Oct 2020 2nd edition

Watch out for job scams

Written by Silusapho Nyanda

Job seekers are falling victim to scams from people claiming to be genuine labour brokers or employers.

A job scam is one of the growing crimes in South Africa, with various scams used to try and make people pay for jobs that do not exist. They are also used in human trafficking and to recruit people for criminal activities.

Many of these scams are conducted by false labour brokers and fake companies and it is important to only use brokers and companies registered with the relevant authorities, such as the Department of Employment and Labour (DEL).

The Director for Private Employment Agencies at the DEL, Martin Ratshivhanda, says genuine labour brokers are registered with the department’s Labour Centre and are governed by law.

A registered private employment agency must display its certificate of registration in a visible place at its offices, says Ratshivhanda.

Registered labour brokers are not allowed to charge the prospective employee a fee for finding them a job.

In addition, they may not provide false employment information, retain original identity documents (ID) or original qualification certificates or deduct any money from the employee’s wages.

According to Ratshivhanda, genuine labour brokers must protect job seekers’ personal information.

Job seekers can find registered labour brokers by visiting their nearest Labour Centre or visiting the DEL's website at www.labour.gov.za.

Genuine businesses wanting to register as labour brokers can visit www.e-services.gov.za.

They must have certified copies of: 

  • SARS tax compliance certificate, issued within the past year.
  • A sole business owner must submit a personal tax clearance certificate.
  • The physical address that the business operates from.
  • A certified copy of the ID document (or passport if non-citizen) of the applicant.


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