Equity Bill: 'State will decide if others cannot'
Mdladlana says Nedlac will not be reopened for the labour row, writes THABO KOBOKOANE
New Labour Minister Shepherd Mdladlana said he had no intention of reopening the Nedlac process.
His statement came after a new row blew up this week over agreements reached at Nedlac, raising questions about the body's role.
Business SA (BSA) told the parliamentary standing committee on labour that the department of labour had failed to keep agreements reached at Nedlac, but later denied it had accused government of reneging on any agreements - or anyone of negotiating in bad faith.
The dispute centres on the term "suitably qualified" and the clause on the wage gap.
According to BSA's submission this week, despite agreement at Nedlac on the definition of the term "suitably qualified person", the drafters of the Bill had modified the definition way beyond the "parameters of what was agreed".
It said the definition of "suitably qualified" had been materially altered in a way that would lead to compulsory tokenism and impose unrealistically onerous obligations on employers, with potentially devastating consequences for individuals and the economy.
BSA also said it had reservations about the insertion of the turnover threshold, as it would cause administrative chaos in government by bringing an untold number of small and even micro business into the fold.
"It would make the Act impossible to implement, cause many employers to disregard the law and bring it into disrepute," BSA said.
Mdladlana met business and labour on Tuesday and also with Nedlac executives to try and resolve the stalemate. The row is set to lead to questions over the role of Nedlac and its credibility if such agreements were indeed reached.
Nedlac's objective is to achieve consensus between labour, business and government on contentious issues.