South African businessman, Mthunzi Mdwaba, has been elected Vice-President of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Governing Body and will serve as its Global Spokesman for employers.


The ILO governing body is composed of 56 titular members (28 Governments, 14 Employers and 14 Workers) and 66 Deputy members (28 Governments, 19 Employers, 19 Workers). Ten of the titular government seats are permanently held by States of industrial importance like Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, The Russian Federation, The United Kingdom, and the United States. The other Government members and the worker and employer members, are elected by the conference every three years.


However, Mr Mdwaba’s election took place in Switzerland as part of ILO’s annual labour conference. The ILO is preparing to celebrate its centenary which relates to a period of 100 years and it is the first time tripartite house, representing 187 Member States, will have an african as their employer spokesman.


Mdwaba said: “I am extremely honoured and humbled by the confidence shown to me by business people and employers from all corners of the world to represent our interests at this level. This is also testimony to the rise and influence Africa has in international matters.”


Mdwaba currently also serves as the Chairperson of the University of the Western Cape’s council.