Forestry in South Africa
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January : Contents of ANC Election Manifesto Regarding Labour Issues

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15 January, 2014

Contents of ANC Election Manifesto regarding Labour Issues

Please find attached the headline article in today's Business Day which deals with the above.  In order to placate COSATU and keep them "on side", the ANC manifesto includes various concessions regarding labour issues.  These, in brief, include the following:

  • "Investigate" the possibility of introducing a "national minimum wage"
  • Strengthen the enforcement of the provisions of the Employment Equity Act with particular reference to:
    • Reporting of income differentials (and plans to reduce them)
    • Adherence to "equity targets" (i.e. quotas) and strict penalties if these are not met.
  • Introduce collective bargaining arrangements across ALL sectors of the economy.
  • Introduce regulations to ensure "un-subsidised" workers are not displaced by those benefiting from the "wage subsidy".
  • Link doing business with the State to "adherence to living wage standards and commitments to promoting wage equity in collective agreements"

I am sending this out to give you a "heads up" of what we will be faced with going forward.  Of particular concern to our Industry are the proposals regarding the following:

  • Introduction of a national minimum wage (which would be much higher than those currently applicable - COSATU are talking of between R4 800 and R6 000 per month); and
  • Introduction of a collective bargaining agreement across the sector. (Given the structure of the Industry would this be practical).

It is my personal view that such moves would hasten the move towards mechanisation and the destruction of jobs in our Industry.  FSA will have to canvas opinions on these issues from members and formulate an "Industry position" thereon.  FSA, at the appropriate time, will thus convene a meeting of the HR Committee to formulate a unified Industry stance on these matters.

DOWNLOAD THE WORD DOCUMENT: ANC takes a step back to appease labour allies

Roger Godsmark
Operations Director
Forestry South Africa
Tel :+27 33 346 0344
Fax: +27 33 346 0399