and developing countries, with 3.2 million people
between the ages of 15 and 34 currently unemployed".
He said if the bills were passed as is, they would
"increase the cost of doing business, reduce South Africa's
attractiveness as an investment destination and, ultimately, destroy
According to a document tabled at the media briefing,
the DA opposes, among others, sections of the labour relations amendment bill that seek to limit certain contracted employment to six months.
Responding to a question on this, Motau said six months was too restrictive.
"Twelve months is held as good practice globally... and where we should be aiming."
He said the labour inspectorate would have difficulty policing a six-month cap.
According to the document, the DA also opposed section 55 of the basic conditions of employment amendment bill.
The DA said the current version gave the labour
minister too much power to act unilaterally, without proper consultation
or accountability, including conferring the power to determine minimum
salary increases for so-called uncovered workers in certain sectors.
The DA also had a problem with sections of the same
draft legislation dealing with the power of employers to object to
compliance orders issued by labour inspectors, which the bill seeks to