Call for labour minister Thulas Nxesi to withdraw ‘damaging’ draft regulations

9 November 2021

Stakeholders representing more than 130 cross-sectoral bodies have called on employment and labour minister Thulas Nxesi to withdraw the “irrational” and “damaging” Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases (Coid) draft regulations.

The bodies include healthcare associations, medical practices, unions and companies which represent more than 4-million impacted parties and are concerned about chronic and “persistent failings” of the Compensation Fund.

“In particular we are alarmed by the recent regulations published by the commissioner that we believe are ultra vires, irrational, unnecessary and, if implemented, have the potential to damage the rights of workers, harm medical service providers and impact employers negatively,” the group said in an open letter addressed to Nxesi on Tuesday.

This after the Compensation Fund agreed to withdraw a notice which would have made it compulsory for it to pay claims only into bank accounts of medical service providers who treat employees injured on duty from October 1. 

The rule was designed to ensure the fund would no longer accept nominated bank accounts of agents, including third-party administrators, for claims repayments.

The proposed rules have raised the ire of medical service providers.

The collective group of stakeholders claimed they were not consulted about the socio-economic impact assessment or during the drafting of the regulations.  

“We made lengthy and detailed written and oral inputs into parliament’s public hearings into the Coid bill.

“All our submissions opposed any attempt to prevent medical service providers from exercising their right to use the assistance and services of third-party pre-funding administrators, simply to keep their practices alive.”

The issue of the proposed prohibition of the involvement of intermediaries in claims and compensation recovering processes was part of the proposed amendments to the Coid amendment bill.

“We are strongly of the view these regulations go far beyond the remit of the principal legislation and are constitutionally challengeable.”

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