XXI World Congress – Cape Town, South Africa

15-18 September, 2015

The Congress will take place at the state-of-the-art Cape Town International Convention Centre. It is a sign of this venue’s popularity that, when we made inquiries late last year, only one week remained in September 2015 during which the Congress could be accommodated. Although the LOC realised that many of our members prefer the informality (and relatively low cost) of holding the event on university premises, we also discovered that ILERA (the former IIRA) is also holding its World Congress in Cape Town in September 2015, and had already taken steps to hold it on the campus of the University of Cape Town during the vacation week that month (more about this later). Given that there are few conference venues large enough to host up to 1000 delegates comfortably, the LOC decided to take the plunge and make the reservation at CTICC. The dates are therefore confirmed for the 15 to 18 September 2015.

A unique feature of the event will be the integration of the SASLAW Annual Congress with the World Congress, with a view to attracting the maximum number of South (and Southern) African delegates (this accounts for the large number of delegates we are preparing to accommodate). In essence, it will involve including a number of sessions with topics likely to appeal to local as well as international delegates as one of the Congress themes. A network of South African labour and social security law academics is being built up to assist the LOC as a ‘think tank’ in designing a programme which will address cutting-edge issues and, we believe, will attract lively interest from practitioners as well as researchers internationally.

That brings us back to the ILERA Congress which (as in Sydney in 2009) may well take place back-to-back with the ISLSSL Congress. While some would see this as ’competition’, we prefer to see it as an  opportunity.  Discussion has already begun with our colleagues on the ILERA organising committee with a view to harmonising our programmes in such a way as to encourage the maximum number of delegates attend both events. Also, from a scientific point of view, in-depth analysis by leading scholars of similar or related issues from different disciplinary perspectives could lead to an exciting advance of knowledge.

Preparations are thus in full swing. Negotiations for the appointment of a professional congress organiser are well advanced and the plan is to have a congress website online in the first half of 2013. An intensive campaign to announce and build the event is planned for the next two and a half years, in which affiliated associations of the International Society will be asked to keep their members  informed. The LOC is confident that the Congress has the potential to generate tremendous interest, both at a scientific level and as an experience, while enabling close networking between international delegates and their South African counterparts who have gone through some of the most exciting and challenging phases of transition in the labour field in modern times. Last but not least, Cape Town as host city will ensure a stimulating and beautiful environment. Voted the world’s number one tourist destination by Tripadvisor in

2011 and the world’s second-best city by Condé Nast Traveller in 2012 (the best was Charleston, USA in case you’re wondering). Cape Town is located next to one of the world’s seven natural wonders (Table Mountain) and two UNESCO world heritage sites (Robben Island and the Cape Floral Region), we are sure its many attractions will encourage maximum attendance. Building on the traditions of many excellent world congresses held in beautiful and historic cities in past years, we believe that the XXI World Congress will be an experience that will long be remembered.