News FlashesAugust 5, 2020

CRS News Flash 5 August 2020 – SOUTH AFRICA – Directive on access to the CCMA during the COVID-19 pandemic



It is important that employers note the following:

New directive issued on public access to the CCMA during the COVID-19 pandemic

The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) has issued a new directive on access to the CCMA. This directive is an amendment to the directive issued previously in May 2020. It will apply with effect from 1 August 2020 and serves to regulate public access to the CCMA.

The directive also sets out the manner and conditions under which matters enrolled in the CCMA will be dealt with. It must be read together with the CCMA rules.

The most important amendments include:

  • Referring disputes
    Parties are not permitted to visit any CCMA office for purposes of making enquiries, submitting or collecting referral forms, or dropping off referral forms and any other related documents. The use of electronic mail, facsimile, registered mail or the newly developed online referral platform is encouraged
  • Conciliation hearings and facilitation of large-scale retrenchment disputes
    All new cases, other than those already scheduled, will be undertaken through one of the following means:

    • Digital online platforms that are to the satisfaction of the CCMA;
    • Suitable external forums;
    • At the CCMA.

Preference will be given to telephonic conciliations.

  • Submission of arbitration awards or rulings
    CCMA to submit copies via electronic mail or post. Should a party wish to collect a hard copy of the award, prior permission must be obtained from the provincial office where the matter was referred.
  • Protocols to be followed in video conference hearings
    Participants must ensure that there is no ambient noise in the room which can interfere with audio quality during the hearing. Where the CCMA is not the host of the video conference and is thus not able to record the proceedings using the chosen online facility, the party hosting the video conferencing session must record the session and submit the audio file at the close of the proceedings. A signed statement of confirmation that the recording has not been tampered with in any way must accompany the recording. The Commissioner will give instructions as to the recording of the proceedings.

Should either party refuse to have the dispute heard through a digital platform or external venue,  reasons for such refusal must be submitted to the CCMA in writing, whereupon the CCMA will decide on the appropriate means through which the hearing will proceed.

To view the full directive, follow the link.

Contact our legislation team at if you require any additional information.
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