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  • Colin Fenwick, Evance Kalula and

    Ingrid Landau

    Labour law: A Southern African perspective

  • The International Institute for Labour Studies was established in 1960 as an autonomous facility of the International Labour Organization (ILO). Its mandate is to promote policy research and public discussion on issues of concern to the ILO and its constituents — government, business and labour. The Discussion Paper Series presents the preliminary results of research undertaken by or for the IILS. The documents are issued with a view to eliciting reactions and comments before they are published in their final form.

  • International Institute for Labour Studies Geneva

    Colin Fenwick, Evance Kalula and

    Ingrid Landau

    Labour law: A Southern African perspective

  • Copyright © International Labour Organization (International Institute for Labour Studies) 2007. Short excerpts from this publication may be reproduced without authorization, on condition that the source is indicated. For rights of reproduction or translation, application should be made to the Editor, International Institute for Labour Studies, P.O. Box 6, CH-1211 Geneva 22 (Switzerland). ISBN Print 978-92-9014-842-5 Web/pdf: 978-92-9014-843-2 First published 2007 The responsibility for opinions expressed in this paper rests solely with its authors, and its publication does not constitute an endorsement by the International Institute for Labour Studies of the opinions expressed. Requests for this publication should be sent to: IILS Publications, International Institute for Labour Studies, P.O. Box 6, CH-1211 Geneva 22 (Switzerland).

  • TABLE OF CONTENTS

    Preface......................................................................................................................................................... v Introduction ................................................................................................................................................. 1 Part 1. The evolution of labour law in Southern Africa............................................................................ 3

    Colonization .................................................................................................................................. 3 Post-independence ........................................................................................................................ 3 Economic liberalization ................................................................................................................ 5 Democratization ............................................................................................................................ 5 The role of the International Labour Organization........................................................................ 7 Regional integration...................................................................................................................... 7 Concluding remarks ...................................................................................................................... 8

    Part 2. Challenges facing labour law in Southern Africa.......................................................................... 9 The socio-economic environment ................................................................................................. 9

    Poverty, income inequality and unemployment ..................................................................... 9 Impact of HIV/AIDS............................................................................................................ 11 Labour migration ................................................................................................................. 14

    Relationship of labour law to economic objectives..................................................................... 15 The scope of the employment relationship and changing patterns of work ................................ 17

    Informalization of work and employment............................................................................ 18 Casualization........................................................................................................................ 19 Externalization ..................................................................................................................... 20 Labour law’s responses to changing patterns of work ......................................................... 22

    The limited capacity of labour law institutions ........................................................................... 23 Trade unions......................................................................................................................... 24 The role of the courts ........................................................................................................... 25 Labour inspectorates ............................................................................................................ 26

    Part 3. Gender equality in Lesotho: A case study ................................................................................... 27 The legal and policy framework.................................................................................................. 27

    The legal framework ............................................................................................................ 27 The Constitution of Lesotho (1993) ..................................................................................... 28 The Labour Code Order ....................................................................................................... 28 The policy framework.......................................................................................................... 28

    The role of labour law in reinforcing existing gender inequalities.............................................. 29 Proposed labour law amendments............................................................................................... 30

    The Labour Code Amendment Bill 2006 ............................................................................. 30 Draft Bill on HIV/AIDS and Employment .......................................................................... 30

    Enforcement of labour laws ........................................................................................................ 31 Complementarities between labour laws and other laws............................................................. 32

    Married Persons Equality Bill .............................................................................................. 32 Local Government Elections (Amendment) Act 2005 ......................................................... 32

    Concluding remarks .................................................................................................................... 33 Conclusions ............................................................................................................................................... 34 Bibliography.............................................................................................................................................. 36

  • V

    Preface

    This Discussion Paper forms part of a set of studies prepared in the framework of the IILS project “Labour law and decent work in low-income settings”, which is examining the effectiveness of labour law in protecting workers in the developing world.

    A significant number of workers fall outside the scope of labour law either de jure or de facto throughout the world. Changing patterns of production and work, a weakening regulatory role of the national state over the socio-economic sphere and diminishing capacity of trade unions for collective representation have been identified as major challenges to the protective function of labour law today. Globalization, in its socio-economic, political and ideological dimensions, is considered as a key determinant of these challenges. The implications of these developments for labour law are the subject of a lively debate in the scholarly community.

    The intention of the project is to contribute to this ongoing reflection from the perspective of developing countries. The above analysis appears to be relevant to their realities. However, in the developing world the limited scope and application of labour law is of course not new. The papers prepared in the framework of this project map and examine both the “old” and persistent factors and the more “recent” factors underlying the limited coverage and problems of compliance and enforcement in the South. They consider the legal, social, economic, political, ideological and cultural context in which labour law develops and operates in different regions of the developing world, taking into account global, regional, national and local dimensions. The papers also critically review some of the responses developed to enhance the application of labour law and broaden the scope of protection.

    The present paper is one of six Discussion Papers which address different aspects of this question.

    The paper by Rachid Filali Meknassi: L’effectivité du droit du travail et l’aspiration au travail decent dans les pays en développement: une grille d’analyse, proposes an analytical framework for understanding the persistent reasons for workers’ limited access to legal protection in