The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) is facing drastic cuts to its budget over the next three years.
This in line with the government’s controversial austerity measures that are aimed at reducing public debt which currently stands at 80% of GDP.
However, there are concerns that the budget cuts risk jeorpadizing the CCMA’s statutory mandate of enforcing the constitutional rights of especially vulnerable workers in the country.
The CCMA was established in terms of the Labour Relations Act of 1995 as a dispute resolution mechanism between employers and employees in the country.
Its establishment signalled a historic shift in labour relations in South Africa, from an adversarial conflict-ridden system to one based on greater co-operation and conciliation.
However, that may be in danger as its budget is set to be halved to R200-million a year at the beginning of next month, the beginning of the new financial year. The drastic budget cut means the CCMA will no longer be able to operate at full capacity, which will hamper access to justice for hundreds of thousands of aggrieved workers in the country.
Some NGOs are now threatening litigation to force the government to reinstate funding for the CCMA.
Meanwhile, the CCMA management says it’s currently assessing exactly how the budget cuts will impact its operations from next month onwards.
Union concerned about the termination of part-time CCMA consultants: Lynford Dor