Employment and Labour celebrates 25 years of dispute body CCMA

Dispute resolution body CCMA saved 171 000 jobs since 2016 as it marks 25 years of existence – Executive Director, Morajane
The Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) has saved 171 000 jobs through its dispute resolution initiatives – this as the organisation celebrates 25 years of its existence said Executive Director Advocate Sello Morajane.
Morajane said in the current challenging economic climate one job lost was one too many. He reiterated CCMA’s posture “to remain a dispute resolution agent, and everything else will be about support services”.
The Executive Director said on the eve of Covid-19 the CCMA was in the throes of embarking of on a number of innovations and these had to be shelved. He said now that Covid risk has subsided it was time the organisation does things differently.
“We must evolve with time. All of us must adjust, adapt and evolve with time without going backwards. Covid-19 changed the course of time. It changed how we do things, our attitude towards work and how we tackle cases,” he said.
He said there were things that “we had for future but, the future came to us”.
Morajane emphasised that the CCMA users will continue to remain a top priority. He implored Commissioners that being a Commissioner was a calling. He appealed to Commissioners to avoid postponing cases unnecessarily and always engage with clients.
“We are an institution of statutory creation – born out of the belly of South Africa’s constitution led by the values of the constitution – and we live those values,” he said.
Morajane was speaking in Birchwood, Boksburg today when he was delivering a State of the organisation report before hundreds of CCMA Commissioners and its stakeholders. Morajane was addressing the organisation’s Indaba. The two-day Indaba provides the organisation with an opportunity to reflect on its health state and map a future path.
He said during Covid-19 many institutions including public institutions closed down, however, the CCMA stepped up.
“It was one of those times when our leadership skills were tested. Some of our officials died and were infected. Some have not healed. Covid is still there. We served the public during Covid and stood the test of time,” he said.
According to Morajane, when the National Minimum Wage (NMW) was introduced it was not Act, but a statement – about economic development, “we must ensure that it must be enforced”.
He highlighted the importance of language and culture – in dispute resolution especially during the conciliation stages.
“Parties understand the dispute better in their own language. Clients should be encouraged to speak in the language of their choice untranslated. The switch to English often goes with ego. We must unlock the use of 11 official languages, then we will see a radical change in dispute dissolution,” he emphasised.
Morajane cautioned the Commissioners against finalising an award and later walking away. He said Commissioners must ensure they enforce the execution in the name of social justice.
“The value of the award is in the execution,” he said, “the idea is to complete and close the deal. Then there will be true value in what we do”. He also emphasised the need to train Commissioners on the rules and guidelines. Another project of concern to CCMA is operation model and funding design.
He also said there was no way he can celebrate victory if the health of the staff was not well.
Meanwhile, Morajane disclosed that since opening its doors more than 25 years ago the CCMA has handled more than 3,7 million cases. In the process he said the CCMA issue more than 547 000 awards and 130 00 of those awards were enforced.
“The enforcement of awards is a worry for us,” he said.

Source: Government of South Africa