Department of Labour appoints a new head for the Free State Province
The Department of Labour has appointed Ms. Nomfundo Douw-Jack, as the new Chief Director: Provincial Operations (CDPO) for the Free State province. Her appointment is effective from the 23rd of June 2017.
It is envisaged that Ms. Douw-Jack’s appointment to head the Department of Labour in the Free State will further cement the working relations between the Department and all its strategic stakeholders and clients in pursuit of better working conditions for all workers in the province.
Ms. Douw-Jack is known as someone who leaves no stone unturned in her drive to ensure the safety of workers in the workplace, as well as in ensuring that workers are paid decent living wage and their rights are protected at all times. During her tenure as the Acting Chief Director, Ms. Douw-Jack became synonymous with service excellence, hard work and diligence as the interim captain of this gigantic ship called the Department of Labour.
Her permanent appointment to this position therefore came as no surprise and is anticipated to result in the Department reaching its goals and objectives as per the mandate bestowed on her. She is a versatile administrator whose good work is also reflected in the AG report for which unqualified audit findings were made for the Department of Labour: Free State for the 2016/17 financial year.
In response to clients’ queries in so far as the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) applications for benefits are concerned, she established a Rapid Response Team whose role is to assist Labour Centres with a backlog of old applications. In addition to that, she introduced the idea of management embarking on unannounced visits to Labour Centres to get their hands dirty and assist clients with enquiries, cases and applications.
Looking forward, it is therefore fitting to say that under this new leadership, workers can also rest assured that those unscrupulous employers who continue to flout labour laws are going to face the full might of the law and heaviness of labour inspectors when their evil deeds are uncovered. On the same breath, the new provincial head of the Department intends to further strengthen good working relations she has established with those employers who are really trying their level best to protect and promote the right of their employees.
Those workers with injuries on duty claims will be happy to know that she plans to further intensify outreach programmes the Compensation Fund (CF) has already established to, as far as possible, reach those workers in far flung areas and provide comprehensive services to them right on the spot. To this end, a number of factories and towns in and around the province have already been visited by the CF staff.
The high unemployment rate in the country and in the Free State in particular, continues to be a thorny issue the new CDPO wants to tackle head-on. The situation is further exacerbated by the economic downgrade of South Africa to junk status and the fact that we are yet again in economic recession.
The Public Employment Services (PES) unit of the Department is expected to triple its efforts in response to this sad state of affairs. Registration of job opportunities and subsequent placement of work seekers is painfully low and, as one of immediate quick fixes to this high unemployment rate, the CDPO intends to devise new ways to lure employers to use PES services.
Source: Government of South Africa