Monday, August 15, 2022

Engagement of non-citizen artisans raises labour concerns

The Minister of Labour and Home Affairs, Peter Siele, has said that among the issues raising concern on the Jwaneng Mine Cut 8 project is the appointment of non-citizen artisans instead of available citizens.

Siele was speaking as he addressed some wide-ranging issues in a press briefing.

At the same time, the minister said the Construction Industry Trust Fund (CITF) has continued to play a notable role in the provision of artisan skills. He revealed that during this quarter, CITF trained 211 bricklayers, 183 carpenters, 136 welders, 127 electricians and 121 painters.

He said apart from employment of non-citizen artisans, other issues surrounding the Jwaneng Mine Cut 8 project include inaccurate employment contracts between labour brokers, employees and beneficiary companies and late issuance of work and residence permits.

Siele further stated that the issue of severance benefits is one that employees have been complaining about, resulting in the amendment of the Employment Act, which took effect on 10th September, 2010.

The amendments touched on other sections within the Act including Section 100, in which the number of sick leave days has increased from 14 to 20 working days; Section 23 addressing matters of termination of employment to address the challenges of unfair dismissal; and Section 113 touching on the increase for payment of maternity allowance from 25 percent to at least 50 percent of the basic pay and other benefits.

And as a way of interacting with the Chinese business community without any disputes arising due to language barrier, 20 officers from the Department of Labour and Social Security as well as Immigration and Citizenship were enrolled in a Chinese Language Learning Programme in October 2010, Siele revealed.

Meanwhile, on immigration matters, 23 033 identity cards were uncollected as at December 20 190 while 78 484 e-passports have been issued and 3651 remain uncollected to date, he said.

“Passports are released on time but late collection reasons are with the owners, the date of cessation of use, of old manual passport still remains the 31st December 2011, we urge Batswana to renew their passports as we are now left with only about ten months before we stop using the old manual passport,” said Siele.

He said the new Immigration Act that has merged with the Employment of Non-Citizens Act will take effect in April. It seeks to ease the process of application of work and residence permits by merging the application and issuance of the documents under one roof.

The Minister also warned about people that have a tendency of using Emergency Travel Document as a regular passport and not for emergency as the case should be.

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