Southern Africa: Unions press anti-asbestos drive for remainder of 2023

The Southern Africa Asbestos Network and eight (8) BWI affiliates from the region's construction industry met on 23 June and discussed recent advancements in the campaign against asbestos use in workplaces, unpacked individual National Programmes for the Elimination of Asbestos Diseases (NPEADs), and planned campaign activities for the remainder of the year. 

The presentations given by Morgan Mazarura from ZCATWU and Reeaz Chutto from CMWEU, who discussed the global effort against asbestos and for better workplace health and safety, provided the 18 participants—including 5 women and 4 young workers—with fresh and actionable perspectives.  They also received updates on the results of the May 2023 Asbestos Conference of Parties (COP) from Blessing Nhende, the youth chair of CLAWUZ, and Garikanai Shoko, the assistant regional representative for BWI. In the said discussion, they warmly welcomed the news that Cambodia has committed to using asbestos by 2025 to protect its workers’ health and safety. 

The BWI affiliates vowed to revitalise their anti-asbestos activities, OHS campaigns, union-developed NPEADs, and engagement with governments and businesses in their respective countries.