The Employment and Labour Department said three people have been arrested for impersonating labour inspectors in Marabastad, Pretoria. They are undocumented foreign nationals aged 32, 33 and 45 and  have been accused of going from store to store to check compliance with labour laws and requested Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) documents from employers and charging a fee.

The department said suspicious employers began to discuss the bogus inspectors on their WhatsApp group and notified the police. The Employment and Labour Department emphasised that it is a criminal offence under the Basic Conditions of Employment Act for anyone to pose as a labour inspector and perform any functions related to labour inspection.

“When SAPS officers questioned them, they discovered that the suspects were in possession of forged contracts implying that they were working in collaboration with the Department of Employment and Labour, South African Revenue Services (SARS), and the Amandebele Kingdom. They had forged documents in their possession, including fictitious labour inspectors’ cards, which they use to gain access to workplace premises.”

To avoid becoming a victim of a con artist posing as a labour inspector, the department said genuine Inspectors can be identified by their Inspector identification card, which bears the Departmental Logo, including their trademark uniforms. The Department said it has no agreements or partnerships with any recruitment agencies, nor has it authorised any organisation to charge a fee for services rendered.

“The Department would like to emphasise that it has no contract with any company to conduct inspections on its behalf, and it would like employers to be extra cautious. The Department commends employers for their vigilance, which resulted in the arrest of the three suspects.”

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