The Portfolio Committee on Labour is disappointed with the conduct of alleged Saftu (South African Federation of Trade Unions) activists who sought to disrupt a committee meeting meant to discuss the National Minimum Wage Bill, clause by clause.
The Chairperson of the committee, Ms Sharome van Schalkwyk, said the incident was unfortunate and does not speak to how South Africans resolve differences of opinion.
“The committee will not be distracted and derailed in trying to improve the conditions many of our poor working South Africans find themselves in. The processes on the National Minimum Wage are unfolding, and this drastic and chaotic stance is not warranted,” Ms van Schalkwyk said.
“Parliament is a place for persuasion and engagement, hence the committee has adopted the approach of listening to all stakeholders even after the deadline of its processes regarding oral submissions,” she said.
On Wednesday a handful of activists donning Saftu regalia disrupted the Committee on Labour’s meeting that sought to deliberate on the corrected version of the National Minimum Wage Bill.
Ms Van Schalkwyk said the committee accepted that activists have a right to protest, but that right should not seek to interfere with the work of Parliament, and the rights of other persons.
“There will still be an opportunity to engage with the Bill during the National Council of Provinces’ processes and therefore Members should be allowed to do their job without hindrance,” she said.
Issued by Parliamentary Communication Services on behalf of the Acting Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Labour, Sharome Van Schalkwyk