14 Oct

UASA Media Release: 14 October 2021

UASA congress focuses on working together to shape the futur

Caption: UASA CEO, Mr. Jacques Hugo during UASA’s 7th Congress at Misty Hills Conference Centre in Krugersdorp, Gauteng, today.
Statement by Abigail Moyo, spokesperson of the trade union UASA:

UASA’s 7 th four-yearly congress kicked off at the Misty Hills Conference Centre in Krugersdorp, Gauteng, today. The theme of the congress “Shaping the Future We Want” intimates that we are ready to shape the future, instead of fitting into it, said the union’s CEO, Jacques Hugo.

The congress addresses industry challenges and solutions amid Covid-19, including issues of unemployment. Today’s speakers included the Minister of Employment and Labour, Mr Thulas Nxesi, FEDUSA General Secretary, Mrs Riefdah Ajam and Hugo.

Ajam, reflecting on the congress theme, said it was necessary to get most of South Africa’s industries back to where they were before the pandemic. “For the past 19 months, we faced challenges, made sacrifices and had to embrace changes we were not prepared for, hence we must work together towards economic recovery,” she said.

“Training and upskilling on technology advancement must be implemented as core training in organisations so that for every job that is lost, another job is created,” said Ajam referring to the 4 th industrial revolution.

Government and businesses must be held accountable for the future we want. In shaping the future, we must make sure that social dialogues between unions, government and businesses leave no worker behind, she said. “Working together will make us strong and powerful; we must leave behind a legacy,” she said.

Ajam thanked UASA for standing behind FEDUSA like a powerful engine and said she believes UASA will continue to serve the best interest of workers in the labour force in the years to come.

The keynote address by Minister of Employment and Labour Thulas Nxesi centred on the challenges and economic disruptions that South Africa and the rest of the world’s economies faced due to Covid-19.

Nxesi emphasized the importance of social dialogues between labour organisations, government and businesses to bring social partners together and bring solutions to situations that may weaken trade union organisations. “We need to work with shop stewards to get more people to be part of labour organisations,” he said.

Nxesi said organisations could pay Covid-19 support to employees directly instead of going through employers to prevent fraud. “If we work collectively, then any funds that are directed to our people will surely go to our people. This way we can make sure that fellow citizens get the assistance they need,” he said.

UASA is particularly pleased by Nxesi’s announcement about the ILO Convention 190 having been presented to parliament and was now being implemented. UASA has on many occasions called on government to implement Convention 190 which will help to protect women and children against abuse and harassment in the workplace. We are proud to learn that our government is stepping in to protect our people.

Hugo emphasised the need for all UASA members and fellow South Africans to work together in overcoming the challenges faced in industries and places of work. “Working together will lead us to greater heights; don’t let the challenges in your life dictate your destiny, get up and shape your path, designing the future we want,” Hugo said.

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

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