State Secretary Thorben Albrecht and his South African colleague Deputy Minister Inkosi Holomisa met at the 8th German-South African Binational Commission, held in Pretoria on 20 and 21 November. As co-chairs, they presided over the third meeting of the Labour and Social Affairs Committee.
The introduction of the minimum wage in Germany and South Africa was a focal point of interest for both parties. "The minimum wage is a vital step on the path towards greater equality on the employment market and is high on the policy agenda in both of our countries", agreed State Secretary Albrecht and Deputy Minister Holomisa. The two parties agreed to continue close cooperation, which will include both a fact-finding visit to Germany and a series of dialogues in South Africa.
Collaboration in the area of inclusion was the second priority issue on the agenda. Here the parties agreed to hold an international conference in 2015 on the labour market inclusion of persons with disabilities. The two countries will also continue to work together closely in the areas of labour market policy, public employment services and occupational safety and health.
State Secretary Albrecht reported the findings of the Labour and Social Affairs Committee to Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier and his South African counterpart Maite Nkoana-Mashabane at the plenary session of the Binational Commission on 21 November. These findings also form part of the Binational Commission’s Joint Declaration.
State Secretary Albrecht also held talks with Mr Vic van Vuuren, Country Director of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and Ms Christiane Kalle, Country Director of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in South Africa.