Industrial Relations in South Africa: Labour Laws, Labour Institutions and Political Disillusionment

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CASE STUDY. In 2014, South Africa experienced its longest and costliest strike ever: a five-month stoppage in the platinum sector that cast doubt on the institutions and culture of the country’s labour relations framework.

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Industrial Relations in South Africa: Labour Laws, Labour Institutions and Political Disillusionment: Abstract

Industrial Relations in South Africa: Labour Laws, Labour Institutions and Political Disillusionment is a case study by Renee Horne and Jacklynne Hobbs.

In 2014, South Africa experienced its longest and costliest strike ever: a five-month stoppage in the platinum sector that cast doubt on the institutions and culture of the country’s labour relations framework. After the strike came to an end in late June, the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) convened a meeting to discuss ways of preventing further violent and protracted industrial action. Among the questions confronting delegates at this gathering was whether labour unrest could be addressed by altering the laws and institutions regulating strikes. Or would any such reforms prove largely futile in the absence of political and economic change?

Teaching objectives

The study seeks to provide MBA students with a means to analyse labour disputes from multiple perspectives – of assuming viewpoints with which they might, in their normal managerial roles, typically disagree – so as to identify areas of consensus that could help avert further long and violent strikes in South Africa.

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