The Nordic Africa Institute

Solveig Wickman

LO-TCO Secretariat for International Trade Union Development Cooperation, Sweden

The interview was held by Madi Gray on 5 September 2005.

Solveig Wickman

Ms Solveig Wickman became actively involved when she started to work for LO-TCO in 1981. LO-TCO provided funds to trade unions in South Africa. The organisation also provided paralegal and legal assistance so the trade unions could take cases to court. She was also involved in supporting various types of training; basic membership training and leadership training.

Madi Gray: This is an interview in Stockholm on 5th September 2005 with Solveig Wickman of the LO-TCO Secretariat for International Trade Union Development Cooperation. Tell me, Solveig, how did you become involved in support to the struggle for Southern Africa's independence?

Solveig Wickman: I became actively involved when I started to work for LO-TCO in 1981. Before that I tried not to buy South African products like grapes or wines or whatever, but I didn't become actively involved until 1981 when I started to work here.

Madi Gray: What was your role and the activities of both you and your organization?

Solveig Wickman: We were providing funds; we were supporting the trade unions in South Africa, at that time mainly the National Mineworkers’ Union, NUM, and COSATU, but also NUMSA, the Metal Workers Union of South Africa. We were providing paralegal assistance and legal assistance so they could take cases to court and we also provided funds mainly for training, basic membership training, leadership training, different types of trade union training.

Madi Gray: How did the money get there?

Solveig Wickman: In different ways. Sometimes we brought the money, the hard cash in our pockets with us. Sometimes we sent it through other organizations and sometimes when they were able to come to Sweden, which was difficult, we could send the money with them in cash. Sometimes we managed to transfer funds in the normal way through bank accounts, so we had to try different routes.

Madi Gray: What was the reason behind it? Why did you do it?

Solveig Wickman: Because we knew from experience that if you have a trade union movement that is very strong, it is easier for a country to develop democracy. We knew from experience that trade unions can play a crucial role in democracy development. In Sweden, for instance, they played a very crucial role and we felt trade unions could do the same in South Africa. There were strong trade unions already when we started the cooperation. It was just that they were so harassed and oppressed, and we wanted to support them to become stronger.

Madi Gray: When you started this work in 1981, was there a previous tradition with the other unions?

Solveig Wickman: There was a previous tradition, because the LO-TCO Council was established in 1976-77.

Madi Gray: This is an assistance organization, the LO-TCO Council?

Solveig Wickman: Yes. The first countries we cooperated with were South Africa and some Latin American countries.

Madi Gray: With whom were you cooperating in South Africa?

Solveig Wickman: It was mainly COSATU. Some support went to NACTU, the National Confederation of Trade Unions, the other national confederation, and to NUM and NUMSA, the bigger unions. We also had regular meetings in Brussels. There was a committee organized through ICFTU (today ITUC) called the Southern African Coordinating Committee where different organizations from South Africa were invited together with some of the supporting organizations like us. We had cooperation with labour research institutes in addition to the unions and a number of different organizations.

Madi Gray: Some of those research institutes published both research and journals, didn't they?

Solveig Wickman: Yes.

Madi Gray: I am thinking for instance of the SA Labour Research Bulletin in Durban and Johannesburg. Did you work with SALDRU at the University of Cape Town?

Solveig Wickman: No we did not, but they were part of the movement, so we were taking part in their work through information they provided but we were not actively supporting them.

Madi Gray: What was your role in the organization?

Solveig Wickman: When I began in 1981, I started as an administrator for the person who was in charge of Africa. But then the cooperation with South Africa expanded so much, so I became in charge of our activities in South Africa from let say 1985, 1986. So that is how I became involved, I am now the regional coordinator for Africa.

Madi Gray: You said that South Africa was involved right from the beginning from 1976, when the Council was started. Is the Council still working together with South Africa?

Solveig Wickman: Yes we are, we still have projects in South Africa. There has been a discussion whether we should still support South Africa because some countries argue that the GDP is so high in South Africa that they don't qualify for development assistance. But we say that the trade union movement needs support because some of the unions are still financially weak and need more capacity building. We support COSATU on two different projects and we support SACCAWU, the South African Commercial Catering and Allied Workers Union. We support the metalworkers’ union, the actors’ union, and the two police unions, POPCRU and SAPU. I think that is about it, we have six projects in South Africa today.

Madi Gray: You mentioned the police union and when I originally met you, it was in connection with a series of seminars held in Cape Town in November 1999, the Civil Society seminars under the auspices of the Swedish–South African Friendship Week. One was a full day seminar for the South African police and their unions, facilitated by the Swedish police, and as far as I can remember Sten Heckscher, the Swedish National Commissioner of Police also attended. Was that part of your work?

Solveig Wickman: It was part of our work, arranged by us and it was very interesting because that was actually the first time when the two partners in South Africa, police officers and the managers, were meeting outside the negotiating table. It was quite interesting and it was very turbulent, even the night before the seminar when the police ministry called and said, “We can't have this meeting because the union might ask certain questions of the leadership”. But eventually it worked out very well and since then they are actually cooperating quite nicely.

Madi Gray: I seem to remember two South African ministers attended, the out-going and in-coming police ministers.

Solveig Wickman: Yes that's right. There is also government-to-government cooperation with the police which is also developing fine so I think the seminar played a little bit of a role.

Madi Gray: If we go back to the period from 1981 to 1994, in other words before the democratic elections in South Africa, can you mention any highlights from that period?

Solveig Wickman: 1991 was actually the first time that trade union people could come into South Africa and officially say that we were working with the trade unions. There was a big ICFTU delegation composed of leaders from trade unions from a number of countries and I was part of that delegation. We travelled around together with COSATU in Kwa-Zulu Natal, which was a bit scary because of the violence there with Inkatha, so we had to be dressed in COSATU tracksuits to show that we were part of COSATU. I think it did play a very important role in the history of COSATU that they could show that they had friends outside South Africa who were supporting them and cooperating with them. So it was a big thing for us especially and also for COSATU.

Madi Gray: How many were in the ICFTU delegation, do you remember?

Solveig Wickman: I think we were about ten people. I think there were two from Sweden and one from Norway, Denmark, Finland, the British TUC, from Canada and from the ICFTU office in Nairobi. I think we were about ten people all together. In fact we were part of making history really.

Madi Gray: How long were you there?

Solveig Wickman: We were there for about a week, and it was even published in the newspapers, and we were received at the airport by this big COSATU delegation. So it was a big thing for all of us I think.
After that, maybe 1992, 1993 the president of NUM came to Sweden, exclusively to express his gratitude for what we did for the union during the apartheid era.
He came to our office and he was very grateful, he wanted to thank us because at that time we were about to phase out support to NUM, but he wanted to tell us how important it had been to the union and he actually said that without the support from Sweden and maybe also others, there would not have been any NUM in existence. So we felt that we played a role after all. So those are the two important milestones as I see it, the highlights.

Madi Gray: Was there nothing during the struggle against apartheid, before 1990?

Solveig Wickman: We had the COSATU delegation in Sweden, just a matter of bringing them to Sweden, we felt very proud that we actually succeeded because it was difficult with visas but they came to Sweden. We had a very good discussion with the COSATU leadership on neutral ground where we could get the information that was uncensored. That was very important for us when we were considering continued cooperation and that was in 1986, when it was winter, freezing cold.

Madi Gray: Did you have to go out and buy coats and caps for everyone?

Solveig Wickman: Yes, especially boots.

Madi Gray: Were there any important controversies, points on which you had disagreements, either with the unions or perhaps with people in Sweden?

Solveig Wickman: Not as such. The big discussion was whether we should keep sanctions or not, because we know that the Swedish Metal Workers Union for instance, argued that we can't keep sanctions because we want to create jobs for people in South Africa and the Swedish companies that were still present in South Africa, were marginalized or suffered from the sanctions. They couldn't even build a new fence around their factory because of the sanctions from our side, while let's say German companies, could expand and invest, which Sweden did not allow.

Madi Gray: We are now talking about an embargo on new investments?

Solveig Wickman: Yes, and I think that was the big issue that we actually debated within the Council and with the Swedish metal workers, who had a totally different opinion.

Madi Gray: There was another confederation of unions, which predated COSATU, SACTU, the South African Congress of Trade Unions, an ally of the ANC. Did you have any relations with SACTU?

Solveig Wickman: We supported them for a short period but it did not work out very well so it never became consistent support. It was just for a short period of time and then it stopped, during the mid-1980s.

Madi Gray: Tell me about the actual physical activities that you got involved in. We talked about your policies, but not about grassroots actions in Sweden.

Solveig Wickman: We were actually picketing, demonstrating outside the South African embassy. We were there as trade union members, but we were also there as individuals, we had different reasons when we were demonstrating, but we stood there quite often outside the embassy to show that we did not accept what they were doing in South Africa.

Madi Gray: Can you give me an example of when you might be demonstrating? There were also I think some quite large union demonstrations at various points; I don't know whether the council was involved in them.

Solveig Wickman: I don't think the council was involved, it was the individual Swedish unions that were involved. I mean the Metal Workers were very active and so when we demonstrated or picketed, it was just a general trend, sometimes we went there just because we felt that we’d had enough so we wanted to go there and just show that we didn't approve.

Madi Gray: There was a lot of violence against trade unions in South Africa particularly in the early and mid-1980's. Would that be the kind of reason that you might go and picket outside the South African embassy?

Solveig Wickman: Yes and we were there when they bombed the COSATU house in Johannesburg. We were outside the embassy also when we didn't get a visa, when it was so obvious that they did not want us to go to South Africa, we also went there with our placards.

Madi Gray: And you produced quite a bit of material as well, did you not have study groups and other things?

Solveig Wickman: Yes many study circles at that time were around South Africa and the situation there and people took a very keen interest in following the situation in South Africa and there was a lot on TV as well, so people were aware of what was happening. Even today I know that study circles on South Africa are very popular. I have a colleague who is based in the southern part of Sweden. He has just recently been in South Africa and Namibia with a study circle group. So even if there is no apartheid, we still have an interest to follow the continued development in South Africa.

Madi Gray: Were there other things that you did? How did you reach out to your members, because obviously you couldn't have done all the work you did if you didn't have a lot of support from the ordinary union members in Sweden.

Solveig Wickman: No. We printed materials, information, and updates about what was happening in South Africa. Computers were not that widespread at that time but we printed material, we had meetings and whenever we had trade union people from South Africa visiting Sweden, we made a point of arranging meetings, inviting the Swedish unions to come and listen. So we were quite well briefed on what was happening on the ground.

Madi Gray: Right. I was also thinking that when trade unionists visited, there were sometimes tours organized. Would you participate in the organization of these tours?

Solveig Wickman: We did sometimes and we had quite close links with the ANC representatives in Stockholm. So whenever there was a South African visitor, we tried to engage the ANC and arrange some kind of meeting so we could all get together and then of course when the ANC was there, we also invited political parties in Sweden and ISAK and other groups that we cooperated with, Diakonia, for instance, the churches. They did the same when they had visitors from South Africa, they also invited us.

Madi Gray: Anything more on that kind of grassroots level?

Solveig Wickman: We had very good cooperation with the ANC, I must say. They had a number of different representatives but they were all very active and they were positive, they had a positive approach to us as an organization.

Madi Gray: There was also the SACTU representative in Copenhagen who came here a few times, Patrick Mzizi.

Solveig Wickman: He is now in Paris, I think he is still there, I don't know, but he moved. Yes we met him sometimes when he came to Sweden.

Madi Gray: There were Swedish political parties and other organizations involved in working with trade unions in South Africa. Did you cooperate with them in Sweden?

Solveig Wickman: We cooperated when it came to taking actions. We demonstrated together with ISAK and the Africa Groups, for instance, but our ordinary work we did on our own.

Madi Gray: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Solveig Wickman: Generally, it was very clear in people's minds that we must not buy South African products. At that time we were racing go-carts, do you know the small carts, and we had a guy in Sweden who was very good at that. There was a world championship or something arranged in South Africa and he went there to compete, but when he came back he was boycotted and was not allowed to compete in Sweden for a certain period of time because he went to South Africa to compete.

Madi Gray: Was he warned that this might happen, before he left?

Solveig Wickman: Yes, it was general knowledge. Never go to South Africa, you can't cooperate with them. He knew, but he went there anyway and thought nothing would happen, but it did. But it is interesting when you talk to South Africans today, how they experienced the boycott and the sanctions and the isolation and everybody who I asked this question said, “We never noticed until afterwards when sanctions were lifted, then we realized what we missed”. But during sanctions, they didn't think much about them.

Madi Gray: What would you say was the significance of your cooperation with organizations in Southern Africa? Did you get feedback? Were there other organizations that said good or bad things about the support they got from you? Did you get more responses on the Swedish involvement in South Africa? Or from Namibia, were you involved in Namibia at all?

Solveig Wickman: Yes, after independence, in Namibia. We also gave legal assistance to Namibia during the apartheid era.

Madi Gray: When you say legal assistance, what do you mean?

Solveig Wickman: To the unions, we provided funds so that they could engage lawyers to defend their cases in court. Because what happened was that employers took almost every case to court because they knew that the unions could not afford to pay for a court case.

Madi Gray: What kind of things would the unions do? Strikes or?

Solveig Wickman: Strikes, or they were harassing people for being trade unionists, like when the COSATU house was bombed. There were a lot of incidents and the trade unions didn't have money to take anything to court. We provided funds for legal assistance.

Madi Gray: Did you work together with other organizations in Sweden and the Nordic countries?

Solveig Wickman: Not in Sweden but in the Nordic countries like Finland, Denmark and Norway, and in the Netherlands as well, where we still have close cooperation.

Madi Gray: And that would be with similar trade union councils?

Solveig Wickman: Yes that's right. Take COSATU for instance. We had a co-financed programme and we all contributed to a COSATU core budget and then we had the joint annual meetings.

Madi Gray: How much money did you provide over the years?

Solveig Wickman: Up till today I couldn't say, I don't know, but for the 20 year period from 1977–1996, 200 million Swedish kronor were given and within that amount about 60 million was for legal assistance to South Africa alone.

Madi Gray: You mentioned that you worked with unions in South Africa and provided legal assistance in Namibia. Were you involved in any other countries in Southern Africa?

Solveig Wickman: Yes, Zimbabwe of course. We have been cooperating with Zimbabwe for a number of years. Lesotho was one of the countries, as well as Swaziland. I think those were the countries that we worked in.

Madi Gray: Can you tell me a little bit about them?

Solveig Wickman: It was the same kind of assistance, but not legal assistance because that was only for South Africa and Namibia. It was funding for education, trade union education, leadership training, membership training. That is what we do today as well, provide funds mainly for training.

Madi Gray: Did any problems arise in your relationships with any of these organizations? Different problems can arise in different fields.

Solveig Wickman: No, not with the unions. The main problem was difficulty in communication – that was not easy. You couldn't just phone and say, "Hi, we want information on this or that, and did you receive your money?" It was difficult to communicate. We tried to find ways to get around ordinary means of communication. When we knew that someone, who we felt was reliable, was going to South Africa or meeting people from South Africa, we tried to send funds with that person. It was also difficult for the unions at that time, for their finances to be audited, so we had to wait for financial reports. That is also part of communication. I think that was the main problem, communication.

Madi Gray: Were there problems other than communication? You mentioned you used several ways to get funding in and some of them I assume were secret ways.

Solveig Wickman: Yes, we travelled sometimes as priests. There was a certain travel agency here in Sweden that provided a certificate saying you were travelling as a church person, which facilitated entry into South Africa. Not me personally, but I know one of the ladies who was working at our office, who went to South Africa and was followed by the security police. They went together to every village and everywhere.

Madi Gray: It must have been really scary for her.

Solveig Wickman: It was scary yes, but she was actually a tough person and when she had experienced it for some time, she approached them and said, "Since we seem to be going to the same place, why don't we go together?" Anyway, we were never harassed by the security police. They just kept an eye on what we were doing.
Another problem was of course to get a visa. We often only got visas a week after we were supposed to have left. So that was a big problem. We never knew if we could travel or not and the same happened to South Africans who were coming to Sweden. They had a problem to get their passport first and when they eventually got a passport, it was also difficult for them to get a visa to leave South Africa to visit Sweden.

Madi Gray: Yes, it was a common form of harassment. Tell me, what were the sources of joy? What were, for you, the most important relationships? Meeting all these people, did that mean something to you?

Solveig Wickman: Absolutely. What I appreciate most even today is that I can meet people out in rural areas and in townships where I couldn't go on my own, but when I get there together with other trade union people, I feel a very warm welcome when I come, and I’ve had the opportunity to meet people from different layers in that society.

Madi Gray: Did you have any personal relationships?

Solveig Wickman: Yes, with some people who are today ministers and with other people who are still struggling to survive. So I feel very privileged to have met all these different types of people and most of the people that I had met in those early days, I still keep in contact with, which is very nice. So from that time I can closely follow the positive development in South Africa. I see it is important to keep in contact with these people.

Madi Gray: Absolutely.

Solveig Wickman: And lawyers that were fighting together with the unions, I still meet with them and see what they are doing today. And even though they are very experienced and highly qualified lawyers, they still keep a special link with the unions and they work for them for a lower fee for instance.

Madi Gray: It’s useful for the unions in South Africa to have access to people whom they can trust. When did you actually first go to South Africa?

Solveig Wickman: It was officially in 1991, but I was first there in 1987, not officially, but I was there.

Madi Gray: As a priest?

Solveig Wickman: As a priest, but officially my first visit was in 1991.

Madi Gray: When you travelled as a priest, did you also use your own name or someone else’s?

Solveig Wickman: I used my own name, my own passport, very scared. So I went first to Zimbabwe and I said to the people in Zimbabwe, “You must really phone me in South Africa and check that I entered the country, that I am not held somewhere by the security police or something”. I was very scared. But everything went smoothly.

Madi Gray: There was good reason to be scared, there were sometimes very weird things happening. You mentioned that you still keep contact with people, have your personal relationships deepened over the period?

Solveig Wickman: With some people yes, because it seems that they also appreciate to keep the contact with Sweden. So I think it is a mutual interest in maintaining contact.

Madi Gray: You say that they want to keep contact with Sweden, which means that in addition to your personal relationships there are official relationships that are continuing?

Solveig Wickman: Yes and they have taken an interest in Sweden, they are interested in our development as well. I think that they appreciate Sweden as a country.

Madi Gray: It is interesting that another interviewee made that particular point, that there are people in South Africa who are watching what is happening in Sweden and are following it closely.

Solveig Wickman: When you meet them, they ask questions that show that they have followed politics or whatever in Sweden. They ask questions that I hardly know the answers myself.

Madi Gray: Sometimes when one’s outside a country one gets a very good indication of what is happening inside it. Usually only the most important events are covered in the media.

Solveig Wickman: Absolutely, yes.

Madi Gray: What would you say has happened to the relationship between the LO-TCO Council and the South Africa and Namibian unions? Are you still involved?

Solveig Wickman: We are still involved, we are still supporting them, we are still active in Namibia, not as much as maybe we should. But with the South African unions we are more on an equal footing. The trade union movement in South Africa is strong compared to trade unions in neighbouring countries. They can maybe be compared with Nigerian trade unions, which are also strong. What is also interesting is that trade unions in South Africa have strong links in cooperation with trade unions in Nigeria and Brazil and Ghana. They support each other in some kind of networking. So when we meet today, it is not like we come as a funding organization and they are the recipients, it is more that we facilitate growth.
And what is so good and so refreshing about the South African Trade Unions is that they have the courage to say “No!” if we come and say we can offer you this or we can do that for you or we can provide expertise or we have done it this way, would you like to know more about it? They say, “No, that is not relevant for us, we want to do it this way or we want do that”. I think it honours them that they are not dependent on us, they are not polite or anything. They go their own way and they are proud of it and I think they should be proud of it. It is very different from other countries where they feel that whatever we say; they have to say "Yes, thank you". South Africans don't do that; they never say only, "Yes, thank you". They think about whether this is something they can benefit from, or do they need it. If they don't need it, they don’t go for it.

Madi Gray: That is very interesting. It struck me while you were talking that one of the countries that you have been supporting in Southern Africa is going through a very difficult period at the moment, Zimbabwe. Can we talk a little bit about what is happening in Zimbabwe?

Solveig Wickman: Absolutely. The worst part of it is that we are not allowed into the country as trade unionists. That is a parallel with South Africa during the apartheid era. We are stopped at the border, we can't come in and the communication is difficult, we know that the Zimbabwean unions are under pressure and some are banned and whatever. So it is really problematic for the Zimbabwean unions today and we are not able to visit them. In a way I think it is even more difficult than it was in South Africa. You knew the security police were there and most of the time we played with open cards because we felt that we had nothing to hide. But in Zimbabwe we can't even play with open cards because we are not allowed to cooperate. So here we have to try to find means to get the funds through to those who need it. So I think that our experience from South Africa plays a very important role now when we have a similar situation in Zimbabwe.

Madi Gray: We’ve touched on the significance in the past of the involvement of International Trade Union Development Cooperation in Southern Africa, but what is the effect on your other work? How did your experiences in Southern Africa impact on the Council’s work elsewhere?

Solveig Wickman: I think we can mention our experiences in Zimbabwe for instance and that we could draw on them in Colombia where the trade unions are also very harassed. In all these countries, where there are similar problems, we can use our experiences and we can more easily see what kinds of needs there are. It is difficult for an organization to know what they need if they don't have anything outside to relate it to. I mean they can say that they need training on this and that, but from our experience from working with South Africa, we can maybe say, “In addition to what you feel that you need, you also may need this or that”. We can guide them or advise them on different routes to take. I think the experience from South Africa still plays a very important role today. New countries that are in more or less the same situation pop up all the time. Even if the situation is not based on apartheid or race, it is based on the same kind of problem. Even if it is maybe based on other things, it creates the same kind of difficult political environment.

Madi Gray: I travel back and forth to South Africa every year. My impression is that there is a tremendous number of South Africans who are very hostile towards the trade unions. Do you experience that? How do you deal with it? Is this an experience that you've already had way back in the 1980s?

Solveig Wickman: I think that in the 1980s my impression was that trade unions played such an important political role that people were in favour of trade unions because they were an important power in the struggle against apartheid. Today some people are hostile to trade unions because of obvious reasons, because they don't like trade unions. In Sweden you also have people, employers and others who don't like trade unions, and want to weaken them because they think they are too powerful. I think it is more like that in South Africa today, “We don't like trade unions, they go on strike and they do whatever”. But in the old days I think trade unions played an important role and that is why people supported trade unions.

Madi Gray: Do you think the South African unions play an important role today other than in wage negotiations, the normal union work. I am thinking for instance of the RDP, the Reconstruction and Development Programme, and the changes in South Africa. You mentioned that you thought there was a lot of positive development in South Africa. Do you think the unions contribute in any way? What is their role?

Solveig Wickman: I think that they still haven't found their feet as trade unions. My feeling is that they sometimes lack the common enemy, the apartheid government or whatever, that they still see themselves as freedom fighters very much. They need to work more as traditional trade unions than as freedom fighters.

Madi Gray: You mean that they are still learning this role?

Solveig Wickman: I think so yes. Trade unions in South Africa are very active in ILO operations for instance, so they play a role and they are powerful, but they could be more powerful and play a stronger role to look after the interests of the workers. They are very much involved in other types of politics. Maybe they should focus more on worker-related problems. They are learning, I mean they are slowly getting there, but as I said I think maybe they don't want to lose touch with the political struggle.

Madi Gray: Because that is a part of their heritage?

Solveig Wickman: Yes. It is amazing that the black people can be so forgiving. I think that personally I could never be that forgiving if I had experienced what black people in South Africa had.

Madi Gray: I am just thankful that the people in South Africa do not carry centuries’ old grudges, like people in the Balkans. South Africans are amazing!

Solveig, Sweden sent a strong contingent of observers to the 1994 elections. Were you or the unions involved in that?

Solveig Wickman: Yes we were actually very much involved together with different types of Swedish organizations like the Olof Palme International Centre, Diakonia, other church organisations and ISAK, the Africa Groups, a number of other organisations. We formed a joint working group to which we invited people to apply to become observers. We went together to South Africa, we went together with what was called the Peace Commission, we went touring the townships. Actually in those days it was very dangerous. And we eventually had a session in Sigtuna where the observers were selected. And we did that jointly and they were then placed in different parts of South Africa.

Madi Gray: Were you down in South Africa during the elections yourself?

Solveig Wickman: No I was appointed as an observer and I even got accreditation but my husband said no. He didn't want me to go because it was so dangerous, so that is why I didn't go, and it was decided at the very last minute, I even had my ticket when he said "Please, I don't want you to go."

Madi Gray: Is there more details that you could tell me about the actual experience?

Solveig Wickman: I think it would be good for the oral history project if you met other people who formed part of that working group.

Madi Gray: We are interviewing at least one of the observers and some of the people from the organizations involved in the working group are also being interviewed.

Solveig Wickman: But it would be good if you had a chance to interview someone from the Olof Palme Centre, because they were also really active in South Africa.

Madi Gray: That’s a good idea that I’ll pass on. Is there anything you think that you would like to add to round off this interview?

Solveig Wickman: From my personal point of view I feel it's been a privilege to work with South Africa for so many years. I learned a lot that I can apply in my work with other countries and I also am privileged because I followed the development in the country from being so much in the struggle to become what it is today. So to me it has been very much a learning process and I learned a lot. I feel that it has been a privilege to me, and also that we have hopefully managed to plant something worthwhile in South Africa as well.

Madi Gray: And you are planning to continue with the work in Southern Africa?

Solveig Wickman: Yes absolutely. We use the South African unions as someone that we can brainstorm with to give us ideas and help us to make priority frameworks.

Madi Gray: Excellent, thank you very much, Solveig.

Solveig Wickman: Thank you.