National Department Budget for 2018-19

Vote purpose

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


The Department of Labour derives its legislative mandate from the Constitution, particularly the Bill of Rights, which 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 mandate of the department is to regulate the labour market through policies and programmes developed in consultation with social partners. These aim to:

  • improve economic efficiency and productivity
  • facilitate decent employment creation
  • promote labour standards and fundamental rights at work
  • provide adequate social safety nets to protect vulnerable workers
  • promote and enforce sound labour relations
  • promote equity and eliminate unfair discrimination in the workplace
  • eliminate inequality and discrimination in the workplace
  • enhance occupational health and safety awareness and compliance in the workplace
  • give value to social dialogue in the formulation of sound and responsive legislation and policies to attain labour market flexibility for the competitiveness of enterprises, balanced with the promotion of decent employment.
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