The challenges facing South Africa's labour market in 2016 have been evident in a number of recent judgments and in a variety of ongoing processes of engagement between social partners.
The introduction of a national minimum wage remains high on the policy agenda, although its relationship with job losses and job creation remains obscure. Numsa’s plans to launch a new trade union federation appear to have stalled, with the timing of the launch and its trade union composition still up in the air. Important court judgments on industry collective bargaining and affirmative action have been handed down, and the mining sector is still struggling to emerge from a period of industrial relations instability following a rupture in traditional union membership in the sector. All of this comes against the backdrop of a jobs crisis that shows no sign of abating.