24 Dec

UASA Media Release: 24 December 2021

Statement by Abigail Moyo, spokesperson of the trade union UASA:

With our main focus on saving jobs and equipping the next generation of workers with the tools required to be part of a changing, post Covid-19 world, UASA encourages employers, business owners and industry partners to step up and assist workers by equipping them with much-needed skills.

Apart from the changes forged by the Covid-19 pandemic and harsh lockdowns, changes were also brought about by modern technology applications, industrialisation, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the 4 Th Industrial Revolution (4IR). We now know that these changes will be a permanent feature of the future of work and economic development. Hence, UASA considers relevant expertise in skills and technology the key definition to growth among sectors and industries in South Africa.

The final report and recommendations of the Presidential Commission on the Fourth Industrial Revolution that were gazetted in October 2020 recommended the following:

• Invest in human capital development.
• Establish an Artificial Intelligence Institute.
• Establish a platform for advanced manufacturing and new materials.
• Secure and avail data to enable innovation.
• Provide incentives for future industries, platforms and applications of Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies.
• Build 4IR infrastructure.
• Review and amend (or create) policy and legislation.
• Establish a 4IR Strategy

Implementation Coordination Council in the presidency.
While these recommendations have merit, the question is how far removed we are from implementing an effective system to make it a reality for those on the ground. For UASA, as a labour union, the investment in human capital development is a salient point in terms of growing our workforce and creating sustainable jobs.

Remote and freelance work that can be done at any time and from anywhere has become an important trend. For employees who are required to report for duty at their respective workplaces, we urge employers to continue to provide personal protection equipment (PPE) and safety to employees to minimise Covid-19 fatigue and related deaths among workers.

Saving and creating jobs is of the utmost importance and for the greater benefit of economic recovery in 2022. UASA takes note of all workers who have stood their ground during these trying times and who continued to drive economic growth.

While we are adjusting to the new way of work and doing business new challenges will continue to arise. It is up to South African individuals to steer ahead relentlessly and make the best of the year ahead.

For further enquiries or to set up a personal interview, contact Abigail Moyo at 065 170 0162 .

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