SADC ministers, labour partners meeting opens in Maputo

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SADC ministers, labour partners meeting opens in Maputo

Maputo, May 16, 2013, ZANIS…A Meeting of Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Ministers and Social partners responsible for employment and labour has opened in Maputo, Mozambique with a call for SADC member states to improve the conditions of services for their workers.

Officially opening the four-day meeting yesterday being held at Joaquim Chisano International Conference Centre, Mozambique Labour Minister, Maria Helena Taipo, said her Government is committed to improve the welfare of the workers in the country.

Ms Taipo said SADC member states should be committed to the improvement of the workers’ conditions of services in the region in order to motivate them.

She told Government and Union leaders present at the meeting that the region can only be assured of improved and increased productivity from its workers if the conditions of service are improved.

Ms Taipo also reminded the SADC member states that it is the duty of the Government to defend the workers and protect them from any form of

Zambia is being represented at the meeting by Labour Minister, Fackson Shamenda, Labour Permanent Secretary, Trevor Kaunda, Zambia’s’ High Commissioner to Mozambique, Japhen Mwakalombe, and Zambia Congress of Trade of Unions (ZCTU) president, Leonard Hikaumba.

Others are Federation of Free Trade Unions of Zambia (FFTUZ) president Joyce Nonde -Simukoko, Zambia Federation of Employers (ZFE) president Alfred Masupha, Labour Commissioner, Cecilia Mulindeti and several other senior Government officials.

The Mozambique Labour Minister also called on SADC member states to remain focused and committed to the creation of more decent jobs in the region especially for the youth so as to improve on the economic performance of the member states and the living standards of its people.

The SADC Region, with a total population of about 200 million and combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of about US 190 billion dollars and an estimated growth rate of around six per cent per annum, is one of the most promising developing regions in the world in terms of economic potential.

However, the fact that 40 per cent of the region’s population still live in conditions of abject poverty translates to a need for an estimated sustained growth rate of around six per cent per annum.

In 1999 the total combined growth rate for SADC stood at 1.5 per cent.

The successful implementation of SADC objectives as applied through appropriate employment and labour policies and strategies will contribute to the attainment of the sustained growth required to alleviate and subsequently eradicate the unacceptably high levels of poverty in many SADC countries.

Among the issues on the agenda for this high level meeting is the Implementation of the 2012 Decisions of the SADC Committee of Ministers and Social Partners, preparations for the 2014 comprehensive Report on the implementation of the Ouagadougou 2004 Declaration and Plan of Action and consideration of the Draft SADC Decent Work Programme.

Other issues are consideration of the road map to the Development of
Youth Empowerment Promotion Strategy, report on the Piloting of Assessment Tools in Member States, SADC Labour Market Information Systems (LMIS) Resource mobilization and Capacity Building: Draft Action Plan, consideration of the Draft SADC Code on Tuberculosis in the Mining Sector, Labour Migration in the SADC facilitation of Compliance of ILO Core Conventions and Ratification of the ILO Priority Conventions, among others.