President Cyril Ramaphosa has recently signed a number of new bills into law which have brought in with them changes in a number of areas including traffic enforcement and qualification fraud.

Businesses and companies are directly affected by these laws and it will be best practice for them to align their policies with the new changes.

According to HR experts, putting their policies in line with the new policies is crucial due to the amendments to labour laws and case law some of the new pieces of legislation and how local businesses should prepare for them.

How it will affect your drivers

The president signed the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto) Bill into law in August 2019.

The law is not yet in effect, however employers should establish the traffic demerit points of certain categories of staff from NATIS in preparation for the incoming demerit system, according to HR experts

The experts further say that a proxy needs to be appointed who keeps track of drivers and subsequent fines under the system. While that proxy cannot be held personally responsible for the fines, it is an infringement to not keep track of drivers and reassign the fines to the correct driver.

Transport minister Fikile Mbalula stated in September, that the start date for the new Aarto Act will soon be proclaimed, but noted that it will be ‘in full effect from June next year (2020)’. The system is expected to roll out in phases – starting with Gauteng.

It is important to double check who you are hiring

Ramaphosa signed the National Qualifications Framework Amendment Act in August 2019.

The act aims to prevent individuals from misrepresenting their qualifications by allowing for the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) to establish and maintain separate registers for professional designations, misrepresented qualifications and fraudulent qualifications.

HR experts emphasize that companies should also have mandatory verification of full or part qualifications in line with South Africa’s new CV fraud laws.

The National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Amendment Act states that employers, government departments, education and training institutions (both public and private), and professional bodies must first check if their employees or members’ qualifications are registered on the NQF.

An authentic national or South African qualification, or part-qualification must be registered on the NQF offered by a registered and accredited educational institution or skills development provider, and lawfully obtained, said the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA).

Substance abuse 

Last year in September, South Africa’s Constitutional Court effectively ruled that the private use of cannabis in the country is lawful. This judgment recommends that  businesses should have a substance abuse policy in place that clearly outlines their position.

HR experts say that there should be some clarity on whether the company has a zero-tolerance policy and what the testing and observation protocols are.