National Department Budget for 2015-16

Vote purpose

Play a significant role in reducing unemployment, poverty and inequality through pursuing the objectives of full and productive employment and decent work for all, including: employment creation and enterprise development; standards and rights at work including equality of opportunities; social protection; and social dialogue.


The Department of Labour derives its legislative mandate from the Constitution, and this is given effect through a number of acts that regulate labour matters in South Africa. The most important of these are the Labour Relations Act (1995), the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (1997), the Employment Equity Act (1998), the Occupational Health and Safety Act (1993) and the Employment Services Act (2014).

The policy mandate of the department is to regulate the labour market through policies and programmes developed in consultation with social partners, which are aimed at:

  • improving economic efficiency and productivity

  • facilitating employment creation

  • promoting and enforcing sound labour relations

  • eliminating inequality and discrimination in the workplace

  • alleviating poverty in employment

  • enhancing occupational health and safety awareness and compliance in the workplace.