NACTU South Africa

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Decent work Decent Life Program has been part of the NATIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND LABOUR COUNCIL (NEDLAC) for years now. Since the (WSSD) World Summit on Sustainable Development which was held on the 26th August – 4th September 2002. This marked the beginning of series of campaigns on poverty and unemployment. In 2003 on the 4th June, South Africa held a Growth and Development Summit (GDS) which came through NEDLAC to address a number of issues, in the main was job creation strategies. Through dialogue an agreement on sector summits was reached.


The ILO theme: “Decent Work Decent Life”  came in as an underpinning factor on the above. NEDLAC Growth and Development Summit had four themes:


a.  More jobs, better jobs, decent jobs

b. Addressing the investment challenges

c.  Advancing equity, developing skills, creating economic opportunities for all and extending service

d.  Local action and implementation




This has resulted to a formation of Committees working directly with the Government to look  at issues like unemployment and poverty. As trade unions we are mindful of the fact  that the unacceptable level of  poverty and unemployment breed low resistance to exploitation of workers by employers. The decent work theme became  useless. Cheap labour becomes the issue of the day.


Unions interventions


Government announced that an increase on electricity be 53% which unions rejected. An agreement  of 27.5% was reached.




There has been a growth  on employment  between 1994 an d2004 from 9.5 million to 11.6 million. However, employment growth has not kept pace with the increase  in people seeking work. More jobs that has been created are in the informal economy, this is against the theme of Decent work.


Food Prices, Food Security and Fuel Price.


The argument being advanced by trade unions in food prices escalation is that of only the poor and unemployed who feel this horrible food price increase. The basic needs like illumination fuel like paraffin had to be in the same level as petrol on price.


HIV and Aids

It presents numerous problems and situation that compromise development and undermine efforts aimed at achieving millennium development goals (MDG) and education.


Social Security


Currently only the formal employed who are covered in terms of social security. The unemployed and informal employed groupings are not covered. The only benefit that they can access is the state social security  of which you have to be 55years being a woman and 60years being a man. Therefore NACTU with other trade unions participate in TASK TEAMS through NEDLAC on social security reforms.


In conclusion, NACTU would like to register the fact that poverty and unemployment are challenges  that we are faced with. We would like to caution the world administrators that it is through campaigns like these of Decent Work  that poverty and unemployment  can be eradicated.


                        UNEMPLOYMENT BREED POVERTY

                        POVERTY BREEDS CRIME

                        CRIME KILL ECONOMY

                        …………THEN PEOPLE REVOLT!!!!!!!!!