State labour works with informal sector

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

Labour minister Membathisi Mdladlana says the training of informal traders in management sciences and entrepreneurship is a step in the right direction.

He was speaking at the Management College of Southern Africa graduation ceremony at the inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban on Saturday. Mdladlana said the training will help deal with the skills shortage in the country. A total of 250 informal traders received various qualifications including diplomas and degrees.

Mdladlana congratulated the college for getting involved in the training of the informal sector.

"Informal trading is a major contribution to this sector and therefore the economy of the country. We hope this training will change the attitude of employers to their workers."

He used the opportunity to hit out at employers who focused on maximising profits to the exclusion of the rights of workers. He said he could not understand why some people wanted him to "make it easier for them to hire and fire workers at will".

"I want to remind you that although people may be poor, the Constitution of South Africa protects their dignity," he said.

"That you have no house does not mean that you have no rights. Similarly, that you are a beggar does not mean that you have no rights."

Mdladlana said there was a need to forge strong links between sector education and training authorities, further education and training colleges and private educational institutions to ensure that "we produce the skills needed by the labour market because we should know by now that finger-pointing will take us nowhere."

He said it was important that a coherent framework was developed to recognise that learning was taking place in the workplace.