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The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in labour relations in South Africa: an appraisal of efficacy and challenges

Mashele Rapatsa ()
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Mashele Rapatsa: Faculty of Management and Law, University of Limpopo, South Africa, LLB (UL), LLM (UCT), PhD candidate (University of Groningen, Netherlands)

Juridical Tribune (Tribuna Juridica), 2018, vol. 8, issue Special, 202-211

Abstract: The Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995 provides that Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is predicated on providing less complex statutory processes within which labour disputes may be expeditiously and cost effectively resolved. Has or is this fundamental objective being realised? This article proffers a critical disposition of the realities besieging South Africa’s prime institution of labour dispute resolution, the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA), whose establishment brought about high expectations in terms of normalising systems of labour dispute resolution, and ushering in employee-friendly employment relations. It has been observed that although the CCMA provides simplified labour dispute processes, majority of workers still struggle to achieve a practical realisation of the intended ADR benefits, largely owing to low literacy levels and the skewed bargaining power which is still slanted towards employers. Employers still wields the determining power at both conciliation and arbitration stages, and are better placed to manipulate a conciliation outcome due to technical knowledge of labour laws and the power of record keeping, against employees, who often are the disadvantaged proletariat with limited or no skills or training in labour relations. Further, the arbitration process still manifests some elements of adversarialism, which favours the resources-rich employers.

Keywords: labour disputes resolution; labour rights; conciliation; arbitration; labour peace. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J52 K31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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