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Ramaphosa: Stop blaming labour laws

Johannesburg - Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa says South Africans should stop always blaming the labour laws for the trust deficit between labour and business.

He says one of the main reasons there have been prolonged strikes recently which have often turned violent, is that these constituencies have forgotten how to communicate with each other.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. Photo: Reuters. Credit: Reuters

A reason why their relationship is also at its worst since the advent of democracy is because of poor economic conditions.

Workers are under pressure to get paid better, while it is more difficult for bosses to make a profit.

Although Ramaphosa says laws should not necessarily be changed, he told reporters on Friday that this did not mean he had changed his mind on labour considering introducing a strike ballot.

This would ascertain how many of their members wanted to down tools, and who else wanted to go on strike at a company.

He was speaking following addressing the annual summit at the National Economic, Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) in Johannesburg.

He told reporters there were many unions which already had a balloting process in place.

One of them was the National Union of Mineworkers which he was once led.

Many unions and the Congress of SA Trade Unions are opposed to balloting being made law because they believe it will frustrate workers’ rights to strike which is enshrined in the constitution.

While there were attempts to provide for the ballot in the recent amendments to the Labour Relations Act, they were dropped.

However the ballot and other changes will be discussed at a Nedlac labour relations indaba in November.

It was initially set down for October.

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