What this matter essentially raises for determination is whether the High Court has jurisdiction over an allegedly unlawful termination of a fixed-term contract of employment. The extent of the High Court’s jurisdiction in respect of disputes arising in the employment setting is a vexed question on which courts and legal commentators have long been divided. In a series of cases culminating in Gcaba, this Court has provided guidance regarding the proper extent of the High Court’s jurisdiction in relation to claims that arise in the labour context. While these judgments were specifically concerned with administrative law claims arising in the labour context, they nevertheless provide general principles to guide the determination of whether the High Court enjoys jurisdiction over a labour dispute. However, there continue to be varied approaches by the courts to when a matter falls within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Labour Court.
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Special Investigating Unit v Chauke Quantity Surveyors & Project Management in association with listed entities and Others (45529/16)  ZAGPJHC 257
Click here to read the full judgment on Saflii  Pursuant to a public procurement process, the Department of Public Works (the department) and an association of architects, quantity surveyors and engineers concluded a written ‘Standard Professional Services Contract’ on 12 October 2007, in terms whereof the consultants comprising the association performed civil, structural, electrical and mechanical engineering, quantity surveying and architectural services to the department during the period 2008 to 2013 in connection with the construction of one-stop border facilities at the Lebombo Port of Entry between South Africa and Mozambique. As at November 2013, they were paid a total amount of R84 477 774.99 (excl. VAT) in respect of their professional fees and an amount of R5 876 344.30 (excl. VAT) for their disbursements; the total amount inclusive of VAT being R103 003 696.00. →