Arendse, who lives in Atlantis’s Protea Park, is now facing a daunting task of providing for his wife and three children because he and his fellow employees last received wages in February.
Isolar manufactures solar geysers. Because of a lack of orders from the Department of Energy, the company has been on the verge of closure with 85 jobs at risk. GroundUp has reported how the company has been let down by government. The company started in the first place because of a government subsidised programme to buy solar geysers. But the programme has crashed due to a budget cut from R384 million to R0.
With no funds in sight to pay its employees, the company advised its 85 employees to claim benefits from the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF).
But the employees have not been through a retrenchment process, and according to labour lawyer Michael Bagraim this is illegal. “They haven’t been dismissed yet. They should have been retrenched first to get UIF and severance payment,” said Bagraim.
He advised the factory’s employees to go to the Department of Labour to lodge a complaint about non-payment of wages and thereafter to go to the Commission for Conciliation‚ Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) to launch an application for unfair labour practices.