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COSATU Today  |  Affiliates Press Statements

Public service trade union leaders from 150 countries to meet in South Africa

19 November 2012

An estimated 1,200 union leaders representing 20 million public service workers will meet at Public Services International’s World Congress in Durban, South Africa from 27-30 November 2012. Guided by the Congress theme In the people’s interest, PSI members will contribute to a plan of action that advances quality public services and trade union rights for the common good.

Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) delegation will be led by its President, Dorothy Matebeni and General Secretary, Thembeka Gwagwa. As a thought leader on issues of health, DENOSA will raise, among others, the issue of universal access to healthcare, which will be discussed at lenght at the congress.

DENOSA’s position on the issue is premised on the notion that health is a fundamental human right that should be accessible to all people. It notes, however, that health is fast becoming a privatised commodity and that its accessibility has become a privilege and no longer a fundamental right.

Public Services International members are on the frontlines of mass mobilisations of workers, students and other citizens that are changing the political landscape in many parts of the world. These include the Arab Spring, the global Occupy movement, Los Indignados in Spain, the student uprisings in Chile and most recently in Québec, the workers’ mobilisations in Jakarta, the anti-austerity demonstrations across Europe, and more.

Discussions at the global union federation’s congress will focus on advancing different approaches to social justice and economic challenges that are based on the needs of the many, not the demands of the elite few who already have so much.

Fair taxes are key to the equitable redistribution of wealth. PSI and affiliate members are working with civil society allies in growing global campaigns to close tax havens and implement financial transaction taxes. For example, a ‘Robin Hood Tax’ could help fund good sustainable jobs, tackle poverty and inequality, make public services accessible to all, and strengthen the global fight against climate change.

Interactive sessions will encourage the exchange of ideas and examples of mobilisation and lobbying that lead to real change, identify issues to rally collective action at national, regional and global levels, and identify resources and strategies for rapid campaign responses.

Featured guest speakers include South Africa’s Minister for Public Service and Administration Lindiwe Sisulu, Mayor of Durban James Nxumalo, Premier of KwaZulu-Natal Dr Zweli Mkhize, South African Human Rights Commission Deputy Chair Pregs Govender, International Labour Organization’s Alette van Leur and Michael Cichon, Canadian student leader Martine Desjardins and Oxfam International’s Pooven Moodley.

For more information, please see: http://congress.world-psi.org

Media, please contact: DENOSA’s Communications Manager, Sibongiseni Delihlazo, on 012-343-2315 or 079 875 2663 or email sibongisenid@denosa.org.za

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