n South African Law Journal - Labour law in Namibia : towards an 'indigenous solution'?




This article concerns Namibia's new Labour Act 15 of 2004, which is about to replace the first comprehensive post-independence labour Act dating from 1992. It explores the extent to which the 2004 Act is an indigenous solution to the needs of labour-market regulation in Namibia. To that end, the author sets the new provisions in their historical context and considers their likely impact in light of the labour-relations and labour-market context in which they will operate. A brief history of Namibia and its labour law is provided, highlighting the entrenchment of racial and labour discrimination that the 1992 Act set out to overcome. The article also gives an overview of the post-independence labour law dispensation in Namibia, emphasizing the structure and content of the 1992 Act. The 2004 Act is analysed in depth, both as regards the lengthy process of its genesis and the most important elements of its provisions. Noting especially the extent to which the 2004 Act maintains the emphasis of its predecessor on regulation of the formal labour market and the presence of several concepts borrowed from South Africa, the author concludes that the conditions of the Namibian economy and labour market may need to develop further - in particular through greater industrialisation and growth in formal sector employment - before Namibian labour law can operate as intended


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