Christo van der Rheede, Agri SA Deputy executive director
Agri SA and the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration [CCMA] recently met to discuss closer co-operation and information-sharing between the parties in order to support businesses and workers in distress through various mechanisms with the aim of assisting such businesses to turn around and to save jobs. Where retrenchments are unavoidable, the parties will collaborate in order to assist workers to access appropriate support and survival mechanisms. Skills development on the recognition of early warning symptoms of business distress will also be a component. Both parties plan to enter into a formal agreement. The objectives of partnership between the parties created in terms of the MOA are to:
- provide assistance where businesses and / or workers are in distress or facing distress; • save jobs and promote employment security by exploring alternatives to retrenchment, including the Training Layoff Scheme (TLS), as well as identifying the causes of the distress and mechanisms to assist businesses to turn around and become profitable; • assist workers who have been retrenched to access survival mechanisms, including entrepreneurial skills or business start-up training; and to • promote co-operation, skills development and information-sharing between the parties to further the above objectives.