The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) is in crisis after it was announced earlier this year that its budget would be cut by R600 million over three years, starting with a budget cut of R100 million in 2020.
The cut was unexpected and not in line with the increase in the demand for its services, including dealing with the effect of the Minimum Wage Act.
The budget cut will impact heavily on the country’s workers who suffered job losses due to the Covid-19 lockdown regulations, and who in cases of unfair dismissal or other labour-related problems will now have to deal with a CCMA that is not functioning to full capacity. Apart from the budget cut the CCMA has to make do with a diminished staff component due to Covid-19, which means more turnaround time per case.
UASA attended a virtual discussion with stakeholders last week during which CCMA Director Cameron Morajane highlighted the changes at the CCMA, including:
- · The annual use of part-time commissioners between December 2020 to March 2021 has been summarily stopped due to budget constraints. The full-time commissioners will bear the brunt of the additional work previously carried out in the December to March period.
- · The Commission will switch to digital platforms were possible.
- · Between March and November this year 110 employees were tested positive for Covid-19 which resulted in the closure of CCMA offices on 27 occasions.
- · The Commission will be focusing on conducting telephonic conciliations between parties to disputes.
Morajane said despite the challenges by the CCMA it would continue with its statutory conciliation- mediatory- and arbitrative obligations.
UASA insists that government provide proper services for workers who need assistance with labour-related issues. Both workers and employers must know that there is a well-functioning CCMA to protect against abuse and unfair treatment, to retain industrial peace and carry out its mandate of social justice.
For further enquiries or to set up a personal interview, contact Stan Mazhindu at 074 978 3415.0