SAPTU wishes to raise its concern about the CCMA’s (Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration) decision to terminate the service of more than 500 part-time commissioners due to extreme budget cuts.
The director of the CCMA, Cameron Morajane announced that the commission would not use the services of any of its part-time consultants – mostly lawyers – starting December 2020 to make up for the R617bn budget cut over the next three years. The doors will also stay closed to walk-in clients.
“These cuts now leaves the case-load entirely to the 173 full-time commissioners left,” says Adv. Ben van der Walt, the secretary-general of SAPTU (South African Parastatals and Tertiary Institutions Union).
The CCMA processed more than 200 000 complaints in 2019, a rate of close to 17 000 a month. The part-time commissioners conducted 60% of the commission’s arbitration hearings.
“With part-time commissioners out of service, the arbitration backlogs will quickly build,” says Adv. Van der Walt. “Workers will be the ones to suffer. It is a disaster. They will have to wait longer for cases to be resolved, or feel forced to settle disputes quickly for less.”
SAPTU is also concerned that employers might abuse the cutbacks knowing that disputes will only be heard much later if they dismiss employees now.
“The situation is completely unacceptable,” he says.
Issued by: SAPTU
Date: 29 January 2021
Enquiries: Adv Ben van der Walt, General Secretary SAPTU Email: firstname.lastname@example.org