Labour and Social Affairs
The Labour and Social Affairs section reflects the portfolio of two German ministries, the German Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS) and the Ministry of Health (BMG).
In September 2009 a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the South African and German governments on the cooperation in the field of labour.
The cooperation with the South African counterparts focuses on following main areas:
- Extension of social security (Unemployment Insurance and Compensation for occupational injuries);
- Occupational safety and health (with specific reference to labour inspections);
- International cooperation in labour policies.
On February 13, 2013, South African and German members of politics, business, trade unions, and science met at the Goethe Institute in Johannesburg to openly discuss participatory approaches in industrial relations. It was the seventh socio-economic FORUM, which addressed the issue of “Social Partnership – Reconciling Labour and Business Through Participation”. Former German Minister of Justice and lawyer Prof. Herta Däubler-Gmelin introduced the topic.
The sixth FORUM on Labour and Social Affairs was held in cooperation with the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) at the Goethe Institute in Johannesburg on October 1, 2012. The topic of the discussion was ‘’Trade unions’ participation in the economy and energy change”. This latest FORUM dealt with challenges trade unions face in times of drastic policy changes in favour of environmentally friendly energies.
Trade unions have a long history in Germany? From the workers' associations, which were allowed in Germany since 1871, the first trade unions were formed.
German Trade Unions