31 May, 2012


Business and Democracy


Businesses are big contributors to SA’s Gross domestic product, but business owners feel that they get exploited by the Unions and that democracy has done little to improve the business environment.
The manager at Champs chicken says employers were being exploited by onerous labour laws. He adds that employees do exploit these laws unduly, and that government should balance employer and employee interests more equitably.
Mr Bruce Hoft says employees “have the right to be treated fairly”, as should customers. Fairness to all employees leads to a good working environment. He adds that both employees and customers should be entitled to voice their concerns and not be afraid of the consequences.
Mr Gray Simons of Saveways Supermarket says he supports the rights of employees and all his employees have a right to belong to a Union.
 He says rising costs have made doing business more difficult, which in turn negatively effects customers and employees. Turnover has declined and everything has become expensive.
He says the only way a business would get state assistance is by registering as a public business or by having a Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) partner.
He sees the tax laws as unfair because foreign small businesses are not taxed. ‘They are killing the business as they are not actually creating employment’.
Mr Hoft says it is government’s duty to maintain ‘a peaceful law abiding environment’ since employees and customers were exploited at the past era. However, some regulations hinder business.
He says that, the only intervention from government to his business should be making sure that the environment is clean; therefore government intervention should be limited to health regulations only. 
Nosipho Nqala Champs employee, keeping the environment clean.
The branch manager at Capitec bank in Alice views the customer rights as a necessity. Personally he believes that it is their duty as employees at Capitec bank to help customers.  Regarding the bank, he says there are policies that help customers.

Customer assistance at Capitec bank.

The employees at Capitec bank are protected by the Basic Conditions of Employment Act. Mr Casey as the manager views them as a necessity for the protection of employees.
He says that the rights of customers help increase the profits of the bank because customers know that their rights are not taken for granted. Therefore the rights of customers are helpful in ensuring fair business practises and in boosting the bank’s profit.
Mr Casey says that the National Credit Act which is there to protect customers from indebt as being important. He says that ‘without the National Credit Act (NCA) there would be no control over how much customers should borrow’. Therefore he sees the NCA as a positive contributor to the banking industry.
The bank manager says the bank is an independent company; in terms of government subsidies. Furthermore, the acts which government apply do not necessarily affect the bank, because they are compliant with the labour act and the NCA. The branch manager sees no need of government linkage to the bank as it is an independent company.
Champs Manager Mr Bruce Hoft
Save ways manager Mr Gray Simmons
Capitec bank branch manager Mr Casey

Pictures by Banathi 'Nathi' Sigaji

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