/ 30 October 2006

SA, Lesotho join heads over labour issues

The governments of Lesotho and South Africa on Monday signed a memorandum of understanding on labour issues.

South African Minister of Labour Membathisi Mdladlana said: ”The purpose of my visit to Lesotho was to sign a memorandum of understanding after long and elaborate discussions with the Ministry of Labour and Employment of Lesotho.

”It was also to exchange views and ideas on a number of issues regarding labour, such as contract labour, protocols on how officials between the two countries can interact and of course HIV/AIDS that affects the miners and their families.”

Lesotho, with a population of roughly two million and an unemployment rate of almost 50%, has over 40 000 migrant workers on the mines of South Africa.

Mdladlana indicated that the memorandum of understanding also touched on how the issue of dual and single citizenship could be tackled.

”South Africa has dual citizenship and Lesotho does not allow dual citizenship.”

Mdladlana said the signing of the memorandum of understanding between the two countries would accelerate implementation of programmes that would lay a firm foundation for economic take-off. — Sapa