Cape Town: 27 August 2019
South Africa’s leading role globally on development of safety and security measures for fishermen – inclusive of its pioneering role in the implementation of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 188 two years ago – is proving a draw card for most other countries also keen on improving labour conditions for their workers in the fishing sector.
In Cape Town this week, the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) is hosting delegates from South East Asia countries to share knowledge and experiences accumulated in the development of safety and security for fishermen on board fishing vessels.
Also attending the South Africa (ILO) C188 Workshop for the South East Asian countries are local labour and bargaining council organisations in the fishing sector, as well as some of the major employers in the sector.
From South East Asia are officials from Thailand’s Department of Labour Protection and Welfare, the Thai Office of Maritime Security Affairs, Indonesia’s Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Ministry of Manpower as well as those from the Philippines’ Bureau of Working Conditions.
Addressing the approximately thirty three delegates during the start of the workshop on Monday, SAMSA acting CEO Sobantu Tilayi said the gathering was being held in response to a request from the ILO for South Africa to assist with hosting inspectors from Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines who are interested in seeing a port-state fishing/labour inspection regime in action.
The ILO had identified South Africa as a role model for the work it is doing to ensure that fishermen have decent conditions of work on board fishing vessels in compliance with the Work in Fishing Convention, 2007 (No.188).
In fact, South Africa was the first country in the world to formally implement the C.188 two years ago, involving inspection of two fishing vessels – one domestic and the other, a Japanese flagged trawler.
South Africa had since detained one other vessel for violations of the C188.
“It is a great honour to be recognised for the work South Africa and SAMSA are doing to promote the working conditions of fishermen on fishing vessels,” said Mr Tilayi.
He said: “The South African Constitution holds that everyone has the right to fair labour practices and SAMSA, as the custodian of South Africa’s maritime interests, is committed to improving the working conditions of fishermen in South African territory.”
For Mr Tilayi’s full remarks during the opening , Click on the videos below.
Responding to Mr Tilayi’s welcome note, International Labour Organisation (ILO) representative from Thailand, Ms Anymanee Tabitimsri said the South East Asian countries represented were grateful for the opportunity South Africa offered to share knowledge and experiences with implementation of the C188 as all three sought to strengthen the safety and security of the fishing sector labour in their respective countries.
She said Thailand was a pioneer in its own right in Asia in terms of its early endorsement of the ILO’s C188 and was keen to also share insights and experiences.
For her full remarks (4 minutes) Click on the video below:
The SAMSA led week-long workshop which will include visits to the ports of Cape Town, Saldanha and St Helena, has on the agenda:
- South Africa’s implementation of the Work in Fishing Convention, 2007 (No.188) since its ratification in 2013.
- South Africa’s Maritime Legislative framework and the institutional arrangements in the implementation of the ratified Work in Fishing Convention.
- The amendments to the South Africa Merchant Shipping Act to cater for the Work in Fishing Convention.
- The practical implementation of the Work in Fishing Convention with visits to different types of vessels.
- Showcasing the implementation of the safety construction of fishing vessels (new builds).