On 20 June 2013, the Government of the Republic of South Africa deposited with the International Labour Office the instrument of ratification of four international labour Conventions, the Labour Inspection Convention, 1947 (No.81), the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC, 2006), the Work in Fishing Convention, 2007 (No. 188), and the Domestic Workers Convention, 2011 (No. 189).
In depositing the four instruments of ratification, Mr. Leslie Kettledas, Deputy Director-General of the Ministry of Labour stated: “We are particularly honoured to have completed this process and be able to transmit today the four instruments of ratification. This has been a lengthy process and the role of the International Labour Office has been decisive in this regard. ILO’s assistance accompanied all steps of our effort, from undertaking a gap analysis of the national legislation to organizing tripartite workshops, conducting consultations with relevant stakeholders and ensuring Parliamentary support. After ratification comes implementation, of course; we have to make sure that the legislation gives full effect to the requirements of these Conventions and we hope that the ILO stands ready to assist us again should any issues arise in this regard.”
The Employers’ delegate, Mr. Mason Mthunzi Mdwaba, Vice-President of Business Unity South Africa, hailed this momentous occasion and expressed his full support for further strengthening the relationship between South Africa and the ILO as well as his appreciation for the continued assistance received from the Office. The Workers’ delegate, Mr. Bheki Ntshalintshali, Deputy Secretary-General of the Congress of South African Trade Unions, said that while he was grateful for the outcome, he understood people being at times impatient with the lengthy process and added that workers in his country looked forward to seeing the four ratified Conventions making the difference in their everyday lives.”
In welcoming the ratification of the MLC, 2006 and of Conventions Nos. 81, 188 and 189 by the Republic of South Africa, ILO Director-General Guy Ryder said: “On this closing day of the 102nd session of the International Labour Conference, it gives me great pleasure to receive the instruments of ratification of four Conventions, including the governance Convention on labour inspection, the landmark Maritime Labour Convention, 2006, and two of the most recent global standards developed by our Organization, that is the Convention on decent working and living conditions for fishers and the first instrument ever to cover domestic workers. This is an important achievement, especially bearing in mind that South Africa has ratified 23 Conventions in total and that the last ratification was registered some ten years ago in 2003. Today’s ratifications show that the Government of South African is resolutely committed to address, in a true spirit of tripartism and social dialogue, modern challenges to the world of work and enhance the level of protection afforded to some of the most vulnerable workers: fishers, domestic workers and seafarers, who frequently fall victims to exploitation and abusive practices. I congratulate our tripartite constituency in South Africa for this remarkable demonstration of attachment to the values of the Organization and I hope your example will be followed by many more countries.”