A comparison of the South African and Swaziland's labour market regulatory systems in dispute resolution

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

The choice of a labour market regulatory system in any given social context is crucial for the economic development of that country. In South Africa, a challenge has been made to the key players in the labour environment to choose whether the primary focus should be on creating better jobs or whether the main challenge should be in creating many or more jobs (Baskin: 2004). These two conflicting interests, though almost intertwined to each other, are however standing on a separate footing. Of late in South Africa, there have been cries for an urgent need to deregulate the labour market in the quest to create more jobs and free the small and medium businesses to participate in the economy without stringent measures. Concern has been raised about the unavailability of jobs for the people of South Africa. The major challenge facing the Government is the need to create more jobs. In Swaziland, the problem of job scarcity is reaching a crisis level. A large section of the economically active population is unemployed. Previously, Swaziland was considered to be an ideal place to conduct business by many enterprises in Southern Africa. The new political dispensation in South Africa and the political stability in Mozambique have brought about a sudden and devastating effect on Swaziland. Businesses are closing down operations and very few enterprises are showing an interest to invest in that country. This notwithstanding, Swaziland has opted to use South Africa's system of labour market regulation. The essence of the paper will be to examine the choice of the labour market regulatory systems between these two countries and to try to establish the successes and failures of each system in its given context. The main focus will be on the dispute resolution mechanism that each system adopts and whether such system works well given the cultural, social, economic and political dispensation of that country. The institutions that will be discussed are the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA), the Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration Commission (CMAC), the Labour Court and the Industrial Court. At a later stage, the discussion takes a twist and focuses on the competing and overlapping jurisdiction between the labour dispute resolution systems as set out in labour legislations on the one hand, and the common law power of the High Courts to decide on labour related matters on the other hand. The idea is to shed some light on the difficulties that may arise if the jurisdictional problems are not resolved and that this may in turn impact negatively on the labour market regulatory systems.

Includes bibliographical references (leaves 63-65).