Minister’s opening remarks: Press launch of the 11th CEE Annual Report, Room 153, Union Buildings
3 August 2011
Director-General of Labour;
Senior managers and officials of the Department of Labour;
Chairperson of the Commission for Employment Equity;
Members of the Commission for Employment Equity;
Members of the media;
Ladies and gentlemen;
Welcome to you all! I take this opportunity to express my gratitude and thank the Chairperson and members of the Commission for Employment Equity for their stunning work during the course of the financial year.
At the same time, let me remind you all that the equality concept, which is inclusive of employment equity, is not unique to South Africa only. In fact, the International law strongly supports the elimination of unfair discrimination as a cornerstone concept of human rights to prevent and combat inequalities in the workplace. Countless norms mandate equality and non-discrimination, while States are continuously required to take active measures to guarantee these rights, including ‘Equal Pay for work of Equal Value’.
May I remind you all that Chapter 2 of the Constitution of the Republic of the South Africa clearly sets out in the Bill of Rights provisions on Equality, which include the need for “National legislation to prevent or prohibit unfair discrimination and to promote equality to address imbalances that stem from our past.
The Employment Equity Act passed by Parliament on 21 August 1998, constitutes one of the key enabling interventions to achieve equality and diversity in workplaces of our country. Expectations of the designated groups are similar to those outlined in the purpose of the Employment Equity Act, which is to achieve equity and diversity by eliminating unfair discrimination and implementation of affirmative action measures across all occupational levels.
With this in mind, I now handover to the Chairperson of Commission, Mrs Mpho Nkeli, to present the 11th CEE Annual Report so that all of you have the opportunity to gauge for yourselves on whether we are making sufficient progress or not.