The current system of resolving employment disputes needs to be rethought, the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) director Nerine Khan said at the official opening of the new CCMA headquarters in central Johannesburg on Friday.
After the CCMA awards damages to employees, employers file reviews disputing them, which then lie dormant in labour courts until employees give up, said Khan.
The CCMA handles more than 500 cases on a daily basis with more than 14000 on the waiting list - a huge improvement from the 36000 case pile-up in previous years, Khan said.
The main challenge for the CCMA is that most cases lie dormant after referral to the labour court.
Khan proposed a new system aimed at increasing dispute settlements before arbitration by 70percent by 2010.
Mediation would be refocused as the core business tool for resolving workplace disputes.
"The strategy focuses on, among others, client user-friendly and realistic services; a sustainable dynamic organisation that is positioned to meet the commission's future needs; cost-effective allocation of resources to be appropriate to meet the speedy service delivery," said Khan.