The development and dynamics of HIV/AIDS committees in the South African workplace
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The purpose of this study is to assess the role, status and scope of HIV/AIDS committees in creating new opportunities to extend social protective rights to South African employees. The findings are derived from case studies documenting the experiences of five small and medium-sized companies in implementing HIV/policies and programmes. HIV/Aids programmes are generally implemented under the auspices of a workplace HIV/AIDS committee or forum. The human Resources department and the occupational health unit greatly drive the division-making process, policy formulation and programme implementation, on part due to superior access to resources and information. Participation is generally voluntary; it includes membership across the workforce, but with a notable lack of participation by white-collar employees and line management. Despite their consultative nature, the committees have been instrumental in securing HIV/AIDS-related rights and services, thus extending social protection and employee rights, most often only attainable through formal collective bargaining.