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

Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration

Rules regulating the Practice and Procedure for Resolving Disputes

21. Representation at Arbitration



1) Section 138(4) read with section 140 of the Act explicitly states who may appear or be represented in arbitration proceedings. A commissioner has no discretion to permit any person other than those listed in that section to appear or act as a representative even if the other parties have no objection.


2) If a party to the dispute objects to the representation of another party to the dispute or the commissioner suspects that the representative of one of the parties to the dispute does not fall within the ambit of section 138, the commissioner must determine this issue.


3) A dispute concerning the status of a representative in terms of section 138 is a factual dispute. The commissioner may call upon the representative whose status is being contested to demonstrate why he or she should be admitted as a representative in terms of section 138. The commissioner may request the production of documentation such as constitutions, payslips, the contract of employment, the prescribed form listing the directors of a company, recognition agreements, proof of trade union membership etc. Representatives must be prepared to tender evidence in support of their status.