Municipal Institute Of LearningMILE - Municipal Institute Of Learning
Department of Labour hosts first BRICS Labour and Employment Working Group
The First Meeting of the BRICS Labour and Employment Working Group (LEWG) took place in Mbombela, Mpumalanga Province from 7th-10th May 2018. Hosted by the Department of Labour and facilitated by the Municipal Insitutute of Learning (MILE), the theme for the Working Group Session was “BRICS  in  Africa: Developing Countries for Inclusive  Growth  and Shared Prosperity  in  the  New  Industrial  Revolution.

BRICS is a platform which brings together Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa where they discuss issues of mutual interest in a rapidly changing global environment.

The meeting kicked off with a keynote address by the Deputy Minister of Labour, Inkosi Phathekile Holomisa.

The Deputy Minister of Labour commented that 2014 saw the formation of the Labour & Employment Working Group, subsequently launched in Russia in 2015. 

"Now for the first time ever it is being held on the shores of South Africa in 2018. This Working Group is dedicated to equal pay for work of equal value,  strengthening tripartism as well as social security. The reality is that most jobs will disappear or be significantly altered in the future. The new industrial revolution will be meaningless if we do not bridge the digital divide considering how expensive and inaccessible technology is to most developing nations, said Inkosi Phathekile Holomisa.

The thematic issues discussed included Youth employment;  Women participation: Equal pay for work of equal value; Social dialogue and tripartism; and Social Protection. The meeting took stock on progress made in respect to these themes since the labour and employment track was established during the 2014 BRICS Summit in Fortaleza, Brazil. 

This year’s meeting highlighted some of the important issues affecting the labour markets of the respective countries such as the changes driven by technological, globalisation, demographics, social values and so forth. 

The second LEWG meeting will be held at the end of July followed by the BRICS Ministers for Labour and Employment conference. Both events will take place in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.

The Government of Mpumalanga, Southern African Development Community (SADC) troika and international organizations such as the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and  International Social Security Association (ISSA) also attended the meeting. Delegates from BRICS member states comprise of government, employer organisations as well as worker organisations.​​

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