One of the most important areas of work of a trade union federation is that of representation at national and international structures. At a national level, FEDUSA represents its members at various statutory and non-statutory bodies such as the following:
The National Economic, Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC) was created by an Act of Parliament in 1994. This Council is the principal vehicle for social dialogue in the Country.
FEDUSA has representation on all of Nedlac’s main structures including the Executive Council, Management Committee, Labour Market Chamber, Trade and Industry Chamber, Public Finance and Monetary Policy Chamber and the Development Chamber.
The Labour Relations Act (LRA), Basic Conditions of Employment Act, The Skills Development Act and Employment Equity Act were all negotiated at NEDLAC. For more information on current issues at NEDLAC, please click here.
The CCMA Governing Body
The Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (the CCMA) is a dispute resolution body established in terms of the Labour Relations Act, number 66 of 1995. It is an independent body. The CCMA does not belong to and is not controlled by any political party, trade union or business. It is not controlled by the state although the public funds it. It also may receive grants, donations and bequests.
The Governing Body is the supreme policy making body of the CCMA. It is made up of 11 people, they are: three State representatives; three representatives of organised Labour; three representatives from organised business; a chairperson; (all of whom are nominated by NEDLAC) and the Director of the CCMA (nominated by the Governing Body).
The UIF Board
This board is responsible for unemployment insurance policy and has the responsibility to ensure that the fund is functioning effectively and in accordance with the legislation. This board is furthermore empowered to make recommendations on changes to legislation governing unemployment insurance.
The Compensation Board
The Compensation Board deals with policy issues relating to compensation for occupational diseases and injuries, increases in benefits, the appointment of assessors and proposed amendments to the Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act.
The National Skills Authority
The National Skills Authority (NSA) was established in terms of section 4 of the Skills Development Act, 1998. Its functions are to:
- advise the Minister on a national skills development policy, a national skills development strategy, guidelines on the implementation of the National Skills Development Strategy, the allocation of subsidies from the National Skills Fund, and any regulations to be made
- liaise with Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) on the national skills development policy and the National Skills Development Strategy
- report to the Minister in the prescribed manner on the progress made in the implementation of the National Skills Development Strategy
- conduct investigations on any matter arising out of the application of the Act; and
- Exercise any other powers and perform any other duties conferred or imposed on the NSA by the Act.
The South African Qualifications Authority
The South African Qualifications Authority is a body of 29 members appointed by the Ministers of Education and Labour. The members are nominated by identified national stakeholders in education and training. The functions of the Authority are essentially twofold:
- To oversee the development of the NQF, by formulating and publishing policies and criteria for the registration of bodies responsible for establishing education and training standards or qualifications and for the accreditation of bodies responsible for monitoring and auditing achievements in terms of such standards and qualifications;
- To oversee the implementation of the NQF by ensuring the registration, accreditation and assignment of functions to the bodies referred to above, as well as the registration of national standards and qualifications on the framework. It must also take steps to ensure that provisions for accreditation are complied with and where appropriate, that registered standards and qualifications are internationally comparable.
SAQA must advise the Ministers of Education and Labour. The Authority is required to perform its tasks after consultation and in co-operation with all bodies and institutions responsible for education, training and certification of standards which will be affected by the NQF. It must also comply with the various rights and powers of bodies in terms of the Constitution and Acts of Parliament. The office of SAQA is responsible for implementing the policies and decisions of the Authority.
Millennium Labour Council
South African business and Labour, following visits to Eire and Holland, and after numerous discussions, agreed to establish a bilateral structure known as the Millennium Labour Council on the basis that:
- The current unemployment, job losses and lack of job creation constitute a deepening crisis in South Africa that requires urgent action.
- Current levels of poverty and inequality are unacceptable and new initiatives are needed to promote improved quality of life and decent work for all.
- The Millennium Labour Council is to comprise twelve members each from the business and trade union constituencies.
- The Millennium Labour Council will be associated with NEDLAC as a bilateral council and will operate with full policy autonomy.
- The objective of the Council is to develop a shared analysis of the crisis and potential solutions to be pursued with government and NEDLAC, as appropriate.
South African National AIDS Council (SANAC)
Cabinet has proposed that there should be greater co-operation between the Government and all facets of civil society in the battle against the spread of HIV and AIDS. In response to this Cabinet decision, SANAC was established in 2000 as a response for the need for a multi-sectoral focus on the HIV epidemic. The Council is an advisory body to Cabinet and has no legal status.
SANAC strives to play a strong management and advocacy role in strengthening mobilisation, monitoring and providing national oversight in response to the HIV and AIDS epidemic.
- Advise government on HIV, AIDS and STI policy and related matters.
- Create and strengthen partnerships for an expanded national response to HIV and AIDS in South Africa, and mobilise resources for SANAC partnership activities.
- Receive reports of all sectors on sectoral responses to HIV and AIDS.
- Review the implementation of programmes and strategies of the national multi-sectoral response to HIV and AIDS developed within the framework of the national HIV, AIDS and STI strategic plan.
Advisory Council on Occupational Health and Safety
The Advisory Council for Occupational Health and Safety (ACOHS) is a statutory, tripartite body established under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (Act 85 of 1993) and advises the Minister on matters related to occupational health and safety and OHS legislation.
The Council meets four times each year to discuss any OHS issues. The forum is a tripartite body containing representatives from the Department of Health, Labour, Mineral and Energy, compensation commissioner, employer organisations and trade unions. In addition, three other persons are appointed based on their knowledge of occupational hygiene, occupational medicine and occupational safety. The tripartite body provides a forum for co-operation within the domain of occupational health and safety as it affects all sectors in the Labour market except mines and fishing vessels at sea.