'Govt managers in cahoots with brokers'

COSATU has accused senior government managers of "acting in cahoots" with labour brokers following a report that the state has paid R140million to labour brokers.

COSATU has accused senior government managers of "acting in cahoots" with labour brokers following a report that the state has paid R140million to labour brokers.

The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development has emerged as the main culprit, with 264 workers recruited through labour brokers at a cost of R89,3million last year.

A Democratic Alliance investigation also found that the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs paid labour brokers R18,7million for 211 workers.

Cosatu president S'dumo Dlamini said "very little of this R140million" made its way into the pockets of the workforce.

"We have noted that human resource managers in government are acting in cahoots with these labour brokers by refusing to fill vacant posts in government. They then get labour brokers to supply them with workers, thereby also perpetuating the exploitation of our people.

"They are sharing the spoils with the labour brokers," Dlamini said.

He said Cosatu wanted aspects of the labour laws to be reviewed so as to abolish labour brokers.

"Labour brokers exist because they are exploiting aspects of the labour laws and we want this law to be changed," he said.

In total, national government departments employed 721 workers from labour brokers in the 2008/2009 financial year.

Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlana is determined to abolish labour brokers even though government departments paid them millions last year, his spokesperson Mzobanzi Jikazana said yesterday.

Responding to the DA findings, Jikazana said the minister had "reiterated his determination to stamp out abusive workplace tendencies attributed to labour brokers".

There was extensive evidence that many labour brokers exploited workers and breached their rights under labour legislation.

"Mdladlana says the labour broking tendency is against the law no matter who practices it.

"Mdladlana has congratulated the Democratic Alliance for conducting a survey that clearly supports his intention to root out this form of human trafficking from all sectors of the economy."

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