Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) amendments to leave provisions

On 18 December 2019, the President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the effective date of 1 January 2020 for sections 1 to 7 of the Labour Laws Amendment Act of 2018. This effectively amends the Basic Conditions of Employment Act to provide for parental leave.
As from 1 January 2020 the three days family responsibility leave that employees were entitled to upon the birth of a child, was replaced with parental leave as per the Labour Laws Amendment Act of 2018. The remainder of section 27 of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (Family Responsibility Leave) remains intact, entitling employees to three days family responsibility leave when a child (younger than 18 years of age) is sick or alternatively upon the death of a family member as listed in the Act.
In terms of the Labour Laws Amendment Act an employee now has three new leave entitlements, namely parental leave, adoption leave and commissioning parental leave.

How long are the leave periods?

  • Parental leave: An employee, who is a parent of a child, is entitled to 10 consecutive days’, unpaid, parental leave. Parental leave can be taken from the day on which the child is born or on the date on which an adoption order is granted or on such day that the child is placed with the prospective adoptive parents, pending the finalisation of the adoption order;
  • Adoption leave: An employee who is an adoptive parent of a child who is below the age of two years is entitled to 10 consecutive weeks of adoption leave. Adoption leave can be taken from the date on which an adoption order is granted or on such day that the child is placed with the prospective adoptive parents, pending the finalisation of the adoption order, and constitutes a form of parental leave and is therefore not in addition to parental leave, mentioned above. In cases where an adoption order is made or a prospective adoption order is pending in respect of two parents, one parent is entitled to take adoption leave and the other parent will be entitled to take parental leave;
  • Commissioning parental leave: An employee who is a commissioning parent in a surrogate motherhood agreement is entitled to 10 consecutive weeks of commissioning parental leave. Commissioning parental leave can be taken from the date on which the child is born. In cases where a surrogate motherhood agreement has two commissioning parents, one of the commissioning parents may apply for commissioning parental leave and the other may apply for parental leave.

Based on the aforementioned it is evident that both male and female employees may qualify for parental leave depending the circumstances. However, if the employee gave birth to the child, she will not qualify for parental leave. Such employee is entitled to unpaid maternity leave.
It is important to note that all the above mentioned leave will be unpaid, and employees will therefore have to submit claims to the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) to qualify for payment during the periods of absence from work.
It is also important to note that whilst these amendments are not currently contained in Motor Industry Main Agreement, the agreement specificaly states that when amendements are made to the BCEA, the agreement must be amended accordingly. These amendments will be made in due course.
Therefore these new leave provisons will be applicable to our industry and must be implented by employers.
If members have any questions in this regard, they should contact their nearest RMI Regional Office and consult with one of our highly trained IR Specialists.

OHS seminars

Herewith the RMI4OHS training dates for the first quarter of 2020:
06 February 2020       Pretoria (RMI boardroom) Click here for brochure
11 February 2020       Johannesburg (RMI boardroom) Click here for brochure
05 March 2020           Port Elizabeth (venue to be confirmed) Click here for brochure
12 March 2020          Cape Town (RMI boardroom) Click here for brochure

Calculation of VAT on goods imported from BLNS countries

On 1 February 2020, SARS will implement technical system enhancements. The system change relates to the calculation of VAT on goods imported for home use from Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland (BLNS countries), specifically the legal provisions of section 13(2) of the Value-Added Tax Act, of 1991 and rule 120A.02(a) of the Rules to the Customs and Excise Act 91 of 1964.
Section 13(2)(a) states that where the origin of such goods is from non-BLNS countries, the goods are subject to an upliftment of the VAT value by a factor of 10%, in the calculation of VAT payable at the time of clearance into the Republic of South Africa. In essence, this implies a mark-up of the Customs value by 10%, upon which VAT of 15% is calculated.
The following is an example of how VAT is calculated:
Kindly note that no mark-up is applied on the importation of goods originating in BLNS countries and cleared for home consumption. Only VAT of 15% is calculated on the customs value.
Importers, registered agents and clearing agents are reminded of their obligation to comply with the above-mentioned legal provisions.

Africa Fuel Summit

The Africa Fuel Wholesale & Retail Expansion Summit is taking place on 30 and 31 May.

Download your registration form here.

Is it an offence to drive with an expired drivers licence card?

While road safety has to be a priority for all South Africans, understanding your rights as a motorist on the roads is also important. Jakkie Olivier, the CEO of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI), says the topic of whether it is an offence to drive with an expired drivers licence card was recently raised by one of its members. The topic was reported on in Automobil by Roxanne Paans, a Candidate Attorney in the litigation department at Barnard Incorporated in Centurion.

She refers to the National Road Traffic Act (NRTA) 93 of 1996 which states that the period of validity of a driving licence shall be indefinite, unless such a licence has been suspended or cancelled in terms of the Act.

“The confusion is created by the fact that the NRTA does not seem to clearly differentiate between a driving licence and a driving licence card,” she says.

The NRTA and The National Road Traffic Act Regulations are two important pieces of legislation, which regulate the rules of the roads in South Africa.

“According to the regulations a driving licence card shall expire five years from the date on which it was ordered from the card production facility. The regulations make no mention of the expiration of a driving licence, but expressly state that the validity of a driving licence shall be indefinite. The uncertainty therefore created by the regulation is whether the expiration of a driving licence card also leads to the expiration of a driving licence,” she explains.

“What’s interesting is that Regulation 108 (5)(b) states that ‘The holder of a driving licence card may apply for a new card in the manner contemplated in regulation 109 and the new card shall be authorised and issued in the manner contemplated in regulation 109(3)’. The word ‘may’ suggests that the holder of a driving licence has a choice as to whether to renew the card or not. The regulations furthermore do not expressly state that it is an offence if a holder of a driving licence fails to renew the driving licence card,” says Paans.

The closest indication that the driving of a motor vehicle with an expired driving licence card constitutes an offence in terms of the NRTA is found in section 12 which says:

12 No person shall drive a motor vehicle on a public road –

(a) except under the authority and in accordance with the conditions of a licence issued to him or her in terms of this Chapter or of any document deemed to be a licence for the purposes of this Chapter; and

(b) unless he or she keeps such licence or document or any other prescribed authorisation with him or her in the vehicle.’

“The NRTA and its regulations does not expressly state whether a driving licence card is a ‘document deemed to be a licence’. It seems that there is no express indication that the expiration of a driving licence card is tantamount to the expiration of a driving licence and this question definitely warrants further and in-depth investigation,” says Paans.

She suggests that in order to avoid the risk of a fine it is advisable that drivers of vehicles are at all times in possession of a driving licence card which has not yet expired.

Olivier agrees. “While it may seem like a hassle renewing your driver’s licence card every five years if you make it a to-do item before the expiration date it can be done relatively easily. Along with servicing your vehicle at regular intervals, make it a priority to renew your driver’s licence card.”

Wage negotiation roadshow

The RMI is running a number of wage mandating seminars this month where you can have your say regarding wage negotiations.

Automechanika represents all areas of the automotive aftermarket industry

Automechanika Johannesburg registrations opened earlier this month and there has been a positive uptake of visitor tickets over the last two weeks.

The event takes place at the Johannesburg Expo Centre, Nasrec from 18 to 21 September 2019 and is co-located with Futuroad Expo a truck, bus and commercial vehicle exhibition, and Scalex Johannesburg a logistics and infrastructure trade fair.

If you’ve not yet registered for your FREE visitor ticket, we suggest you do so online now. Go HERE to secure your visitor pass.

Experience the latest innovations through virtual reality

An important innovation for the 2019 edition of Automechanika Johannesburg will be a Virtual Reality Zone where visitors can experience the latest automotive repair and servicing technologies through virtual reality.

The Virtual Reality Zone will be an important part of the three major focus areas that have been identified for this year’s Automechanika Johannesburg. Each of the first three days is being dedicated to a specific focus area: innovation on the Wednesday, skills development on the Thursday and “buy local” on the Friday.

Expect 4 days of the latest industry innovations from over 600 exhibitors, 12,000 attendees, product launches, the latest industry innovations, and free-to-attend workshops.

Automechanika Johannesburg really is your one-stop automotive aftermarket destination that connects suppliers and manufacturers to key buyers.

Secure your visitor pass online here:

Visit the website:

For visitor registration queries, please contact:

Priyanka Lutchman
Marketing Manager

Kids need to be kept safe in cars

There’s a lot of emphasis on buckling babies and toddlers into car seats, “and rightly so,” says Dewald Ranft, Chairman of the Motor Industry Workshop Association (MIWA), “but keeping older children safe in our cars is just as important.”

MIWA is a proud association of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI) who’s priority is road safety. 

“What we need to understand as parents and motorists is that our vehicles are travelling at speed and even if you aren’t involved in an accident, just harsh braking can send a child not strapped in hurtling forward in the car,” says Ranft.

Dewald Ranft, Chairman of the Motor Industry Workshop Association

Too often older children sit in the back or even the front seat of vehicles without seat belts, are fooling around while the car is in motion, stick their heads or even half their bodies out of the window and more.

“There have been countless incidents where accidents have taken place and children are thrown through windscreens or out of side windows. This can obviously result in severe head trauma and death,” says Ranft.

Often this kind of behaviour is deemed fun, but the reality is that any moving vehicle is a risk.

“Kids sitting in the back of a bakkie is another big no-no. Even with the canopy on, if that bakkie rolls the children will be thrown around in the back of the bakkie and can be severely injured. Gone are the days when putting your kids in the back of a bakkie was fine. We travel at far faster speeds now on our roads because our vehicles are designed to do so. This even applies to smaller roads. Don’t be fooled. Speed kills,” he says.

Speaking to and educating older children on the risks of being in a car is very important. They are old enough to understand so make it a rule in your car that everyone is strapped in and sitting in the right seats before you go anywhere.

Ranft reiterates that it is essential when travelling with young children to ensure that car seats are properly secured. Statistics show that up to 70% of car seats are incorrectly installed. Parents must also ensure that the seat is the age-appropriate size.

“Remember that children, especially toddlers, get fidgety when sitting still for long stretches. If you are doing a long trip, factor in regular stops to give everyone a chance to stretch their legs. Try to pick pit-stops with fun activities for children such as jungle gyms. This gives kids a chance to work off some energy without distracting mom or dad while they drive.”

If you need advice on car seats or car safety make sure you speak to your local MIWA workshop.

“We want our roads to be a safe place for our children. We are willing to help. Let’s all do our part to keep our kids safe,” concludes Ranft.

How serious are you about Occupational Health and Safety?

Did you know every employer in South Africa is required to have an Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) policy that complies with the requirements of the OHS Act? Did you know that by not being compliant businesses close their doors every year due to legal action and expenses resulting from an OHS case?
Don’t be one of those businesses. Get compliant. And if you aren’t sure how to do this, the RMI is here to help.
Our country’s Constitution allows every person the right to a healthy and safe environment. All employers are compelled to adopt and implement measures to safeguard their employees against occupational accidents and diseases as well as ensuring the health and safety of persons other than employees entering the business premises.
Here are the basics in a nutshell for employers.
You have to develop an OHS policy that all employees need to review and understand. To put this policy together you need to appoint an OHS Committee and a Health and Safety Representative.
The OHS Act requires that you provide and maintain as far as reasonably practicable, a safe- and hazardous-free working environment.
You need to take reasonable steps to eliminate or mitigate health and safety hazards before resorting to personal protective equipment. You also need to protect and safeguard the environment against harmful practices that might start in the workplace. It is also your job to enforce disciplinary measures as prescribed in legislation, in the interest of health and safety in the business.
There is a process in terms of putting the OHS Committee together and selecting the Health and Safety Representative. Employers and workers must consult one another with regards to the nomination or election, period of office and appointment of the committee.
The committee is expected to hold meetings as often as necessary, but at least once every three months; to make recommendations to the employer regarding health and safety matters; to discuss incidents; and keep record of all recommendations made.
Among other things, the Health and Safety Representatives are empowered to identify potential dangers, investigate incidents, make recommendations and conduct inspections.
They are also expected to attend any investigation or formal inquiry held in terms of the Act.
What you need to realise is that OHS compliance is so much more than just having a fire extinguisher on the property. It also covers aspects such as general sanitation; hygiene and cleanliness; sufficient and quality lighting; adequate ventilation; drinking water; First Aid, safe and secure storage facilities for hazardous equipment and chemicals; protective wear and safety equipment; signage and more.
As the RMI we stand for excellence and the highest industry standards. We want all our members to be 100% OHS compliant. Let’s all make the effort to take this seriously and get our businesses in order.

Quick Fire Questions: Foreign qualifications, work permits and SA’s critical skills list 

Q: I am contemplating employing another person from one of South Africa’s neighbour countries who claims he is a qualified artisan. Where can I verify the qualification and are there cost attached?
A: To verify a foreign qualification contact SA Qualifications Authority’s (SAQA) directorate evaluations of foreign qualifications. Click here for more information. SAQA provides a foreign qualifications evaluation and advisory service on a non-profit, cost recovery basis. This service by SAQA is in accordance with Section 13(1)(m) of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Act.
Q: Will only the verification of a foreign qualification by SAQA stand good for a work permit for a person who claims he is a qualified artisan in one of SA’s critical skills?
A: No, it will not. It is however part of the work permit application. Department Home Affairs (DHA) issued the following on their website: “The Critical Skills work visa is issued in accordance with the critical skills list. The list was developed in conjunction with the occupations in high demand and the scarce skills lists of the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET). The main objective of the critical skills work visa is to assist the government to realise the achievement of the National Infrastructure Project, the Strategic Infrastructure Projects and Key National Strategic Projects in support of the Department of Trade and Industry.” Click here for more information.
Q: Can South Africa’s Critical Skills work visas be renewed and extended if the visa was initially issued for 12 months? Where can I have sight of what the process at Department Home Affairs entails to renew or extend?
A: Yes, Critical Skills work visas can be renewed and extended. Click here for more information.
Sources: Department Home Affairs & SA Qualification Authority