Southern Africa Trade Union Co-ordination Council

COSATU Statement on SA hosting the SADC ELS Ministers and Social Partners meeting in Cape Town, RSA
Wednesday, February 21st, 2018

COSATU, once again, welcomes the opportunity for the country to host the 2nd meeting of the Employment and Labour Sector Ministerial and Joint Tripartite Technical Sub Committees, senior officials and Social Partners meeting.

The meeting will take place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, South Africa on the 26th February – 2nd March 2018. The theme of the Conference is; “Horizon Decent Work: advancing connectivity, coherence and inclusivity”.

South Africa as the current Chair of SADC, is hosting this as one of the last meetings before officially handing over the Chairship to Namibia in August, during the SADC Heads of States Summit meeting.

Therefore, it is very important for us to focus on Reviewing the role, significance and importance of the work we have collectively done as Social Partners towards this end. Of particular importance, is the seriousness of the labour market situation in our region and the overall macro-economic policy crisis of poverty, inequalities and unemployment, as reflected in the Oxfam report and in various reports.

COSATU recognises the significance of this meeting in that, it is the first to be held since the historic SATUCC Congress held in Tanzania, where COSATU was elected President of the regional organisation and the responsibility, that entrusts on us and workers of South Africa generally.

We have outlined our focus of our SATUCC Presidency as follows;

  • A New and effective SATUCC is a condition for a New and effective developmental SADC, wherein our focus is on building effective SATUCC Organisational and Strategic Capacity
  • A visionary and progressive Policy and Strategic Thinking Paradigm for a New working class path of Jobs, industrialisation and decent work in the region
  • Building advanced Leadership development skills to deepen advanced worker organisation, innovation and capacity for new and effective ideas through the Southern African Trade Unions Development Academy (SATUDA) Initiative
  • Grounding a New Culture of effective Campaigning, worker mobilisation and united action around issues facing workers and communities in our region
  • Institutionalising Social dialogue, tripartism and democratic freedoms in Governance guided by ILO, AU and SADC instruments that affirm worker and human rights for all

We note and support the convergence of our priority highlights with the Priority areas of focus for the 2017-2018 South African government Chairship, which are:

  • Promotion of Decent work
  • Employment creation,
  • Youth unemployment, and
  • SMME development

In that regard, we call for the intensification of the efforts towards, the; fundamental labour market structural changes, enforcement of the ILO/SADC conventions and standards, fighting corruption and abuse of state power, building a democratic developmental state and creation of decent jobs.

Adherence to international labour standards and conventions is absolutely important to inclusivity, decent work and sustainable development in the region.

Issued by COSATU


Bongani Masuku (International Relations Secretary)

Congress of South African Trade Unions

COSATU HOUSE | 110 Cnr Jorissen & Simmonds Str | Braamfontein | 2017

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