Public sector industrial relations in the context of alliance politics : the case of Makana Local Municipality, South Africa (1994-2006)

by Makwembere, S.

Abstract (Summary)
This thesis is in the field of Industrial Relations. It concerns a micro-level investigation of the dynamics of public sector industrial relations in post-apartheid South Africa. It focuses on the Tripartite Alliance between the African National Congress (ANC), the South African Communist Party (SACP) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and explores what the Alliance relationship has meant for the traditional roles of employees and their representatives on the one hand, and employers and their representatives on the other. The thesis examines the political, organisational and societal contradictions and implications for COSATU public sector union affiliates and their members in their relationship to the ANC as an ally (via the Alliance) and the context in which ANC members form part of management (in government). The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) was used as an archetype of a COSATU public sector union affiliate that engages with the State as employer at the municipal level. It is a case study of Makana Local Municipality (Eastern Cape Province, South Africa) using qualitative research techniques and content analysis to derive the relevant information. The author conducted a series of in-depth interviews of key informants and observations at Makana Local Municipality were done. Based on the empirical data obtained from the investigation, the thesis argues that the traditional roles in the employment relationship at the workplace have been affected by the political alliance. Industrial relations roles have become increasingly vague especially since many within local government share ANC/SACP memberships with members of the trade union. The study also highlights that within an increasingly globalising post-apartheid environment, the Alliance provides mixture of benefits and challenges for workplace negotiations and employment relations in ways that macro-level analyses of employer-employee relationships do not always capture.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Rhodes University

School Location:South Africa

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:sociology and industrial


Date of Publication:01/01/2008

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