Far from signalling the end of social dialogue, the Marikana massacre underscores the importance of refining and adapting existing peak-level negotiating fora such as the National Economic, Development and Labour Council (Nedlac). To ensure social dialogue remains an integral component of the South African policy-making and national decision-making system, social partners rely on a system of consultation and dialogue to build on a shared national vision. Dialogue is accepted as a means of consolidating a young, democratic but deeply divided South African society. It’s also a medium through which to enhance participation in policy formulation and decision-making.
The study reaffirms the critical role that social dialogue plays in a developing economy such as South Africa using the case study of the Marikana massacre to illustrate this point. However, through an analysis of official documents and media reports, as well as selected interviews, the study highlights that the effectiveness of social dialogue through a statutory structure such as Nedlac, is at risk of collapse due to the low levels of commitment of the social partners involved in the Council’s processes. The enhanced maturity of collective bargaining in creating a platform for engagement between labour and business is also emphasised through the outcomes of the research. The research recommends an overhaul of social dialogue principles and practices in order to derive benefit from the numerous benefits inherent in social dialogue.
Mini Dissertation (MSocSci)--University of Pretoria 2017.