Case study

Trade Unions and Financial Inclusion: The Case of South Africa

Investigating the role of trade unions in shaping financial access policies
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This report investigates the role of trade unions in the development of the financial system in South Africa (SA).

South African trade unions have a strong presence in consultations on political, economic and social issues. The country has a modern, competitive and international market-oriented banking sector that operates alongside a large informal financial sector. The study reveals that:

  • Trade unions have actively participated and contributed to financial system development in SA;
  • Trade unions have successfully used the National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC) as a platform to defend their interests;
  • Trade unions have raised awareness in the banking industry on the importance of an efficient and accessible financial system;
  • NEDLAC has operated as a tool for dialogue and negotiation between trade unions, employers, government and civil society.

The paper states that trade union interventions might not have been as successful in the absence of a platform like NEDLAC. Hence any replication of the South African model would require a platform for consultations, such as economic and social councils.

About this Publication

By Ludwig, L.