Pretoria: 26 September 2022
South Africa’s fight against forced labour in the country’s fishing sector is entering an entirely new sharp-edged phase, featuring a broad front of several government departments, all with the goal of eliminating poor employment practices that denude fishermen of their basic right to dignity of employment.
This is according to the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) on review of its performance to date with the implementation of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Work-In-Fishing Convention, 2007 (C188) which South Africa ratified in 2013 and put into effect eight years later – in the process becoming the first country globally to implement the convention.
The news comes in the wake of a recent meeting and training session in Cape Town involving SAMSA, the ILO, several South African State departments and other agencies, as well as private sector law practitioners.
The meeting was to both evaluate the country’s progress and discuss challenges associated with the implementation of the C188 convention, as well as extend ILO training to both SAMSA surveyors and other State officials on identification of forced labour practices in the fishing sector.
According to SAMSA this past week, now with an army of about a dozen fully trained surveyors on Port State Control and the ILO C188 convention’s Forced Labour Indicators, as well as a set of three new regulations about to be passed, to bring to full effect related domestic legislation, the fight is shaping up neatly for a broad sweep in the country’s commercial fishing sector to spot and eliminate poor labour practicies, but particularly forced labour.
In sharpening the edge of the weaponry in the battle against forced labour, SAMSA is being joined by several other State departments, among them the Department of Employment and Labour, the Department of Fisheries, Forestry and Environment, Home Affairs (Immigration), the South African Revenue Services and other agencies.
The battle is focused on not only South African fishing vessels, as international vessels operating on South African waters will also be thoroughly scanned and inspected consistent with the ILO C188 convention and related international and domestic instruments.
For a full outline of the assessment of South Africa’s progress in the implementation of the ILO C188 convention and related matters, inclusive of the country’s pioneering role in assisting other countries in ratifying and implementing the convention, this blog conducted a brief interview (15 minutes max), with one of SAMSA’s lead ship surveyors with vast knowledge and experience on the subject, Mr Selywn Bailey.
To view and listen, click on the video below.
Meanwhile, in a different but related environment, a set of South Africa twin architects, both females; are set to make it to South Africa’s maritime history arsenal next month in Durban, where the General Secretary of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), Mr Kitack Lim is scheduled to unveil a new statue the pair were selected earlier this year to draw and erect.
The statue is part of features to mark South Africa’s inaugural hosting of the IMO’s World Maritime Day Parallel Event (WMDPE) over four (4) days in Durban’s International Convention Centre, attended by hundreds of representatives of its 175 Member States, as well as those of the Association of African Maritime Administrators (AAMA), the latter which will also hold a one day conference a day ahead of the IMO event.
The two events take place in Durban from 11-14 October 2022.
Twin architects, Ms Letlhogonolo and Tlhologelo Sesana of Sesana Sesana Studio in Pretoria were formally appointed by the Department of Transport (DoT) in June this year to design as well as have erected their design of the statue which they have named ‘Ukuhlangana‘.
Their appointment was formally announced in June 2022 Gazette Notice 1133 of 2022 published on 04 June, and confirmed once more publicly, during the launch of the country’s Maritime Industry Development Task Force Network in Durban in August 2022.
To get a sense of what the twin architect were embarking upon, this blog caught with and chatted briefly with the pair.
Click on the video below to view and listen to them.