Committee on Labour says it won’t bow to DA’s misleading propaganda

AUGUST 5, 2015

The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Labour, Lumka Yengeni, on Wednesday clarified that her signature on a motion of desirability, tabled at a Committee meeting in June is not confusion but part of the process when processing legislation.

“When a proposal is tabled the Committee is duty bound to indicate whether it is desirable to entertain such a proposal or not. And this process requires a Chairperson to sign when the Committee has taken a decision on such a motion of desirability,” Yengeni said.

“However when a Committee reaches a decision on whether to accept or reject a bill or an issue, the motion of desirability signed by a Chairperson cannot be regarded as confusion when the Committee has decided to reject the proposal. We refuse to be deliberately misled by the Democratic Alliance,” she said.

Ian Ollis deliberately misled the House and the nation at large, and sought to create confusion in the House when a report on his rejected amendment bill was tabled by suggesting that the Chairperson supported his proposed amendments whilst other ANC committee members rejected it.

Ollis proposed early this year that the Committee consider effecting amendments to the Labour Relations Act, that will seek to punish unions if members misbehaved during strikes. The proposal was deliberated on, and resoundingly rejected by the Committee on a sound legal advice, and that this aspect of law is already catered for in the Gatherings Act of 1993.

“Member Ollis’s utterances are nothing but just a sustained effort to tarnish, the ANC, Parliament, Government, Civil society, unions, the Chairperson and Parliamentary staff. This is nothing but a ploy to portray staff as incompetent and ANC members in the Committee as less intelligent,” Yengeni said.

She said the Committee, as correctly captured in the report tabled on Tuesday 04 August, and voted upon by Committee Members on the 17th of June, believes that there is no need for the proposed amendments, and that the Gatherings Act and the existing case law is an adequate instrument to deal with behaviour of striking union members.