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Dept warns of bogus farm inspectors

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Complaints from farmers that suspicious individuals have attempted to access their farms, posing as labour inspectors.

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THE DEPARTMENT of Employment and Labour in the Northern Cape has warned farmers and employers in the Namakwa area to be on the lookout for suspicious individuals who act as inspectors in an attempt to access their farms.

Provincial chief inspector Ivan Vass said on Friday that the Northern Cape’s Calvinia Labour Centre had received complaints from farmers in the Brandvlei area about suspicious individuals who attempted to access their farms, posing as labour inspectors.

“We would like to warn our farmers and employers around the Hantam Local Municipality to be on a lookout for these suspicious characters who act as inspectors and try to trick employers into allowing them access to their farms or workplaces,” Vass said.

“The Department of Employment and Labour would like to put it on record that currently all Inspections and Enforcement Services (inspectors) are operating remotely and do not undertake active inspections across the Province.”

Vass added that the inspectors were currently performing administrative inspections remotely since the national lockdown and responding to Impimpa hot-line cases, as well as emergency Occupational Health Safety Act inspections, when the need arose.

Vass said the incidents had been reported to the area commissioner of the SAPS for investigation.

The department has urged all farmers and employers in the areas to report any suspected cases directly to the SAPS on 08600 10 111.

“Employers are reminded that departmental inspectors carry identity cards, drive in clearly-marked vehicles and will notify intended inspections before visiting any workplace or farm,” Vass said.