Department of Labour meets to take stock of its performance
Department of Labour concluded its annual evaluation workshop and took a number of key resolutions that will define the department over the next two years ahead of the end of the second term of the current administration.
Department of Labour Director-General, Thobile Lamati declared the resolutions as follows:
Developing an integrated Communication plan that includes the department and all entities reporting to it.
Conduct an assessment to establish progress in regard to implementation of government’s medium term strategic framework.
Speedily address service delivery concerns especially at Labour Centres.
Have a round table discussion on the current state of the economy and assess how the work of the department impacts the labour market and come up with a response to the challenges.
Have a more dedicated focus on customer service.
Pro-active involvement and interventions in the labour market.
Review the work of Ditsela.
The two-day Annual Evaluation Workshop of the Department’s top management was held last week at Kopanong in Benoni, Gauteng. The workshop was held to diagnose progress made towards achieving the goals and objectives as set out in the annual performance plan (2016/2017) and medium term strategic framework and map out a future plan.
The workshop was attended by senior managers of the department including its branches: the Inspection and Enforcement Services, Corporate Services (Administration), Public Employment Services, and Labour Policy and Industrial Relations. There were also representatives from entities that report to the department/Labour Ministry such as Compensation Fund, the Unemployment Insurance Fund, Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration, National Economic Development and Labour Council, Productivity SA, Supported Employment Enterprises,
During the workshop, Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant called for the strengthening of institutional capacity through ensuring that necessary infrastructure is in place, the hiring of experienced staff and training of employees. She said the level of institutional capacity determines the performance of any organisation. Oliphant identified another biggest challenge facing the department, the inability to enforce compliance.
We need to be aggressive in securing co-operation with other departments if we want to win this battle, Oliphant said. The Minister further said the department needs to deal with enquiries speedily in order to prevent long queues outside Labour Centres. She called for the speedy use of technology to unblock service delivery challenges.
The Minister took time to reflect on the state of information technology ( IT) environment, saying six years following the lapse of the public private partnership with Siemens the problem of IT still persist and this was having impact on service delivery as most of the work of the department was heavily dependent on the functionality and reliability of IT systems.
Oliphant noted with concern that the overall performance seems to have improved significantly, but, still way below where we should be. She lamented that the pace of implementation of resolutions taken during past mid-term and annual review meetings was pedestrian and not encouraging at all.
In his opening address of the workshop Labour Deputy Minister, iNkosi Phathekile Holomisa said the department was two years away from the end of our term of office as the Fifth Administration and, for that reason, it is important for us to examine how far we are in realising the goals and the mandate on which we were elected to assume office in 2014.
Holomisa posed questions: how far are we on the five year horizontal axis in achieving the goals as set out in the medium term strategic framework (MTSF) and the National Development plan? As we get closer to the end of our term, questions such as: What will we be known for at the end of our term?
In simple terms, we are 60% into our five year term and I guess if we are on track on all the things we had set out to do, we should also be at the 60% achievement mark cumulatively on the commitments made in the MTSF, the Election Manifesto and the NDP.
We do not want to sit here and simply accept that the overall performance of the department sits at 74% in the 2016/17 financial year and hope that it would be the same when tested against the five year time horizon to 2019. We may discover that when we test it over a five year period, we will either be far off the mark, on track or ahead of the curve. It will indeed, be great if we find that we are on track or ahead of the curve, Holomisa said.
The Deputy Minister said although there are some changes in the picture found in 2014, but the pace is not rapid enough. He said the department needed to come up with a rapid response through collective employment enhancement schemes to deal with the challenge of the 6,2 million people that are unemployed.
Some of key issues arising from the annual evaluation workshop:
Barring any unforeseen events and Cosatu attaching its signature – the coming into being of the National Minimum Wage is on track for implementation in May 2018.
The three-tower project spearheaded by the UIF to house the department and its institutions is on track for completion by 2020.
The department also seeks to slash its more than 800 employee vacancy rate.
Review the impact of its assistance to Ditsela.
Source: Government of South Africa