Back to Course

Introduction to the Legal Environment of a Selected Business Sector (13936)

0% Complete
0/0 Steps
Module Progress
0% Complete

Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF)

The Unemployment Insurance Amendment Act, 2003 (Act 32 of 2003), is part of the successful turnaround strategy being implemented by the UIF, based on four main pillars. These are:

  • Legislative reform,
  • IT,
  • Human resources and
  • Institutional restructuring.

The Act also regularises the status of domestic, seasonal and other workers. Workers with more than one employer are entitled to unemployment benefits should they lose their jobs.

Occupational health and safety (OHS)

The OHS legislative framework consists of the OHS Act, 1993 (Act 85 of 1993), and its regulations. The OHS Programme focus on enhancing OHS awareness, promoting stakeholder participation, implementing a preventative strategy, and updating OHS regulations for better service delivery.

The OHS Preventative Strategy is beginning to raise awareness among employers and workers. The National OHS Stakeholders Forum and provincial labour fora will embark on a campaign to promote the establishment of health and safety committees as well as the appointment of health and safety representatives in the workplace.

Compensation Fund

The Compensation Fund administers the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act, 1993 (Act 130 of 1993), as amended by Act 61 of 1997. The main objective of the Compensation Fund is to generate and collect funds from employers and use it to compensate workers and in fatal cases, their dependants, for injuries sustained and diseases contracted in the course of and as a result of their employment.

The Act provides for the establishment of medical advisory panels throughout the country that will assist with the general policy on and diagnosis of occupational diseases.

Labour relations

In 2003/04, the focus was on the implementation of employment equity issues, amendments to labour legislation, and clarifying farm workers’ sectoral determination with the stakeholders.


The amendments to the Labour Relations Act, 1995 (Act 66 of 1995), and the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, 1997 (Act 75 of 1997), came into effect on 1 August 2002. The objective of these amendments is to address policy imperatives of government to create jobs, promote and develop small business, improve the protection of vulnerable workers, and stimulate investment.

The Department continues to administer activities and developments regarding the Labour Relations Act, 1995, the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, 1997 and the Employment Equity Act, 1998 (Act 55 of 1998).

Code of Good Practice

The Code of Good Practice on Key Aspects of Disability was published in August 2002. The Code guides employers on how to treat people with disabilities in the workplace. The Technical Assistance Guidelines of the Code on Managing HIV and AIDS in the Workplace were also finalised.

The Employment Equity Directorate is in the process of developing the Code of Good Practice for Human Resources. Technical assistance guidelines were published in 2003/04 to assist in the implementation of existing codes.

Directorate: Collective Bargaining

The Directorate’s role is to:

  • Administer the Labour Relations Act, 1995
  • Register trade unions, employer organisations, and bargaining and statutory councils
  • Publish bargaining council agreements and the extension of agreements to non- parties
  • Promote and monitor collective bargaining
  • Achieve appropriate balance between security and flexibility.

Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA)

Between April 2003 and March 2004, the CCMA adjudicator more than 125 602 cases, an average of 553 cases per day. The settlement rate of these cases was 60%. It was also involved in 87 cases of Section 189A (large retrenchments) and 67 cases of Section 188A (pre-dismissal arbitration).

Directorate: Employment Equity

The Directorate’s role is to:

  • Administer the Employment Equity Act, 1998
  • Promote employment equity and the elimination of unfair discrimination
  • Monitor the implementation of employment equity at workplaces, through the collection and analysis of employment-equity reports from employers
  • Support the Commission for Employment Equity (CEE) to fulfill its statutory obligations.

The Directorate monitors enforcement and provides support and advice on the implementation and enforcement of the Employment Equity Act, 1998. The Directorate’s staff partner with labour inspectors in the provincial offices of the Department and conduct workplace inspections on employment equity. Private-sector employers as well as bodies/agencies of Government throughout the country are targeted for inspection.

Government’s priority is to promote diversity in the workplace to ensure that the workforce of business, government and non-governmental organisations is representative of the broader demographics of society. This is being achieved through the implementation of the Employment Equity Act, 1998.

Directorate: Employment Standards

The Directorate’s role is to implement the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, 1997. It also assists the ECC with fulfilling its statutory functions. This includes conducting investigations into working conditions and advising the Minister on the establishment of sectoral determinations.

Consumer and Corporate Regulation

The Consumer and Corporate Regulation Division of the Department of Trade and Industry is responsible for administering the regulation of the liquor, gambling and lottery industries, as well as commercial, competition and consumer-protection policies.

The South African Company Registration Office and the South African Patents and Trademarks Office, funded from this programme, have been merged into the Companies and Intellectual Property Registration Office (CIPRO). The overall objective is to ensure that the market is fair, efficient and transparent.

Corporate and consumer regulation has become a creative endeavour that seeks to serve the interests of both business and consumers, and to create a modern and globally competitive national economy. Running a corporate law-reform project  and making amendments to the intellectual property-rights regime are ongoing activities. The CIPRO was established as a trading entity in 2002 and was expected to become self-sustainable by July 2004.

The CIPRO improved the registration of enterprises by facilitating more than 100 000 close corporations in 2002/03. It also improved the availability of registration forms, simplified procedures, and improved the use of technology in the tracking and management of documents. The Department is engaged in corporate law-reform processes that are likely to result in new functions for the CIPRO.