Government has called on employers to comply with South Africa’s labour laws as they were enacted to protect the rights of workers.
The call was made by government as South Africa joined the world in commemorating Workers’ Day on Wednesday.
“For South Africa, this day holds particular importance as it emanated from the protracted struggle for workers’ rights and social justice of the late 1800s.
“Government expresses its appreciation to all workers for their contribution to the economy and the role of labour unions,” the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) said.
GCIS reflects on South Africa’s labour law
GCIS has noted the progress made by South Africa to establish a culture of human and worker rights through progressive labour legislation and key programmes in line with the Constitution.
“Reformed laws have opened the way for improvements in working conditions, for example in health and safety in the work-place and in wage related matters. Since 1994 numerous new jobs and industries have been created and our economy continues to grow.
“Through integrated planning and policy cohesion, as well as massive infrastructure construction government has created the space for new industries and economic growth,” the GCIS said.
Government has committed to continuing in its efforts to address challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality.
“Government will continue in its efforts to close the gaps and has since introduced that National Minimum Wage, a historic step in a wider strategy of developing a caring economy. It extends the country’s social net to the most vulnerable in our midst and helps us build a more inclusive society,” GCIS said.
GCIS Director General Phumla Williams said South African workers, trade unions and other progressive forces fought for freedom.
“We should use that freedom to change the lives of our people for the better,” she said.
“Stop violating workers” – Cyril Ramaphosa
Meanwhile, President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the May Day Celebrations in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.
The President called on employers to stop violating workers’ rights by paying them poverty wages.
“The continuing discrimination and exploitation against women must be brought to an end. We call upon all sectors in society to join the struggle to empower the women of our country,” he said.
He also encouraged companies and institutions who are resisting transformation to be part of the solutions that will lead to the development of South Africa.
“We will continue to argue and demonstrate that it is only through the fundamental transformation of our economy, that we will realise the full potential of our people, so that they can enjoy the full benefits of the bountiful resources of our country,” President Ramaphosa said.
The President also urged men to stop abusing women and children.
“We should never allow the abuse of women in our country to continue to be the cancer that it is. I call upon men to offer women the respect and honour that they deserve. I call upon men to stop abusing the women of our country by raping them,” he said.