AIAS Lunch Seminar 7 mei Paul Smit - University of Pretoria, South Africa

‘Social Dialogue and collective bargaining in post-apartheid South Africa’

Paul Smit

Day: Thursday 7 May 2015
Time: 12.15 – 13.15 hrs.
Location: AIAS, 4th floor Gijsbert van Tienhoven building, room 4.09, Roeterstraat 31, 1018 WB (NEW LOCATION!)
Registration: Please send an email, preferably before Wednesday 6 May, 12.00 hrs. to register.
A sandwich will then be provided.


In 1994 South Africa became a non-racial democracy and it became the task of the ANC government to resolve the economic contradictions that apartheid created. This required massive economic, social, structural and legislative challenges.
In this paper a brief overview is provided of the nature of social dialogue and collective bargaining pre- 1994. A more in-depth description of institutionalised social dialogue and collective bargaining in a post- apartheid (post 1994) is provided especially as embodied in NEDLAC (National Economic Development and Labour Council). A review of collective bargaining in terms of the Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995 as amended in 2015 is also done.
In broad terms the situation with regards to social dialogue and collective bargaining pre-1994 consisted off the Government decided what is good for business and business decided what is good for workers. This situation changed dramatically in post-apartheid South Africa where there is a legislative obligation on all social partners to engage in social dialogue and collective bargaining.


Paul A. Smit obtained his PhD: (Labour Relations Management) from the University of Pretoria in 2010. He teaches Labour Relations on graduate and post-graduate level at the University of Pretoria. He is a member of SASLAW (The South African Society of Labour Law) and the ISL&SSL (International Society for Labour and Social Security Law) and is a registered Master Practitioner (Employment Relations) at the SABPP (South African Board of Personnel Practice).

In 2013 Dr Smit received a research grant from the South African National Research Foundation and from the University of Pretoria for a 3 year research project on Transnational Labour Relations in SADC (Southern African Development Community) under the mentorship of Prof Manfred Weiss from the Goethe University in Frankfurt Germany. He has presented various papers at International and local conferences and have published a number of articles in International and local academic journals. Visiting researcher on Transnational Labour Law at the Vrije Universiteit of Amsterdam (Netherlands) and research fellow at the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium).

Dr Smit has contributed two chapters to Labour Relations a Southern African Perspective, the leading academic text book on Labour Relations in South Africa as well as a chapter in Role of Standards in Labour & Social Security Law International, Regional and National Perspectives.

He has acted as study leader for a number of Master degree students who have successfully completed their degrees and is currently study leader / promoter for 2 PhD candidates and 5 Master degree candidates. He has also been appointed as reviewer for paper submissions for the 21st World Congress of the International Society for Labour and Social Security Law to be held in Cape Town, South Africa in September 2015.

His field of research interests includes Dismissal Law and Transnational Labour Law.

The next lunch seminar 21 May

Aslan Zorlu
Associate Professor at the faculty of Geography at the UvA.

Click here for all the AIAS lunch seminars from January – July 2015

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