Labour Relations Act, 1995 (Act No. 66 of 1995)
Labour Market and Human Resource Development for Job Creation Social Plan
I, Membathisi Mphumzi Sheperd Mdladlana, Minister of Labour, hereby publish for general information the undermentioned Social Plan which flowed from the Presidential Job Summit.
Minister of Labour
Foreword by the Minister of Labour
South Africa is currently reeling from the news that several employers are planning to retrench large numbers of workers. The combined effect of all of these retrenchments, if they take place, is an alarming increase in unemployment and poverty. Whatever the underlying economic reasons, the effect on affected individuals and regions is severe, particularly in a context where unemployment is already way too high.
The Social Plan is an agreement concluded at the Presidential Job Summit last year. It seeks to put in place three sets of measures: the first set of interventions seek to prevent retrenchments taking place at all; the second seek to ensure that where they are unavoidable then they are managed humanely; and thirdly where large scale retrenchments have taken place then measures to assist the affected individuals and communities to find alternative forms of employment or sustainable livelihoods are in place.
Implementation of the agreement has already commenced: the National Productivity Institute is in the process of establishing the Social Plan Technical Support Facility. This facility is intended to support firms that establish Future Forums. We intend to more actively promote the establishment of Future Forums so that employers and workers can together anticipate crises and plan more constructive alternatives to retrenchment.
If retrenchments are unavoidable, my Department has already commenced with the delivery of retrenchment services and firms facing large scale retrenchments (over 500) are invited to contact the provincial Department of Labour offices for assistance in this regard. Over and above this, we have begun to work together with other agencies - particularly local authorities in areas affected by large-scale retrenchment - to assist individuals and communities to develop alternative forms of employment.
The success of the Social Plan depends on all of the social partners working together. Unless we do, we shall fail to assist affected individuals and regions and our society will suffer the consequences. The time to implement the spirit as well as the letter of this agreement is NOW.
Minister of Labour