Chief economist at the South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR), Ian Cruickshanks, has advised trade unions to take a broader look at the implications of their attitude towards South Africa’s BRICS membership.

This comes after the labour federations said they would unite against the alleged exploitation of South African workers by BRICS companies operating in the country.

They include the Congress of South African Trade Unions, the Federation of Unions of South Africa and the National Council of Trade Unions.

Cruickshanks says the labour federations have a lot to learn from BRICS members such as China.

“When Chinese take a major development project, do they bring along only the expertise or those people who can fulfill the expertise?  We have a relatively untrained workforce, and I think we should rather grab it with both hands, and say hey here’s an educational opportunity for educating a large number of our workforce and move positively forward from there.”

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