Union to court over affirmative action

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Johannesburg - Trade union Solidarity will approach the Labour Court in Johannesburg on Wednesday in a bid to declare the police's employment equity plan illegal.

The union said the SAPS employment equity plan amounted to race quotas, leading to a situation that a person’s race could form an absolute barrier to employment.

Chief executive Dirk Hermann said a favourable outcome for Solidarity would affect the entire labour market.

“Every employment equity plan in itself will become a contested terrain and open to tests for rationality and suitability, over and above the way in which the plan is applied,” he said.

According to Hermann, the police's equity plan used national racial demographics as the only yardstick for measuring equitable representation, which he said was illegal.

The Employment Equity Act forbade barriers to employment or promotion, he said.

“Furthermore, the act requires that a range of factors, and not only race, should be considered in determining equitable representation,” he said. - Sapa

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