ILO Convention No 144 of 1976 & Convention No 155 of 1983: adoption

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Meeting report

Wednesday, 13 September 2000 (at 10:05)

LABOUR AND PUBLIC ENTERPRISES SELECT COMMITTEE
5 June 2002
ILO CONVENTION NO 144 OF 1976 AND CONVENTION NO 155 OF 1983: ADOPTION

Documents handed out:
Convention No 144 concerning Tripartite Consultations to Promote the Implementation of International Standards, 1976
Convention No 155 on Occupational Safety and Health and Safety and the Working Environment, 1983

International Labour Organisation website

The following minutes are provided by the committee secretary, Ms Gadija Adullatieff.

Agenda
1. Briefing by the Department of Labour on:
Convention concerning Tripartite Consultations to Promote the Implementation of International Labour Standards, 1976
Convention concerning Occupational Safety and Health and the Working Environment, 1981

2. General

The Chairperson welcomed members and the departmental official.

1. Mr Kettledas briefed the Committee on the Convention concerning Tripartite Consultations to Promote the Implementation of International Labour Standards, 1976 and the Convention concerning Occupational Safety and Health and the Working Environment, 1981. Discussion

Ms Nkuna asked if there had been any incidents where conventions have had to be de-ratified.

Mr Kettledas explained that South Africa has not had any reason not to comply with a particular convention and withdraw its participation. Under the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Constitution a member state can denounce participation after 10 years. However, they would need to consult with the Business and Labour organisations in the country. In 1994, South Africa ratified certain conventions and has reported to the ILO based on the cycles of reporting.

Ms Nkuna asked how these conventions are implemented and whether it is done through NEDLAC?
Mr Kolweni asked who monitors the ILO and what mechanisms are in place to do this?

Mr Kettledas indicated that it is implemented through NEDLAC.
He stated that the ILO has supervisory mechanisms in place. They look at the countries to see if they are implementing the conventions. The ILO also sends out questionnaires requesting feedback to see if member states are complying with the provisions. There is also a Committee of Experts that monitors and investigates countries that are not complying and try to assist with solutions as to why there is non-compliance.
This Committee of Experts meets three times a year in March, June and November.

Mr Kettledas indicated that the ILO has adopted a promotional approach. If member states are experiencing problems and there are obstacles to following the provisions laid down, technical assistance is given in order to help the country before a report is submitted to the Governing Body of the ILO. He re-iterated that the aim of the ILO is not to remove member states for non-compliance, but rather offer assistance.

Mr Kettledas noted that in Africa there are six multi-disciplinary teams that provide assistance for member states to understand issues. They focus on social security, health and safety and an array of other issues.

Mr Kolweni sought clarification on the Asbestos case and where it features in terms of the ILO?

Mr Kettledas explained that the Asbestos case falls within the Northern Cape mining region. This particular case is being dealt with under the Mine and Health Safety Act which is in full compliance with the ILO Convention.

Ms Themba indicated that though NEDLAC consultations had been done, how does this filter through to the provinces and more in particular people at grassroots' level?

Mr Kettledas explained that this is done through employer organisations. The Trade Unions are represented at NEDLAC who in turn get their mandates through the membership structures.

He added that when the Department of Labour introduces a new law, it is first printed in the Government Gazette and organisations. Relevant role players and stakeholders are invited to make comments and submissions. It is also referred to NEDLAC and they have additional consultations. Briefings are also conducted in the provinces on these Bills, if they are requested.

Mr Lucas asked if the views of Labour and Business were sought on these conventions and noted that these conventions were drafted in 1976 and 1981 respectively, are they relevant for the present times and are there any weaknesses in these conventions?

Mr Kettledas indicated that Business and Labour made their contributions when these conventions were tabled at NEDLAC. They have expressed their support for the ratification of the conventions, as the laws and policies in South Africa are compliant with the provisions outlined in these conventions.

Mr Kettledas added that these conventions are relevant in South Africa today as they meet the requirements. There are no weaknesses in these conventions that would have a negative impact on South Africa. The ILO does review the relevance of the conventions over a period of time to see if they meet the requirements.

Mr Kolweni asked if Swaziland is a member of the ILO?

Mr Kettledas replied that they are and there have been times were they have been reprimanded for not adhering to some of the practices.

Ms Nkuna asked if there are any further conventions that would be tabled in Parliament for 2002?

Mr Kettledas stated that there are none at present.

Ms Nkuna thanked Mr Kettledas for his informative briefing and commended his Department for the work that they are doing.

Ms Nkuna moved: That the Report of the Select Committee on Labour and Public EnterprisesUNECE 1958 Agreement on Wheeled Vehicles, dated 5 June 2002 as follows:

The Select Committee on Labour and Public Enterprises, having considered the request for approval by Parliament of the Agreement of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe concerning the adoption of uniform technical prescriptions for wheeled vehicles, equipment and parts which can be fitted and/or be used on wheeled vehicles and the conditions for reciprocal recognition of approvals granted on the basis of these prescriptionsConvention concerning Tripartite Consultations to Promote the Implementation of International Labour Standards, 1976 (Convention No. 144), referred to it, recommends that the Council, in terms of section 231(2) of the Constitution, approve the said Convention.

Report to be considered.

Agreed to.

Ms Nkuna moved: That the Report of the Select Committee on Labour and Public EnterprisesUNECE 1958 Agreement on Wheeled Vehicles, dated 5 June 2002 as follows:

The Select Committee on Labour and Public Enterprises, having considered the request for approval by Parliament of the Agreement of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe concerning the adoption of uniform technical prescriptions for wheeled vehicles, equipment and parts which can be fitted and/or be used on wheeled vehicles and the conditions for reciprocal recognition of approvals granted on the basis of these prescriptionsConvention concerning Occupational Safety and Health and the Working Environment, 1981 (Convention No. 155), referred to it, recommends that the Council, in terms of section 231(2) of the Constitution, approve the said Convention.

Report to be considered.

Agreed to.

2. General
Ms Nkuna reminded members to submit their training needs to Ms Rosalind Molloy-Titus.

The Committee adjourned at 15:20.

Present:
Free State
Dr P J C Nel

Northern Cape
Mr D M Kgware (co-opted member)
Mr A Lucas (alternate member)
Mrs E N Lubidla (co-opted member)

Gauteng
Ms Q D Mahlangu (co-opted member)

Northern Province
Ms C Nkuna (Chairperson)
Kgoshi M L Mokoena (co-opted member)

North -West
Mr Z S Kolweni (alternate member)
Mr P D N Maloyi (co-opted member)

Mpumalanga
Mr T B Taabe (alternate member)
Ms M P Themba

Apologies were received from Mr F Adams, Ms B N Dlulane, Mr B Willem, Ms C S Botha, Mr T Setona, Mr A E van Niekerk, Dr E A Conroy and Mr K D S Durr.

Officials
The following person was in attendance:
Mr L Kettledas, Deputy Director - General: Department of Labour.

__________________________

Chairperson: Ms C Nkuna
Select Committee on Labour and Public Enterprises

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