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Labour Relations Act, 1995 (Act No. 66 of 1995)

Chapter VII : Dispute Resolution

Part C : Resolution of disputes under auspices of Commission

136. Appointment of commissioner to resolve dispute through arbitration



(1) If this Act requires a dispute to be resolved through arbitration, the Commission must appoint a commissioner to arbitrate that dispute, if—
(a) a commissioner has issued a certificate stating that the dispute remains unresolved; and
(b) within 90 days after the date on which that certificate was issued, any party to the dispute has requested that the dispute be resolved through arbitration. However, the Commission, on good cause shown, may condone a party's non-observance of that timeframe and allow a request for arbitration filed by the party after the expiry of the 90-day period.


(2) A commissioner appointed in terms of subsection (1) may be the same commissioner who attempted to resolve the dispute through conciliation.


(3) Any party to the dispute, who wants to object to the arbitration also being conducted by the commissioner who had attempted to resolve the dispute through conciliation, may do so by filing an objection in that regard with the Commission within seven days after the date on which the commissioner's certificate was issued, and must satisfy the Commission that a copy of the objection has been served on all the other parties to the dispute.


(4) When the Commission receives an objection it must appoint another commissioner to resolve the dispute by arbitration.


(a) The parties to a dispute may request the Commission, in appointing a commissioner in terms of subsection (1) or (4), to take into account their stated preference, to the extent that this is reasonably practicable in all the circumstances.
(b) The stated preference contemplated in paragraph (a) must—
(i) be in writing;
(ii) list no more than five commissioners;
(iii) state that the request is made with the agreement of all the parties to the dispute; and
(iv) be submitted within 48 hours of the date of the certificate referred to in subsection (1)(a).


(6) If the circumstances contemplated in subsection (1) exist and the parties to the dispute are engaged in an essential service, then the provisions of section 135(6) apply, read with the changes required by the context, to the appointment of a commissioner to resolve the dispute through arbitration.