The Department of Employment and Labour's 2023 National Employment Equity Roadshows in partnership with the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) has today come to an end in Cape Town.
The Roadshows which were conducted throughout the country under the theme “Real transformation makes business sense" started in July in Limpopo.
The focus of the Roadshows was to create awareness on the recently promulgated Employment Equity (EE) amendments, sector targets and regulations.
The Amendments of the EE Act of 1998 and its Regulations are primarily aimed at empowering the Minister of Employment and Labour to regulate the setting of sector specific EE numerical targets and the promulgation of Section 53 that deals with issuing of the EE Compliance Certificate as prerequisite of accessing of State contracts.
The recently released 23rd Commission for Employment Equity (CEE) Annual Report showed that the South African labour market continues to be racialised and gendered.
The report has shown that the status of the progress made in the implementation of affirmative action for the achievement of the equitable representation of employees from the economically disadvantaged groups in the workplace remains slow.
In her presentation to the Roadshow held at the Cape Town Lagoon Beach Hotel, CEE Chairperson Tabea Kabinde expressed dissatisfaction about the underrepresentation of the Coloured Community in both top and senior management positions in the Western Cape.
According to official statistics Coloureds only occupies 6.1% and 8.2% of top and senior management positions in the Western Cape respectively.
That means Coloureds are overrepresented in lower levels of employment even though they are the majority population in the Western Cape. Kabinde said the setting of sector specific EE numerical targets will assist the Coloured Community to be represented equally in all sectors of employment in the Western Cape.
Ms Ntsoaki Mamashela, Director of Employment Equity of the Department, dismissed media reports that the Coloured Community will be disadvantaged by the Employment Equity targets as lies.
“People talking of a point of not knowing that's why they are spreading rumors. Everybody argues that sector EE targets are quotas, but they are not. Quotas are rigid, meaning they are not flexible. Sector targets are flexible"
Mamashela said employers will still maintain powers to determine their own annual EE targets towards achieving the regulated 5-year sector EE targets.
“Those employers that have surpassed the regulated minimum targets proposed per sector are encouraged to still be proactive in setting EE targets towards achieving the demographics of the EAP".
Mamashela said the purpose of the Act is to promote equal opportunity and fair treatment in employment through the elimination of unfair discrimination.
“The act further facilitates the implementation of affirmative action measures to redress the disadvantages in employment experienced by Africans, Coloureds and Indians for both genders including white women"
She said the Employment Equity targets does not prevent the employment of anybody and also emphasised that no person will be dismissed or retrenched to advance EE targets.
“EE and Affirmative Action seeks to ensure the maximum participation of every citizen in the economy of the country, which is inclusive of the African, Coloured, Indian and White population groups".
Mamashela announced that the EE reporting period opened on 1 September 2023 and will close on 15 January 2024.
For more information, contact:
082 697 0694/ Teboho.Thejane@labour.gov.za
Issued by: Department of Employment and Labour
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