Circumventing another Marikana Massacre : a look into the provisions of the Labour Relations Amendment Act relating to the limitation on the right to strike.
Mnyandu, Ntokozo Steven Nkonzo.
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This dissertation looks at the labour unrest that has fast become an increasing reality with perpetual scales of violence that is directed at property and person during strikes being witnessed with uncomfortable regularity. The violence of the Lomin strike that took place in 2012 on the Hills of Marikana is not unique. Through section 65 of the Labour Relations Amendment Act 6 of 2014 the legislative arm of government has taken steps to address these concerns. This sections aims to limit the scope of when one may resort to a strike with the aim of resolving a labour dispute. The purpose behind the amendments to the “Act is to respond to unacceptable levels of unprotected industrial action and unlawful acts in support of industrial action, including violence and intimidation.” While it is easy at the outset to nod aggressively in the affirmative and hold that this is a perfect way to make certain that labour unrest and violence is a distant memory, anyone who is abreast with the history of South African labour disputes will understand that limiting the right to strike rarely off sets violence and protracted strikes. This discussion goes further by investigating whether there are other possible solutions to the conundrum that is labour unrest, other than those detailed in the Amendment Act. There dissertation also investigates underlying social orders in the form of divisions among trade unions and structural inequalities which are said to be key factors behind violent strikes. Of significance to the discussion is a look at whether there is any merit in moving away from pluralistic and adversarial relations into strong social democratic corporatism that is built on trust and compromise. At the last, the effectiveness of institutionalising industrial conflict is also investigated.