22 DECEMBER 2020
ATTENTION: CCMA USERS & STAKEHOLDERS
SUBJECT: 2020 VOTE OF THANKS FROM THE CCMA DIRECTOR
Dear CCMA Users and Stakeholders,
The year 2020 has certainly been a challenging year for the global community at large, as the COVID – 19 pandemic disrupted human life as we know it and devastated economies and livelihoods. It has also sadly imposed death and health challenges and caused great pain. As at 20 December 2020, in South Africa alone, there has been 921 922 positive COVID - 19 infections with recoveries standing at 793 914. The death toll stood at a regrettable 24 691.
Sincere condolences to all those who have lost loved ones. Appreciation and gratitude is extended to all front line workers across all sectors and industries, who continue to work around the clock in responding and managing COVID – 19 in a strive to protect health and life, whilst at the same time, attempting to maintain some level of normalcy.
COVID – 19 has undoubtedly had a negative impact on the net gains South Africa has made towards the alleviation of the triple crisis of unemployment, poverty and inequality. The decline in economic activity due to the pandemic and the accompanying lockdown regulations aimed at containing the spread of the virus saw industries suffering major financial losses, the results of which, amongst others, was economic devastation and job loss. The unemployment rate of the third quarter increased from the second quarter by 7.5 percentage points to 30.8%. The unfavourable socio-economic conditions may contribute to a volatile labour market.
The CCMA operating environment mirrored the socio-economic climate. For the period 1 April 2020 to 30 November 2020, the CCMA received 944 large-scale retrenchment referrals compared to the 530 of the same period last year. This represents a 78% hike in large-scale retrenchment referrals. The CCMA dealt with 2 278 wage-related or potentially strike related matters for the same period, settling 52%, representing a decline in settlement rate when compared to the 59% settlement rate of the previous period. This is indeed catastrophic.
In efforts to effectively respond to the COVID – 19 pandemic and containing its impact, the government urgently reprioritised its budget. This came at a time when the fiscus was already experiencing great constraints. This resulted in many public institutions experiencing unprecedented budget cuts which had a negative impact on service delivery. This situation challenged all public institutions to develop alternative service delivery mechanisms, whilst at the same ensuring the protection of life and health.
The CCMA headed the call of alternative service delivery initiatives through the use of its digital platforms made accessible to all Users and Stakeholders, such as the use of web-based hearings, the launch of the mobile application (the CCMAConnect) and the e-Referral platform, amongst others. Since the launch of the web-based hearings, 2 057 hearings were held virtually (68 of these were training sessions conducted). 6 723 applications were received via the e-referral platform. These alternative service delivery mechanisms were only successful as a result of the contribution and the support of the labour market. The CCMA would like to thank its Users and Stakeholders for the continued support throughout this challenging year of 2020.
COVID – 19 continues to rear its ugly burden in South Africa and the rest of the world. The second wave is upon South Africa, as it enters into the 2020 festive season and December holiday break. South Africans are encouraged to support the call made by the Honourable President Cyril Ramaphosa, calling for the adherence to all health and safety protocols issued by the government. It is only through collective responsibility that will ensure that the impact of the second wave is minimised. Wear your mask, avoid large gatherings, social distance and continuously wash your hands.
The new five (5) year CCMA Imvuselelo –The Revival Strategy launched in March 2020 was somewhat prophetic. With the slogan “Ï am because you are”, the COVID – 19 pandemic saw the global community uniting in fighting a common enemy. 2021 will come with its own challenges, but as humankind, we shall rise again. Through uBuntu, the human race can and does rise to the occasion when called to do so.
I wish you and your families joy, peace and health this festive season. Let us all meet in the New Year. The whole world is looking forward to a better 2021.
Mr Cameron Sello Morajane
Please be advised that during the festive season and December holiday break the CCMA’s operations and services will run uninterrupted and will be available to all Users. The CCMA can still be reached on the following email address; firstname.lastname@example.org for any case related queries needing procedural advice. Alternatively, Users can also contact the provincial CCMA offices (contact details on the CCMA website www.ccma.org.za).
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