Media Release: GRDM empowers employees on Labour related matters that could be experienced in the workplace
For immediate release
12 May 2023
From Tuesday, 9 to 11 May 2023, the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) held awareness sessions with employees about Violence and Harassment in the Workplace. The sessions also included labour-related issues. The session was presented by the Western Cape Department of Local Government (DLG) and the Commission of Gender Equality (CGE) and organised by the municipality’s Employee Wellness office.
GRDM officials were equipped with the necessary knowledge and understanding to address and prevent incidents as it is unpacked in the Code of Good Practice on the Prevention and Elimination of Harassment in the workplace, that came into effect on 18 March 2022.
Violence and Harassment
In-depth presentations were delivered by Mr Gorha Adonisi (DLG) and Mr Leonard Macakiti (CGE), providing valuable insights into the various forms of violence and harassment, its impact on individuals and organisations, and the legal frameworks in place for protection, as well as changes to the Employment Equity Act (EEA). The members that were present actively engaged in the session, seizing the opportunity to ask questions and clarify doubts.
Various topics were being touched on such as harassment – the different types of harassment, Interpersonal Conflict, Factors to establish, as well as the Nature and Extend of the Conduct.
The discussions covered a range of important subjects, including the:
- guiding principles regarding the prevention, elimination, and handling of harassment
- the formulation of effective harassment policies; and
- the proper procedures for reporting incidents of harassment.
The responsibilities of employers were emphasised, particularly in cases that were formally reported, with the focus on implementing disciplinary measures and maintaining confidentiality while ensuring appropriate support and guidance for all parties involved.
Representatives from Local Government Department, Commission Gender Equality and Garden Route District Municipality with staff during the Violence and Harassment Sessions.
Prudence Ramnath (DLG) explained that trafficking manifests in various forms, such as individuals being forced into street peddling or begging, the illegal trade of body parts and organs for rituals known as “muti”, the illegal adoption of children, and the disturbing practice of forced marriages (known as “ukuthwala”).
“South African victims are recruited and exploited both within the country and across international borders, with South Africa often serving as a transit point for other African nations,” Ramnath stated.
Identifying trafficked victims involves recognising certain indicators, including physical abuse, the presence of a controlling older person accompanying the victim, a lack of identification or difficulties in effective communication, and potential health issues experienced by the victims, as well as struggling with unfamiliar laws and customs of the country or region. These circumstances ultimately favor the trafficker as the victim becomes highly vulnerable to exploitation, while the trafficker may exploit their “exotic” status to maximise profits.
Participating in the human trafficking cycle has unfortunately become increasingly accessible in today’s world.
According to Prudence Ramnath, it often starts with enticing offers that seem too good to be true, such as employment opportunities that specifically target job seekers, particularly young individuals who have recently completed their education. False job advertisements on social media platforms play a significant role in attracting people, promising lucrative salaries even for those without prior experience.
Ramnath warned that once someone becomes a victim of trafficking, they are likely to vanish within the system, and their children may also disappear. She urged staff to remain vigilant and familiarise themselves with their communities. “It’s crucial to recognise that traffickers often integrate themselves into our neighborhoods, residing among us,” she said. Ramnath also emphasised that human trafficking is an organised crime, highlighting the organised nature of these operations. In the case of the illegal trade of human organs, she stressed that victims are abducted solely for the purpose of harvesting and selling their organs on the black market, allowing traffickers to profit immensely from this illegal trade.
Did you know?
- “Human trafficking is the buying and selling of people for the purpose of exploitation”- Prudence Ramnath (DLG).
- Statistics indicate that approximately 40.3 million people are enslaved worldwide, with 250,000 individuals falling victim to modern-day slavery in South Africa alone.