In 1981, several trade union officials and industrial relations practitioners met to discuss a different approach to relationships in the industrial sphere, using mediation as a basis to resolve disputes. At the time, a government institution could not lead this. From these discussions, the Independent Mediation Service of South Africa (IMSSA) was borne.
IMSSA was committed to the effective resolution of industrial and community disputes. For 15 years, IMSSA had a material impact in a society marked by conflict in the economic, political and social spheres in the 1980s and 1990s.
IMSSA was the founder of a sophisticated, independent and credible dispute resolution industry in South Africa.
The purpose of this initiative is to share a piece of history that demonstrates what South Africans can do to change the course of history through conversation, engagement, and commitment. IMSSA achieved this. And we believe that this experience must be shared to remind us of this.
Tokiso’s archive of IMSSA artefacts is made public to encourage the universal commemoration of the role IMSSA played in forging dispute resolution in South Africa.