Capacity Building Workshop for Federations Provincial HIV and AIDS coordinators

Strategic Planning session with COSATU, FEDUSA and NACTU

  Following the global survey conducted by ILO’s Gender, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Branch (GEDI) and GALLUP, the report, indicates that despite strides made by countries to address issues of HIV and AIDS, but Stigma and Discrimination is still persisting in the workplace. This has resulted in workers living with HIV, moving into the informal economy and finding comfort in that sector, another finding from the HIV and AIDS Recommendation 200.

The current State of HIV and AIDS in South Africa, calls for concerns as we have the following challenges:
Over 7 800 000 (about 13.7%) of people are living with HIV and AIDS in South Africa. During COVID-19 South Africa has registered higher increases in HIV infections amongst young women and children. This has been precipitated by lockdowns that brought on higher than usual incidents of Gender Based Violence and Femicide where women could not demand safe sex, where children and youth were subjected to higher levels of molestation, incest, and rapes.
The 3 major Federations in South Africa, COSATU, FEDUSA and NACTU, collaborated to see this strategic planning and capacity building session takes place. This training targeted the three Federations’ Provincial HIV and AIDS coordinators including National Leaders that are seating at the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) structures. Presidents of the Federations, President Zingiswa Losi, President Godfrey Selematsela and President Pat Mphela opened the session with opening remarks but also participated in the strategic planning and training for the three days. The 3-day Strategic Planning and Capacity Building Session was facilitated by ILO Pretoria DWT Specialists, Simphiwe Mabhele, David Dorkenoo and Mwila Chigaga.
Various presentations were shared by various experts, in order to address various topics on the programme, including from the association of People With Disabilities and some with some association with the LGBTI Sector of SANAC.
The COVID pandemic and its changes has exposed the country as some of those who succumbed to the COVID pandemic were people living with AIDS. The COVID pandemic also exposed people in general and People Living with AIDS in particular to a disruption of health services and access to medicines as the health sector was reeling under the unprecedented pressure of responding to COVID cases.
  1. Some of the objectives of the training included: Reviving provincial HIV and AIDS structures, of the federations, trade union and workplace programs.
  2. To provide basic educational resources for Federations HIV and AIDS provincial Coordinators.
  3. To empower Federation’s provincial coordinators on International Labour Standards, including ILO Recommendation No. 200 (HIV and AIDS); ILO Recommendation No. 206 (harassment and violence) To receive the presentation on the survey report on ILO Global HIV Discrimination in the World of Work and build strategies on mitigating factors on challenges highlighted by the report.
  4. To improve awareness on diversity and inclusion related to Persons with Disabilities, People Living with HIV and LGBTIQ+
  5. To empower members to be able to make more informed choices regarding their sexual reproductive health and rights, and life in general.
  6. To empower workers to advocate, engage and negotiate on a Rights-Based approach.
On day 3, final day of the programme the participants came to the following outcomes.
  1. Participants were introduced to the ILO’s Online Course on HIV Testing at the workplace.
  2. All 9-Provinces, including the three Federations developed and presented Action-Plansfor programme implementation.
  3. Provincial structures revived, and affiliates assisted to craft their own programs.
  4. Everyone agreed that HIV and AIDS will be back to the agenda of the trade union movement. Provincial HIV and AIDS coordinators who are clued-up on national and international Labour Standards, particularly those related to Gender, HIV and AIDS.
Next Steps
  • The Plans will be reviewed and refined by the National Coordinators and ILO for distribution and dissemination to the Provinces.
  • Provinces to coordinate feedback sessions with the Provincial-Structures. The feedback to be led by the 3-Delegates from each Province. Follow-up with Provincial structures on the involvement of Labour in Provincial AIDS Councils (PCAs).
  • Engagements with the PCAs to be guided by the outcomes of the Workshop - Provincial Coordinators were encouraged to initiate discussions wherever possible.
  • The ILO and National Coordinators to finalise a roadmap based on the Draft-Plans and discussion.
  • A Gender-Responsive Strategy will be developed and a Labour Sector Coordinating Mechanism established to support the Provincial Implementation of HIV and AIDS Programmes.