COSATU welcomes President Ramaphosa’s pledge to ratify Convention 190 to fight violence and harassment in the workplace

COSATU has noted the President’s announcement of government’s commitment to ratify Convention 190.For COSATU and workers in general, this is the most significant announcement for this year’s Women’s Month.

Convention 190 was adopted by the International Labour Organisation on 10th of June 2019 and it was intended to eliminate violence and harassment at the workplace against women.  When ratified and passed into law by South Africa it will be a key tool in the fight against the incessant violence and harassment that women face daily across workplaces in this country.

We are perturbed though that since its adoption, last year, it has not been tabled in Parliament by the Department of Employment and Labour for ratification or to the Cabinet for approval. 

It has been languishing in the Departments of Employment and Labour, Justice and Constitutional Development, and International Relations and Cooperation since they returned from the ILO Conference in Geneva in June 2019. 

This is despite COSATU and its affiliates raising constantly reminding Minister and senior leadership of the Department of Employment and Labour to treat this as an urgent matter.

Hopefully after the President’s announcement, everyone will move with speed to process it through Cabinet and table it in Parliament.Working women across South Africa need to be assured that Parliament will ratify Convention 190 by November 2020. 

We also expect Parliament, the Departments of Employment and Labour, and Justice and Constitutional Development to review our existing labour and criminal legislation to ensure that all our laws are in compliance with Convention 190 and to provide the necessary amendments where needed.  Protection of women in the workplace is non-negotiable.

Issued by COSATU

For further information please contact: Matthew Parks COSATU Parliamentary Coordinator

Cell: 082 785 0687