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Durham University

Durham Law: Policy Engagement

Developmental Enforcement Report (2019)

The Developmental Enforcement report investigates the effectiveness of labour standards enforcement in South Africa and Lesotho in the context of contemporary challenges to enforcement systems and with a focus on the garment sector. It calls for the effective enforcement of labour standards to be recognised as crucial to development strategies and explores the potential for more coordinated approaches that are suited to lower-income settings.

The study was led by Shane Godfrey of the Labour and Enterprise Policy Research Group at the University of Cape Town, South Africa and co-authored by Debbie Collier, Roger Ronnie, and Abigail Osiki (Labour and Enterprise Policy Research Group, University of Cape Town), Deirdre McCann (Durham Law School, UK) and Kelly Pike (Global Labour Research Centre, York University, Canada).

The report is an output of the project on Decent Work Regulation in Africa (DWR-Africa) (2018-19). Funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), the project was a collaboration between Durham University, the University of Cape Town and York University Canada.


Download: Executive Summary and Full Report


Executive Summary
Full Report

Figure 1: Stakeholder engagement in DWR-Africa

Enforcing Labour Laws: Global Challenge, Local Innovation in Sub-Saharan Africa

The Developmental Enforcement report is the result of a two-year, multiple-phased process of researcher and stakeholder dialogue which involved extensive stakeholder engagement at the international, regional, and national levels.

The effective enforcement of labour standards was identified as a Global Regulatory Challenge (GRC) by the ESRC/GCRF-funded Strategic Network on Legal Regulation of Unacceptable Work (2017-8).

As part of this initiative, a Strategic Network Team on Enforcing Labour Laws was established that included researchers and stakeholders from Brazil, Canada, Lesotho and South Africa. The team identified Lesotho and South Africa as countries in which challenges to the enforcement of labour standards were worth investigating and in which solutions might be identified.

The DWR-Africa project (2018-9) shifted the stakeholder engagement to the regional and local levels in Sub-Saharan Africa (see Figure 1).


Round Table on Africa in the Future of Work, ILO Geneva 8 July 2019

Our work in Lesotho and South Africa was featured in a Special Session of the Regulating for Decent Work (RDW) Conferenceatthe UN International Labour Office, Geneva on 8 July 2019.

The Session launched our short film on the Lesotho garment sector - Rethabile's Story - in discussion with the director and producer, Darren Hutchinson.

The film screening was followed by a round table discussion on Africa in the Future of Work with panellists Natasja Ambrosio (Head of Sustainability, Mr Price Group, South Africa), Limpho Mandoro (ILO Pretoria), Professor Kelly Pike (York University, Toronto) and Marlese Von Broembsen (Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing, WIEGO).

The panel was chaired by Professor Deirdre McCann.


Watch: Enforcing Labour Laws and Round Table Discussion on Africa in the Future of Work