Businessman and chairperson of Productivity SA Mthunzi Mdwaba. Picture: FILE
Businessman and chairperson of Productivity SA Mthunzi Mdwaba. Picture: FILE

SA businessman Mthunzi Mdwaba nominated as International Labour Organisation director-general

By Loyiso Sidimba Time of article published Sep 15, 2021

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THE government has officially nominated businessman and chairperson of Productivity SA Mthunzi Mdwaba as a candidate for the position of International Labour Organisation (ILO) director-general.

The ILO, a United Nations agency founded over a century ago, is expected to elect a new director-general to replace incumbent Guy Ryder next March.

Mdwaba, formerly the chairperson of the council of the University of the Western Cape, where he is currently an adjunct associate professor of law, has been campaigning to replace Ryder since launching his candidacy in June.

In a statement on Tuesday, the South African government announced that it had formally nominated and lodged papers allowing Mdwaba to run for the position.

For Mdwaba to be in consideration for the post, a member state of the ILO or a regular or deputy member of its governing body must send his candidature to its chairperson Anna Jardfelt Melvin by midnight on Friday, October 1, at the latest.

Mdwaba said his campaign for the ILO director-general post would focus on his commitment to renew the organisation and re-position it by consolidating and enhancing its achievements over the years to serve all constituencies in a balanced way based on the three pillars of change, social justice and impact.

“It is my expressed desire to contribute to building an ILO that systematically demonstrates it cares for all its staff and constituents, and works to effectively deliver on commitments to ensure the dignity of everyone engaged in the world of work,” he said.

“Over my years of service at the ILO, I have become fiercely committed to addressing issues of social injustice at a global level. I firmly believe that the ILO, and multilateralism in general, have a profound role to play in ending injustices and ensuring the dignity of all people”.

Mdwaba has served as a member of the Geneva, Switzerland-based ILO’s governing body, representing the Southern African Development Community (SADC), and has been on the management board of the International Organisation for Employers, which is described as the largest network of the private sector in the world, for about seven years.

SADC submitted Mdwaba’s candidacy and he has also been endorsed by the African Union.

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