'Lack of progress' at Nedlac criticised
THE National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) has come under attack for its "lack of progress" in finalising policy, with its leadership being asked to account to Parliament about why some proposals languish without progress.
The Democratic Alliance, which has a bone to pick with the youth wage subsidy stalemate that is hotly contested by Cosatu, asked Thaba Mufamadi, Parliament's finance committee chairman, to intervene.
But Nedlac executive director Alistair Smith thwarted this criticism, particularly on the wage subsidy, saying it was not within Nedlac's power to block implementation.
DA spokesman on finance Tim Harris yesterday said the party sent a letter to Mufamadi on Friday asking him to summon Smith and Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan to Parliament, where they must "explain the organisation's performance".
He said Nedlac's annual report, which has not been officially released yet, shows that it has failed to accomplish 63% of its objectives for the year. Harris said Nedlac - a consultative forum for business, labour and communities - was "a place where policy goes to die".
"To make matters worse, an assessment of the report by an independent auditor found that a total of 73% of the measures that allow the council to monitor its performance did not exist," Harris said.
"This means the council does not have an accurate view of what is being achieved." .
Some of the pending labour law amendments at Nedlac include the Employment Equity Amendment Bill and Public Employment Services Bill.
Earlier this month Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant said the delay at Nedlac was partly to blame for the August massacre at Lonmin's Marikana mine in North West.