Deputy Minister iNkosi Phathekile Holomisa on labour challenges at Southern African Development Community

Deputy Minister of Labour, iNkosi Phathekile Holomisa reiterates challenges to the World of work

The Deputy Minister of Labour, iNkosi Phathekile Holomisa told the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Employment and Labour Sector Ministers and Social Partners meeting to be wary of challenges presented by the circumstances surrounding the Principle of Social Justice in the World of Work.

The Deputy Minister was participating in a panel discussion today, March 7, 2019 in Windhoek, Namibia.

The Deputy Minister cited rising inequality; poverty still trapping millions; societies still labouring in antiquated working conditions that have little regard to their rights, forced indenture and even forms of servitude and bondage; rapid technological advances with negative consequences for workers and communities, with digitisation and mechanisation of work processes giving rise to increased insecurity and job losses; and Globalisation, demographic shifts, trade and other forms of protectionism, and climate change which are bound to have negative consequences for future work processes.

We need to prioritise the re-training and reskilling of workers to ready them for the future workplace; paying attention particularly to the challenges posed by the fourth industrial revolution with all its ramifications for the future of work; the protection of vulnerable workers; understanding and planning for changes in the way we work and exploring different forms of rewards, to move away from traditional forms of pay and remuneration.

We also need to prioritise Safe opening up of borders to facilitate the free movement of workers across the region, the Deputy Minister said.

Other discussion issues on the table included: the future of work in the SADC; the rapid pace of climate change and prevalence of natural disasters; and automatisation and digitalisation of industries.

The panel, was moderated by Dr Joni Musabayana (ILO: Pretoria Office) and featured Hon. Myriam Giovama: Minister of Employment, Immigration and Civil Status (Seychelles); Dr Aggrey Mlimuka: Deputy Chairperson- SADC Private Sector Forum (SPSF); Ms Zingiswa Losi: President- Southern African Trade Union Coordinating Council (SATUCC), Mr Josef v.d. Westhuizen: SADC Youth Forum and Chair of the Namibian National Youth Council Board and Mr Greg Vines: Deputy Director General, ILO

iNkosi Holomisa told the panel that there is a need to re-orient social protection in the digital economy to follow people rather than companies in order to ensure that workers are not commodified, or labour becoming robots.

Source: Government of South Africa

Human Rights