Employment Working Group Outcomes

BRICS countries recommit themselves to labour rights, social protection and job creation

29 September 2023

The BRICS Labour and Employment Ministers’ Meeting (LEMM), which came to an end today, September 29, after a two-day session in Durban, once again committed themselves to critical issues such as labour rights, social protection and job creation, which are essential components of building a just and equitable society.

The session started on 28 September 2023,  at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Umhlanga in Durban.

The meeting of the LEMM follows a successful two-day session of the BRICS Employment Working Group (EWG), which reached a number of outcomes that aim to promote collaborative initiatives and enhance social protection among the BRICS countries.

In their declaration, which is called the eThekwini Declaration, the LEMM commits itself to working together in the BRICS spirit featuring mutual respect and understanding, equality, solidarity, openness, inclusiveness and consensus. The LEMM further declares that they will intensify efforts within various international bodies to shape global labour market policies and agendas.

In their declaration, the LEMM commits to achieve their theme of “Ensuring decent Work, dignity, and respect for all” by committing to four key priorities, namely:

·        Promoting labour rights at work and reducing decent work deficits

·        Universal access to social protection and ensuring a minimum basic income

·        Promoting decent work and closing the skills gap in the informal economy

·        Building sustainable enterprises, innovation, and enhancing productivity

In his closing remarks to the LEMM, Minister Thulas Nxesi of Employment and Labour  said “we are not only making a commitment to each other, but also to our citizens who look to us for solutions that will improve their lives. I have no doubt that our collective efforts will bear fruit and contribute to a better future for all”.

The minister said the LEMM discussions over the past two days were enlightening and productive.

“We have delved into critical topics such as labour rights, social protection and job creation, all of which are essential components of building a just and equitable society”.

The LEMM also welcomed the decision of the BRICS Leaders’ Summit in August to extend an invitation to Argentina, Egypt, Iran, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to join the BRICS family.

The term of South Africa, which has held the BRICS Presidency since 1 January 2023, has come to an end.

“We would like to express our sincere appreciation to the South African Presidency for organising the Ninth BRICS Labour and Employment Ministers’ Meeting, the meetings of the Employment Working Group and Leader’s Summit. We look forward to our next meeting in 2024 under the Presidency of the Russian Federation”, says the declaration of LEMM,

For more information, contact:

Teboho Thejane

Departmental Spokesperson

082 697 0694/ Teboho.Thejane@labour.gov.za


Issued by: Department of Employment and Labour


© 2019 – The South African Department of Employment & Labour