Some diamond polishing and cutting companies test prospective employees for HIV without their knowledge, assistant minister of Labour and Home Affairs, Gaotlhaetse Matlhabaphiri, told parliament on Friday.
Matlhabaphiri said, “Through the mediation service of the Department of Labour and Social Security, I have become aware of employment related HIV testing by some employers. As there is a policy gap on this matter, preparations for a policy decision are at an advanced stage. In the meantime, I wish to encourage all employers, including the diamond polishing and cutting companies, to desist from this practice.”
A query reached parliament halls why the diamond polishing and cutting companies subject prospective employees to HIV tests without their knowledge.
“My ministry will make written submissions to the diamond polishing and cutting companies to sensitize and advise them to desist from the practice as the policy awaits finalization,” Matlhabaphiri responded after being pressed why a statement is not in the meantime submitted to warn the diamond polishing and cutting employers.
“Employability and retention of employees should only be subject to performance and not that an individual has a condition which may at some future time render them incapable of performance.”
On the matter of corruption by immigration officials and the ‘consultants’, the assistant minister told parliament that he was aware of allegations that some members of the public bribe immigration officials for a variety of reasons.
“One of the strategies we employ in response is education and sensitisation on corruption prevention for the staff of the department. With the support and collaboration of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC), we aim to upscale this effort in order to reach every part throughout the country.”
As part of this effort, he said, a corruption prevention committee has been set up as a focal point.
“Where specific cases are reported, they are investigated by law enforcement agencies. I wish to implore the public in general that this is where they could be of assistance by reporting cases. People who are indifferent to corruption contribute to a climate of corruption by non-action.”
He said that, currently, the success rate in arrests and convictions is low largely because the public is unwilling to come forward with information.
The assistant minister was taken to task as he answered the questions posed by specially-elected MP, Botsalo Ntuane, and Moshupa MP, Mooka.