Mildred Oliphant. Picture: GCIS
Mildred Oliphant. Picture: GCIS

The labour ministry says it is concerned about hostility between staff and management at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).

Minister Mildred Oliphant and her deputy Phathekile Holomisa said they were confident the issues would be speedily resolved by an investigation  launched into multiple allegations levelled against CCMA director Cameron Morajane and members of his executive committee by the organisation’s staff in Johannesburg.

On Wednesday Business Day reported that CCMA staff had submitted a list of grievances to Holomisa, setting  the wheels in motion for an internal probe.

Dissatisfied workers, who did not want to be named for fear of being victimised, said their complaints submission had run to dozens of pages. Among other things, they had complained about wasteful expenditure, pay disparities and purging.

Morajane has been at the helm of the agency since his predecessor, Nerine Kahn, resigned in 2015.

Morajane’s suggestion that some of the actions being questioned by staff were precipitated by Kahn prompted her to seek a meeting with the chairman of the CCMA governing body, Makhulu Ledwaba, but she was unsuccessful.

In an interview with Business Day, Morajane said his use of CCMA funds to purchase a firearm for his delegated driver was in line with a risk assessment conducted during Kahn’s tenure.

It is understood she believed her name was being "tarnished".

The CCMA dismissed all allegations, despite the governing body having instituted an investigation to test the veracity of the claims.

The CCMA reports to the Labour Department.

Oliphant and Holomisa said they had "noted with concern" the developments, which some employees said had led to the destruction of morale at the agency.

They appealed to all concerned to "allow the internal process to run its course".

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