Arbeidswetgewing in Suid-Afrika (Wet 28 van 1956 en Wet 102 van 1993) : 'n vergelykende studie
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From their date of birth, all people are involved in one or more different kinds of relationships. These relationships are all subject to certain rules and procedures which guides the conduct of the parties within the relationship, and appoints certain rights and obligations to these parties. As such there are also statutes, rules and procedures which guides the conduct of the parties involved in the employment relationship, and appoints certain rights and obligations to the employer and employee. Because the expectations and objectives of employer and employees differ, it is inevitable that conflict will arise between these two parties. It is thus necessary that these parties be provided with procedures and rules, by way of statutes, which can assist them in resolving these conflicting situations in such a way as to have the least. effect on the labour relationship, community and the economy of the country as a whole. Labour relations is defined by the researcher as that relationship, of which the inception, existence and continuity is dependant on the inter-dependence of the employer and employee on each other, regardless of the type of work that is being done, the kind of organisation or the sector of the work environment in which the parties may find themselves. For this relationship to succeed, it is necessary that these parties bargain collectively on those issues which are of mutual interest. The employment relationship in South Africa did not always exist, it only came about with the discovery of gold and diamonds which caused industrialisation in the country. These discoveries led to an urgent need for skilled workers. These workers were mainly imported from Britain, which not only brought with them their knowledge and skills, but their trade unionism as well. This led to the organisation of the labour force, with the first union in 1881. Due to enormous strikes during 1922, the Government was forced to intervene to prevent further bloodshed. Subsequently the Industrial Conciliation Act, 1924 was enacted. Against the background of South Africa's controversial position in international politics-, labour dispensation, dualistic bargaining structures, shortage of skilled labour, etc. the Wiehahn-Commission was ordered in 1977 to investigate all issues with regards to labour legislation in South Africa. Their report, with their conclusion and recommendations, was the start of a whole new labour dispensation within South Africa. As it is quite evident from what has been discussed above, with regards to Labour Relations, South Africa is still relatively a young country, compared to those Labour Relations systems which are currently in use internationally, as basic labour rights had only been awarded to employees during the past few years. As such, the employment-relationship in the public sector had only been regulated since 2 August 1993, with the implementation of the Labour Relations Act for the Public Service, (Act 102 of 1993). Before that date, public service employees did not fall within the ambit of the Labour Relations Act, (Act 28 of 1956), and could not make use of the mechanisms or remedies which this Act provided for. There currently exists a wide spectrum of labour legislation in South-Africa, which regulates labour relation in a specific sector of the country. It is thus inevitable that duplication and an overlapping of certain mechanisms and procedures may occur, which consequently makes it unnecessary to have more than one act to regulate the labour relationships in the country. The question that arises with the researcher is if it will not be more effective to have only one labour relations act, which will protect the rights of the whole labour force of South-Africa. The primary object of this study, is to only compare the Labour Relations Act for the Public Service, (Act 102of1993), with the Labour Relations Act, (Act 28 of 1956), make recommendations with regards to the global composition of these Acts and try to predict future Labour Relations Legislation in South Africa. In order to reach this goal, the researcher will identify the bargaining- as well as the dispute-resolution mechanisms which the two Acts provides for, and critically evaluate them. Ensuing from this study, recommendations will be made with regards to the improvement of these Acts along the guidelines as set by the International Labour Organisation.