The week commenced with the Continental Assemblies and study groups which were all well attended, The opening cocktail was a great success attended by just more than 580 delegates, who utilised the opportunity to establish new contacts and foster already established relationships.

The opening Plenary on Tuesday, set the scene for a vibrant Congress. With a praise singer, blessing the Congress, its participants, the family of those participating, the city, the Country and the Continent. The gumboot dancers ensured we all moved to the edges of our seats and the Cape Town Youth Choir, made us to sit back and wipe tears as we saw our African dream, coming to realization.

At the, opening session we received a warm welcome from the Premier of the Western Cape, who in her address stressed the need to develop artisan skills within the youth.

The workshops and plenaries have continued to attract and hold the attention of the participants primarily due to the calibre of speakers we have at this congress. The congress was privileged to be addressed by the President of COSATU, Mr Sidumo Dlamini and the general secretary of FEDUSA Mr. Dennis George.    

Minister, as we move towards the closure of this Congress, it gives me great pleasure to announce the following legacies of the 17th ILERA World Congress. If you present such a major event and you don’t fill the vacuum in leaving a legacy, you have failed.

The first being the investment of this Congress back into the informal sector, in excess of R250 000.00 with various initiatives as outlined during the Cocktail event;

The second being the establishment of a subcommittee for Africa, the first ever, emanating from the Africa assembly, this subcommittee will be tasked with promoting ILERA and addressing labour matters pertinent to Africa;

The third legacy is possible through the exceptional attendance of the congress, as a result the LOC is able to set aside funds for the establishment of a trust fund for qualifying African scholars. This will enable deserving recipients to attend and participate in future world congresses.

Indeed a legacy we are proud off !

In closing I would want to thank the following;

  • Minister Patel, for your support in addressing and attending this gala event,
  • Judge President Wagley for your participation today in charring our plenary and attending this Congress,
  • President Kalula, your leadership and support in bringing ILERA to Africa and ensuring this great event takes place in such mammoth way,
  • Mr Moussa Omarou, Secretary General of ILERA at the ILO, thank you for your message of support and your huge contribution to the success of this event;

To our partners;

  • ILO- Governance Office- Geneva;
  • ILO- Pretoria Office;
  • Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council (PSCBC);

And sponsors;

  • City of Cape Town;
  • Education Labour Relations Council (ELRC);
  • General Public Service Sector Bargaining Council (GPSSBC);
  • Public Servants Association (PSA);
  • Public Health and Social Development Sector Bargaining Council (PHSDSBC);
  • Safety and Security Sector Bargaining Council (SSSBC);
  • Juta Publsihing ;
  • Hogan Lovells Attorneys;
  • Solms Delta wines;
  • Xl- Millenium and
  • Hart Publishing.

Your support, especially during this economic times, is valued and appreciated.

  • To our entertainers thank you, also a big thank you for staging a perfect opening ceremony,
  • To the hotel staff, your hard work and service over the last few days and in this event tonight, has been noted and appreciated;
  • To the support staff, thank you for all your support in the success of this evening;
  • A special word of thank to Sharlaine Oodit, that has brought all of this together;
  • Our MC- Bark Bailey, you have managed this programme with esteem professionalism.

To all of you, thank you for sharing this auspices occasion with us.

I thank you

Frikkie de Bruin
Chair: Local Organising Committee