On this day May 1 ,the Ismail Mahomed Centre for Human and Peoples Rights of the School of Law Faculty of Management Commerce and Law, University of Venda, wishes workers in South Africa and beyond a rewarding workers’ day celebration.It is a day of reflection globally about the importance and rights of workers. In particular, it is a significant occasion for sober reflection on working conditions and state commitment to the issues of unemployment, domestic workers, migrant workers and general social justice.

On a positive note, it is encouraging to note the strides being made by the judiciary in South Africa, particularly, for its effort to protect the rights of workers including the most vulnerable as evident in the case of Discovery Health Limited v CCMA 2008 7 BLLR 633 LC and subsequent matters. We especially note the remarkable judgement of the Constitutional Court in 2020: Sylvia Bongi Mahlangu and others v Minister of Labour and Others (CCT 306/19) 2020 ZACC 24; 2021 (1) BCLR 1BCLR). In that case the Constitutional Court ruled that domestic workers are employees for the purpose of being compensated under the Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act.

However, the journey remains long still with several bumps on the road. States need to do more in relation to youth and the unemployment rate. New jobs should be created while an enabling environment should be forged for youth entrepreneurs to be birthed and nurtured. Also, states must ratify the Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families (CMW).

Once again, wishing you all a happy workers day.

Skip to content