There has been an “insignificant” number of
retrenchments linked to introducing the National Minimum Wage in the private
security sector, the Department of Labour has said.
Critics of the NMW have argued that its
implementation could result in job losses. In 2018, President Cyril Ramaphosa responded that businesses concerned
over loss of employment could apply for an exemption.
Citing statistics issued by the Commission for
Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration, the department said in its statement
on Thursday morning that a number of “positives” emerged from a
presentation by the CCMA to the Private Security Seminar held in Braamfontein
earlier in the week.
The seminar was organised as part of advocacy
campaign to educate stakeholders about compliance with the labour legislation,
and also to encourage knowledge sharing between various stakeholders with government.
The industry has seen rapid growth in recent years. According to the 2018/2019 report by the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA), over 2 million security officers are registered in SA, and nearly half a million are currently employed by a registered security company.
However, government has flagged the sector as high risk in terms of complying with labour laws. Department of Labour Chief Director Statutory & Advocacy Services, Advocate Fikiswa Mncanca, said the private security sector had long been “problematic”.
Speaking at the seminar, Haroun Docrat, national
senior commissioner for collective bargaining at CCMA, said a relatively low
rate of unfair dismissal referrals relating to the National Minimum Wage Act
(NMWA) had been handed over to the CCMA as at May 31, 2019.
also said there had been a total of 322 private security
referrals since the introduction of the NMW and Basic Conditions of Employment
being disputed included alleged underpayment, unilateral changes to terms and
conditions of employment, disputes relating to compliance orders, and any
other dismissal related to the National Minimum Wage Act.