COSATU welcomes Cabinet’s long-delayed approval of the Compensation of Injury on Duty Amendment (COIDA) Bill.This is a critical bill that will ensure that domestic workers will be able to claim for injuries on duty from the Compensation Fund and that their callous employers will be held liable for any negligence on their part.
There are approximately 800 000 domestic workers in South Africa. They are amongst the most exploited and abused workers. To date, they have not been allowed to claim for injuries on duty.
This is unconstitutional and morally wrong. The South African Domestic Services and Allied Workers Union (SADSAWU) has done sterling work in championing the rights of domestic workers. This matter was won at the Supreme Court in 2019 and is now before the Constitutional Court. COSATU is confident that the Constitutional Court will find in favour of domestic workers.
The Federation condemns the lethargic speed at which the government and Parliament have moved to deal with this matter. Nedlac processed the COIDA Bill in June 2018. Almost two years later, despite repeated commitments to do so, the government has still not tabled it at Parliament. This has resulted in thousands of injured domestic workers being left unprotected and uninsured.
COSATU expects the Department of Employment and Labour to ensure the COIDA Bill is tabled in Parliament within 30 days.
The federation equally expects the Department to ensure that the even longer delayed Occupational Health and Safety Amendment Bill be tabled at Cabinet for approval and Parliament for passage. It left Nedlac in 2015. The Department is not able to explain what can cause half a decade worth of delays!
The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy too must be nudged out of its slumber and table the other long-delayed Mine Health and Safety Amendment Bill for Cabinet approval and Parliamentary passage.
The blasé approach by government and employers to the health and safety of workers is shocking and unacceptable. COSATU will continue to sit on their necks to ensure that they move with speed to improve the conditions of workers.
For more information, please contact Matthew Parks COSATU Parliamentary Coordinator
Cell: 082 785 0687