DA: Equity rules racist

Durban - Draft employment equity regulations announced by Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant amount to nothing short of racial discrimination, the DA said on Monday.

KwaZulu-Natal Democratic Alliance leader Sizwe Mchunu told reporters in Durban much of the province's Indian population would be left jobless.

Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant. File picture: Leon Nicholas. Credit: INDEPENDENT MEDIA

Under the draft regulations, companies with more than 150 employees would have to use “national economically active population” demographics to determine the racial mix of their top and senior management and professionally qualified staff.

An average of national and regional demographics for the three lower levels - skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled technical - should be a guide when determining equity targets.

Companies employing fewer than 150 people would have to use the “national economically active population” demographics for two upper levels and an average of national and the regional demographic for four lower levels.

“The new regulations... amount to racial discrimination. If adopted, it will put Indian South Africans out of jobs almost immediately. It will make our economy less competitive and will kill jobs for everyone over time,” said Mchunu.

He said the biggest problem was that national demographics were being forced on the province when its demographics differed substantially as a result of the large Indian population.

“The problem is that KZN's demographics are very different from the national demographic profile. There are more Indian South Africans in KZN than the national average,” he said.

“This means that Indian South Africans will not be able to get promotions, and those in management positions will be at risk of losing their jobs.”

Mchunu said the DA would seek to have regional demographics used to determine equity targets.

He expressed concern that the regulations might be unconstitutional and had never been debated by Parliament. - Sapa