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Parliament passes Employment Services Bill

The bill was passed despite fierce criticism from opposition parties.

The bill was passed despite fierce criticism from opposition parties in the National Assembly. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The National Assembly on Tuesday passed the Employment Services Bill despite fierce criticism from opposition parties.

The Democratic Alliance (DA), Independent Democrats (ID) and Freedom Front Plus (FF+) raised objections.

The proposed law aims to boost employment with the creation of a state-run employment service to match job-seekers with work opportunities.

It will require companies to inform the Department of Labour about vacancies before posts are filled, making them liable for a R50,000 fine if they fail to do so.

Some opposition parties were highly critical of the bill during a debate in Parliament on Thursday.

DA MP Kenneth Mubu says it will not help create jobs and will put an extra burden on employers.

"The country cannot afford this bill. Instead, government must create conditions for job creation and allow the private recruitment agencies to find the right candidates to fill them."

However, Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Labour Chairperson Elleck Nchabeleng said the bill is a step forward.

"This bill, if signed into law, will go a long way in providing a structured approach to addressing unemployment in South Africa. It will also test the commitment of the private sector to work with government in their efforts to address unemployment."

The bill will now go before the National Council of Provinces before President Jacob Zuma signs it into law.