Deputy Labour Minister Nkosi Holomisa leads a delegation to AU to engage on social protection

BY SUPPLIED - APRIL 17, 2015

South Africa’s Labour Deputy Minister, Nkosi Phathekile Holomisa is to lead a delegation composed of government, labour and business representatives to the 1st session of the Specialised Technical Committee (STC) on Social Development Labour and Employment (SDLE) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 20-24 April 2015.

The delegation will also include the Department of Labour Director-General Thobile Lamati and senior officials of the department.  

The gathering will bring together Ministers in charge of Social Development, labour and employment, government experts responsible for the concerned sectors, business, social partners, African Union (AU) organs such as the Pan African Parliament, the Regional Economic Communities and organisations with status of observers such as the Pan African Productivity Association, Pan-African and International Organisations.

The theme is: “Social Protection for Inclusive Development”. From 20-22 April 2015 there will be a meeting of experts; this will be followed on 23-24 April 2015 by a meeting of Ministers.

The meeting is a biennial sectorial African Union Conferences of Ministers of Social Development, and the Labour and Social Affairs Commission (LSAC).

The Specialised Technical Committee on Social Development, Labour and Employment is one of the 14 STC’s. The STC on Social Development, Labour and Employment is expected to meet once every two years. The rationale stems from the fact that social development and social security are of central concern and key development goal for the African Union.

After two decades or registering steady high levels of economic growth, Africa is still facing unacceptable high levels of poverty and inequality usually upheld or sustained by less inclusive development processes.

Social development and social protection are instrumental in achieving inclusive development and will be vital for achieving the goals of the AU Agenda 2063, especially with regard to the outcomes, namely: a prosperous Africa based on Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development; an integrated Continent, politically united, based on the ideals of Pan Africanism; a Africa where development is people-driven, relying particularly on the potential of women and youth, and; a peaceful and secure Africa.

The meeting will also consider the challenges faced by women in African labour markets, and discuss appropriate bold measures to improve the status of women in labour markets, as well as their social protection needs to contribute to the AU theme of the Year 2015.

The draft 1st Five Year Priority Programme for implementation of the January 2015 AU Assembly Declaration and Plan of Action on Employment, Poverty Eradiation and Inclusive Development, will also be considered.

Other social inclusion challenges for vulnerable groups in member states to be considered include: the expansion of social protection systems to combat poverty and exclusion, as well as to establish synergies among the social development, labour and employment sectors to enable the joint operationalization of the STC.

The social impact of Ebola in general and on the nature of social protection interventions required for the affected countries is also on the agenda of the STC, as well as the AU Agenda 2063 and the contribution of social protection and inclusive development to the development process.

The purpose and objectives of STC-SDLE will be to consider social inclusion challenges for vulnerable groups in member states, including the expansion of social protection systems to combat poverty and exclusion, as well as to establish synergies among the social development, labour and employment sectors to enable the joint operationalization of the STC.

Agenda items for the meeting are: Social development challenges in AU Agenda 2063; developing a common position for the International Labour Conference (ILC) in Geneva in June; advancing the Social Protection Agenda in Africa: Social Protection and Social Security for all; draft 1st five-year Priority Programme for implementation of the Declaration and Plan of Action on Employment, Poverty Eradication and Inclusive Development; establish terms of reference for the African Labour Migration Advisory Board; Special Initiative on Domestic workers; social protection programmes for small, medium and micro enterprises.

Other issues will include improving the status of women in African Labour Market; draft concept note on regional conference on Occupational Health and Security in 2016; AU policy plan of action on ageing; implementation of the AU Disability architecture; the social impact of Ebola in general and the nature of social protection interventions required.