25 Aug 2016 09:00am
WINDHOEK, 25 AUG (NAMPA) - The Otjozondjupa Region faces a critical shortage of labour inspectors, which has made it difficult for workers across the various constituencies of the region to have their complaints attended to.
The Okakarara Constituency is one of those severely affected by the lack of labour inspectors, as there are no inspectors attached to the constituency.
Nampa has learnt that there are only three labour inspectors from the Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation for the entire Otjozondjupa Region, all of whom are based in Otjiwarongo.
Councillor of the Okakarara Constituency, Vetaruhe Kandorozu told Nampa recently that councillors have been forced to take on the work of labour inspectors, as workers flock to their offices with complaints.
Kandorozu emphasised that workers often approach him to complain about being dismissed unfairly or being mistreated by their employers.
The employers take advantage of the lack of labour inspectors because they are based in Otjiwarongo; its almost 100 kilometres before they come here, and eventually the workers lose trust in us, he said.
Some workers have sought help from the law by approaching the magistrate's court at the town to air their dismay, but also did not get a satisfactory outcome, according to Kandorozu.
It has been going on for more than four years now, and we tell them that their cases must rather be reported at the magistrate where they wait two weeks, but nothing happens. People lose jobs and benefits because they lose hope, and this has created animosity, he uttered.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation, Bro-Mathew Shinguadja confirmed the absence of a labour inspector at Okakarara, adding that the issue boils down to insufficient accommodation and office space for the ministry to set up office in the constituency.
Even if you have office space you still need accommodation, and vice versa. The other issue is the frequency of the complaints which also determines our presence there, Shinguadja told this news agency on Tuesday.
He confirmed that there are currently only three labour inspectors in the Otjozondjupa Region.
We are understaffed and the distance between places is a problem. Many people also do not want to work in certain places and as a result three of our inspectors are resigning now, and this affects our planning as well, he added.
He said that workers should approach the ministry's head office or regional offices when they encounter unfair labour practices.