'Workers' control and the impact on decision making in key industries'

On the occasion of a five-member strong IG Metall delegation visit to South Africa, the third socio-political FORUM was held at the Goethe Institute in Johannesburg on July 11, 2011. This time the FORUM was organized in collaboration with the Friedrich Ebert Foundation. Topics discussed comprised of co-determination and workers’ control in South Africa and Germany. 

The key note speakers were Berthold Huber, President of IG Metall, Irvin Jim, General Secretary of NUMSA and Professor Eddy Webster of Wits University. The Forum was facilitated by Monika M. Sommer, Counsellor of Labour and Social Affairs at the German Embassy in Pretoria, enabling an interesting and in-depth discussion in which the German and South African guests – politicians, scholars and trade unionists – widely participated with knowledgable questions and comments. 

The FORUM was conducted in accordance with the Chatham-Rules and proved to be an ideal setting for discussing controversial topics unconventionally and from new perspectives. In summary, it became clear that the different models of workers’ involvement and participation within industries and business are very much rooted in the respective histories of each country and need to be further developed based on those experiences.

The meeting was so exciting that no one thought of taking photos. Therefore an impressionistic, slightly “retro” black and white picture of the event must suffice.

© German Embassy Pretoria



Goethe Institut South Africa

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The Goethe-Institut is the German cultural institute. It promotes knowledge of the German language and of Germany and fosters international cultural cooperation. The regional office in Johannesburg coordinates the work of its 11 institutes and 14 smaller offices in Sub-Saharan Africa. It also offers a diverse range of cultural programmes, German lessons, supports German teaching and has a library/Information Centre on it premises.