Should a wage dispute remain unresolved, Hospersa has threatened to bring services at all SANParks facilities to a halt. Picture: Antoine De Ras/African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town – The Health and Other Services Personnel Trade Union of South Africa (Hospersa) has declared a dispute against SA National Parks (SANParks) after months of protracted wage negotiations.

Hospersa, the majority union at SANParks, together with two other unions, represent about 5 000 employees including field rangers, field guides, petrol attendants, receptionists and hut attendants across the country.

Should the dispute remain unresolved, Hospersa has threatened to bring services at all SANParks facilities to a halt.

Hospersa said that parties deadlocked after all recognised unions rejected SANParks’ final wage increase offer of 5.5%. They have demanded a 11.5% increase.

“The unions have now referred the matter to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) to try to end the impasse. 

"Should the conciliation remain unresolved, a certificate of outcome declaring that unions can embark on industrial action/strike as the next course of action will be issued by the commissioner,” the union said.

SANParks spokesperson Rey Thakhuli confirmed the dispute and that an application had been submitted to the CCMA.

“all parties are waiting a date for the conciliation meeting and SANParks is open to any discussion with recognised labour unions,” Thakhuli said.

Hospersa spokesperson Kevin Halama said throughout negotiations, SANParks remained “inflexible”. 

“Should we fail to reach an agreement, our members can embark on industrial action and bring services to a resounding halt at all of the 21 national parks managed by SANParks across South Africa.