/ 20 December 2022

Thulas Nxesi (Grade D)

Thulas Nxesi Scaled
The breakdown in relations between one of the largest affiliates of the Congress of South African Trade Unions and ANC ministers, including labour minister Thulas Nxesi, a former unionist himself, is not limited to the wage dispute.

Employment and labour

Key Goals

  1. Create employment: In progress
  2. Eliminate inequality and discrimination in the workplace: In progress
  3. Promote sound labour relations: Failed
  4. Improve productivity: Failed


Considering the scale of South Africa’s unemployment crisis, it makes sense to ensure all hands are on deck to solve it. 

Thulas Nxesi’s department seems more on top of what it needs to do to fulfil its employment mandate, helping to coordinate job-related initiatives across departments.

The country’s unemployment problem has gone from bad to worse in the three years since the employment mandate was attached to the ministry. That said, Nxesi can’t be the only one to blame for this.

Saving jobs is all well and good, but employment creation is listed as one of the department’s main objectives.

Last year, the minister said there is still work to be done to rehabilitate the Compensation Fund and the Unemployment Insurance Fund. There seems to be some way to go in this endeavour. 

Both funds failed to table their annual reports on time, flying in the face of the Public Finance Management Act. 

Nxesi is now splitting his duties between the departments of employment and labour and public service and administration, where he is the acting minister. His role in the latter department has put him in labour’s crosshairs, imperilling whatever goodwill he has achieved with trade unions.

On a more positive note, the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration continues to be a feather in the department’s cap, despite major budget constraints.

Minister Says

The minister looks forward to the completion of two significant policy changes — the National Employment Policy and National Labour Migration Policy — in the coming year. He says weaknesses at the Compensation Fund and the Unemployment Insurance Fund have been addressed but systemic problems of the two funds are a longer term process.


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Cyril Ramaphosa
David Mabuza
Maite Nkoana-Mashabane
Fikile Mbalula
Angie Motshekga
Aaron Motsoaledi
Nathi Mthethwa
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma
Mmamoloko Kubayi
Thandi Ruth Modise
Khumbudzo Ntshavheni
Ebrahim Patel
Naledi Pandor
Mathume Joseph Phaahla
Pravin Gordhan
Senzo Mchunu
Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams
Lindiwe Sisulu
Thokozile Didiza
Lindiwe Zulu
Patricia DeLille
Ronald Lamola
Barbara Creecy
Bheki Cele
Blade Nzimande
Mondli Gungubele
Enoch Godongwana
Gwede Mantashe
Thulas Nxesi
(Public Service and Administration)
Thulas Nxesi
(Employment and Labour)