The Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) says it foresees more retrenchments in workplaces, as factors such as the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) take over.
“Currently, the biggest contributor to retrenchments is the 4IR. We are seeing that based on the number of referrals we are receiving. We do foresee more referrals,” said CCMA director Cameron Morajane at the release of the commission’s annual report in Johannesburg on Monday.
The mining and construction sectors were the hardest hit by retrenchments, Morajane said.
He said technological advancements were at the centre of retrenchments. These included automation, which he said took over what humans could do, followed by the geek economy and artificial intelligence.
According to Morajane, the banking sector was the hardest hit by the 4IR as it uses the automation process, which affects the significance of the branch based-approach.
“What we are seeing in some industries is that instead of receiving employees on a permanent basis, they keep them temporarily, then they decide to retrench. We do foresee more retrenchments. What worries me about it is because of the magnitude of the dismissals, we only deal with those that are referred to us.”
With artificial intelligence, 4IR and automation being a reality, Morajane said it would be difficult to stop job losses.
With that said, the commission, according to Morajane, has done well in terms of saving jobs, thus exceeding its target.
“We set targets for ourselves and the result of that is 41% of jobs were saved, versus those that were facing retrenchments. This job saving function is a major contributor in mitigating the percentage number of people facing job losses,” Morajane said.
(SOURCE: TIMES LIVE)