CCMA case load shock

The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) says it has experienced a 25% rise in the case workload over the past five years.

This, according to Nerine Kahn, executive director of the CCMA, points towards the emergence of an adversarial relationship in the South African labour market.

Kahn said the case workload in 2012 had escalated and reached an all-time high with 160,000 cases coming under spotlight. “This figure translates to over 13,000 cases per month or 3,333 cases per week or a total of 667 cases each working day,’’ she said.

“The unprecedented rise in the case load points to an antagonistic labour market relations and this is worrying for stability in the labour market. The situation also indicates that the economic environment is becoming tough,” cautioned Kahn.

The CCMA lead said amid the budgetary problems, at the core of CCMA’s function was mediating and arbitrating in labour disputes.

She revealed that over the past year CCMA had handled 79% of cases dealing with unfair dismissals and this was followed by eight percent cases of unfair labour practices.

Kahn expressed surprise over a recent dismal Commission for Employment Equity (CEE) Report on employment equity, which showed that black people still lagged behind on equity in the workplace.

“I cannot believe that, in South Africa, we do not have discrimination in the workplace. If you look at the nature of disputes adjudicated at CCMA, I hardly see cases of that nature,” she said.

She said that, with the expected passing of the Employment Equity Act in Parliament, South Africa should brace itself for a rise in the number of cases that relate to discrimination in the workplace.

A new trend emerging in the South African labour market has been a rise in the number of cases brought about by the professionals This suggests that professionals are having confidence in the services of the CCMA,” she said.

The CCMA recorded a rise in the dispute settlement rate from 69% in 2011 to 72% in 2012 and 73% in 2013.

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CCMA case load shock