Protest over continued closure of CCMA offices
Cape Town - The Open CCMA Campaign has once again protested outside the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) offices demanding, among others, a full-reopening of the walk-in facilities and the permanent employment of part-time commissioners.
Protests were held in different cities, including Cape Town, with the campaign spokesperson Songezo Mazizi saying they resolved to go ahead with the planned actions, despite alleged repeated legal threats levelled at one of their member organisations by the CCMA.
Mazizi said last month, the CCMA noted that although R90.1 million has been deducted from its 2020/21 budget, the projected cuts over a three-year period have been reduced from over R600 million to R301 million.
He said it was also confirmed that part-time commissioners would begin to hear cases again, starting from April 1.
“None of those changes addressed our core demands for an immediate reversal of the budget cut, a significant expansion of the CCMA budget, the full-reopening of the CCMA’s walk-in facilities, the permanent employment of all part-time commissioners and for a total transformation of the culture and practices of the institution which have allegedly become explicitly anti-worker,” said Mazizi.
Nolubabalo Gcwaba from Khayelitsha, who visited the CCMA offices in Cape Town, said she came to open a case, but was told by a security officer that the offices have been closed since last year.
Campaign organizer Harry May said the crisis engulfing the CCMA would not be resolved through stakeholder meetings and press briefings.
"We call on all progressive worker organisations to abandon the politics that drives them to look for a seat at the negotiating table (approach) instead of joining forces with other worker organisations on the ground," said May.
Acting CCMA director Xolani Nduna said the CCMA noted the planned demonstrations as part of the Open CCMA Campaign.
Nduna said the purpose of the stakeholders engagements were to share information with stakeholders and clarify misinformation in the public domain.
"Despite a reduced budget, the CCMA continues with its efforts of expeditious dispute resolution using alternative service delivery mechanisms in a bid to safeguard the health and safety of users and staff," said Nduna.