n Acta Juridica - Changing the role of the corporation : a journey away from adversarialism

Volume 2012, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0065-1346
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2088



This contribution explores the relationship between corporate and labour law after the introduction of the Companies Act of 2008. It is argued that the potential for a dialogic model contained in certain provisions of the Labour Relations Act 1995 notwithstanding, an adversarial model of labour relations has continued to dominate in South Africa. Similarly, the company law which developed out of the provisions of the 1973 Companies Act was based almost exclusively on a shareholder model of the corporation.

The 2008 Companies Act contains a number of innovations which take account more fully of the interests of other stakeholders in the corporation, in particular employees. At the same time there has been compelling criticism of the continued dominance of the adversarial model of labour relations accompanied by a series of arguments in favour of a greater recognition of mutual interest.
The contribution examines the potential for congruence of these arguments with the structure of existing labour law and the possibilities for a broader concept of the corporation which can be sourced in a series of provisions in the 2008 Act. On this basis, the contribution seeks to develop a model of the corporation that may reinforce the possible development of a dialogic labour law.

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