President Cyril Ramaphosa is in Geneva, Switzerland, where he is leading the South African delegation at the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Centenary Conference.
The conference, which starts this morning, is the 108th ILO session and is being convened under the theme ‘Building a Better Future with Decent Work’, the Presidency said on Sunday.
The conference is an annual gathering of governments, labour and business to deliberate on contemporary issues of mutual interest in the global labour markets and adopt international labour standards open to ratification by the 187 member States.
President Ramaphosa, who is accompanied by the Minister of Employment and Labour, Thembelani Nxesi and a delegation of the National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC), is set to address a high level sitting where the outcomes of the Global Commission on the Future of Work will be presented.
The President was appointed as the co-chair of the ILO’s Global Commission on the Future of Work Report in May last year, alongside co-chair Prime Minister Stefan Löfven of Sweden, to lead a team of distinguished commissioners.
They were mandated to seek recommendations to changes in the global economy as a result of technological advancement, demography, globalisation and climate change and how that impacts workers and the nature and future of work.
The Future of Work Report made 10 recommendations that are guided by a human-centred agenda, which proposes that the social contract can be strengthened by placing people and the work they do at the centre of economic, social policy and business practice.
It has been 25 years since South Africa re-joined the ILO and it has since the advent of democracy adopted legislature and programmes that are in support of social justice and decent work.
In 2018, South Africa hosted the Jobs Summit, where all social partners forged a common drive to effectively collaborate in addressing challenges that unblock growth in the South African economy.
President Ramaphosa further signed into law the historic National Minimum Wage Act, which will bridge the inequality gap by protecting low-paid workers and provide a firm foundation to eradicate poverty.