SABC News - SA labour laws led to massive job loss: ILO :Wednesday 27 January 2016

SA labour laws led to massive job loss: ILO

Wednesday 27 January 2016 20:43

Manelisi Dubase

The International Labour Organisation says part of the problem is unintended consequences of the South African labour laws.

International Labour Organisation's Margareet Visser (SABC)

South African labour laws have led to massive job losses and casualization of workers in the agricultural sector in the past 20 years.

These are the startling details which came out of a research by the International Labour Organisation on farmworkers' living and working conditions in South Africa.

The report was commissioned by Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Labour, following farmworkers' violent protests in the Western Cape in 2012.

The International Labour Organisation says part of the problem is unintended consequences of the country's labour laws.

Apart from job losses, these laws have also triggered a spike of evictions of farmworkers.

International Labour Organisation Margareet Visser says: "Has this policy worked for the agricultural industry? It seems unfortunately not and the number of workers has declined by 30 % over the last 20 years."

Lawmakers have also been warned about exacerbating the already dire situation by banning labour brokers

The ILO suggests that they play a crucial role in providing seasonal workers to the agricultural sector.

The report recommends the government consider the amending of Labour Relations Act so that it protects both unionised and non-unionised workers.

See the response from the Labour and Enterprise Policy Research Group to this report.

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