House Chairperson, the reason we are standing here is because we support these conventions. The important thing is that if we support them and become signatories to these conventions, we must live up to our commitments.
For this reason, we support the approval of this convention. However, there are some concerns regarding the country's labour inspectorate that we would like to be addressed as a matter of urgency. After all, we do not subscribe to the ILO conventions to be politically correct; we do so because it is the right thing to do, and as such we are obliged to honour our commitments.
Proper application of labour legislation depends on an effective labour inspectorate. This Parliament, through the Portfolio Committee on Labour, is currently processing four pieces of labour law that will impact on the capacity and efficiency of the department's inspection and enforcement services. This means that we need to fast-track the professionalism of the labour inspectorate and provide them with the necessary tools of trade such as transport, laptops, cell phones and so forth.
We do note that Treasury has been tough on departmental budgets, but there are certain areas like inspection and enforcement services where it would be counterproductive not to expend funds to make sure that the labour inspectorate is fully staffed and functioning effectively.
On a portfolio committee oversight visit to labour centres in KwaZulu-Natal at the end of January 2013, we spoke with some of the labour inspectors there who provided us with some very important insights regarding their work and their challenges. For instance, they highlighted problems with securing subsidised vehicles for their work. It was highlighted several times to us.
Training of inspectors was stressed, so that they could keep abreast with the new developments in the industry. The changing world of work was highlighted, because people now do what we call a typical work and there are more demands on the inspectorate. The department is also urged by the people who work for the department for the inspection enforcement services' case management system to be fast-tracked.
The DA doesn't believe that KwaZulu-Natal is an isolated case. We believe that these problems occur throughout the country. So, we are asking this Parliament to urge the department to ensure that we address these needs of the people. [Applause.]