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date: 28 November 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter focuses on the role of trade unions in South Africa’s economy. Following a historical overview of the South African trade union movement before and after the end of apartheid, it considers the labour market legislation and institutions formed since 1994. Two such laws are discussed, namely, the Labour Relations Act and the Basic Conditions of Employment Act. The chapter then assesses the impact of trade unions and wage laws on labor market outcomes in South Africa, along with factors that contribute to high unemployment rates and severe labor market disequilibria. Finally, it examines how the political economy shapes South Africa’s employment relations in light of the tripartite structure of the ruling governmental party.

Keywords: trade unions, South Africa, labor market, legislation, Labour Relations Act, Basic Conditions of Employment Act, wage laws, unemployment, political economy, employment relations

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