Volume 3, Number 1


Labour broking: a South African case study
Naidoo, L.D. and Bayat, M.S.

Recently the government of South Africa together with organised business have been at logger- heads with the trade unions about the issue of Labour Broking. On the one side the government and organised business were justifying the support of it while on the other side the trade unions were canvassing for a total ban on Labour Broking. With the Marikana mineworkers incident the role of Labour Broking to aid or hinder the transformation of South African society was placed in stark relief.

This paper will reference established theorists to create the framework for discussion, then canvases public documents including digital sources to capture the prevailing opinions of the day. It will in the first instance, trace the evolution of Labour Broking both globally and in South Africa. Thereafter, the different views on Labour Broking will be explored. These include inter alia; the view that government and employers in general have supported the temporary nature of labour broking because it provides a degree of flexibility in employment and relief from the controls and stipulations of the Labour Relations Act, the view of Cosatu and some other trade unions is that Labour Broking is exploitative and disenfranchises workers, and the view of some public commentators that Labour Broking is ‘immoral’ and an opposing view that it allows for inclusion of workers that are otherwise excluded from organised labour markets.

In concluding this paper will argue that Labour Broking has a legitimate place within the Trans- formation Agenda, but needs to be more heavily regulated.

Keywords: Labour Broking; South Africa; Labour Relations