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Department of Labour to host an EE and Transformation Indaba in which Labour Minister Oliphant will also unveil the 13th CEE Annual Report on transformation in the workplace

by lloyd last modified 2013-04-08 15:51


For the past 15 years the Department of Labour (DoL) has been advancing the promotion of an equitable workplace environment. Fifteen years on from the enactment of the Employment Equity (EE) Act and the launch of the first Commission for Employment Equity (CEE) Report, the Department will for the first time host the first Employment Equity and Transformation Indaba to reflect on the journey travelled.

Department of Labour’s EE Director: Ntsoaki Mamashela said the Indaba was designed to place back on the radar screen the issue of transformation in the public arena. Mamashela said the Employment Equity and Transformation Indaba will be a watershed moment on how the country had dealt with and ought to deal with transformation matters to eliminate unfair discrimination and address inequalities in the labour market and the society as a whole.

“We want to forge strategic partnerships with other Ministries and Departments, Commissions and Councils to ensure synergy, alignment and effectiveness in government transformation initiatives moving forward. Our mandate is to pioneer a platform that will help create social dialogue in order to develop appropriate interventions on transformation to address challenges at the workplace level.”

“The two-day event is unique in that it will give delegates on the last day an opportunity to deliberate on the Commission’s 13th Annual report based on the latest EE empirical data. We will be able to dissect what the barriers to advance transformation are, whether we are winning or not,” Mamashela said.

The Employment Equity and Transformation Indaba is scheduled to take place at the Birchwood Hotel & OR Tambo Conference Centre on 18-19 April 2013 under the theme: “Bridging the Equity Gap”. The Indaba comes at a time when the Government has committed itself to urgently transform the economic patterns of the present and address gender representation in decision making structures.

Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant will deliver a keynote address at the Indaba. She will share the platform with other ministers. Department of Labour Director General Nkosinathi Nhleko will also be present at the gathering; and so will Dr. Loyiso Mbabane: Chairperson of the Commission for Employment Equity; board members of the Commission for Employment Equity, representatives from other Chapter 9 institutions, various labour federations such as Cosatu, Nactu, Fedusa; and business organisations such as Business Unity South Africa; and the Black Business Council.

One of the key strategic objectives of DoL is to promote equity in the labour market through the elimination of unfair discrimination practices in employment and the promotion of equal opportunities, fair treatment in employment, including the implementation of affirmative action measures to redress the disadvantages in employment experienced by designated groups (i.e. black people, women and people with disabilities, as outlined in the Employment Equity Act, 1998 (the Act).

In line with this objective, the Commission for Employment Equity is mandated by legislation to advice the Minister on EE policy matters (i.e. codes of good practice, regulations), make awards to recognise achievements of employers, submit annual EE reports to the Minister, including advising on any matter concerning the Act.

Mamashela said of significance about the Indaba is that the EE Act is also undergoing a review in Parliament. She said 2013/14 will be a watershed moment that will see the new Act coming into being.

The amended EE Act is expected to be passed in the current financial year before end of March 2014. It will deal with the pace of transformation, defining who should benefit from EE, putting an emphasis on the principles of equal pay for work of equal value, and the nature of sanctions for non-compliance amongst others.  

The  12th Annual Report of the Commission for Employment Equity released last year showed that there was monumental amount of work that still remains in order to improve on creating equitable workplaces that are free from unfair discrimination.

“Transformation will not advance enough to benefit the majority of the populace adequately unless individuals from the designated groups are largely employed in positions with authority and with real decision-making powers,” the 12th CEE report said.  

The report showed that Whites still dominate with 65.4% at the Top Management Level, which is nearly six times their economically active population (EAP) and approximately double the representation of the sum of all Blacks at this level.  Male representation is almost double that of their EAP and nearly four times that of women at this level.

According to Mamashela, “we are 19 years into liberation and 15 years since the enactment of employment equity legislation, although there have been shifts at various occupational levels, the picture at executive level still paints ‘a sorry sight’.”  

Mamashela said in terms of the EE Act the Commission for Employment Equity was planning to introduce EE Awards in 2014, in order to reward and recognise progress and achievements of organisations that are advancing transformation.  

·          Meanwhile, Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant will together with the CEE Chairperson Dr Loyiso Mbabane also use the EE and Transformation Indaba at Birchwood to launch the 13th CEE Annual Report, the launch will be held during the hosting of Employment Equity and Transformation Indaba at Birchwood. The press briefing to launch the report will be at 11:00-12:30.


NB: Media is invited to attend the EE Indaba and also witness the launch of the CEE report.

For media confirmations contact Shadrack Mashalaba at 083 753 8820 / (012) 309-4882 or email:  or Masede Mosima at 012 309 4447.                                


Issued by: Musa Zondi

Ministerial Spokesperson

012 392 9625 or 082 901 8081



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