"On behalf of BWI affiliates from Africa and the Middle East region, it was a pleasure for me to see you at BWI 4th Congress in my country South Africa. I hope that you enjoyed this intensive week in the province of Kwa Zulu Natal and also this unique occasion to march and pay tribute to the workers who built the Moses Mabhida stadium during the FIFA World Cup in 2010," said Piet Matosa, the newly elected deputy-president of the BWI during the closing ceremonies of the Congress.
For the first time a Deputy President representing the Global South was elected. The delegates from the Africa and Middle East region expressed their pride as they clapped and shouted loudly upon the announcement of Matosa’s election.
Under the theme of the Durban congress “Amandla”, which represents the rallying cry of the South African struggles and resistance meaning power in Zulu and Xhosa language, BWI Congress has adopted historical amendments giving more power to women and youth in its bodies. In addition, for the first time ever BWI convened a Global Women Leaders Forum, where over 125 women holding key national and local leadership positions of BWI leaders along with young women delegates and rank-and-file members met to share best practices. Young workers were also able to share experiences in the Global Youth Forum.
The political leadership of Ethekwini Municipality in the city of Durban provided significant support both politically and financially to BWI in contributing to the receptions at the Moses Mabhida stadium and at the ICC Durban, the venue for the Congress as well as the Gala Dinner, also held at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.
The BWI wishes to extend its gratitude to the Africa and Middle East region and in particular the two South African affiliates, National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and Building Construction and Allied Workers' Union (BCAWU) for contributing to a successful 4th World Congress, held in Durban from 26 November to 1st December 2017.