Hon House Chair, the DA does not support the Labour Relations Amendment Bill. Following protracted discussions by the committee and a number of proposed changes from the NCOP, the Bill in its current form does not create market stability and does little to reduce the disproportionate power of big labour unions, which prohibits the creation of real growth.
The Bill no longer provides for the democratisation of labour relations through secret balloting before a strike, as proposed by the Department of Labour in the original version of the Bill. In removing this requirement, the ANC in Parliament has sought to entrench the undemocratic nature of South Africa's existing labour relations framework, which only serves the interests of union bosses instead of those of workers. The introduction of secret balloting would have inhibited union bosses in their engaging in strike action on a whim. Balloting would strike a balance between the workers' constitutional right to strike and the need to grow the economy and create jobs.
Rampant and prolonged strike action, such as the two-month strike in the mining sector, results in lost production hours, threatened jobs, and signals from both foreign and domestic investors that South Africa is an unstable and high-risk economic environment.
In Parliament President Zuma's ANC has acted irresponsibly by failing to introduce legislation benefiting South Africa's poor and unemployed people.
Furthermore, the Bill limits the term of temporary employment services governing labour broking to three months, after it initially provided for a six months' limit. This puts thousands of jobs at risk. The Bill needed to improve the ease of hiring employees, easing the burden of labour regulations that inhibit job creation in the small business sector, reduce high transactional costs associated with dismissals, and create greater recognition for temporary work.
This Bill will continue to condemn thousands to unemployment and poverty. The DA cannot support the Bill. [Applause.]