Unions fuming over CCMA budget cut

Labour unions say government's plans to cut the CCMA's budget will have a devastating impact on the working-class. A whopping R600-million budget cut is expected over the next three years. Unions say this violates workers’ human rights and they’re threatening to take legal action. eNCA's Ronald Masinda has more. Courtesy #DStv403

CAPE TOWN - Labour unions say government's plans to cut the CCMA's budget will have a devastating impact on the working-class.

A whopping R600-million budget cut is expected over the next three years.

Unions say this violates workers' human rights and they're threatening to take legal action.

Cosatu said over two million South Africans have lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic and trimming down the CCMA's budget will only make matters worse. 

READ: Large-scale referrals decline, CCMA says

"The CCMA in its current format, those part-time commissioners are employed to deal with cases," said Cosatu provincial secretary Malvern De Bruyn.

"If you receive a case from a worker that is referring to a case in December, that case will only be heard in April."

Finance union Sasbo agrees.

Sasbo provincial secretary Susani Tomsana said: "We feel that workers' rights or the fights we have been engaged in all along to arrive where we are in this particular body, are actually now gathered as null and void."

The South African Association of Labour Dispute Resolution Practitioners says over 70 percent of commissioners at the CCMA work part-time. 

READ: CCMA anticipates spike in large scale retrenchments

It said commissioners will also suffer financially under the budget cut. 

Sefako Mafoyane, president of the South African Association of Labour Dispute Resolution Practitioners, said: "There is this myth that part-time commissioners are all practising lawyers, this is not true.

"Yes, the majority of practising commissioners are lawyers but a few are in practice."

The South African Human Rights Commission is also investigating this matter. 

The Commission's Chris Nissen said they hear about all of these complaints.

"Under COVID-19 (the pandemic) we are hearing of a lot of excuses and a lot of reports about exploitation that's taking place. And, therefore, we are saying to the government you cannot abandon the poor workers."

Unions fear workers will be left out in the cold if an under-resourced CCMA is unable to handle their disputes.

* eNCA's Ronald Masinda reports.

Source
eNCA

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