Labour experts seek solutions

Agenda points include the extension of social security protection and the revision of decent work programmes.

01 October 2018 | International

“Therefore, the fourth revolution requires players in the labour and employment market to be at the forefront of this process." Bro-Matthew Shinguadja

More than 30 delegates from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) gathered in Swakopmund for the employment and labour sector joint tripartite technical sub-committees meeting of experts on Wednesday.

Namibia recently assumed the chairmanship of SADC for 2018/2019.

In his welcoming remarks, the permanent secretary of labour, industrial relations and employment creation, Bro-Matthew Shinguadja, said the meeting aims to address the increasing unemployment rate in the region.

“The region is experiencing developmental challenges, like high rates of unemployment particularly among the youth and women, skills deficits, unprecedented job losses through retrenchments, decent work deficits, inadequate social protection coverage and re-occurrence of child labour, making the timing of this meeting significant for the entire SADC region.

“Therefore, the fourth revolution requires players in the labour and employment market to be at the forefront of this process. The delegates here are gate keepers to move forward but not for the sake of moving. It is a prerequisite that it should be the right move in the right direction,” said Shinguadja.

He said the agenda of the technical meeting would include important items like the extension of the social security protection, the portability benefits thereof and the revision of the regional decent work programme.

“These are not just topics but critical topics for the region, hence they require due and proper consideration if the region is to address some of the highlighted challenges effectively and consistently. It should not be ignored that Africa in general and this part of the continent in particular, has attracted much attention and interest from all over the world because of its huge potential which is there for the sustainable development. This demands of SADC to act as a dynamic economic block that can lead and chart the way for its citizens and that of the continent as a whole, if not for the world.”

He said that the world's sustainable development and inclusive economic growth primarily hinges on meaningful interactions, “not only between states, but between the state and its social partners in a tripartite configuration aligned on decent work, ethical business conduct for fair competition, respect of workers' rights and freedom that include democratically elected workers representatives, and to be balanced on fair and just state policies that underpin the rule of law which do not leave the weaker behind”.

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