WHAT IS THIS SERVICE?
1. Tokiso offers conferencing facilities through online tools. This enables panellists, representatives, witnesses and other participants in processes to connect to a meeting through an online video conferencing tool. This will enable all parties to be able to view and hear each other on a screen.
2. This guideline provides the requirements for using such conferencing tools for processes through Tokiso.
WHAT ARE THE CONNECTIVITY REQUIREMENTS?
3. To use conferencing tools, a minimum download and upload speed of 2mb/s is required.
4. If you are unsure of your connectivity speed, this can be tested on www.speedtest.net.
5. The connectivity speed is required for all parties who are connecting.
6. If there is load shedding, it is recommended that the affected party to the conferencing call have an alternative connection option such as 3G. It is the responsibility of each party connecting to ensure that they are aware of when loadshedding is taking place and that they have an alternative option to connect should they not have electricity due to loadshedding.
7. Tokiso has offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town which parties may use for purposes of conferencing facilities should a party not have the requisite connectivity requirements.
HOW WILL THE CONFERENCING TOOL BE SET UP AND ADMINISTERED?
8. Tokiso will set up the conference meeting with a selected conferencing tool. Tokiso will send a link via email which a party must click on and accept just before the meeting commences.
9. Tokiso will be the ‘host’ of the meeting and will maintain a link to the conference meeting to ensure that no connection and other issues arise with the meeting. Tokiso employees are bound by the same confidentiality requirements as panellists.
10. For processes which require it, the conferencing meeting can be recorded and saved by Tokiso. Parties may request a copy of the recording.
11. Where it is necessary to share documents with the witness/other party, Tokiso will provide a screen sharing tool to participants. It will therefore be essential that documents are scanned in by the representatives for this purpose.
THE CONDUCTING OF PROCESSES VIA A CONFERENCING FACILITY?
12. For arbitrations:
⦁ Where a witness is to give evidence over a conferencing facility, and is not in the same room as the arbitrator, it is a requirement that a Commissioner of Oaths is present in the room with the witness to swear in the witness and ensure that the witness is not interfered for the duration of their evidence.
⦁ Where the witness is in the same room as both representatives, and it is the arbitrator using the conferencing facility, a Commissioner of Oaths may not be required if the parties agree that the arbitrator administer the oath via the conferencing facility and both representatives are comfortable that they are able to ensure the witness is not interfered with for the duration of their evidence.
⦁ Tokiso is able to provide a Commissioner of Oaths for arbitrations at a small fee.
13. For hearings (disciplinary, incapacity, grievance, appeal):
⦁ It is not a requirement to swear in witnesses at hearings. However, should a witness give evidence over a conferencing facility, it is imperative that parties are assured that the witness is not interfered with for the duration of their evidence. One option is for parties to provide a neutral person for this purpose, such as an official from HR, alternatively Tokiso can provide an appropriate person at a small fee..
14. General points applicable for arbitrations and hearings:
⦁ The conferencing video should enable the presiding officer to see the witness in full seated at a table so that the presiding officer can observe the physical actions and responses of the witness.
⦁ Where representatives are not in the same room with the arbitrator, the conferencing facility shall provide for a mechanism to ‘raise your hand’ which a representative can use to raise an objection or be given the opportunity to speak.
⦁ The conferencing facility should provide that all parties can view not only a witness, but the presiding officer and representatives as well.
15. For mediations and facilitations:
⦁ The requirements and the impact will need to be discussed on a case by case basis with the mediator/facilitator and the parties to ensure that there is no prejudice to any party.