SA Delegation to Attend ILO Meeting

Labour Deputy Minister Nkosi Phathekile Holomisa will lead a South African delegation to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Geneva to attend its Governing Body (GB) meeting this weekend.

The topic for the Strategic Policy discussion of the Governing Body is “Global employment and social challenges: Emerging trends and the role of the ILO”.

The Governing Body is the executive body of the ILO (the Office is the secretariat of the Organisation).

It meets three times a year in March, June and November and takes decisions on ILO policy, decides the agenda of the ILO, adopts the draft Programme and Budget of the Organisation for submission to the Conference and elects the Director-General.

Zimbabwe is the current overall co-ordinator of the African region. It represents Africa at inter-regional high level meetings, having received a mandate from the Africa Group.

They also speak on behalf of Africa in the plenary supported by other governing body member states from other sub-regions of Africa.

South Africa currently attends as an observer to the GB. Although the country does not have speaking rights, it influences discussions and the Group’s position during daily consultative meetings.

Issues for discussion in the GB are either administrative or reflecting work in progress.

Another issue of interest to the African Group is the promotion of the ratification of the instrument for the amendment of the constitution of the ILO, the 1986 amendment. The GB will assess progress with regards possible new ratifications.

The South African Government (through the Department of International Relations and Cooperation) is finalising its document to deposit its ratification of this amendment.

A three-day tripartite meeting was held at ILO Headquarters in Geneva from 23 – 25 February 2015.

The meeting deliberated on the question of Freedom of Association and the Right to Organise Convention 87 in relation to the right to strike, and the modalities and practices of strike action at national level.

That meeting, conducted in a very constructive atmosphere, resolved to advise the GB to establish a tripartite working group that will further engage on this matter with a view to submitting its conclusion to the November 2016 GB.

The Deputy Minister’s delegation will include officials of the department, including its Director-General Thobile Lamati.

Africa is to chair the Technical Cooperation Segment.

After attending the ILO meeting, Deputy Minister Holomisa will leave next weekend to the People’s Republic of China on the invitation of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.

The purpose of the visit is to cement relations between the two countries in the field of labour.

The visit will further enhance mutual understanding, promote co-operation, and pave the way for the implementation of an agreement signed between the two governments in the fields of human resources development, and employment services in September 2014.