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Occupational Health and Safety Bill Heading for Parliament

May 18, 2021

Department of Employment and Labour

The Draft Occupational Health and Safety Amendment Bill is heading for parliament.

The employment and labour department published the draft bill’s explanatory summary in Government Gazette 44572.

The draft bill seeks to amend the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993, so as to:

• delete, substitute and insert certain definitions;
• effect certain technical corrections;
• make further provision in respect of the health and safety of persons at work and for the health and safety of persons in connection with the use of plant and machinery;
• further regulate the protection of persons other than persons at work against hazards to health and safety arising out of or in connection with the activities of persons at work;
• further regulate the composition of an advisory council for occupational health and safety; and
• provide for matters connected therewith.

The draft bill aims to strengthen the safety measures of workers in their respective workplaces and introduces provisions that empower employees to withhold their labour should they feel the environment is dangerous and unsafe without being victimized by employers.

The draft bill will be tabled in parliament soon.

In Notice 421, the department announced the extension to non-parties of the National Bargaining Council for the Clothing Manufacturing Industry’s Main Amending Collective Agreement.

The extension applies from the second Monday after the date of publication until 31 August 2024.

In Gazette 44571, the department announced the variation of scope of a bargaining council and the change of name of a trade union:

• Notice 271 – variation of scope of the South African Road Passenger Bargaining Council – change of definition on road passenger transport trade with effect from 3 May 2021;
• Notice 272 – change of name of a trade union – Educators Union of South Africa changed to Education and Allied Workers Union of South Africa with effect from 5 May 2021.