Gender-based violence (GBV) came to our attention during lockdown when cases increased significantly – but the reality is that it has long been a problem in South Africa.
While people may consider GBV a domestic issue, it affects every facet of our lives, even if we are not directly impacted as victims. This is why employers have a responsibility to protect their workers. With this in mind, the International Labour Organisation adopted Convention No. 190 on Eliminating Violence and Harassment in the World of Work (C190). This convention is intended to signal that employers will not tolerate violence and harassment in the workplace.
Although South Africa’s government has indicated its intention to ratify the convention, it has yet to do so. This presents an opportunity for the motor industry to set an example by embracing the principles of the convention while promoting equality and diversity.
We, therefore, ask all employers to familiarise themselves with the stipulations of C190 and to ensure they understand their responsibilities. Noni Tshabalala, RMI’s transformation director, will be reaching out to all members to help them unpack the recommendations of the convention and ensure you understand your obligations.
At the same time, we are proud to report that we have been invited to participate in the Industry Equality Diversity Forum (IEDF), which aims to promote diversity in the motor industry and help stakeholders achieve dignified, equitable workplaces free from violence and harassment. We look forward to reporting back on the outcomes of this forum.
In the meantime, RMI has partnered with MISA to help employers formulate workable policies which may lead to greater equality and diversity in the workplace.