The Department of Employment and Labour in the Eastern Cape has echoed the same national call for transformation in the workplaces, which has been stagnated even in other provinces by the show of the Department's 2023 National Annual Employment Equity Report.
The Department has this week (22 to 25 August 2023) taken its Annual Employment Equity Roadshow to the Province of the Eastern Cape in an effort to address the challenges that are still prevalent in the employment sectors in terms of the Employment Equity (EE) transformation.
The first 2023 National Annual EE Roadshow in the Eastern Cape Province has been hosted at the Pine Lodge Resort in Gqeberha earlier today (22 August 2023), under theme: “Real transformation makes business sense".
The objective of the Employment Equity Roadshows is for the Commission for Employment Equity (CEE) to get its five priorities met up until 2025 and two of those priorities are meant to facilitate the empowerment of employers or of workers to enforce their rights as espoused in the EE Act and also to empower employers to drive the transformation journey or the transformation agenda.
In the National EE Roadshow, the Department strives to ensure that employers and employees are equipped and well informed of the necessary changes through public engagements with the Department of Employment and Labour.
The Department of Employment and Labour's Chief Director: Provincial Operations in the Eastern Cape, Ms Nomfundo Douw-Jack, earlier today said at the Roadshow “we have picked up that indeed as the Eastern Cape like all the other provinces, the employment equity in some of the sectors has stagnated".
“You would find that if you go to the private sector there is still dominants of White males within the top three layers. Within the public sector, you will see that there is no racial diversity that you are finding in those three layers.
“Also, what is of very concern is the lack of employment of person with disabilities or minimum opportunities that are afforded to persons with disabilities, and as a country I think we just need to ask ourselves, are we prepared to continue doing the same thing, the same way while we say we want to see results," said Ms Douw-Jack.
Although Ms Douw-Jack considered that there is a glimpse of transformation in other sectors in the Province, however, she said the speed for a clear transformation is not enough.
“Because at the end we want to see transformation but it's very clear that what we have been doing has not really assisted us in terms of ensuring that there is speed in getting to transformation. This does not in any way say we don't have transformation in certain sectors.
“Just also as an indication, I want to appreciate the role that South Africa is playing as a member-state in the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and I think out of the 187 member-states of the ILO, South Africa is the 10th country in the world to rectify Convention 190, and the fourth country in the continent (Africa) to rectify that convention. It's the Convention which talks to issues of violence and harassment in the workplace and we have domesticated that into the code, which we are going to get in terms of the presentations," said Ms Douw-Jack.
The Department of Employment and Labour Deputy Director of EE, Mr Niresh Singh, said the Department's efforts in the EE Roadshow have been yielding some results.
“It may not be yielding what we require, but I think it is yielding something, and we do have a long way to go but if I were to say we are not making progress I would be lying. So I don't want to do that.
“I think as a nation we have got distortion in unemployment where for instance we all group up… where our Black youth are sitting at 50 percent to 60 percent in that region and the White are below 10 percent. But I think from 1994, we fall short for not recognising how far we have come. I think we need a lot of focus and I think we still have a long way to go," he said.
The Department's Acting Deputy Director, Mr Innocent Makwarela said the Department is focusing on the four sector targets, which are based on upper levels: Top, Senior, Professional, and Skilled Level.
“We give the stats that we have received from all designated employers: National Economic Active Population, the 2022 EE Reports, the Amendments, and how to access a certificate of compliance as part of our amendments," said Mr Makwarela.
The remaining EE workshops with venues to-be-confirmed will be held as follows:
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