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International Labour Organisation: Future of Work Initiative. Theme 4: The governance of work

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Corporate author/s:

University of Cape Town, Labour and Enterprise Policy Research Group

Person/s author/s:

Fergus, Emma; Collier, Debbie


research paper



The purpose of this final paper is to encourage participants in the national dialogue on the future of work to look ahead to the likely impact of the emerging forces in the world of work and to imagine a governance landscape for the future world of work that will promote social justice, economic development and decent work for all. The overarching question underlying this paper is: what should the design and implementation of policy, regulation and governance look like in the future world of work? In this paper, we begin by outlining the importance and characteristics of accountable and responsive governance, as well as the challenges facing the future of work in South Africa. Thereafter we briefly discuss some of the institutions (including examples of both public and private governance) which are currently operative in South Africa and tentatively recommend ways in which their efficiency and effectiveness may be improved upon. We concede nonetheless, that more work needs to be done, beyond the scope of this project, to address the governance deficits - which are, at times, underpinned by policies which are not 'fit for purpose'.

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