More essential services potentially on the cards

On 12 July 2020, the Essential Services Committee (ESC) announced its plans to investigate whether certain services should be declared as essential.

Specifically, the ESC is investigating:

  • Nutrition / feeding services at schools
  • Laundry services in privately owned old age homes
  • Maintenance services in the aviation industry
  • Ports and marine services
  • Private security services
  • Private health services

The ESC also announced the possible variation of the "Key Point Computer Systems" designation.

The ESC will be hosting oral hearings for representations from interested parties during September 2020 at CCMA offices in Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town, Bloemfontein and Port Elizabeth.

The ESC did not provide any reasons as to why it is pursuing these investigations. However, given the nature of these services it is presumed that the impact of Covid-19 on these services led the ESC to initiate these investigations. Employers who operate the services listed above should take note of this development and where impacted consider making representations.