The ending of an era: Redefining South Africa's relationship with the international labour organization

This article describes South Africa’s relationship with the International Labour Organization, which impact on future labour relations within the country. The ILO is linked to the UN and attempts to improve international labour conditions, raise living standards, and promote economic and social stability. The ILO is an active critic of apartheid, but is also attempting to adapt its anti-apartheid policy to consider the changes within South Africa. In 1992 an umbrella organization was established to act as a non-racial employers’ federation. A Fact-Finding and Conciliation Commission on Freedom of Association visited South Africa to review South African labour laws, recommending on aspects that did not comply with international standards. At the 1993 International Labour Conference, delegates representing the Employers and Workers on the ILO Committee on Action against Apartheid disagreed how to encourage the transition process within South Africa, especially concerning the status of the updated Declaration on Action against Apartheid in South Africa. The report of the Apartheid Committee was accepted without amendments. The ILO is poised to launch a technical assistance programme to address some of South Africa’s immediate needs.