Addressing scores of employers gathered at Jericho Hotel in Thohoyandou, Limpopo Province on Thursday (27 July 2023), the Deputy Minister of Employment and Labour Boitumelo Moloi said, the time is now where employers and the department need to forge strong partnerships to overcome the scourge of unemployment in the country.
The Employer Session was running concurrently with the Career Fair held at the Vhembe TVET College, Makwarela Campus.
The Deputy Minister said government has a number of free services and short term programmes that are being implemented, but they alone will not solve the unemployment problem in the country.
“The people that can assist us to solve that problem in the long term is yourselves as employers. We encourage employers to utilise our employment online system known as Employment Services of South Africa (ESSA), and register work opportunities free of charge. Our system is apolitical, it is nonpartisan and it does not discriminate,” said Moloi.
She added that more needs to be done to correct and change the misconception people have about the department.
“When people see our cars parked at the mall or anywhere else, they run away because they see us as a scarecrow. The department is not in the business to harass employers when we visit companies. Our intention is to come help you, teach and guide you on the correct way to apply the law before we can even charge you,” Moloi said.
Moloi also lamented against the employment of foreign nationals in most workplaces saying, this is at the detriment of local work seekers who resort to crime due to the scarcity of jobs in the country.
“It must be clear that we are not xenophobic. You can and you have a right to employ foreign nationals as long as they are legal in the country. Gone are the days when we come to companies for inspections and find that you have employed undocumented foreign nationals and we arrest them alone. We must make sure that we charge the employer as well. There are labour laws that govern us in our country that we need to follow. Ignorance of the law does not exonerate you or us from charging you,” She emphasised.
Addressing work seekers gathered at the Vhembe TVET College, Moloi encouraged them to take advantage of the ESSA system to apply for job opportunities. She reminded work seekers that most opportunities will no longer require them to apply manually but through the ESSA system which is user friendly and will save work seekers the time and cost of having to make copies and submitting documents. In addition, work seekers can also visit any of the labour centres nationwide to get help with interview preparation and also get career counselling.
The Career Fair continues today at the Vhembe TVET College, Makwarela Campus, where university and college students around the Vhembe District are being assisted with career guidance, information on bursaries, learning opportunities as well as being registered on the ESSA system for possible future employment